Currie Community High School
The key focus of the Staff Industry Insights morning is to have employers 'work with staff to facilitate awareness of industry expectations and on preparing students for the future'. The morning engaged all staff from varying backgrounds and across all faculties. Staff knowledge of DYW was OK and this event was designed to improve their knowledge, understanding and relevance.
Currie has a 3-18 Skills Framework and as part of school improvement planning, the expectation is for it to be embedded within all courses and programmes, from the Broad General Education (BGE) to the Senior Phase. The framework permeates across and through all learning areas, contexts and experiences, including Digital Literacy, Leadership, Global Citizenship, Creativity and Enterprise.
Staff took part in 4 x 15-minute workshops. Some were facilitated by employers, such as Canon UK, Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club and Morrison Construction. This allowed staff to see the skills that students need when leaving school, the different career pathways available and also generally about different industries. To support including this in all courses and programmes, staff took part in Scotland's Enterprising Schools and the DYW Regional Group (Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, East Lothian) - 'The Market Place' workshops.
Staff were given a pack to take away, including information on CLPL (linked to PR&D), Career Management Skills (CMS), how to sign up to The Market Place, amongst others, while being stored and accessible online for future reference.
Currie's Leadership Team is committed to improving the employability skills and sustained positive destinations for all our students, and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) provides all staff with the clarity on how to work to achieve this. Our commitment has been reinforced with this being identified as a three-year school improvement plan priority.
In February 2017, we held our first Currie/Employer Networking Breakfast. A range of employers and providers attended and expressed a desire to engage with the school and develop the students, to everyone's benefit. As a Leadership Team, we established a set of clear aims and expectations that would develop this for our students. One of those aims was for employers to 'work with staff to facilitate awareness of industry expectations and on preparing students for the future', and a number of employers expressed an interest in this.
At the heart of this development is the 3-18 Skills Framework. This is a tool for all staff to engage with and use the Career Education Standards (3-18). The framework provides opportunities for students to develop their awareness and importance of 'transferrable skills', along with their subjects, and how these lead to employment or another sustained positive destination, within each of their studies.
To achieve this, staff need to be aware of the expectations of industry and how they can help prepare students for the next stage in their learning, life and work. Along with this, having access to resources and CLPL (Scotland's Enterprising Schools) and how to engage directly with employers, through The Market Place (DYW Regional Group), provides the avenue and practicality of achieving this in everyday teaching and learning.
The main impact for students is still to be determined. We have completed baseline testing with the S1, S3 and S5 students against the entitlements within the Career Education Standards (3-18) and will monitor the impact between now and 2018-19.
In the meantime, we held an S3 STEM Networking Event for students to influence their awareness of employability skills and career pathways. Students and staff all said after the event they were experiencing a 'buzz' around the school.
In 2017-18, we will continue to run the S3 STEM Networking Event, along with a new Careers Networking Event, where students in the Senior Phase will choose to attend and become aware of different careers and pathways.
Yes, this is sustainable, especially with the impact that will be seen over the years on courses, programmes, staff and through our students and their positive and sustained destinations. There is a comparatively small cost for the event and is achievable as it comes back to the support of providers and businesses, along with access to innovative digital platforms such as The Market Place.
Through effective use of the DYW Funding, devolved from City of Edinburgh Council, the costs for the event primarily involved catering for staff and partners, along with materials for staff and recognition for partners engaging with the school.
There was no template, per say, established for events such as this and organisation of the event was facilitated by two members of teaching staff.
CLPL resources were accessible from Scotland's Enterprising Schools (Enterprising Practitioner Modules) and from Skills Development Scotland (Learning Resources).
John Schmidt, Curriculum Leader Technologies & DYW/Digital Strategic Lead
Tel: 0131 449 2165