In the sixth form, we place such a strong focus on academic attainment that sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the next steps after education. Most students go on to higher education or further training after sixth form, some will enter the workplace but all should be striving to develop the soft skills that future employers require.
To support students’ ability to achieve well in the work place we organise many career-related events and presentations, provide careers guidance and strongly promote work experience for all students.
To this end the final week of the summer term is an opportunity for all year 12 students to undertake work experience. We will not usually authorise work experience at any other time of the year but will support students to get placements during this week.
Most of our students arrange their own work experience and it is often very high quality. Family and friends can often provide suitable placements but direct application to specific institutions also works. The process of applying for work experience is often a valuable one in its own right. Making ‘phone calls and writing professional letters are skills worth practising.
Some subjects, particularly the vocational courses, require work experience as part of the programme of study. We organise and provide these opportunities but many students choose to undertake their own in addition. We strongly encourage this.
Every half term there are several opportunities for students to have meaningful engagements with employers both in and outside school. Many of these are linked to specific curriculum areas but we offer many that are designed to broaden students’ choices and understanding of the changing workplace.