This event was designed to help them start to think about future opportunities. The actual Forum would allow pupils to meet and make connections with professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and would be the centrepiece of a week where students had to start to put together the all-important “Personal Statement”, a crucial document in the University application process.
Mr Petrie, Academic Deputy Head of Secondary, shares his views on the event:
Mr Petrie, this was the first mentoring forum the school has ever organised for Year 12. Was there anything like this before in the school?
No, in fact I have been informed that it may well have been the first of its kind to be carried out in Spain!
Why did you decide to organise this event on first place?
In June of last year, a parent, Ms Evason, and I ran a 2 day workshop for the then Year 11s. The idea was to get them thinking about their own key skills and interests and to start to think of ways of best communicating those skills and interests. The students also started looking at some psychometric testing, which helped identify possible career paths and areas. In October, Mr Musson, Head of Sixth Form, and myself spoke to all these students, who are now in Year 12, and their parents to outline the Sixth Form experience and to stress the importance of their continuing to think about life beyond university. This event was a key first step in that process.
What did the event consist of?
Every student spent four lots of 10 minutes with a parent from a particular profession, learning about the day to day life of that parent at work, how that parent ended up in that job and listening to the advice that parent had regarding key skills and mistakes to avoid.
Which professionals took part in the forum? Were they all parents from the school?
Yes, all were parents with children in various years of the school. Their jobs ranged from being lawyers to pilots via doctors, engineers and teachers to name but a few.
Which goals did you plan to attain?
To give pupils a taste of a range of future possibilities, to open their eyes to the range of jobs that exist in the world and to organise something where pupils, staff and parents could collaborate successfully.
Do you think these goals were achieved last night?
I hope so. There are things to tweak and it would be great to expand the number of parents involved, but I think it was a good start.
Did you have any experience in organising events like this in your previous schools?
I´ve organised drama productions, parents´ events and several fashion shows, but this was a first for me.
Does this event form part of the BSB Work Placement Programme? What other activities and events are included in this Programme?
It does. The next key event will be the post AS Levels workshops on life skills and the work shadowing days.
Which is your advice for our students?
Keep an open mind and be flexible. The world of careers is really changing. Be positive, you already have an advantage over the vast majority of people by speaking more than one language, be proactive, jobs don´t come to you and be persistent.