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National Careers Week 2020
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12th March 2020

National Careers Week took place last week with lots of new opportunities and activities to inspire students and open up their outlook for the future. Throughout the week students and staff have taken part in employer led talks, careers based class activities, off site visits, practical demonstrations and networking events.

Monday was the introductory day and kicked off with Andrew Harris from Northern Rail offering advice on the dangers of the railways and an insight into the roles and responsibilities and employment opportunities for young people in this growing work sector. Our KS4 students visited Aerozone at Manchester Airport to look at all the new building developments with Mr Barlow while a GMP Community Police Officer came in for a Q&A and to answer any questions on careers in the services for our KS3 pupils. Additionally Rosie Gill one of our careers advisors led a day of workshops with KS3 and KS4 pupils to look at their aspirations.

Tuesday welcomed visitors from Autotrader and a scientist from Astrazenica while KS5 pupils gave inspirational presentations to KS3 and KS4 about the work experiences they have accessed and the skills they have developed. Cory was particularly inspiring telling everyone about his work experience as a caretaker at Rushbrook Primary Academy. KS5 students travelled to HOME Theatre to experience a unique Hunt and Darton café event.  Performance artists Hunt and Darton have been hired this year to curate the award winning Barbican Box Project. This is the third year that Melland High School has been invited to join 7 other Manchester schools to make and perform an original piece of drama to be showcased in June at HOME. At the HOME café students were enticed to purchase and taste a range of fondant delicacies, try twisted drinks and sample art type happenings including: ‘poetry on the side’, ‘Not The Great British Bake Off’ and ‘you are the buffet’. Reactions changed from reality check and mute astonishment to full participation and shared laughter once the students were in on the joke. As part of the Barbican Box process Melland will be visited by an Artist Mentor to provide support and encouragement to create our own artistic dishes for you to sample.

On Wednesday KS3 and KS4 pupils accessed a collapsed timetable where all lessons were based around a variety of sectors including; construction, manufacturing, horticulture, creative media, graphics and hair/beauty. Students took part in a wide range of activities linked to these sectors learning new skills and gaining insights. KS5 students from LG2 visited community radio All FM where they accessed a presentation to tell us about the 100 active volunteers, the legacy of previous training projects, producing and presenting a range of shows. The students were then given a tour of the 2 studios and interviewed three members of the crew. They were lucky enough also to sit in on a live session up close and personal to see exactly how the shows are presented. All FM offered some great opportunities and will hopefully be working with Melland to set up a project with our young people and offering the skills to present and produce their very own radio show.

SLT shortlisted and held interviews for students to take part in a unique opportunity to work in school in a variety of roles. LG1 took part in discussions with James Gill from TFGM and found that they employ a number of our students, who had followed a pathway supported by James who manages 25 staff in a team of 500 revealed that employees with certain skills such as keen focus, an eye for detail and a passion for numbers are a valuable asset in logistical work and he would like to employ more of our students as they have proven to be hard working, reliable and popular with their colleagues.

Thursday was probably our busiest day for employer encounters as our Speed Networking event organised by our careers advisor Steve Leach took place with eight outside agencies available for quick fire questions. These included representatives from; Bruntwood, Digital Advantage, O2, Princes Foods, One Manchester, Manchester Community Central, Stroke Association, Lendlease and All FM. Students from all key stages took part and were joined by students from the Grange School.  The aim of the event was to broaden student horizons and to gain an insight into what employers are looking for. KS5 students were visited by staff from the Contact Theatre to discuss volunteering opportunities and to signpost students to their excellent weekly spoken word and drama workshops which are open for our students to access. In the afternoon LG1 and 2 enjoyed a demonstration of wood- turning with Andy Trevor and were given an opportunity to discuss career pathways into the construction industry for self-employed workers studying carpentry an dry wall construction techniques.

The Melland Pupil Media Crew had a short break from filming on Friday when they had a Q&A with both Skillset and Phil Wood, producer from Mersey TV.

Also Friday saw celebrations for all the hard work of the students from the whole week. Students received awards for developing and demonstrating employability skills, for communication, problem solving, team-work, confidence and employees of the week. Careers week was a huge success and a huge thank you again to the whole careers team and all staff and contributors for creating an amazing and inspiring experience for all our young people.