- National Trust
Engagement with outside agencies
We feel that our engagement with employers and universities is a real strength of the school, especially for sixth form students. For example:
- Apprenticeship Evening: This is held in the Spring term and all students from Year 9 and above are invited to attend. Last year, over 40 representatives from universities and employers took part including Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, Manchester University, Chester University, Sellafield, Royal Navy, Kelloggs, Morrisons, Barclays and Atkins.
- National Careers Week: This takes place in March and is aimed at both Key Stage Four and sixth form students. This involves various activities in tutor time and assemblies, but is centred on a week of lunchtime sessions delivered by employers and other organisations, with students choosing which ones they wish to attend. In 2019, over 16 representatives from different areas of employment took part and included: clinical psychology, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Royal Bank of Scotland, career pathways for scientists in the pharmaceutical industry, video gaming – design/production, art, animation, audio, programming, engineering – Amec Foster Wheeler, pharmacy, TV/digital production, professional sport/physical training/sport science.
- Year 12 Futures Experiences: A selection of universities come in over the course of the year to deliver taster lectures to Year 12 students who are about to begin their UCAS applications. Around 30 different courses from a wide selection of universities and apprenticeships have been represented in each of the last two years.
- The Sixth Form Bulletin advertises opportunities on a weekly basis; for example, taster sessions at universities or apprenticeships. A weekly email of all Warrington apprenticeships is forwarded to all Year 13 students to ensure they have access to the most recent advertisements.
- Year 12 students also have mock interviews conducted by volunteer interviewers from some employers that continue to support our careers events. Year 13 medics have also had interview preparation sessions and CV workshops for all. Our Student Support Officers also spend a great deal of time with any potential NEET or vulnerable students assisting with career plans and getting them ready for interview.
- We also look for as many opportunities as we can to provide one-off opportunities for students to gain a better understanding of particular careers. For example, since September 2019 these have included:
- The ‘Amazing Apprenticeships’ team have been into school to give presentations to students and parents in years 9-13.
- The “Amazing Apprenticeships” team have led sessions with Year 12 and Year 13 students on how to apply for an apprenticeship and also on how to structure an application.
- Year 7 students took part in a number of workshops developed by Engineers Today and supported by local STEM Ambassadors.
- Year 8 students took part in a BAE Systems Roadshow that focuses on an aspect of STEM and how they use it to support the activities of the RAF and the Royal Navy.
- Year 8 scholars took part in a workshop facilitated by the British Army where they looked at how the three sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Maths supported their work at the front line. They engaged in several design tasks and had to consider STEM in their choice of materials and final design.
- Year 7 and 8 students took part in the “Big Assembly” – a virtual assembly that gives them an insight into STEM Careers.
- A team of Year 9 students visited Sellafield Ltd to take part in a Big Bang Fair competition.
- We have had a trained chef working with our Catering students, using our specially designed industry-standard kitchen to plan, cook and serve food in our school restaurant, “Chapters”.
- PE students regularly take part in events that further their understanding of different careers in sport. For example, they have the opportunity to complete the Community Sports Leaders Award, the Level 1 Rugby Officiating qualification and the National Pool Lifeguarding Qualification.
Response to Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the planned Careers programme (particularly in the sixth form) had to be scaled back. Year 12 work experience was on the whole cancelled. As a school we felt an obligation to provide some kind of alternative programme to part compensate from the missed work experience and sessions that had been planned in school to support it.
A virtual futures programme was put together that allowed our students to work through the job application cycle – from identifying their personal strengths and skills, compiling a CV, preparing for interview (including taking part in a mock virtual interview) and a virtual work experience. Resources on finance were also included that covered topics such as understanding a payslip, taxes and national insurance, the importance of budgeting and investing for the future. The programme was made compulsory for all Year 12 students and also offered to Year 11 students to complete as an option.
In addition, Lymm High school held their inaugural virtual careers fair in July. Facilitated by LearnLive, an online learning platform, and with the support of the Cheshire and Warrington Pledge, our local education business partnership, the event gave our students the opportunity to engage with employers and find out more about what it is like to work in their industry sector and what pathways there are into specific jobs. Running as a sequential stream of videos that were broadcast live throughout the morning students had the opportunity to engage with employers and ask questions. The careers event was open to all students in Years 10 and above with videos being available on demand for students to refer back to at a later date. Employers involved included HSBC, NHS, Kelloggs, Balfour Beatty, United Utilities and Sellafield Ltd.
Other opportunities for online learning – webinars, talks and virtual open days – were shared widely with students. Almost 70 students took part in a virtual work experience week facilitated by Young Professionals and supported by PWC, Ernst Young, Cap Gemini and Rolls Royce amongst other employers. A group of Year 10 students participated in Learning in Lockdown, an EDT led work experience project based around working in the construction industry that was backed by many leading construction companies and that led to the students being awarded the Industrial Cadets Silver Award.