All students in Year 10 undertake a two week period of Work Experience during the Summer Term. Before this begins students are well briefed and take part in a range of preparatory activities. They receive instruction relating to the Health and Safety at Work Act. We are much aided in these briefings by members of the local business community. Participation in this scheme is intended to give students an insight into the world of work and helps them find out about their own abilities. They have the opportunity to appreciate the links between the courses they are studying at school and the skills they will need in the future. Although Work Experience for this age group is not intended to be of a vocational nature, whenever possible the student will be allocated to an establishment where he can gain experience of an occupation in which he has expressed interest.
All pupils keep a diary whilst on Work Experience to record their ideas about what they have learnt from the opportunity. When they return to school they produce a statement, using their notes about their placement. This statement forms an important part of their Record of Achievement document. They can also submit their record of Work Experience for an ‘Excellence in Work Experience’ certificate.
Sixth Form Work Experience in Europe is being developed and the first round was conducted in March 1999 when a group were placed for two weeks in firms in France. They demonstrated great initiative and competence in working in a foreign language and culture and they gained a great deal from it.
Whilst on Work Experience pupils are visited by a member of staff. All members of staff take a share of these visits and in support of this most have themselves been out on at least one ‘Teacher Placement’.