Wilson's School

Work Related Learning

Work Related Learning (WRL) is defined as: planned activity that uses the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work, including learning through the experience of work, learning about work and working practices and learning the skills for work.

We aim to provide a comprehensive programme of careers information, advice and guidance. This involves giving impartial information, advice, guidance and support to students which will allow them to reach well-informed, reasoned decisions about their future education and careers.

At Wilson’s we believe that the best thing we do to prepare students for the work place is to help ensure that they attain first rate examination results, both at GCSE and A level. We are conscious that almost all of our students go on to study at university and that the quality of their examination results will determine their university choices and hence their future employment prospects.

However, we also understand the importance of developing employability skills (teamwork, effective presentations, time management, written and spoken communication, languages, computing, decision making and problem solving) and preparing the students for the workplace. One of our key aims is to ensure that when students leave us they are well equipped with a variety of skills that they will need to be successful in life. Our work related learning and careers provision in Years 7-11 is delivered as follows:

Lessons - Apart from making links to the workplace when appropriate as part of the taught curriculum teachers plan their lessons using our teaching and learning excellence criteria. These include a focus on student collaboration, 100% participation, student autonomy, resilience and outstanding behaviour, all of which are important employability skills.

Enrichment – Two of the units delivered in Years 8-10 lessons focus on public speaking and developing ‘above and beyond’ work (higher project).

PSHE – Sessions are delivered by form tutors and make links to the workplace and help prepare students for the options process. The work related learning and careers focus in each year is as follows:

  • Year 7: Economic understanding, capability and risk
  • Year 8: Careers and economic understanding
  • Year 9: Future options
  • Year 10: The work place
  • Year 11: Work experience and preparation for adult life

Assemblies

Every year there are always links to careers events and the world outside of Wilson’s. Heads of Department talk to students in Year 8 and 11 assemblies about their subjects. This helps the students to make informed options decisions.

Activities Days

Whole day activities that focus on employability skills and or preparation for the workplace. The days that have taken place in the past two years include:

  • Year 7: Enterprise Day
  • Year 8: National Enterprise Challenge (Rymans)
  • Year 9: Science and Engineering Day
  • Year 10: Speak Out Challenge
  • Year 11: Work Experience

Extra-curricular Activity

Lots of extra-curricular activities e.g. debating, young reporter scheme, master chef, CCF etc. all help to provide students with skills that are useful in the work place. There are also lots of one off events such as the NHS Competition, Real Business Challenge, Year 9 Disaster Relief Challenge and Year 10 Science Challenge that students are encouraged to take part in.

Options Meeting

Parents and students are invited to evening events in both Years 8 and 11 to help them understand the options process. The decision making is assisted by the options booklet which is issued at the start of the process. These events also provided an opportunity alongside parent’s evenings to talk to staff.

Open Evening

The school runs a 6th form open evening. Students and parents meet school leaders, 6th form students and teachers of all A Level subjects. Students are also encouraged to visit other schools so that they are aware of a full range of options. An information evening is also run for Year 8 parents.

Speed Careers

Events for students in Year 8 and 11 where they get to talk to current GCSE and A Level students about the subjects they are considering opting for.

SLT interviews

Students in Years 8 and 11 have an interview with a senior member of staff about their options choices.

Careers Interviews

Compulsory for every student in Year 11. They run from September to January. Anyone in Years 8, 9 and 10 can contact Mr Englefield (ge@wilsonschool.sutton.sch.uk) or their Head of Year if they would like to arrange a careers interview.

Occupational Talks

A programme of occupational talks takes place throughout the year (see What's Going On page for dates). These are delivered by Rosemary Burton (Prospects).

  • Medicine - becoming a doctor
  • Alternatives to University e.g. employment, apprenticeships, entrepreneurialism
  • Professions allied to Medicine- alternatives to being a doctor
  • Careers in Science
  • Engineering
  • Financial Careers
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Careers in IT, computing and creative media
  • Architecture

Work Experience

For students in Year 11 only. Every boys undertakes at least one placement lasting for one week. In reality many boys complete two or three placements lasting a number of weeks. Form tutors help prepare boys by delivering a session during a tutor period. A log book is also completed during the placement completed.

Contact with employers

We try and provide regular opportunities for students to hear from employers. This is done by encouraging them to go to careers events like Life Skills. Every year different speakers come into the school and talk to students about the world or work. Very recently Network Rail sent a team of staff to the school. They spent an afternoon with our Year 9 students informing them as to the many career opportunities that are available.

Parents' Evenings

Rosemary Burton is available at most parent’s evenings to talk to parents and students.

Students have access to a vast range of information to help them make decisions about careers. Information is regularly shared with students (and parents) via the school newsletter, website and notice boards (outside reprographics). There is a dedicated careers room in the Library. All students have the opportunity to have a careers interview and a wide range of visiting speakers are used to introduce students to various professions and career options.

The school is assisted by Prospects that provide experts for many of the activities mentioned and also conduct the careers interviews. We also work closely with Sutton Education Business Partnership.

We understand (albeit rarely) that for good reasons some students decide not to go to university after their A levels. We aim to support these students as rigorously as those that do and given that they are few in number, we are respond to their needs on a case by case basis. The raising of the participation age clearly has implications for boys who do not want to pursue full time education after their GCSEs and this is part of the reason why we insist on all Yr 11 students having a careers interview - so that we can identify those students for whom the school has to tailor its support individually.

Parents can play a pivotal role in the careers education of their sons. In order to help, we have listed a number of websites that parents may find useful on the Careers Resources page.