ADVERTORIAL: The schools offering students a fantastic careers education and cultural experiences in Derby

today26 August 2022

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Often learning inside the classroom isn’t enough for students. After all, it’s the way they interact with the world around them and how they receive inspiration which develops the whole child.

All of the Archway Learning Trust‘s Derbyshire schools, including Lees Brook Academy, Alvaston Moor Academy and The Long Eaton school understand this concept. And they work hard to ensure youngsters have the best possible opportunities available for them.

Increasing cultural capital among students

Year 7 students from Lees Brook Academy visiting Mam Tor during a school trip

Lees Brook Academy in Chaddesden has been making great efforts on increasing cultural capital among its pupils. Cultural capital in education means that children are knowledgeable about a wide range of cultures, are comfortable discussing its value and merits, and have been given a vast array of experiences and access to skills development.

Ofsted added the term ‘cultural capital’ to its inspection handbook in 2019. As part of making a judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will now consider the extent to which schools are equipping pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

All on the same day, over 800 children in Years 7 to 10 at Lees Brook Academy went on a school trip – completely free of charge. Year 7 students went on an excursion to Mam Tor and down the caverns at Castleton, Year 8 students visited Twycross Zoo, and Year 9 students went to Scarborough. Year 10 pupils were treated to a walking tour of London’s city sites and the National History Museum.

Jeremiah Jeffcoat, a Year 9 student at Lees Brook Academy, said: “I loved the trip to Scarborough. The teachers were really friendly and had organised it so well.

“We had plenty of time to do what we wanted and it helped grow our confidence and independence because we weren’t always accompanied by teachers. Towards the end of the day, we could paddle in the sea which was a relaxing end to a fabulous day”.

Hayden Simpson, a Year 10 student at Lees Brook Academy said: “It was an amazing opportunity because we all got to see things in London that we had never seen or experienced before.”

Clare Watson, principal at Lees Brook Academy, stated: “While academic success is of utmost importance, we recognise that it’s not the only thing that we should be doing as a school. For us it’s about developing the whole child, developing their skills and broadening their experiences and opportunities so that there are no barriers to success in the future.

“Developing cultural capital isn’t about going out on lots of school trips, it’s about giving children the opportunity to experience places and different cultural opportunities that they might otherwise not have been able to access. We don’t believe in barriers to learning and experiences at Lees Brook. We intend to continue providing these free trips to develop children’s cultural capital every year.”

Getting children ready for the world of work

Students had the opportunity to participate in valuable work experience opportunities

During the same week, all Year 10 at Lees Brook Academy students took part in a ‘World of Work’ five-day event. The initiative aimed to develop students’ understanding of the workplace and the potential career paths available to them.

All pupils had the opportunity to experience a workplace environment, which allowed them to begin making informed choices about their next steps in education and to plan their journey ahead. All Year 10 students were timetabled to attend at least one workplace visit/trip during the week, with many students experiencing more than one outing.

Intended destinations data that students had completed beforehand during their weekly careers session was used to identify the most appropriate visit/trip for them, in order to make the experience more meaningful. In total 18 different visits/trips were organised during the week, with others planned for future dates.

A total of 12 external speakers also came into the school to deliver presentations to pupils about the world of work. The visits came from a mixture of companies, who spoke about themselves and the opportunities available within their organisation.

The visits additionally included presentations from further and higher education providers, which informed students of the pathways open to them after they leave school. Various training providers also gave talks on what other opportunities are available to students, and some delivered workshops on CV writing and interview skills.

Companies and providers that contributed to the week included the University of Derby, Tomlinson, Nestle, Derby College, Cullum, Rolls Royce, Tidyco, Dancop, Ted Baker, GXO, Learning Unlimited and The University of Nottingham. The majority of students also completed a mock interview on their last day.

Also within the Archway Learning Trust, Alvaston Moor Academy has also been preparing its community with lots of opportunities to learn about the world of work and training. The vision for careers education in the academy is to ensure that diverse groups of students have maximum access to the range of opportunities available to them and that barriers are removed wherever possible to enable that to happen.

Careers Leader, Dan Ingram, has been arranging numerous off-site trips to local universities and colleges for students. She also launched the ‘Aim Higher’ event on Thursday, July 21, 2022, which saw inspirational speaker and motivator, Kamal Ellis-Hyman, delivering a full day within the academy focusing on raising aspirations and unlocking potential.

At The Long Eaton School, the Sixth Form maximised the learning from its ‘Inspiring the Future’ event and invited all education providers that work with the Trust for a mock interview day. The initiative occurred as part of ‘Epic Week’, which sees Year 12 students experiencing an alternative curriculum for the course of one school week.

Activities ranged from meditation sessions focusing on wellbeing to cookery classes. Local businessman and entrepreneur, Don Amott, delivered a personal address to sixth formers based on his long and illusive career from grassroots to now becoming a football club owner.

Key dates for your diary

To showcase its continued success, the trust’s Derbyshire secondary schools will be hosting several Year 6 open events in September 2022. Prospective year 7 students and their families will be able to attend the open events to find out more about the Trust’s mission statement, and the learning opportunities available at each of the schools.

Parents and children will be able to register for the open evenings on each of the schools’ individual websites. The relevant dates and times for the Year 6 open evenings are as follows:

Alvaston Moor Academy: Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 5pm

The Long Eaton School: Thursday, September 22, 2022, between 5pm and 7:30pm

Lees Brook Academy: Monday, September 26, 2022, at 6pm

For more information about the Archway Learning Trust, visit the website here.

Written by: Admin

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