Currie Community High School
At Currie almost 100% of our students go into a range of careers and studies post 16, despite having limited access to real workplaces. The key focus of the Road Trip Series is to allow students to "access activities, presentations, etc. across all learning areas, to meet their needs across S4 to S6 in preparation for the world of work."
Over the last two years students have been developing an increased awareness of the world of work and how their skills shape the future pathways they may follow. Our 3-18 Skills Framework, mapped to the Career Education Standards (3-18) (CES) and Career Management Skills (CMS), allow the Road Trips to permeate across and through all learning areas, contexts and experiences, including Digital Literacy, Leadership, Global Citizenship, Creativity and Enterprise.
As part of our Senior Phase Roadshow in September of each year, students indicate potential career aspirations, allowing us to customise the Road Trip Series. Students with a particular interest or have this as a career pathway are encouraged to take part. So far since bringing in the Road Trips up to 40 students have benefited and found it intriguing, along with a raised awareness of career possibilities.
What makes up a Road Trip? Students visit a maximum of three employers across or linked to an industry and engage directly with them on pathways, job opportunities, including modern apprenticeships, while visiting a real workplace. Our partner Edinburgh College then leads students through an activity that brings together the visits, while being advised on different courses within an area. Students fill out a booklet mapped to CMS and the CES, while examining jobs, roles, technologies and skills that are essential within the industry (linked to our 3-18 Skills Framework), and this is stored for future discussions with them.
Currie's Leadership Team previously created a set of aims and expectations of engaging with employers, to develop student employability skills and linked to the National Improvement Framework. The Road Trip Series' aim is to "work together to provide sustained opportunities that develop students, within the curriculum and also for the future world of work."
Through baseline testing with S1, S3 and S5 students, it identified that engaging with workplaces would benefit them in developing their awareness of the 'actual' world of work and job opportunities. Our commitment has been reinforced through consistent improvement planning for this priority.
The SDS Skills Investment Plans provide our focus in engaging employers in their place of work, based on skills and employment gaps. As a result, we focused on the Digital and Hospitality industries. Through working with the DYW Regional Group (Edinburgh, Mid Lothian & East Lothian), and through accessing networking tools, contacts were made with representatives from these industries/businesses, along with Curriculum Leaders at Edinburgh College, leading to effective partnerships, and further within the curriculum.
Students visit employers and the college, and complete a reflective tool examining jobs, roles, opportunities and pathways that they might want to follow into a potential career in this industry. Due to the timing of the Road Trips, from early September to end of November, this could be an influence on student course choice, based on results from the previous session, if appropriate.
One impact is that we are expanding the Series from 1 (Digital), to 2 (Hospitality), with further plans to expand to 4 (Health & Social Care and Engineering/Construction).
Student feedback said that our Senior Phase Roadshow should be earlier, so we brought it forward to late August/early September, meaning that the Road Trip Series can be expanding to meet their needs in preparation for the world of work.
Comparatively speaking to other opportunities, it is sustainable, as there is a relatively low cost. Further reduction in these costs, with partner support to contribute the financial cost of these opportunities, which may lead to improved long-term sustainability.
Trips cost between £150-£200 each, depending on the duration (half or full day).
Photocopying of booklets is incorporated through per capita allocations.
There is no template established for events such as this. Three members of staff, along with partners such as Edinburgh's JET Academy, facilitated organisation of the Road Trips. The Road Trip Series is a culmination of ideas across a number of authorities and countries, including Australia. Support from the DYW Regional Group (Edinburgh, Mid Lothian & East Lothian), along with personal contacts, have allowed contact with employers to influence the trip's development.
Videos are being develop for the Road Trip Series next year, for Health & Social Care and Engineering & Construction. Watch this space!
Follow us on Twitter @curriechsdyw for more information!
You can also find Currie Community High School's other interesting practice, their staff 'industry insights' morning, featured on our site here.