Through the strong links we have built with our employer partners, we are able to provide many opportunities for students to develop their employability skills and an understanding of how classroom learning can be applied to real life contexts. Our unique employer partner projects form part of Enterprise Week – a week in which students take part in numerous employability challenges, working towards an overall outcome at the end of the week. Enterprise Week is integral to the success of our employability agenda and is outlined below in more detail.
Year 7 ‘Alfreton’ Challenge (English Department)
Pupils received a brief from Alfreton Town Council to come up with ideas and designs to rebrand Alfreton. Over the week, pupils went on a trip around Alfreton to get them inspired, and then went on to work with local graphic designer and website designer to produce logos, websites and sculptures to promote different aspects of Alfreton.
On Friday students displayed their work and reviewed with their peers, taking part in celebrating their week of hard work.
Year 8 ‘Celebration Boxes’ Challenge (Design & Technology Department)
Year 8 students started out the week with team building exercises before delving into this year’s Enterprise Week challenge. Teams were divided up into smaller sub teams to design, manufacture, budget, shop and cook different items to promote the delivery boxes and form part of the contents. Pupils worked on celebration freebies including making personalised mugs, puzzles and keyrings. Designing apron logos using CAD/CAM and party banners with fabrics and some hand stitching skills all contributed to the final stalls and displays pupils decorated ready for the business pitches to the judges.
We forged links with Amazon and Starbucks this year, as well as Owen Taylor & Sons Ltd who have supported with our Year 8 Enterprise Week for several years now. Our four judges gave up their Friday afternoon to listen to the team pitches, speak to the pupils about their week, judge the business ideas and present prizes.
Year 8 ‘Outward Bound’
As part of the week pupils had the opportunity to complete a day with the Outward Bound team. Pupils worked outside in the school grounds to build shelters, solve problems, play team games and learn new skills. They were awarded prizes throughout the week, nominated by staff working with them. It was wonderful to see so many pupils rewarded for their efforts each day, along with some final prizes on Friday for stand out performances of our ‘lone stars’ and ‘dream teams’.
Year 9 ‘Grand Designs’ Challenge
Grand Designs. With the help of staff from Bowmer and Kirkland, pupils designed a dream house and an eco-garden. They went on to calculate their carbon footprints and investigated different energy sources which could be used in their designs.
Year 9 ‘CSI Alfreton’
Assisted by the Derbyshire Constabulary, Year 9 pupils looked at the fascinating world of an investigator and forensic science including finger printing, toxicology, autopsies, and analysing evidence.
Year 9 ‘Scrap Heap’ Challenge
Year 9 pupils used donated scrap to build race cars in their groups. The aim was to create a vehicle which would be able to transport an egg across a bridge. Pupils worked together to design and then execute their plans, problem solving along the way and correcting any flaws in their designs. They then had to decorate their vehicles along with their bridges and prove that they had created a working race car. Pupils also looked at car crash safety and how this is incorporated into designing cars.
Year 10 ‘Burger Challenge’ (Owen Taylor & Sons Ltd)
Carl Evans and Danielle Trunzo came in to help the Year 10s complete the challenge of creating a burger that could be sold at the Owen Taylor & Sons Ltd. In order to be successful, pupils had to design and create the packaging; create a slogan to help sell the burger; and produce posters along with making the burger itself. They had to carefully weigh the ingredients to make and cook the burgers. Each burger’s packaging had to have food information stickers with details of calories, protein, allergies etc.
Year 10 ‘World of Work’
During Wednesday afternoon, the pupils took part in a carousel of activities. Staying in groups, they ventured through five different sessions: Interview preparation, Interviews, First Aid, Textile Industry, and Leadership in the sports industry. We were really grateful to all employees who gave up their time to help students; the day was a great success and students excelled in their interviews.
Year 10 Army Day
During the visit from the Army, groups of pupils collaborated with each other to solve different physical problems which needed fast decision making and great teamwork in order for them to be deemed successful.
Year 12 University Visits
Students were given a tour of Nottingham Trent University and took part in a finance workshop, designed to help them with their budgeting for future studies and careers. With another campus tour, this time at Leeds Beckett University, students were able to decipher differences between universities and what to look out for in potential places of study. They took part in more workshops and became experts in student finance.
Year 12 Work and Reward
Our students also took part in application writing workshops where they learned how to sell themselves in UCAS applications and all about how to excel at Employer Engagement. They also took a closer look at MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course) and how they could use these courses to develop their wider knowledge and understanding, adding valuable courses to their applications and CVs. Our Year 12 students enjoyed a well deserved relaxing day at the beach.