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One For All Blog – “Confident with an aspiration to achieve”

Tuesday 29th November 2016

Tom Cowan has spent years working with children and young people in the formal education sector.  Using his professional insight and experience of The Boys’ Brigade, he reflects on how BB membership helps shape young lives…

“Having been a member of The Boys’ Brigade since five years old, I have always upheld and followed the object of the organisation in everything I have done.

As a teacher who has taught both in primary schools and secondary schools around Manchester and in Plymouth, I am often fortunate to teach young boys and girls and older students who seem to thrive from their involvement within the organisation.

I think there are numerous benefits which are easily demonstrated in school such as;

Confidence and Resilience – This is probably the easiest thing to witness from a pupil who is part of The Boys’ Brigade.  Children and young adults who are members of the organisation tend to show a confidence which is ahead of their peers.  They appear to have a developed vigour to try out the unknown and “to give it a go” where others might not have the same attitude.  This also holds true in the face of adversity – whether this be not doing well in a test, or not understanding something in class – the level of resilience and the ability to bounce back is second to none.

Respect and Tolerance – Thinking of others and having a well-grounded understanding for others’ thoughts and feelings seems to be well ingrained in these students.  A very important facet within education.  Learners need to be mindful of others around them and develop an understanding of how they learn and interact.

Attitude and Attainment – Being part of The Boys’ Brigade doesn’t necessarily make you smarter but what it does do; is give learners a much more improved attitude to learning. Combined with the other benefits discussed, members of the BB have a hunger to achieve – whether that be in their studies, or acting as role models to others in terms of behaviour.  This attitude aids attainment – what they learn and how they learn in the sessions with BB allows them to further their learning in school.

High Aspirations – Aiming high is important in life and especially in school – whether that be exam success or being a star pupil.  Members of the BB want to succeed and have the drive to succeed.  They set themselves high targets and, using what they learn in BB, push themselves to achieve these targets.

There are many more benefits than just those discussed above, but overall these tend to support and further develop pupils’ understanding towards their studies and their life in school.  I am proud to uphold these ideals and would encourage others to attend their local BB company.  Being a member of the BB can help most students to become much more confident and give them an inspiration to achieve which can only be of a benefit in school.”

Tom Cowan works currently as lecturer in Education and is also an officer with 4th Plymouth company.  You can reach Tom by email tom.cowan@plymouth.ac.uk

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