During this week-long workshop, students attended a skills session, completed a problem-solving activity, and had the opportunity to present to their peers
In anticipation of our Academic Enrichment Programme launching in January 2022, the College supported 94 students who attended our Summer Preparation Programme with a Problem Solving Workshop over October half-term. During this week-long workshop, students attended a skills session, completed a problem-solving activity, and had the opportunity to present to their peers.
The goal of the Lucy Cavendish College Problem-Solving Workshop was to offer students the opportunity to develop key skills to support them achieving their full potential in their current studies, university applications and beyond. Indeed, following the workshop, 88% of attendees feel more confident in their post-16 studies, and 100% know how to apply the skills developed in the Problem Solving Workshop to their current studies. Furthermore, 100% of attendees feel more confident in problem-solving aspects of the university application process, such as interviews and admissions assessments, following the workshop.
Problem solving was identified as a crucial skill for students to develop in line with Lucy Cavendish College’s goal of addressing complex global challenges and making a positive impact on society. In the skills session, students had the opportunity to apply problem-solving techniques to an example of such a challenge: the climate crisis.
The Problem Solving Workshop also reflected Lucy Cavendish College’s focus on developing an enterprising mindset. In the final session of the week, students had the opportunity to present to their peers on their experience completing the problem-solving activity. Presentations looked at what methods they considered when solving the problem, how they overcame challenges, and how they would approach similar problems next time. Student’s comments indicate that they reflected on the problems and grew more resilient to challenges over the course of the workshop.
“[I enjoyed that the workshop] was very interactive and [it was] interesting to see many perspectives which I used to evaluate my own presentation. The week has enhanced my ability to recognise a challenge, persevere, be resilient, and resolute with the knowledge that there may be various answers.”
“The way in which the questions were extended was quite intriguing. For example, question one had a relatively simple solution but the additional questions forced me to ponder on possible alternate conversations which I found quite fun.”
Furthermore, the presentation session offered students the opportunity to develop and build confidence in further key skills, such as oracy and teamwork.
“The opportunity to present and tackle these problems helped me think analytically as well as improve my oracy skills during the presentation. I also got to evaluate my progress and it made me resilient to find more than one method to tackle my chosen problem”
“[My favourite part was] listening to other people’s methods/ideas for solving the problem and comparing them to mine to find the best way that works for me.”
The skills and knowledge built in the Problem Solving Workshop has undoubtedly supported students over the coming months as they enter the end of their first term of their A-Level (or equivalent) studies, following a heavily disrupted GCSE education.