Saturday, 27 October 2012


The Cutlers ‘Made in Sheffield’ Project builds on a huge body of research suggesting that master coaching, deliberate practice and hard work are the real keys to success.
This was evidenced in the Olympics and Paralympics and has resulted in a developing curriculum offer which brings together three important elements:

  • A project-based and activity-based curriculum linked to the world of work;
  • A learning and skills framework developed with employers and underpinned by the Cutlers’ “Made in Sheffield” Passport to Employment
  • A menu of opportunities/activities/mentoring/coaching/masterclasses connecting learning to the world of work.

The proposals recognise that coaching and mentoring, where young people receive structured feedback to drive deliberate practice, is the most highly effective aid to learning. The message we need to get to young people is that if you really want to excel at something, a lot of time and a lot of practice are required. The importance of “10,000 hours” was explained by Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ and the time part seems straightforward enough, but we know that simply clocking hours of practice is not enough. The practice has to be of a certain quality; it has to be deliberate. Deliberate practice is:

  • Highly demanding, requiring high levels of focus and concentration.
  • Designed to improve performance—beyond its current levels.
  • Continues for long of periods of time.
  • Is constantly repeated.
  • Requires continuous feedback on results.
  • Requires preparation and goal setting.
  • Involves self-observation and self-reflection.
  • Involves careful reflection on performance after practice.

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