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More than 1,500 school pupils from across Dorset were inspired by practical lessons and workshops at Weymouth College this week, giving them insight into potential future careers.

The College hosted the Year 9 and 10 pupils from 14 schools over its three-day Careers College event, supported by Dorset Careers Hub.

The students were given a choice of 50 different course and industry options to choose from, including practical lessons in construction skills and engineering, hair and beauty, catering, sport, the arts and more.

The event encourages students to start considering future options ahead of sitting their GCSE exams, whether this be traditional A-Levels, vocational courses or Apprenticeships, and then university or going into work.

Peter Vowles, Student Liaison Officer at Weymouth College, said: “Many of the young people who are now studying at Weymouth College say that attending Careers College inspired them to join courses here.

“They remember how Careers College inspired them to try out new work sectors and experience teaching in a college setting.”

As part of a Writing for the Media workshop, students wrote about the opportunities on offer during Careers College, which you can read below: 

Adventuring in the Career of Travel & Tourism

One of the many choices of workshops here at Careers College is Travel & Tourism. The atmosphere when we entered the class seemed fun yet focused. The first girl, Rosie, aged 15, from Wey Valley Academy, told us that she picked this course as she believed that it “would be interesting” and hopes to pursue a career in travelling.

The second girl we interviewed was Mai, aged 14, from Wey Valley Academy. She appeared to be very dedicated to her work and felt this course would be “very beneficial” for her future self. Rosie and Mai then went on to discuss how many years remembered are highlighted when you travel.

The third girl interviewed, Sophia, aged 15, also from Wey Valley Academy, explained to us how travel felt like a good option to her due to already living in a tourist hot spot; and that this would be an advantage to her future career when it comes to Travel & Tourism.

Written by Robyn, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Aspirational Actors for the Future of Film and TV

Today, we attended Weymouth College to participate in certain classes that inspire our future. In doing so, I chose Writing for the Media. Part of the physical side of the course is to visit other career paths. Therefore, we made our way to the Acting studio and interviewed some students as to why they selected this course.

Nancy, 15, from Wey Valley Academy, projected her past experiences with acting, which led to her desire to possibly carry it on in the future. She then told us the warm-up was very intriguing and engulfed her into the lesson.

A part of the warm-up was to vocalise their voices; this concluded with speaking exercises such as chanting. This then led to the students feeling significantly less awkward, as well as being effectual in preparing them for the physical section of the course. To finish off her summary, she explained how vocal and effective the teachers are, increasing her performance and overall participation in class.

Written by Eliza, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Capture of a Careers College

Weymouth College’s Careers College attracts students from many different areas and schools. It’s an exciting experience, with a bit of everything for everyone. It gives everyone a chance to explore their options and enjoy a fun day filled with practical demonstrations of the courses!

We interviewed a student participating in the photography course. Alfie, aged 15 from Wey Valley Academy, remarked that he chose the course as he ‘does it at school’ as one of his GCSEs. This shows how helpful these career days and courses can be to individuals who are exploring their futures. He then went on to describe the process; how the group were capturing photos using a homemade camera!

The group were outside taking pictures of their surroundings, but what was most interesting was that they had made pin-hole cameras out of Pringles cans. Pin-hole cameras rely on the fact that light travels in straight lines. When light travels through the hole an inverted image of the scenery is projected onto the opposite side of the box. This is an interesting and practical way to demonstrate the course and it gives students a chance to be outside exploring their surroundings, whilst producing something creative, instead of being stuck in a stuffy classroom on a hot day.

Whether you are exploring something you are interested in as a career choice, or you just want to enjoy the day and consider different possibilities for the future, this is a fun and interactive day.

Written by Lillian, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Colourful, Eye-Catching & Communal

At Careers College, in the Art workshop, the majority of students enjoy the feeling of freedom – in the sense of being able to create and destroy anything they like!

We heard this from Jasmin, 13, from All Saints Academy. She said that she enjoys Art because: “No matter what you create, or how it looks, you can always keep modifying, layering and creating with the colouring!”

In fact, the students were ‘monoprinting’ but Jasmin took a different path from her peers and was set on putting different colours on top of each other to create a three-dimensional effect that hooks people in to look at the piece. She feels Art is a way to show how free she can be to forge anything she likes. Potentially, this could be a career path for young Jasmin, because, in the future, she wants to be able to “decorate cakes” and produce designs that she can be proud of.

At Careers College, students can do all of this and more! figuring out your passion leads to a whole new world with Weymouth College!

We also spoke with Nancy, 15, from Wey Valley Academy. She said she “enjoys Art” and that ‘monoprinting’ was something new for her and most of the other students. It was “interactive” and gave them all a feeling of “Excitement”. This shows how Weymouth College introduces young people to new experiences they can really enjoy! However, she was “not sure if Art relates to her future” – but it could always be useful as a new hobby that is self-fulfilling and enjoyable for the creative type of person.

Written by Ava, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Music for All!

Atlantic students visit Weymouth College’s Careers College.

Alexandra is 13 years old and from Atlantic Academy. She agreed to let us interview her about her Careers College experience doing Music.

“I’ve enjoyed it so far; I’m hoping to make Music a future career for me.

“I like to listen to 70s-90s music the most. My favourite band is Green Day at the moment. I mainly play guitar; I have 3 of them.”

Written by Summer, Year 9, Atlantic Academy

Becoming Inspired

Weymouth College’s Careers College is an annual opportunity for students in Years 9 and 10 to experience tasters of future careers and courses at the college. Students experiencing this programme are able to take advantage of the diverse opportunities provided by the college, and many have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The courses range from Childcare to Travel & Tourism and provide initial knowledge of selected areas.

One of the various taster sessions provided was ‘Writing for the Media’. This session gave students a chance to interview and question peers on their opinions of the workshops they’ve chosen and to discover how the knowledge gained on the day would help them in future. Budding young reporters were given the opportunity to write up their notes from peers into an article, potentially to be published by the Dorset Echo.

Arthur (14) and Lilly (14) from All saints CofE Academy were interviewed in their selected workshop: Scientist. Both students shared that they were interested in continuing the subject in the various selected sciences at A-level. At the time of interviewing, both students were undergoing an experiment in the science lab: collecting data on the bacteria in their mouths.

Lilly shared her interest in neurology and her desire to become a neuroscientist, with the combination of psychology and biology. Additionally, she expressed her feelings about the importance of science: “I feel that science helps us understand how we are connected to the world and how it connects to us.”

Arthur stated the importance of Careers College and how the college was helping him become more knowledgeable of future jobs. Also, he pointed out the importance of safety equipment in science, showing off the lab jacket he was wearing: “I feel that science needs the right equipment and clothes to ensure the success of experiments and work.”

After reflection, both students complimented the day and emphasized the benefit the workshop would have on their aspirations and ambitions in the future and in the present.

Written by Rhys, 14, All Saints CofE Academy

Sewing the Seams of the Future

The Careers College day is a great way for secondary school pupils to learn about their own interests and consider potential future paths. We spoke to several students who took part in Careers College and, as a result, can conclude that the day has turned out to be extremely enriching and beneficial for the year 10 students.

Lacey, 15, from Wey Valley Academy shared with us her insights about Art and Fashion Design, conveying her interest for the subject and her enjoyment during the course, as well as valuable skills she’s learned. She said: “I’ve experienced first-hand the importance of teamwork in a subject like this. The team effort makes it all the more enjoyable.”

Liesel, 15, also from Wey Valley Academy, elaborated on this, explaining her “interest in textiles” and the “growing relevance of Art and Fashion Design”. She claimed: “The skill of textiles is so essential in our world, especially in our effort to become a more sustainable society.”

Written by Mia, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Engineering at its Finest

At Careers College, we visited the Engineering with BAE Systems workshop to observe what the students were experiencing. This course offers a variety of practical and theory-based activities for students to engage with. It enables the students to get ‘hands on’ with the college’s equipment and experience it through their own eyes. One practical that the Engineering workshop provides is that students are able to build, in groups, their own submarine and test it in water.

This acts as a competition and allows students to better understand how submarines are designed and built, and the amount of time and motivation it takes to produce a functional piece of equipment that ensures the safety of consumers. We learnt that it takes fifteen years to build a submarine!

Robert, a professional engineer from BAE Systems, who was leading the class along with two colleagues, suggested there should be “more practicals” offered to students, as this is how they learn best. Robert explained that Engineering was a very broad subject, and that today’s students would go away with ‘tasters’ they will remember and perhaps use in future or in their everyday lives.

Robert is a STEM Ambassador and an example to younger generations, as he didn’t originally think he would be an Engineer. He started out as a bricklayer and took a different path before settling on an Engineering Apprenticeship, which led to his placement today.

Overall, Careers College has done very well, offering students these ‘tasters’ in the hope it will entice them onto a potential career path.

Written by Evelyn Ling, 15, Wey Valley Academy

Weymouth College is Helping to Shape Young Minds

Careers College is a great place for young people to explore what they would like to do in the future, by choosing different courses that the college offers. One of the more vibrant courses on offer is Art. Art is a very good choice, if you wish to pursue a more interactive career – for example, Cookery or Architecture. We went around and interviewed some of the students who had decided to pick Art as a taster, to find out whether they believed it is the right choice for them.

When we arrived, students were working on collages and layering through shades of colours and shapes. We asked two young students why they chose this workshop. Jasmin, 13, from All Saints Academy, stated: “Art defines me as a person, and I can really express myself and my emotions through my work.” From doing this course, Jasmin has learned how much she enjoys Art and wishes to take it as a GCSE, which will help her towards her dream of becoming a Cake Designer.

A second student told us: “Art represents the harmony and balance in life itself.” This particular student was in the middle of creating an impressive art piece, which he said represented him. This shows how Art can help one express themselves and understand themselves without talking.

Through this Art course students have learnt skills like attention to detail, patience and focus, and how to express their creative side. The skills they’ve gained from this opportunity can be practised in many different areas. Almost all the students we spoke to said Art is a good choice to make, and everyone agreed these workshops have given them a good taster in what they would like to pursue in the future.

Written by Dixie and Eva, 14, Atlantic Academy

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