Students gain valuable work experience

Students gain valuable work experience

14 September 2021

Miss Jamie Gallagher, Director of Higher Education & Careers

It’s been wonderful to hear about the many and varied experiences our Year 11 students threw themselves into during the summer holidays, following the challenge I set them at their Careers Activity Day in June. I asked them to gain at least two experiences of the workplace over the summer to develop skills and learn more about different industries.  We looked at a wide range of virtual programmes they could undertake and students also investigated in person work experience opportunities.

Their response to the challenge has been fantastic and their experiences range from time spent with a professional actress, to volunteering at a riding school, to shadowing a speech therapist. In some cases, they were given the opportunity to take on some really interesting and challenging responsibilities. These experiences helped students develop key skills including communication, leadership, teamwork and time management.

As part of their reflection process, each student was asked to write a short summary of their work experience for Unifrog, a website-based tool we use to both record and complete further research into a wide range of career pathways. It is also hugely important when making UCAS applications. 

The following are a selection of snippets from students’ reflections and recordings for Unifrog:   

‘I experienced coding encryptions and decryptions for simple cyber security, as well as completing a group project on solving JP Morgan's green travelling via creating a demo app on Canva. I also learned how stockbroking works, as well as how cyber security relates to the finance industry.’  Cherry

‘I had so much fun during my work experience in the summer, as well as developing and improving skills such as presentation and communication. I volunteered with two student-led organisations in Hong Kong which work with underprivileged children, teaching children how to play basketball and other games, how to code using Scratch and running drawing competitions.  I also went to a clinic and observed a day in the life of a surgeon and I learnt about animal care while looking after dogs at kennels with my school friend Isabel.’ Alison (pictured right, with Isabel)

‘I was taught about the process of acting and the trial and error of auditioning, and was taken through the process of being on set and making any role memorable.’  Ava

‘I worked at Pendell Farm, where I mucked out the horses, prepared their food and filled up their water bowls, replenished the hay for the goats and sheep, sprayed the goats' and horses' feet with antibiotics, collected the quail eggs, groomed the horses, swept the yard, added more woodchip to the horses' stables and learned how to do a stallion plait. I loved working with the animals and learning about all their daily and medical needs.’  Imogen

‘I learnt a lot about the fashion industry, sustainability and the history of Vogue magazine. I networked with the Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue, Versha Sharma, and learnt how to shoot and sell a product for a magazine. I also learnt how to design the backdrop/set with household objects and was able to communicate with passionate people all over the world.’ Heidi

The summer task helped students to discover and demonstrate their passion and interest in their chosen field. Alongside their work experience some students also attended courses and webinars, such as Alice, who completed a drawing course with the Royal Academy of Art, Emily who attended live webinars from dentistry and healthcare professionals, and India, who completed the Brighton and Sussex Medical School virtual work experience programme. The most important lesson learnt is that all of our Year 11 students are individuals, and their breadth of work experiences is just one step to helping them write their own story.

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