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- 20th May 2013
Business Mentoring Programme
26 lucky students from Years 10 and 12 have been paired up with mentors from local businesses including Visa, Vodafone, Statoil, Heathrow Express and Cadbury. Over the course of the academic year they will meet with their mentors once a fortnight after school, at the mentor’s workplace.
During these sessions they will be working on improving their skills and confidence, while learning more about careers and the world of work. The 21 mentors involved have all volunteered to give up their time to help improve the life chances of our students, and have undergone training in mentoring and coaching.
They are drawn from an impressive range of occupations including senior executives, directors, solicitors and accountants. At the launch event held in the Academy, students and mentors introduced themselves and found out more about each other in a game of ‘human bingo’, before heading down to the businesses which are all based in the Paddington Area. Malik Cisse, one of the students taking part in the programme, said “My mentor seems like a really fun guy and I’m looking forward to working with him. I’m sure that I’m going to get a lot out of this and it will help me to progress”. This scheme has been developed with the help of the Hackney Schools’ Mentoring Programme, who have run similar programmes in Hackney for over 15 years.
They have even seen students being recruited by the companies in which they were mentored. Studies have shown that exam results improve through students’ participation in mentoring, as well as helping to raise motivation and aspiration. Rhea Lewis, a mentor from Visa, said “I have mentored young people through my career and the most rewarding experience is someone saying,” I never realised it was so easy to talk". I have experienced the same and the value of mentoring is realising we are all unique. I wish I had the same support growing up, someone to whom I could talk to and help me pursue my goals”.
Investor in Careers
We are pleased to announce that Paddington Academy has achieved the second stage of the Investor in Careers award. This is a kite mark used in schools across the country to recognise excellence in Careers Education and Guidance. Through developing the careers programme and working towards the final stage of the award, we aim to make Paddington Academy a leader in careers education and guidance. The Academy’s careers policy is available here
By the end of Key Stage 3, students will:
- Know how to use the careers library
- Have found out more about themselves, including their skills and talents, personal qualities, and possibilities for change
- Know how to make decisions, such as choosing GCSE/ BTEC options
- Have learned about equal opportunities
- Have met the Careers & Guidance Co-ordinators and Connexions Advisers
- Have used KUDOS to find out more about the types of work they are suited to and interested in
- Have discovered more about the world of work and the choices they have to make
- Have started the process of action planning
By the end of Key Stage 4, students will have:
- Had the chance to do a work or voluntary placement
- Used computer resources such as KUDOS and Jobs 4 U to continue to find out more about the types of work in which they are interested
- Received more information about their post-16 options
- Developed an action plan
- Had a guidance interview with Connexions, and help to decide about their next step
- Had information about local colleges
- Had the opportunity to speak to employers and training providers about their prospects for the future
Engaging with local employers
As well as the careers programme, Paddington Academy is developing student’s awareness of careers throughout the curriculum. Speakers from different industries regularly come into lessons and assemblies to speak about careers. In the past year we have welcomed employers including Marks & Spencer, VISA, London Underground, Gary Harvey (eco fashion designer), the Cabinet Office, DDB Advertising, and the BBC amongst many others. We are also proud to work with Brokerage City Link, Young Enterprise and Time for Paddington to provide opportunities for our student to enhance their employability skills.
Students in Year 10 recently gave up their half term holiday to complete one week’s work experience in a range of businesses, charities, nurseries and community organisations around London. This was a fantastic experience for all involved, and one that the students will remember for many years to come. Many students have been invited back for further placements in the school holidays, and feedback from employers was excellent with comments including:
‘Best work experience student we’ve ever had’ (Ahsan Khan – Mister Print)
‘Extremely committed and hardworking..exactly the kind of person we would like to employ’ (Najlaa Khounchafi – Barclays Bank)
During the summer holidays and October half-term students from Years 7 to 11 took part in a range of fun and exciting activities. These included visits to the London Aquarium, the Arsenal Emirates Cup, the Thriller Musical, a Kung Fu theatre show, horse riding at the Westway Stables, go-karting, the IMAX cinema, the Science museum and a day trip to Paris.
These activities rewarded students for their hard work and effort throughout the year, and gave them the opportunity to have fun, make new friends, and experience new things. All students who took part did a fantastic job of representing the Academy, and many said it was the highlight of their holiday. A student in year 11 who went to an Arsenal match said: “the trip brought together students from different years and we all got along. It was my first time going to the Emirates Stadium, and I was astonished”. We hope to offer similar opportunties to student in the summer holidays next year.