We’re delighted that Big Green Fox’s first product, Career Detectives, was featured in The Star on 31st January 2012. See below for the article…

Career Detectives by Big Green Fox

Big Green Fox's first press coverage in The Star

Primary pupils in Sheffield are being challenged to solve the mystery of what their future holds – with the help of a new Career Detectives game. The ‘old school’ board game has been developed by two city men, Joseph Leech and Jon Maiden, and is attracting interest around the country.

Joseph, 35, began work on the project when he was made redundant from his council post as a careers education specialist. Jon, 29, has a background in theatre and has frequently worked in schools – but now is working full time on the project.

“It has always amazed me that even some of the highest achieving youngsters have such little knowledge about the world of work,” Joseph said. “It is certainly something that is important for 14-year-olds who are making option choices – but our resource is aimed at youngsters in the last year of primary school.”

Prototypes of the game have been extensively tested over the last two years by pupils at Norfolk Park and Prince Edward primaries and it now been tweaked for the fourth and final time. It is due to go on the market for schools in February.

“The kids seem to be excited by it and teachers are intrigued too,” Joseph said. “To be honest they are put off these days by the vast number of digital resources that are coming out – everything seems to be computer-based. But this is an old school physical product, a board game – the idea is to try and make careers education funky, not dull like it often is at the moment.”

The partners have invested £10,000 of their own money in the project, which has attracted praise from MPs Simon Hughes and Paul Blomfield, as well as the regional director of the CBI, Andrew Palmer.

“All the research shows that children who have an awareness of their career plans see their attainment levels improve,” Jon said. “They realise that is why they are at school, they understand the purpose of education. It also broadens their horizons and improves social mobility as they may be inspired to go on to higher education.”

Interest has not only come from primaries – secondaries with pupils who have fallen behind are getting involved too, often with older students working with the younger ones. Another keen customer has been the Pitstop Youth Project based in Chapeltown, which works with a variety of disaffected youngsters.

Joseph said: “This is actually a lot more than a game, it is a teaching resource which could give a school two and three terms of work if followed thoroughly.”

“It isn’t about winning the game, it is about learning through team challenges and co-operation. We are optimistic for the future as at some point in the future we expect careers education to become a compulsory part of the school curriculum, which is not the case at the moment. It’s something which is supported by both the Lib Dems and Labour. it’s an idea whose time is coming,” he added.

Published in The Star on Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

For more information on Big Green Fox and its careers education products visit our website here.

About Jon Maiden

Founder of Goalvanise which enables people to create their Life List online, and inspires and supports them to achieve their life goals. Check out the Goalvanise blog here or my personal blog here.

2 responses »

  1. Great post! As a careers advisor I often speak to people who haven’t had the necessary careers education when they were young. Your board game sounds like a great idea. Kids need a fun way to learn about careers, choices and life management. I hope your project gets the attention it deserves! Leo

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Hi again Leo,

      Yes that’s precisely what we wanted to do – make careers fun and engaging for young people – and to introduce careers education at an earlier age. Hopefully you’ll be seeing Career Detectives in a school near you soon!


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