Personal Development Day
On our penultimate day of the year, we were delighted to be able to be able to arrange an enrichment day for all of our students where we come away from the normal scheduled lessons and focus on areas of the extended curriculum which we hope will be of benefit to their personal development. The following sections give a snapshot of the experiences for each year group.
Year 7 had a day focused on online safety and bullying. Students experienced 6 sessions including a documentary, the power of the written word, art session and teambuilding all designed and delivered by the year 7 team. In addition, there were visiting speakers. PC Phil Dobson (Community Support Officer) from the police and Simon Aston who is the Online Safety and Wellbeing Officer from Northamptonshire County Council. Simon in particular focused on staying safe online and when using social media. The pupils were a credit to the school and lots of comments were received about their excellent conduct.
Mr Guiney, Head of Year 7
Year 8 students engaged in activities under the banner of ‘To the Moon and Back’. The focus for year 8 was increasing aspiration and improving resilience in preparation for their next steps into year 9. Alongside this they also had a fantastic session on Internet Safety with Simon Aston. All students participated brilliantly in the activities and conducted themselves impeccable with the outside speaker. The day finished with an epic and aspirational challenge to travel to the moon and back – a challenge that would require the year group to apply all of the new skills learnt throughout the day.
The year group did amazingly, completing 1351 laps of the track with accumulated to 540,400 metre! Unfortunately, we did not reach the moon but the year group ended up in the stars! We hope they take the lessons from the day into their next academic year.
Mr Jackson, Head of Year 8
Year 9 spent the day with the Humanutopia team looking at themselves in a unique day entitled ‘Who Am I’ which is a very powerful day and has historically had real impact on our year 9s as they move forward into a new phase of their school lives. The three sessions include the Comfort Zone in which the students reflect on the past helping them reflect on how they became the person they are, the Stretch Zone when the students consider how the present could be so different if each person behaved differently and the Panic Zone during which the young people imagine who they could be in the future, discussing dreams, hopes, goals and ambitions. The day is concluded when every student identifies and commits to making three positive changes to improve their future.
Mr Rees, Head of Year 9
Year 10 Careers Day is an amazing event orchestrated by Mr Myers each year and brings companies in from all over the country, not to hard recruit but to educate and inform our students on the amazing opportunities that they will have on offer following their time in school. This event has grown through the years from a few local colleges and local businesses to a huge uptake of 80+ visitors each year, to a point that we do have to turn some away. Throughout this year we were unsure whether we could revive this day but I am pleased to say that, with the meticulous planning of Mr Myers and team, we have successfully managed to accommodate an extremely valuable experience for the Year 10 students. I am more pleased to say that the students have been amazing throughout!
It is not essential for students to carve out a career path from this age but it is extremely important for them to understand the sheer expanse of careers available to them, to appreciate what they can be doing now to help achieve their goals and to absorb any information that is on offer to them.
The common feedback from our visitors was “well mannered, polite and a credit to your institution” as well as engaged, engaging, ambitious and inquisitive. This Year Group have, once again, done us proud in their conduct and maturity and we hope that they have come away with a valuable insight and, in some cases, the beginnings of a new path.
Mr Stevenson, Head of Year 10
Initial feedback from year 10 students is very positive about the above event. Equally important, visitors from the 23 organisations involved, were also very pleased with the student’s engagement, interest and how they posed relevant questions to aid their understanding of future employment and study opportunities. The first part of the day involved a Careers Fair in the Hall with local colleges, UK universities, local employers, and alumni students. Tutors also discussed a most recent report about future job opportunities and students competed to summarise key points of the document. Winning teams were interviewed by Paul Thompson of SEMLEP who declared 10COV the winners! Each form also received four presentations from local colleges, apprenticeship providers, universities and /or careers guidance experts. We are so grateful for all the external visitors for contributing to this event especially in the current circumstances.
Mr Myers, Careers Lead
Year 12 students had a day focused on their future plans. Whether they are thinking of university, starting an apprenticeship or going straight into the world of work, this was a day where they could hear from experts and start preparing their applications. As well as the careers fair in the morning, students had the opportunity to listen to presentations and discuss different options with representatives from Unilever, Barclays and Northamptonshire sport. In addition they were given guidance and how to complete their application forms and time to do so, including one to one conversations with their mentors to help them make key decisions. The students were amazing and really made excellent use of the day with 90 of them now registered on UCAS and all of them having worked on their personal statements or covering letters. Well done to them, they are now in a really good place for the September start.
Mr Mills. Head of Sixth Form
In summing up, it is important to recognise the incredibly hard work that goes into organising these days. From the heads of year and careers lead for their coordination of activities and their teams, to all of our year team colleagues who designed and delivered the sessions and to our student body who engaged so well with the activities. I would personally wish to thank the heads of year and Mr Myers for all they have done in both the lead up and delivery of the day.
Please do take the time to speak to your child about what they did on their day and encourage them to use what they have learned moving forward. We hope they have gained from the experience of their day and that is goes some way to seeing a return to more ‘normal’ school life.
Enjoy a safe and restful summer.
Ms Anita Walker
Assistant Headteacher, DSL & Personal Development