29th November 2019

Mock interviews, Sparx and PSHE Day

This week has been incredibly busy with events.  We have just finished a round of job interviews with our Year 11 Motor Vehicle students. During November 2019, each of the year 11 students studying the IMI  Service and Maintenance Engineering course prepared for and sat a 30 minute mock job interview with Mark Horide an engineering department manager from CityBus Plymouth.  The aim of this interview process was to give students a real taste of what an interview is like, learn how to prepare and to receive feedback afterwards.   The students all conducted themselves really well and feedback from the employer was excellent, Mr Horide even went on to say that several of the students would have secured an apprenticeship opportunity with CityBus with an interview performance of this quality.  Student Kelvin Carr commented “It actually really boosted my confidence and helped me to communicate better with others”.  Ben Carr added “It was really helpful, at first I was quite nervous, I wanted to do well, I soon felt more confident though and it was a great practice for when I do it for real.”

We would like to thanks CityBus and in particular Mark Horide for giving up his day to interview the students.

On Tuesday this week we had a visit from a theatre company to perform A Christmas Carol to year 11 students.  As well as being a pre-festive treat, it also helped students understand the novel for their English Literature GCSE.

Sparx (our maths computer program) continues to grow here at All Saints, in terms of popularity with students. Miss White (Head of Maths) reported to me this week that Super SparX this week that there are growing numbers of ‘Super Sparx’ students,  who continue to collect extra points for completion of the program.  Miss White reported that she phoned home to the top 3 students in each year group and that parents were very impressed and we going to give their child a big hug!

Also this week, students in Year 8 had an excellent day thinking about their futures, as well as the option subjects they will need to pick in order to set themselves on a pathway to a career that they will really enjoy. As part of a drop down day, students were given opportunities to learn about the option subjects that they have not yet experienced in key stage three. The students were also working with and hearing from a wide range of employers and professionals. These visitors were invited in to represent the range of careers accessed by studying each of the subjects. In total we had 8 professionals come in from a range of areas. To represent hospitality and catering the students met with Sean Gibson to learn about local hospitality, catering and retail businesses around Drake’s Circus. Tobie Loates from Plymouth College or Art opened students eyes to the option of photography while senior nurse Nick Anderson from St Luke’s Hospice discussed a career in health and social care. We also had Stewart Fletcher and Adam Tait who are engineering managers from CityBus who were teamed up to talk about a career in the motor vehicle sector and Jess Dyer from Plymouth College of Art talking about textiles and fashion. Students learnt about many of our broad spectrum of GCSE options and our increasing range of vocational courses, such as Hair and Beauty which we are excited to be launching here for 2020. Students found the day really engaging and feedback from them demonstrated a real shift in their views of their futures and clarity of the options available to them. Student Brandon Rowe commented “It was really useful hearing from all the visitors and learning about the courses we could choose next year, it will really help us make the right choice and I think I know what I want to pick now”.

On the same theme of careers and employability, the year ten students learnt all about apprenticeships with speaker Sharron Robbie from ASK. They learnt that the range of apprenticeships now is so varied and far from the stereotype that they previously thought. It was a really eye opening presentation for many of the students and a great deal more will now be considering this route into a career, especially as they now know that they are paid while they study, which went down very well. Broadening the horizons of our students and showing them the wealth of opportunities out there is essential, students need regular conversations about their futures and as much exposure to professional people from a range of careers as possible. To Plymouth’s employers our students are a real commodity, having real worth in terms of future employment. The opportunities are out there, we just all need to work together to help students realise what they are capable of.

Other sessions throughout the day focused on a range of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) themes from cyber bullying and mental health to prejudice and discrimination. A big thank you to Tracy Davis for all of her work organising these fantastic PSHE sessions. For the students the day was a great opportunity to learn about important things that are not easily taught through an everyday curriculum. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the visitors for their time and enthusiasm making it a day to remember and inspire young minds.

Well done all and only three weeks until Christmas!

Best wishes,

Lee Sargeant


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