Work Experience is an important part of the 6th Form provision, as it provides the students with real life experiences and opportunities. It is aimed for all students to complete Work Experience and to do so on a Friday, with the same placement for each academic year. Placements are based, where possible, on student’s interests and next step ambitions.
In order to explore student’s career ambitions, each student takes part in a 1:1 meeting with a member of 6th Form staff, so that staff can identify interests, ambitions and subject choices, to see how they link and to explore an appropriate Work Experience placement.
The school or parents may then initiate placements and The Iffley Academy proceeds to work in partnership with Oxfordshire Work Experience to complete necessary checks to ensure placements are safe and meet specified guidelines.
Before a placement is agreed, students visit the place of work, usually with a member of staff, to take part in an interview and to meet the employer.
Placements are then contacted each week by The Iffley Academy, to offer support and advice, to be provided with feedback regarding progress and to ensure any concerns can be responded to quickly. Students also complete an on-line blog each week, so that the student view is also obtained.
Previous placements have been completed at the following companies: Oxford Wholefoods, Kennington Floors, Donnington Doorstop, Age UK, WH Smiths, Direct Services-Oxford County Council, The Card Factory and Barnardo’s.
Supporting Work Experience and developing work skills
To support our students to be ready for work a number of systems are used across the academic year and are embedded into our curriculum offer. Each year, students take part in a Job Preparation Day. Students come to school, dressed formally and take part in workshops, which support students to understand the world of work, these may include: CV writing, how to find job advertisements, exploring different careers options and identifying qualifications and criteria needed for different jobs. Students also take part in an interview and the interview panel is made-up of local employers, staff and Governors.
Each academic year, students complete Communication and Independence Lessons for a term, which are linked to the theme World of Work. Through this, students may explore aspects of health and safety in the work place, explore what to do in different scenarios and plan how they may get to a specific place of work.
Within PSHCE lessons, students complete work, which relates to the PSHCE Association advice and guidance. (Due to the students’ needs, they are working at a level lower than their chronological age and follow aspects of the National Curriculum.) Through the outlined overarching concept of ‘Career’ students learn about different types of work, career pathways and the labour market.
Within each BTEC, students complete practical tasks, which need to be related to a realistic life scenario. This then sets the scene for a whole unit of work. For each situation, our students work is therefore connected to a possible work situation and helps the students relate their current academic work to a future career situation. For example a BTEC Hospitality scenario may encourage the student to imagine that they are a trainee within a hotel and are learning about customer services. Each piece of evidence, which needs to be collected for the portfolio then relates to this.
Some students opt to complete a Work Skills BTEC. Within this work, students learn about different companies, pay, health and safety law and their rights and responsibilities.
Careers Independent Advice and Guidance
CIAG is an important aspect of the 6th Form provision and is achieved through a number of different methods.
Each year students either visit different colleges, with the school to find out about the courses offered and to learn about the environment and/or link members of staff visit The Iffley Academy to speak to the students. Sue Moon from Oxford City College and Carly Foggett from Abingdon and Witney College support this process. During this time, students are encouraged to ask questions and a letter is sent home to inform parents of the dates, so that they can provide opportunities for further discussion at home.
Through The Iffley Academy’s links with Colleges, information regarding open evenings and further information is sent to school and cascaded to parents.
Each year, the 6th Form students attend Careers Fest, so they can find out about current offers and options and talk to different people about what is available to them.