It’s been a busy term for vocations and careers. We began the year with the launch of our Year 10 and 12 work experience programmes. This is an especially important aspect of the vocational offering at St Thomas More Catholic School, allowing our students the opportunity to experience the world of work and develop the much-needed employability skills employers seek. With applications for college, apprenticeships, employment and university being so competitive the addition of work experience to a student’s profile can be an invaluable.
The dates for our 2021-2023 work experience programme are below:
- Year 10 work experience week – 19th June to Friday 23rd June 2023
- Year 12 work experience week – Monday 27th March to Thursday 30th March 2023
Aston University Pathway to the Professions – Year 12 Students
This term we’re celebrating 9 of our Year 12 students successfully securing a place on Aston University’s Pathway to the Professions programmes. The university offers 5 pathways focusing on different subject areas (Medicine, Healthcare, Business, Law, Engineering and Technology – STEM). The 18-month courses run alongside pupils A levels offering them unique access to a wide range of services and events to support their applications to university. This includes things such as such as subject taster days, A Level revision boot camps, work experience, and university application support. Graduation on the programme can also give students an advantage when applying to university. Needless to say, we’re very proud of our young talent and do all we can to support them reach their future careers goals.
Apprenticeship awareness for student and parents
Despite having our own fantastic Sixth Form provision, in line with government legislation St Thomas More Catholic School meets the duty to ensure our students are aware of all their available options post 16 and 18. Part of this is providing unbiased information regarding alternative study options. This term we’ve hosted a number of events promoting apprenticeships. Starting on the 7th November all of Year 12 and 13 students received an apprenticeship awareness assembly delivered by Work Pays. Work Pays are a Midlands based government funded organisation tasked with the aim of upskilling the local workforce. Students interested in finding out more about apprenticeships were invited to attend an extended workshop on the 29th November. These sessions ran all day and were attended by a mix of students across Years 11-13. Additionally, we hosted a session for parents and carers. This was delivered by Walsall Council on the evening of 7th November. Thank you to all parents and carers that attended this informative event.
Walsall pop up shop
This term the Year 10 Princes Trust group took part in a pop-up shop in Walsall town centre. As part of the ‘Enterprise’ unit they made a number of Christmas decorations and jewellery during their lessons in school. As well as producing products to sell they were also tasked with marketing their produce. They created leaflets and posters to distribute to the public. On Tuesday 8th and 15th November the group were allocated a shop in Walsall town centre to sell their stock. Students made a good profit, but more importantly the experience was a great opportunity for them to show their social skills, communicating with members of the public and working in a very professional manner. Members of the public commented on how impressed they were with the students and how well-mannered and polite they were.
What’s my Job event – Year 8
On Monday 5th December, 12 employees came into school to participate in the Year 8 event. The main objectives of the session were to provide pupils with opportunities to learn more about different careers, and practice networking with people outside of the school setting. In doing this they were also developing their communications skills and learning more about the soft skills employers look for. Please see our article for more information.
Career, Next Steps, Transition and Preparing for Adulthood Event
On Tuesday 6th December a group of students in Years 10 and 11 attended a careers event at Walsall football club. With a host of exhibitors including colleges, specialist colleges, training providers, apprenticeship providers, and employers, this event focused on preparing students for their next steps in education, employment or training.
AWS GetIT Kick-off Presentation
In collaboration with the Computing department St Thomas More Catholic School has successfully been selected to participate in the Amazon Web Services GetIT programme. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to our young people how the subjects they participate in school relate to potential careers in the real world. AWS GetIT is a fully-funded education programme aimed at 12–13-year-old students, especially girls, to help them to gain digital skills about technology and the cloud, challenge gender stereotypes, and consider a career in technology. The programme enables students to design an ‘app for good’ that could make real, tangible social change within their school and community. St Thomas More Catholic School has launched the programme with 4 Year 9 computing classes. On 7th December an Ambassador from Amazon delivered a kick start assembly to introduce the project and engage and enthuse students participating. The students will work on their ‘app for good’ during lessons next half term. At the end of the project we’ll be selecting a winning team who’ll be awarded £100 worth of Amazon vouchers to share between them.