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McFly and The Voice Kids' Danny Jones visits RPA

posted 15 Mar 2018, 05:08 by Michele Colt
On Tuesday,  students and staff at Richmond Park Academy were delighted to welcome Danny Jones, of McFly and The Voice Kids fame, to school. During his
talk, he shared some of his best advice with the students about what skills they might need for success and how to prepare for the world of work in 2030. 

Danny shared how he chose the guitar over football despite having trials at Birmingham City and about how everything we do is about getting a reaction, “whether that is in woodwork or music.” He emphasised the importance of spending the hours to, “become a master,” to the Richmond Park Academy students stating, “If you spend the time to become a master in what you do, there will always be an audience or client for it - but you have to be a master.”

Danny also explained how he wasn’t in the top sets at school but that if he had known that he was going to build a studio in his back garden he would have concentrated more on maths and science! He also said that he writes lyrics for songs every other day now and wishes that he had concentrated more in his English lessons. So, the RPA students got a real lesson in how the hard work they are doing now will have real applications in their future life.

The talk was part of the Speakers for Schools national campaign, What skills will young people need for work in 2030? (#Skills2030) where over 30 of the UK’s leading figures from business, tech and culture are each giving a talk at a state school, sharing insights and advice with students on how to develop their future careers. The talk series feeds into an important, on-going discussion about how young people can best prepare for an evolving job market and what skills are considered fundamental by today's leaders. By linking influential speakers with state school students, the charity hopes this campaign will inspire and empower young people for the world in 2030.

The visit was a surprise for RPA’s Year 7 and 8 students with details of Danny's arrival completely under wraps until he walked into Park Hall. Year 8, DJ Harding said, “I was happy and shocked that he came. It was a really good experience; amazing, and he gave us great advice. My favourite was not to let other people distract you from your goal.”

Deputy Principal, Tyrone Myton, said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome inspiring speakers into Richmond Park Academy. Danny really connected with the RPA students and left them with real food for thought for their future journeys. It is a huge thank you to him for sharing his time with us and for Speakers for Schools who made it happen.”

Ashley Hodges, Executive Director at Speakers for Schools said: ‘’Helpings students hear directly from the leaders of today and sharing their unique insights and advice, is an essential way we can help level the playing field and spark a discussion on how they can best prepare for their futures. We hope that through these talks, young people will feel more confident about what skills they can be focusing on and empower them for the world in 2030.’’