Our final PHSCEE Day of the year was all about careers – as well as sessions on topics like ‘Careers in the Curriculum’, ‘Jobs of the Future’, ‘Fake News’ and ‘CVs and Job Applications’, every year group also had a presentation from some fascinating guest speakers!

Year 7 ‘Job Stereotypes’ Session:

Job stereotypes are common amongst individuals of all ages and some research has even suggested that by the time you are 5-7 years old, you will have already formed many of your views about different jobs! For this reason, we thought it was incredibly important for our Year 7 students to have their own stereotypes of the world of work challenged and so we enlisted the help of the NHS, Sky, the British Army and the University of Law to tell our students more about the wide range of career pathways in each field! For example, did you know that the NHS in Leeds is one of the biggest IT employers in the city or that the Army has over 100 different job roles?

Year 8 ‘Year of Engineering’ Session:

The UK government has designated 2018 as the ‘Year of Engineering’ and with ‘International Women in Engineering Day’ on Saturday 23rd June, we couldn’t have picked a better time for our Year 8 students to hear from a variety of employers from the Engineering sector! Our visiting Engineers represented a huge range of roles within the industry, from Software Engineering (Sky) and Safety Engineering (Network Rail) to Civil/Structural Engineering (Curtins) and Flood Risk Management (JBA). All of our speakers spoke passionately about the work that they do and how they have used Maths, Physics, Creativity and Collaboration in their jobs to design new buildings and structures, solve complex problems and leave a legacy by coming up with innovative ideas to make the world a better place – following the session, I think it is safe to say that we now have more than a few budding Engineers in Year 8!

Year 9 and 10 ‘Pathways to Progression’ Session:

As our Year 9 and 10 students prepare to enter the final years of their time in school, it is important that they are aware of all of the options available to them in terms of education and employment at post-16. To support with this, our final session of the day saw our students hear from representatives from Sixth Form (Elliott Hudson College), College (Leeds City College), Apprenticeships (The Apprentice Finder) and University (University of Huddersfield) – all of our speakers broke down the benefits and challenges of each option and gave the same excellent advice to all of our students; do your research, ask questions and make informed choices about your next steps!

Year 10 Mock Interview Session:

As our students in Year 10 are only one year away from finishing their schooling and heading off into the world of further education or work, we decided it was about time they experienced something that no one ever finds easy and always requires practice – the dreaded job interview!

A week before the event, our students were told about the upcoming mock interviews and it is fair to say that more than a handful of the students were visibly worried about having to sit down and speak with an employer for 10-15 minutes! Students were reassured that the mock interviews were not about high scores or being successful in applying for specific jobs but were all about getting real-world experience of being in this type of situation and preparing to answer questions about themselves and their skills/qualities that many people find awkward but will usually be asked by an employer, such as ‘What do you do when you are faced with a challenging situation?

Despite the initial nerves, our students delivered in a big way on the day, with at least a third of the year group arriving in extremely professional attire and some students so confident they looked as if they were ready to be conducting an interview, rather than taking part in one! Students started by undertaking a 10-minute ‘get to know you’ conversation with their employer, which gave them a chance to find out more about their job role and the organisation they work for, and then swiftly moved on a to a genuine mock interview for 15 minutes, where the interviewers took detailed written feedback to hand to the students at the end of the event. All of the employers commented on how engaged the students were with the process and there was some excellent feedback for all of the Year 10s who took part – more than a few students were even told that they would have a job with the company they spoke to if they interviewed like that in the future! A massive thank you to our interviewers from the DWP, Curtins, Sky, Pierre Angulaire, Hammerson, Bagnalls, Engie and First Direct for supporting us with this event – we can’t wait to have you back again next year!

With evaluations about the day’s activities completed by students, teachers and delegates, we now have plenty of food for thought regarding next year’s Careers Day and are already looking forward to planning an exciting programme of events and activities for students from Year 7 to Year 11!

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