Year 10 Work Related Learning Week 2017

Oathall’s year 10 students have just enjoyed a week of work related learning experiences.  The week is designed to broaden their experience and understanding of the world of work and to support them as they consider their future career pathways.

The students were immersed in a wide range of work related learning activities:

Monday – The students chose to visit either Crawley College, the University of Sussex or Plumpton College.  The students toured the campuses, learned about what life would be like as a student and participated in subject taster sessions.

Tuesday – We were very pleased to welcome back some former Oathall students:  Sarah Caddy (Post-doctoral Research Fellow @ Cambridge University), Sarah Fairbairn (training to become a criminal barrister), Jo Taylor (Head of Production at Label1 Television Ltd), Trevor Butler (journalist), James Wilson (director of a national charity), David Amor (computer games designer) and David Marshall (Head of Customer Science,  They came to talk to students about their career paths and experiences of the world of work.  They are all members of the Oathall Alumni Association, which allows us to keep in touch with our former students.

Wednesday – The year group visited the Big Bang Fair, an event that focussed on career opportunities linked to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Thursday – The students spent this half term preparing for mock interviews.  We had many business volunteers who acted as interviewers for our Year 10 students. The mock interviews helped to prepare our students for their college interviews. The business volunteers were very impressed by our students, stating that they were mature, polite and came very well prepared.  In the afternoon, the students all attended an apprenticeship presentation.  This gave them an opportunity to understand how the National Apprenticeship programme works.

Friday – Work Observation Day:  The students were able to observe a parent, friend or relation at work.  The students had to complete a world of work survey whilst on their placement too.

We always ask the students to evaluate the week.  Here are some of the comments made:

  • “ Every aspect of the week was fun and educational.”
  •  “I really enjoyed my visit to Sussex University because it helped me decide what I want to do when I am older.”

Speed Dating works!

Year 9 students have recently attended the annual Careers Speed Dating event at Oathall where they had the opportunity to speak to business and trade professionals from across the county and beyond.  It is organised to inspire our future workforce about real jobs; practise those all-important communication skills, and hopefully dispel some myths and challenge gender stereotypes.  This event complements the year 9 options process and students’ feedback is always very positive.

In fast paced, 5-minute slots, students asked a barrage of questions of the 30 different speakers representing a wide range of employment sectors including banking, engineering, medicine, scientific research, catering & hospitality, hairdressing, publishing, veterinary, Police, Armed Forces, childcare, nursing, law, retail, sport, performing arts and many more!

Feedback from the employers has been extremely positive.  Year 9 students did themselves proud.

Reflecting on his first experience of Oathall’s Careers Speed Dating, Mr Rod Hayler, Partner at Old Bailey Solicitors commented: ‘It was a pleasure speaking with your year 9 pupils, all of whom were impressively polite, engaged and insightful with their questioning.  I particularly enjoyed a guess from one young man who said “from the look of your suit … you must be a school headteacher”.  I can only assume that Mr Rodriquez must be a finely dressed man!’

Another first-timer was Steve Edwards, chef and winner of Masterchef Professional 2013, who said: ‘It was a pleasure to attend your event and have the opportunity to talk to and inspire the next generation.  It is a daunting task to think about what you want to do as a career and I hope I was able to give the students help and reassurance on the start of their career paths’.

Regular business representative Rachael Waters, Community Nurse, commented: ‘The students are all so receptive and keen to learn about the different roles.  From my perspective it is great to invest what is just a couple of hours to potentially inspire students to join my profession.  I met a delightful girl today who wanted to be a nurse and I know from her enthusiastic response she will one day make a terrific nurse.’

Thank you to all the business volunteers for giving up their time so generously to support our students.  It was especially pleasing that some of the participants were former Oathall students and members of the school’s Alumni Association.





‘Take OFF’ – a new local employability advice website for young people

Three year 11 Oathall students, Toby Clifford, Ed Curtis and Jack Heslop, along with students from other local schools, have been involved in the development of a new online employability advice website called Take OFF ‘Our Future First’. 

Oathall Community College at the launch of Take OFF Take OFF is set to become a powerful tool to help school students and other young people to develop skills that employers are looking for in future candidates.  This online resource offers top tips on how to look and apply for jobs, how to deliver the perfect interview and understanding what employers expect from young people joining their business. Continue reading

Year 10 Work Related Learning Week 2014

Students in Year 10 have just completed a range of work related activities aimed at broadening their experiences and helping to inform future career choices.

Students visit Sainsburys in Haywards Heath

Students visit Sainsburys in Haywards Heath

During the week students participated in visits to local businesses, trips to colleges and universities and workshop activities led by employees from Barclays Bank. This included a formal mock job interview which was subsequently graded. One senior Barclays advisor said of the experience “I would happily employ any of the students I’ve interviewed today”

As well as these activities, two former Oathall students, Dr Daisy Moffatt who is training to be a GP and Ben Higgins, Director of HR at the Societe Generale Bank returned to talk to students about their experience of work. Daisy and Ben are both members of the Oathall Alumni Association which is set up to keep in touch with former Oathall students. A short movie of the week’s activities was collated and shown to students at the end of the week.

Year 9 Careers Speed Dating

To support the KS4 options process, on 18 January our Year 9 students made a date with experts from twenty-five different professions from around West Sussex including computer animators, doctors, publishers, scientists and airline engineers. They filled the sports hall and spent the morning on rotation around the space. In groups of around 5, with 5 minutes per session, the students fired questions at the experts, discussing aspects of their work and trying to get as much information from them about what their job entailed, the qualifications required and the routes they took to get there.

Continue reading