It was a fantastic Autumn term at St Bernadette’s Secondary School with so many sessions underway! As part of our collaboration with the school, WORKS curated and designed activities to support their Careers Week. Supported by our fantastic employers, WORKS delivered over 15 sessions and 3 assemblies to over 900 students across the week!
We started the week with a workshop from Forrest Brown, an award-winning R&D Tax Credit Specialists Company based in Bristol. They delivered a ‘Skills for the Future workshop’ for Year 10’s which explored the skills required to work in their industry. This helped learners identify their own skills and understand that they had what is required for a variety of roles within the industry. Jeril from Forrest Brown, an ex-student of St Bernadette’s explained the journey into employment from being at school to his current role as a Tax Associate. This was inspirational for the learners and teaching staff who can see how Jeril’s hard work has paid off.
Tuesday was an action-packed day starting with a Year 10 Assembly delivered by Bristol WORKS, providing work experience advice and giving the learners an insight to Post 16 options available to them. Following this, every year 7 student was treated to a series of workshops from the NHS. This gave learners a practical insight into working in a hospital, an opportunity to ask the nurses lots of interesting questions and to participate in a practical activity to develop their decision-making skills whilst managing a busy workload of patients. The students showed excellent communication and teamwork to decide on the order of which patients should be treated. We were also joined by Hill Construction who created an activity for Year 9 students to understand more about the routes to get into the construction industry including testing the learner’s skills and qualities, which are required to work in this sector and their apprenticeships.
On Wednesday morning Year 8 and 9 joined forces for an inspiring assembly with Jess from Channel 4. This assembly gave pupils an insight into various jobs & roles in TV production. During the assembly pupils were encouraged to think about hobbies and passions and to try to link them to future careers options and pathways. Year 9 were then provided a crash course in Business and Accountancy by the wonderful team from BDO. The learners engaged in a ‘Dragons Den’ activity, which encouraged them to get creative with their business plans and use their persuasive language skills to promote their business. BDO provided learners with feedback and support throughout. It was clear that we have future successful entrepreneurs at St Bernadette’s! We then were joined by the Willmore Iles team, who are a group of local architects. Learners were taught a variety of techniques to sketch buildings. The learners then put their newly developed skills into practice by taking a tour of the school and redeveloping key parts of architecture. The team supported the students and provided valuable feedback along the way. The learners demonstrated fantastic imagination to re-create pieces of architecture and fine-tuned their art skills through the new techniques learnt.
Thursday started with a year 7 assembly which introduced what motivates people to work and how school has such an important role in preparing learners for future jobs. The learners were encouraged to think about the current subjects that they are studying and how these will benefit them in future jobs. We had some guest speakers from Stantec and Team love who explained what motivates them and how education has helped them develop the skills that they use today. The amazing team at FD Works provided not one but two workshops, firstly an insight to finance – it turns out that you don’t have to be a maths whizz but you do need a key eye for detail and organisation skills, which the Year 10 students certainly had! The learners were encouraged by their ability to complete a bookkeeping task, which made them realise that they are more than capable of working in this exciting industry. We were also joined by Molly, an Apprentice from FD Works who spoke about a typical day and the benefits of being an apprentice for such an amazing company. The second session gave Year 9 boys the opportunity to learn about being a ‘content creator’ and what working in a marketing department looked like. Students were then able to develop their own content in this session. We finished Thursday with visit from Elgan Jones. Elgan has created an amazing workshop which allows learners to experience a variety of different responsibilities required in property development. The year 9’s worked in groups to plan their building, get creative with interiors, and look at finance to ensure that their plans are due to make a profit.
On Friday, we finished the week being joined by George from Galliard Homes who shared his inspiring story of how he got into the building industry. George shared the importance of developing skills at a young age and giving things a go to help build confidence. He created an activity which allowed learners to share ideas and get creative with the design of a plot of land that Galliard homes will be redeveloping. The learners were really creative with their ideas and worked hard to make a positive impact on the local community, by encouraging wildlife, community spaces and the use of environmentally friendly materials. To round off the week, students were given the chance to close their eyes, relax and imagine their futures. This fantastic workshop was delivered by the award-winning team – Long Time Project. The Long Time Project is focussed on finding new ways to help us care about the long-term future, so that we take responsibility for it in the short-term. The learners were eased into a calm and peaceful state by listening to spoken word house music from the projects podcast, which allowed them to imagine their futures and share their feelings. It was incredible to see students being so honest and open about their feelings, which was made possible by the team creating a calm and safe space for everyone to open up. It highlighted the importance of sharing what excites us and worries us about the future, the team were able to reassure the learners that they are not alone with their worries and were able to provide vital advice and guidance for their futures. It really was a fantastic way to finish the week on a high and enable learners to feel inspired for their future careers.
The Bristol WORKS team would like to say a massive thankyou to all of our employers that made this week possible, with their high-quality career workshops. The students deserve a big well done for getting stuck into every activity! Lastly, we would like to thank the staff at St Bernadette’s for being so accommodating and supporting with organising a really busy and exciting week and term of sessions!