Did you know what you wanted to do after school when you were 13 years old? Many students haven’t got a clue, while others know exactly where they want to go and what they want to do.
The prospect of planning your career and making choices for your future can be daunting at any age. To help students make the right decision, Woodham Academy has recently hosted a variety of career-focussed events. The events include students visiting local colleges including Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form in Darlington and New College Durham. The visits were aimed at giving students a taste of college life with taster sessions in a range of subjects and tours of the facilities.
Recently, over 25 local employers, training providers, colleges and universities attended the school’s Careers Fair. Exhibitors were on hand to answer any queries and offer advice for grades and the application process. The Careers Service was available to offer guidance to parents and students on all the different options after school including apprenticeships and further education.
Colleges have also been in to school to lead the Year 11 assemblies. Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form, Darlington College, Polam Hall Sixth Form, New College Durham and Bishop Auckland College have all delivered an assembly to discuss the range of subjects available at A level, career prospects and what to expect from going to college.
Year 8 students from the school’s More Able Academy recently spent the day at the Nissan plant in Sunderland to learn about the car industry and the production process. The group were invited to take part as part of the Government’s See Inside Manufacturing Programme. The national programme aims to inspire the next generation and open young eyes to the variety of careers available within an integral industry.
Further career events include Specialist Days. Woodham Academy host Specialist Day three times during the academic year. The normal school timetable is suspended for the day whilst all year groups working on a variety of current themes including apprenticeships, and preparing their CVs. During the day, external partners come in to school to deliver workshops with each year group.
Before the Christmas holidays, Year 8 students took part in the final of the Apprenticeship Awareness Challenge. During Specialist Day local businesses Palram, Lucite, Thorn Lighting, livin, South West Durham Training and Ebac came in to school to work with the Year 8 students. The groups discussed their industry and explored career opportunities and what type of apprenticeships are available in that industry. Students also visited each workplace to spend time speaking to employees and touring the facilities. Their projects came to an end on just before the end of term, with parents being invited in to school to watch the teams deliver presentations of their findings from working with each company.
Parents of Year 11 students were recently welcomed in to school to discuss their child’s progress, what to expect from the year ahead and to speak to college advisers for the Year 11 Examination Preparation Evening. The evening was an opportunity for parents to ask any questions related to their child’s final year at school and to understand the importance of working hard in the coming months.
Head of Careers and PCC at Woodham Academy, Dave Walker, said: ‘As a school we want to provide our students with as many opportunities as possible to get a taste of life after school and to prepare them for the world of work. We want to inspire our students and help them to discover the vast range of career options available to them. It is important to work with local employers and colleges and ensure our students are well informed before making the important decisions about their futures. We also have a good working relationship with agencies such as The Careers Service who are on hand to offer students and parents advice about all sectors.