FAQs

What is Open Futures?
Open Futures is a teacher CPD programme that helps teachers to build children’s ability ‘to think and to do’. It develops skills of enquiry, both as an end in itself and to underpin learning in three other strands of practical activity - cooking, horticulture and digital filmmaking.

Why were these four learning strands selected? 
The four strands within Open Futures – P4C (askit), cooking (cookit), horticulture (growit) and digital filmaking (filmit) – were chosen for their ability to combine practical skills with an approach that encourages thought and reflection.  For example, cooking and gardening are already familiar to some schools, but provide many opportunities to explore wider themes and areas of learning from across the National Curriculum.

How does Open Futures work?
The Open Futures programme comprises three key elements:

  • A modular training programme of high quality teacher CPD, based upon our core foundation: thinking skills (askit) and our three practical educational strands: horticulture (growit), cooking (cookit) and digital filmmaking (filmit)
  • Cross-curricular CPD workshops that show how our core learning strands can be brought together to create innovative and creative lessons
  • Professional advice and practical guidance for schools

What is the core training programme?
The Open Futures training programme is a modular series of high quality teacher CPD, based upon our core foundation: thinking skills (askit) and our practical strands; growit (horticulture) cookit (cooking) and filmit (digital filmmaking). These learning strands are designed and proven to help deliver a school’s existing curriculum by allowing teachers to plan learning experiences which engage children and raise attainment in the core curriculum topics; including specifically, literacy, numeracy, science and technology.

The training programme is progressive and starts within each of our core strands as level 1 ‘Initiate’ progresses through to level 2 ‘Develop’ and further to level 3 ‘Embed’. Each course module is designed to deliver a benchmark of professional learning and is accompanied by a set of high quality resources, enabling teachers to translate what they have learned back in school with their pupils. 

Do we have to adopt all four strands to take part?
No, schools can decide whether they wish to adopt just one or multiple strands of their choice.

Which level should I start at?
For individual teachers and groups of teachers who wish to take part in our modular series of courses, we would strongly advise that you start your training with our foundation course, askit Level 1 training, which will provide you with the skills to encourage children to think more deeply, and to explore new concepts.

For teachers moving into the individual learning strands of growit, cookit and filmit, most of our existing participants start at Level 1 ‘Initiate’ in order to embed the fundamental health, safety and key aspects of working with tools and equipment safely with children. 

Who can attend the courses?
Our Level 1 modular courses and cross-strand workshops are suitable for teachers, TA's and senior leaders, with little or no experience. Our modular courses are also available to small groups of teachers, or as ‘whole school’ which we can deliver directly to your school.

Can my whole school take part?
Yes. For whole schools wishing to adopt the programme, we recommend that your first step is a visit from one of our Specialist Schools Advisers (our experts in Enquiry Based Learning). An adviser will be able to talk you through the training programme, and recommend the appropriate starting point in the training series for your school, depending upon the focus of your school’s Development Plan, and specifically to support your individual school’s needs. 

Do I need a large school garden to take part in growit?
Schools do not need a large and ready plot of available land to take part in growit. The techniques employed can be adapted to growing in a traditional style allotment, raised beds, classroom patios or even simply containers.

I’d like my school to take part in growit and cookit but I’m not sure what facilities I need, can you help?
Yes, we can provide help and advice with setting up your garden or cooking space. We can even help with sourcing the equipment required.

What forms of support are available to schools to maintain the programme?
The precise combination of training in the different strands, and the amount of support required, is dependent on the individual school’s needs. The strand trainer will provide guidance and course work at the end of each training module. Schools can buy in school support days between each module, as advised by the strand trainer. 

I’m a Secondary/SEN teacher, is Open Futures still relevant to me?
Yes. We have worked with both secondary and specialist support schools. Our book, A More Creative Curriculum, tells the story of Camberwell Park Specialist Support Schools Open Futures journey, and is available to download for free.

I’m still not sure Open Futures is right for my school? Are you able to visit my school?
For more face-to-face information we can arrange for a Specialist Adviser to visit your school, free of charge. If you decide you need further advice or support you can book an audit for a nominal fee.

What regions does Open Futures currently operate in?
We currently have courses running in all regions of England with except of the South West. If you live in the South West and would like to learn more about Open Futures please telephone us on 01491 832370 or email events@openfutures.com.

Are all your courses accredited? 
A selection of our courses have been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to their continuing professional development principles. Certified courses have the CPD Services logo on their respective webpages. Our remaining courses are currently being assessed and we will provide confirmation of their status as soon as possible. Each course module delivers a minimum of 6 hours of CPD training. 

How can I book onto a course?
You can register online at http://openfuturesCPD.eventbrite.com. 

Alternatively, you can call us on 01491 832370 or email events@openfutures.com to book your place

My school doesn’t have a credit card, can I still book a place on a course?
Yes, we can arrange for your school to be invoiced. Please telephone us on 01491 832370 or email events@openfutures.com for further details.