We value work experience very highly. It is extremely useful in equipping our pupils for the world of work and encourages them to think about the next steps after school and their aspirations. Our Year 10 pupils spend a week doing Work Experience in the Summer term, whilst Key Stage 3 pupils take part in Enrichment Week, usually at the start of July.
The aims of Work Experience are:
- to ensure that young people are well prepared for the adult working environment;
- to help young people understand the skills and personal qualities that employers expect of them;
- to help young people extend their personal and social skills and develop self-confidence.
In school, before the placement, pupils prepare for the experience by thinking about issues such as personal qualities required and health and safety in relation to the world of work. The central element is a structured placement with an employer, lasting one week. During this time pupils observe and participate in real work activities, the results of which they record in a diary. Their work in school following the placements helps them to consolidate what they have learned and to share experiences and knowledge with their classmates.
By participating in Work Experience our pupils gain:
- an understanding of the skills and attitudes needed to survive in the world of work;
- better motivation to acquire skills and qualifications for adult life;
- an increased appreciation of industry and its role in the community, and of the structure of business;
- an introduction to safe working practices;
- an opportunity to test their skills and attitudes and their adaptability to the pressures of a real working environment;
- experience of what it is like to work as part of a team;
- increased knowledge of career areas in which they might be interested;
- a broader outlook, by investigating an area which they may not have previously considered;
- the opportunity to learn for themselves how to handle a working environment – what to do and how to behave.
Every year our Year 11 pupils have the opportunity to hone their interview skills during two days of Mock Interviews facilitated by a variety of professional and ex-professional people from the local community.