From the journal

7billionideas and United Learning celebrate an incredible 5 year partnership‍

7billionideas is this week celebrating an incredible 5 year partnership with United Learning, one of the UK’s most established schools groups. United Learning is responsible for educating around 50,000 pupils across the country, uniquely combining the state and independent sectors.

7billionideas is proud to have worked closely with the Group on a range of diverse programmes both within individual schools and group-wide, delivered as part of United Learning’s mission to bring out ‘the best in everyone’. This includes the hugely successful #UnitedApp competition, and its primary counterpart #UnitedIDEAS, which are helping to harness children’s creativity and inspire them to fulfil their creative and entrepreneurial potential. These annual competitions encourage small teams to come up with ideas that might just change the world.

The partnership has also seen the appointment of 7billionideas C

EO David Harkin as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Group’s Surbiton High School, as well as a number of tailored training courses which give pupils exposure to working in an entrepreneurial environment.

The partnership developed from the launch of #UnitedApp in 2014, in which pupils developed an idea for an educational app which would have global impact – an initiative that was so popular that thousands of teams from across United Learning’s schools over the past five years. Two years later saw the launch of #UnitedIDEAS in which children from the primary schools are encouraged to ‘think big, dream big’. The competitions involve children in Key Stage 2, working in small teams to form ideas, before creating posters, models, musical jingles and presentations for their peers and teachers. This is followed up with a range of specially tailored training courses for older pupils to give them a unique taste of working in large corporations to find solutions to real-time business challenges.

In 2018, Surbiton High School was awarded the prestigious TES Award for Creativity, recognising in their partnership work with 7billionideas and ongoing commitment to helping pupils flourish in their learning.

As well as Surbiton High, the 7billionideas team have now had the pleasure of working with numerous schools over the years including Dunottar School, Ashford School, Lambeth Academy, Walthamstow Academy and most recently Newstead Wood School and Guildford High School.

Commenting on the partnership, David Harkin said:

“It has been an incredible five years in which thousands of children across United Learning have been inspired to create their own ideas and enjoy genuine experience of the corporate world. It’s been an enormous pleasure to work with United Learning. As an education provider, United Learning is progressive and innovative, with a clear understanding of the importance of equipping entrepreneurs of the future with the skills they need to excel in business.”

Eleanor Martin, Project Lead for Enrichment at United Learning, said:

“As a Group, we believe in the importance of an ‘Education with Character’. Alongside their academic learning, we want pupils to experience things that challenge and inspire them, discover new talents and interests and work together to nurture their creativity and confidence. Our partnership work with 7billionideas on programmes like UnitedApp and UnitedIDEAS are brilliant examples of the sort of opportunities we aim to give our young people as part of this commitment."

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