RSA Driving Ambition at Banbury Literary Live Festival - RSA

RSA Driving Ambition at Banbury Literary Live Festival

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After recently celebrating five years of Driving Ambition in Banbury, this Fellow-led group continues to have a solid and valuable presence in the community, says Peter Jordan.

Managed by the RSA North Oxfordshire Group, the Driving Ambition project started in 2011 when a group of Fellows decided they should start a project that would benefit the local community.

A number of us felt that education could be a possible area, as we all had skills and experience in industry that could complement the teaching in local schools.

Rather than take it for granted that we would automatically be welcome, we invited several teachers from local schools to our meetings to discuss how this might work. They were enthusiastic about getting people from industry involved in helping “drive the ambition” of their students. We then held a meeting at the local Academy, where sixth form students were invited to join the meeting and give their feedback on our discussions. They were keen to learn from people in the industry and see how what they were learning in the classroom would translate into their working life. 

At the launch event in May 2012, our keynote speaker, local MP and RSA Fellow, Sir Tony Baldry referred to a “mutuality of interests” where pupils could learn from industry and industry could learn from pupils. This is exactly what we've achieved so far.



After our enjoyable evening at the Other Place in July to celebrate five years of Driving Ambition in Banbury, here is a brief update on what Driving Ambition has been doing.

At the end of the last academic year, six members of the group helped to run a mock Assessment Day for students at North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury. The day was a great success, and we are always impressed with the skills and enthusiasm of the students. The student feedback was very positive, especially the sessions we did on providing feedback to them on how they performed.

Encouraging families to enjoy books

With the start of the new academic year, the group is heavily involved in the planning and running of Banbury Literary Live, now in its fifth year. The event, which takes place on Sunday 15 October at North Oxford Academy, is truly for the whole family. We have sessions for kids, young teens, older teens and grown-ups.It is always a great day, and great value entertainment for the whole family.For full details see

Any Fellows in the area are very welcome to come along, to build on the success and enjoyment of the RSC event. If you want any more details, please contact me at [email protected] 

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