Careers Activities at Parmiter’s School 2016 – 2017

Women in Economics Day at Cambridge

Gonville & Caius College at Cambridge University held their 2nd Annual ‘Women in Economics’ Day on the 22nd September 2016.

To our fortune, four female A-level students were invited to spend the day listening, discussing and gaining a greater insight in Economics as a degree and career. This year’s seminar was focused on the economic consequences of a post-Brexit economy. The day was hosted by Dr Victoria Bateman, Director of Studies in Economics at Gonville & Caius College; she shared her experiences as a former Cambridge alumni and gave a thought-provoking lecture on how increased female empowerment within our economy would reduce inequality and boost growth.

The guest speaker of the day was Yvette Cooper, former Shadow Home Secretary, her passion for Politics and Economics was inspirational; especially as studying Economics wasn’t the norm for a young woman at her time of education. It was only when she learnt that gaining an education in Economics would benefit her financial and political career that she began to pursue a greater understanding of the subject.

A variety of discussions were chaired by Dr Bateman and involved Senior Economists, Head Lecturers and Political, Feminist authors. The day was filled with a range of ideas and perspectives to expand the field of Economics to young women such as myself. “We all thoroughly enjoyed our day at Cambridge and came back feeling inspired and determined to succeed in a career in Economics”.

Careers Fair 2016

Parmiter’s was privileged to have such a wide array of professionals at the Careers Fair on 17th November 2016, many of whom were ex-students who returned to share their valuable experiences and career paths with our current students.  We are grateful for all the expertise offered by the participants, and look forward to welcoming back those who return to every event, new companies and more ex-students to our next careers fair on 15th November 2018.

In the meantime the Careers Day for Year 11 and Universities Fair on 19th September 2017 will offer students a chance to gain information about different career paths, degree courses and apprenticeship routes.

Dragon’s Challenge 2017

For the fifth year running two teams from Parmiter’s took part in the dragon’s challenge 2017.  The teams were chosen from Year 12 and took part in fundraising for their charities, Charlie’s Gift, and Signpost, both supporting young people locally with physical and emotional needs.

The teams, Legacy and Negotium, were led by Anna Liddelow and Conor Browne and together they organised a wide range of activities to raise money which included:

Bag packing        Refreshments at Parmiter’s Events         Online fashion sales        Cake sales           Easter Quiz         Christmas craft fair               Collection at Christmas Pantomime         Valentines Surprises       Hot Chocolate Stall Disco

Our thanks go to all of the team members and to David Hawes, the mentor for Team Legacy, who gave so much of his time supporting and inspiring the team. They raised nearly £5,000 between them for their charities and gained skills which employers look for along the way such as communication, leadership and management, teamwork, resilience, creativity, problem solving, negotiation and decision making.

Two Year 12 teams from Parmiter’s took part in the ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting Competition 2016. They competed against 12 other teams taking on the role of Chartered Accountants for the day in which they were given a business issue to provide recommendations for. They were observed on how well they worked as a team, how effectively they communicated and how they managed their time under tight deadlines. After working through the business challenge they presented their recommendations to a panel of highly respected judges. One of our teams reached the semi-finals and presented their talk a second time to all the judges. They all agreed it was a very worthwhile experience which challenged them and honed their business, finance, marketing and teamwork skills.

Explore Law

This was delivered by the University of Law on 8th March, giving valuable information to our students who have an interest in law. They learnt about legal education and training and were given the chance to find out if law is for them – both at university and beyond. The programme included taster workshops giving students an insight into several different areas of law and how it works in study and the professional world.

Year 10 Enterprise Day

The Army arrived on a blustery spring day in March. Students were put in teams and given the job of completing 9 command tasks during the morning. The tasks included ‘Avoiding the mines’; strong communication skills were needed here, a bridge building task; problem solving and working closely as a team were the skills needed here.

They were also shown ‘Basher’. This involved examples of how to camp out, put camouflage paint on and trying some Army rations.  They also saw what is contained in Army webbing and back packs. The cannon run proved hard work, students having to dismantle and reassemble a mock up cannon over a distance under the command of a PTI soldier.

The day ended with the whole year group coming together in the hall for the afternoon session. An informative talk was given regarding career pathways in the Army. Many students were surprised at the varied careers the Army had to offer including Sporting, Medical and Engineering to name but a few.

Taking part in the day gave the students the opportunity to show leadership and support for each other in many different ways in the activities presented to them. Developing these skills and having fun was evident throughout the day.

Following the Army Day 16 Year 10 continued their interest by taking part in the week’s residential work experience at the Army’s Crowborough Camp in Sussex with students from another East London school. The students were given a real taste of Army life, and dressed in uniform, even camouflaged for some tasks, and camping out into the night.  They undertook various activities which were designed to inform them of the opportunities within the Army, and motivate them to apply.  They came back to school with improved skills, confidence and independence.

An account from a parent of one of the students who took part:

“She came back saying it was ‘the best holiday that she has ever had’. She found the event both enjoyable and stimulating.  She said that at some stages it was very tough both physically and mentally.  For example, sleeping under a sheet outside, being woke up at 1am to be told that you were under enemy attack – wading through rivers in the pitch black, dropping to the ground upon command (finding that you are in a bed of stinging nettles and having to be silent with the threat of ‘enemy’ capture  etc etc). 

It sounds as though the children are pushed to the extent of their physical and mental abilities – as a result, I think she has gained in confidence and resilience.  It has helped her to understand that if she pushes herself then she can achieve more than she thought herself capable of – and the self-pride that comes with that.  There was also the positives of bonding with others / teamwork that came out of the event.

The Parmiter’s children were teamed with a boys school from East London – a totally different social economic group than the typical ‘Parmiter’s student’.  This was also advantageous as it hopefully opened their eyes to some extent of how fortunate their circumstances are.

In conclusion, it is a very worth while work experience and takes children outside of the ‘safe’ environment of family and school life that many at Parmiter’s enjoy.  It helps build confidence, resilience and determination. 

It is certainly worth while taking up these opportunities that the Army offer and I would like to thank you for arranging this for my daughter”

Work Experience 2017

From 15th to 19th May, the Year 10 students went on their work experience placements.  This was a fantastic opportunity for them to gain knowledge about the workplace, as well as independence and some useful employability skills.

Ayo Awe, an old Parmiterian came in to kindly deliver relevant and informative sessions to prepare them all for the week.  On placement they were given an insight into the ways of different organisations and areas of work they might be interested in as a future career.

Here are accounts from some of the Year 10 who took part:

 SA Law

“My work experience placement was at SA Law in St Albans. I learnt a lot about the different departments of law and now I have a much better understanding of how vast the profession really is. I thoroughly enjoyed my week at SA Law and I am currently pursuing further opportunities to volunteer.” Charlie Martindale 10KME

 Crown Prosecution Service

“I was able to shadow a Senior Crown Prosecutor. It was a great experience for me and I got to learn a lot more about the CPS and how to get into that kind of legal career. I was able to make a few contacts which will most likely be useful in the future. I spent a lot of time in the court and the entire experience just confirmed how much I really want to pursue a career with the CPS and I’m really glad I had the opportunity.” Toluwa Adedoyin 10KME

 Imagination Technologies

“This work experience has been very valuable to me; I have learnt many things while I was there. I have become more independent, confident and organised over the week while I was working there and I have really enjoyed my time there”. Dylan Moss 10NDO

 The Abbey CE VA Primary School

“My work experience at has definitely been valuable to me! During my time, I’ve learned how to control and handle a class of 25 – 30 children. I have been part of a class, helping the children with reading and writing when they need help as well as other thing.” Olivia Eames-Illingworth 10NDO

 David Puttnam Media Centre, St Peter’s Campus, University of Sunderland

My work experience has been so valuable to me! I’ve learnt all about how a job in the media can have its ups and downs but the most important thing is to enjoy every second of it. I feel more confident as a result of this time I spent at Sunderland University and I’m so pleased to have learnt, first hand, what jobs in the media and as an academic tutor entails.  If anything, work experience has made me more eager to journey into the world of work!” Juliet Hollerton 10NDO

 Overall I think I can say for the whole year that the effort put into getting the placements was worthwhile and the whole experience was very valuable. We are very grateful for getting the opportunity for this and would recommend it to everyone. Ed Marriott, 10NDO

 The employers gave excellent feedback including the following:

“We were very impressed with the level of dedication and professionalism he showed. He has proven to be a very fast and keen learner.  We wish him every success with furthering his education towards becoming a product designer.”

 “He was a very well presented young man who was clearly very comfortable in a working environment. He got on very well with the staff and had an excellent no nonsense approach to all tasks that were set for him.  He is a real credit to the school.”

 “He helped us a lot. He did most of his given tasks without the need for much help.  He was very eager to learn to do new tasks and learn about the company and its products.  It was great having him here.”

“Edward was brilliant to have working with our team. He completed each task we set in an efficient and professional manner came with willingness to learn.”

 “He has been a very keen and enthusiastic learner and grasped a lot of information, skills and techniques in a limited time period. He has a very bright future.”

 Several Year 12 students have also taken part in work experience, either in preparation for university courses or to find out about professions they might like to pursue. This is actively encouraged and they are given the first week in July out of school to take part in this.  Some students were given the great opportunity to do work experience with Dr Richard Grose, a leading Cancer Cell Biologist at the Barts Cancer Cell Institute, St Mary’s, and others at Leonardo’s Aeronautical Aerospace site in Luton. We are very fortunate that our students are offered these and other fantastic placements.

Junior Enterprise Club

This has been another fun year for the junior enterprise club with students from Year 9 being particularly enthusiastic to grow plants and vegetables from seed. They enjoyed trips to the garden centre to choose what they wanted to grow and plant.  Their potatoes have been delicious once again and they are waiting to harvest onions, carrots and courgettes.  They have also planted up the planters at reception and look after these for visitors to admire.

Our second Medical Conference to be held at Parmiter’s on 1st July, led by Drs Soon Lim and Deborah Kemp, was another great success for aspiring medics from Parmiter’s and 14 other schools who attended. Students listened to talks about life as a doctor, applying for medicine at university, skills and qualities needed and discussion on a number of issues faced by doctors today and in the future, including ethical issues surrounding medicine.

Students attended breakout sessions which included suturing and blood taking with four of the doctors attending and a Q & A with ex-Parmiterians either studying medicine or in junior practice.

Students had a great day experiencing practical skills and learning about the real life of a doctor and were all better prepared to apply for medicine at the end of the day.

INTU/Laing O’Rourke Watford Trip

A group of Year 10 students visited the new site at INTU Watford on 22nd March, which is being designed and built by Laing O’Rourke, the international engineering company who are responsible for the design, manufacture and construction of the extension. Professionals from Laing O’Rourke will be took students through the design process to the actual construction of the site, which the students were then taken around.

Mace Construction Open Doors Event

10 students attended the Open Doors event on Thursday 30th March which enables students to visit construction sites and get a real insight into the industry. They visited the Mace residential construction project at East Village in Stratford, London. They saw Mace working as the main contractor to build the next phase of the former Olympic Athletes Village. They saw the first elements of the project which involved building two towers rising to 30 and 26 storeys containing 482 flats. They were very privileged to see this project which is very high profile for Mace as the development forms an important part of the London Olympic Legacy.

Year 8 Work Shadowing

The students in Year 8 had the opportunity to shadow a parent, friend, or relative for 6th & 7th July.  Some students went to primary schools or nurseries and one student even spent her days with Radio Verulam, being given the chance to speak on air!  A few students shadowed in Design & Technology and in my careers’ office.  I was delighted to have Riko and Lydia with me.  They were polite, helpful and enthusiastic during the two days and used their IT and creative skills to improve the careers board and help with summer school preparation.

Morrisby Testing

54 students sat this test on Tuesday 11th July.  The Morrisby profile test which I deliver at Parmiter’s is an online careers support tool which allows students to gain information into their aptitudes and interests.  The results are very accurate and clearly presented for students who can use them to plan their career journey.  It also provides for good discussions with parents, myself, and their teachers.  With so many different options now open to students this allows them to take a more considered approach to their career path, giving suggestions for suitable courses and careers to match their profile.  By understanding themselves better the students are better able to make the right decisions.

 Additional careers activity in 2016 – 2017

Mock interviews were offered to Year 13 Years preparing for interviews at university and for Year 11 students from employers at INTU Watford.

Speakers from varying institutions and professions have been invited in to give informative and innovative talks….

Professor Leon Freris – ‘Climate change and what can we do about it’

Dr Suzy Walton – A motivational speech to sixth form

Paul Carolan – ‘A bit about Advertising and How to Win at Life’

Laura Hallam – Interview Techniques

Education and Employers – Apprenticeships and Alternatives to HE

Ayo Awe – Preparation for work experience                           

Dr Richard Grose – Cancer Cell Biological research

We would like to thank them all for giving up their time to deliver such wonderful presentations.

The majority of Year 11 students and some from Years 9 & 10 have met with Lincoln, the Connexions Advisor. Every Year 9 student has met with Mrs Green or Mr Buchanan for an introductory chat about their subject choices, interests and ideas moving forward.

  • We are grateful to everyone, from parents to staff to employers and volunteers, who give our students these opportunities to take part in the above experiences and enable them to find out more about the important world of work and preparing for it. Without this help we would not be able to offer such an array of insights and work related learning.

Thank you.

Advertisements

What happened in 2016!

Women in Economics Day 2016

Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University held their 2nd Annual ‘Women in Economics’ Day on 22nd September 2016.

To our fortune, four female A-Level students were invited to spend the day listening, discussing and gaining a greater insight in Economics as a degree and career.  This year’s seminar was focused on the economic consequences of a post-Brexit economy.  The day was hosted by Dr Victoria Bateman, Director of studies in Economics at Gonville and Caius College; she shared her experiences as a former Cambridge alumni and gave a thought-provoking lecture on how increased female empowerment within our economy would reduce inequality and boost growth.

The guest speaker of the day was Yvette Cooper, former Shadow Home Secretary, her passion for Politics and Economics was inspirational; especially as studying Economics wasn’t the norm for a young woman in her time of education.  It was only when she learnt that gaining an education in Economics would benefit her financial and political career that she began to pursue a greater understanding of the subject.

A variety of discussions were chaired by Dr Bateman and involved Senior Economists, Head Lecturers and Political, Feminist authors.  The day was filled with a range of ideas and perspectives to expand the field of Economics to young women.  Our students enjoyed their day at Cambridge and came back feeling inspired and determined to succeed in a career in Economics.

Dragon’s Apprentice challenge

In 2016 following four successful years taking part, Parmiter’s hosted the Dragon’s Challenge Awards Ceremony on Monday 25th April for nine teams from local schools.

The two teams from Parmiter’s, Team Cornucopia and Team Synergy were rewarded for their outstanding achievements, winning 9 of the 12 awards.

Their fundraising activities during the challenge included:

Curry night and raffle Bag packing Selling hoodies/T-shirts for school trips, teas and coffees at parents’ evenings, Comedy night and raffle,  Use of social media: Twitter/Whatsapp/Facebook,  Fashion show,  Cakes sales, Office dress up for Halloween Christmas craft fair, Collection at Christmas Pantomime, Held a Christmas dinner, Bucket shaking, Pop up stall in London, Match funding.

Team Cornucopia consisted of Kiran Jolly, Esme Stevens, Em Thompson, Alice Cripps, Dan Nickalls, Aniksha Sodha, Yasmin Foley, Nikita Mistry and Sophia Neale.  The teams worked tirelessly throughout the six month challenge from start to finish and, from a seed capital of £100 each, Team Cornucopia raised the most money of £11,298.68 for their charity DRUM who provide equipment solutions for disabled people.  Team Synergy consisting of Shanil Panara, Holly Livingstone, Haimini Vencatasawmy, Alex Phipps, Esther Hong, Eve Papaioannou, Lois Downes, Charlotte Day, Ria Dave and Matt Styles followed closely behind raising £10,008.04 for their charity DEMAND who provide day services and support to adults with physical and/or sensory disabilities.

Cornucopia won the awards for Most Money Raised, Leadership and Management, Learning and Teamwork, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Overall Winning Team.

Synergy won the awards for Resilience and Achievement, Charlotte Day, Most Inspirational Charity Leader, Actar Dinata, Market Engagement.

The students have learnt that success in such a venture depends on developing qualities of enterprise, versatility of communication and creativity which will be transferrable and usable in their future careers.  Congratulations to both teams on another successful challenge for Parmiter’s.

Fashion Show

As part of the Dragon’s Apprentice challenge Team Cornucopia organised a Charity Fashion Show on 25th February 2016. They made a promotional video on youtube featuring the headmaster and raised an outstanding £4,000 from this single event.

The Medical Conference held on 25th June, led by one of our parents, Dr Soon Lim was a great success for Parmiter’s and other school students’ aspiring medics. A student’s summary of the day gave an account of how beneficial it was.

Students listened to talks about life as a doctor, applying for medicine at university, skills and qualities needed and discussion on a number of issues faced by doctors today and in the future, including alternative medicine.

Students attended breakout sessions which included suturing and blood taking with four of the doctors and a Q & A with ex-Parmiterians either studying medicine or in junior practice. then moved on to the first of two breakout sessions, each run by doctors and medical students.

Students had a great day experiencing practical skills and learning about the real life of a doctor and were all better prepared to apply for medicine at the end of the day.

Work Experience 2016

From 16th to 20th May, the Year 10 students went on their work experience placements.  This was a fantastic opportunity for them to gain knowledge about the workplace, as well as independence and maturity.

They were given an insight into the ways of different organisations and areas of work they might be interested in as a future career.

One student’s placement at Aecom allowed him to spend time in finance, talent acquisition, traffic and transport planning and be part of the teams for the week.

Some thoughts from the students:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed my week, because I met many new people and it helped build my confidence and communication skills’.

‘My work experience was very valuable and taught me how to communicate in the simplest form to Primary school children, as I had to speak slowly and clearly so they understood instructions’.

‘It was very good, I enjoyed it as it helped me with teamwork and working with other people’.

‘It was a great experience and although challenging, was beneficial’.

‘As a Year group, we feel as if we have benefited from these experiences, not only in enjoyment, but also by developing useful life skills such as listening, communication and confidence.  It allowed us to see what the workplace is like and to help build on our plans for the future; we are very thankful that we were given this chance’.

Army Day

The Army brought some fantastic weather with them on Tuesday 19th April as they put students through their paces during Year 10 Enterprise day.

Students were given the job of completing 9 command tasks during the morning. The tasks included ‘Avoiding the mines’; strong communication skills were needed here, a bridge building task; problem solving and working closely as a team were the skills needed here.

They were also shown ‘Basher’. This involved examples of how to camp out, put camouflage paint on and trying some Army rations.  They also saw what is contained in Army webbing and back packs. The cannon run proved hard work, students having to dismantle and reassemble a mock up cannon over a distance under the command of a PTI soldier.

The day ended with the whole year group coming together in the hall for the afternoon session. An informative talk was given by Corporal Campbell regarding career pathways in the Army. Many students were surprised at the varied careers the Army had to offer including Sporting, Medical and Engineering to name but a few.

Taking part in the day gave the students the opportunity to show leadership and support for each other in many different ways in the activities presented to them. Developing these skills and having fun was evident throughout the day.

Army Residential

Following the Army Day nine Year 10 continued their interest by taking part in the week’s residential work experience at the Army’s Crowborough Camp in Sussex with students from other schools. The students were given a real taste of Army life, and dressed in uniform, even camouflaged for some tasks, they undertook various activities which were designed to inform them of the opportunities within the Army, and motivate them to apply. They came back to school with improved skills, confidence and independence.

Accountancy Competition

Two Year 12 teams from Parmiter’s took part in the ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting Competition 2016. They competed against 12 other teams taking on the role of Chartered Accountants for the day in which they were given a business issue to provide recommendations for. They were observed on how well they worked as a team, how effectively they communicated and how they managed their time under tight deadlines. After working through the business challenge they presented their recommendations to a panel of highly respected judges. The team comprising Dan Nickalls, Esme Stevens, Haimini Vencatasawmy and Ryan Ladyman overcame extremely tough competition to win the East of England Heat in Hertfordshire and secure their place at the spectacular National Final. This took place on 30th June 2016 in Birmingham. 49 winning teams from the national heats competed against each other and our team gave an excellent performance on the day which was followed up by a black tie dinner and evening entertainment. The team loved the experience, met students from other schools and enhanced the skills they had already honed in the heats. Colyton Grammar School in Devon were the overall winners of an extremely tough competition which we will be entering again in 2017.

Junior Enterprise Club

This has been another fun year for the junior enterprise club with students from Years 7 & 8 being particularly enthusiastic to grow plants and vegetables from seed. Once again the potatoes, garlic and onions brought the most success with the vegetables and two planters which were kindly donated by the Parents’ Association were planted up beautifully and can be enjoyed on either side of the main entrance to the school.

 

Christmas Countdown

Under two weeks of the Autumn Term left and there is a buzz of Christmas around the school and chocolates in the staff room from grateful parents, gratefully appreciated by staff.  Fundraising from the dragon’s teams is going so well that both teams have already overtaken last year’s team’s profit figure at this time. They are working incredibly hard.  Year 10 are starting to organise their work experience placements and it promises to be an interesting year again.  The process of work experience in Year 10 is not a smooth one as we rely on an external agency and any way to make it easier in the future will be looked at.  Businesses offering work placements to any of our students are very generous to do this and we thank them of the opportunities.  RBS are giving a talk today to our Year 12 which will get them to think about alternatives to university and the apprenticeship and training they offer, always a great route to look at and often ensuring early job security. Our sixth formers still favour the university route and the personal statements I’ve seen are impressive and fingers crossed they all get the offers they are looking for, which they usually do!  Happy Christmas to you all…..

Goals

A lot of goals are being set by students all of the time but never more so than at this time of year.  University applications are underway, October deadlines met and already some offers coming through.  It is an exciting but nervous time for many especially as they wait for the required interview on some courses.  I have set up a day of mock interviews with outside employers for 35 students in preparation and this has always proved beneficial to them in the past.  For those with ideas other than university a speaker from WENTA will be giving an overview of other options open to them and with university costs set to rise even more in the future many students are considering the apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and training offered by employers which I have always been in favour of and pleased to see so many employers introducing more of these.  The dragons challenge teams have set off at a pace with one team already raising over £800.  Both teams have some original and exciting ideas to raise funds for their local charities and with the award ceremony set to take place here at Parmiter’s we are hoping for similar success to last year……no pressure!  The craft fair next weekend will have them selling candy floss and offering Henna and Face Painting as well as games and the younger enterprise team will be selling paper logs, perfect for when the weather eventually turns as cold as it should be at this time of year.  We are enjoying the balmy days of November.  Year 11 students on their extended work placements are loving the experience and visiting the local college open days to plan related courses.  So lots of different goals set by so many students and I wish them every bit of success.

Well Under Way

The Autumn term always goes by so quickly and as I cling on to the last days of summer time before we all start to go home in the dark and start Christmas shopping I am once again inspired by the start our Year 12 dragons teams have made and how worthwhile the two charities attached to our teams are and what great work they do.  DEMAND (www.demand.org.uk) have produced some lovely films on their website to highlight the ways their charity supports people with disabilities through equipment and DRUM (http://www.drum.btck.co.uk/) provide a whole range of great support for people with disabilities.  The ‘Dragons’ from Watford Rotary and WENTA have been in to school to meet our teams and their enthusiasm for such amazing charities should lead to another successful year for the Parmiter’s teams.  The two teams have already started raising money and did a lot better than the teams of Alan Sugar’s Apprentice programme last week in their first challenge!  If anyone can support our teams with donations, advice, ideas or other ways please get in touch.

Our lower school enterprise team are busy making paper logs for the Parmiter’s craft fair and having fun in the process.

University applications are underway with all the October deadlines met and mock interviews will take place in preparation for the real thing.

Tomorrow is our sixth form evening.  Consistently high A level results from 6th form here means a busy and well attended evening.  I enjoy the evening and the current sixth formers are wonderfully enthusiastic about their subjects when talking to potential future sixth formers.  The new students to sixth form this year have settled in so well and are now part of the Parmiter’s family.  Café 6 is due to expand too so that will appeal to potential sixth formers too, the food there is delicious!

Into the Autumn Term

It feels more like summer still with the sun beaming through my office window but it is well into the Autumn Term and it really is racing by.  There are a lot of new staff in the school, new students to sixth form and a whole new school year starting in Year 7 and so lots of faces and names to get used to.  I have never been great at remembering names which I find very frustrating in a job like mine and have all sorts of ways to try to put names to faces.  One of the problems is that when Year 11 come back into sixth form after a long summer they seem to have transformed into students I no longer recognise, in suits and smart clothes, they have grown and become adults seemingly overnight!  The Year 13 are in the process of considering their next steps, writing personal statements and having great discussions amongst themselves, staff and myself about their next step, degree courses, apprenticeship programmes and gap years.  It’s an exciting time as they launch into the next stage of their career and I feel flickers of envy as they start on that wonderful journey of life after school which I hope holds great things in store for all of them.  At the start of this term I took four girls to the University of Cambridge for the ‘Women in Economics’ day they held there at Gonville and Caius College.  It was organised by the journalist Lucy Ward from the Guardian to promote Economics to girls, leading to professions in which there are far too few women.  Dr Victoria Bateman opened the day with an inspirational speech talking about the future of economics and how it is changing to take into account the important role of society in a successful economy, the influence of health and education and the well being of individuals on the economy of different countries.  It was an inspirational day and confirmed the choice of economics for the four girls.  Following this I held the Universities Fair here which was a huge success with 36 universities attending and sixth formers from two other local schools, Francis Combe and St Michael’s coming along too.  The participants were kept busy all afternoon and many ran out of prospectuses.  It was definitely a very worthwhile event and we are grateful to all the universities and their expertise in helping our students with their decision making.  Ragavi from Year 11 students wrote:

“All in all, the event has imbued the students with positivity and given them a boost of confidence about what the future holds. It has given them a route map of how to get to their various destinations but ultimately the main message of this universities fair is that the future depends on what we do in the present”.

I am currently arranging mock interviews for our Year 13 students as they will face interviews from their universities and it has proven a great way for them to prepare in the past.  Every Year 11 student will be seeing the Headmaster and having careers interviews with myself or Jerry from Connexions this year.  The Medics society run by Xenia is thriving and an Astronomy society has been set up this year with lots of interest.

Finally the two dragons challenge teams for this year are starting out on their goal to win the challenge for Parmiter’s for the third year running.  Each team has £100, let’s see how much they can make for their charities this year.  I’ll let you know how they progress.  Good luck teams!

Countdown

The end of term has come around so quickly and it has been manic!  So many teachers are leaving and it has been sad saying goodbye, especially to some who are retiring and have given so many years to teaching.  I am sure it will feel strange for them at the end of the holidays when they don’t need to start another school year but also a relief I expect!

Myself and Richard Boyce are organising Summer School week next week so it is not quite holiday time for us and the staff who are running the workshops.  We are looking forward to it though and with over 200 students here on different activities it promises to be exciting and productive.

Students on the Tanzania and Cambodia trips are on their way and if previous trips here are anything to go by they will have an amazing time, have an experience they will never forget and do some fantastic work in these countries to help the villagers and the children.

The staff room has been an enjoyable place to visit this week as parents and students have kindly given chocolates and gifts which staff are always thankful to receive.

The end of term trips have as always been a massive success and students have enthused about their experiences.  Despite the strikes they all ran smoothly!

We come back next term in my department to the Universities Fair on 22 September, mock interviews, UCAS applications, careers interviews and Year 10 planning their work experience.  This planning is best done in the summer when you can ask friends and relatives for ideas and opportunities.

The good weather looks set to stay with us fingers crossed, especially as I and many others will be camping.  I wish you all a great summer.