Inevitably, the World of Work (WOW) is an unknown place for many students when in their teens. At the Anglo European School we try to reduce this unknown by providing numerous workplace opportunities, one being that all students go out on work experience placements of their choice for 2 weeks in the summer term of Year 10 as part of their curriculum. Another one is that in year 11 students participate in a work related learning scheme of work, through their citizenship lessons, which culminates in a WOW day, as soon as possible after they have received their mock GCSE results, when the reality of real work life is looming nearer.
This year, our WOW event was held on Friday 15th January.
The overall aim of WOW is to better equip our students to be more competitive and influential in the increasingly global world of work. More specifically, it is to give our students an insight into the skills and attitudes required for the world of work and to give them the opportunity to develop, practise and demonstrate these in a familiar environment but with unknown professionals (to them, but known to AES as many of the 35 interviewers were ex students / parents / local community professionals).
All students attended in business dress and participated in a number of employability skills workshops as well as a mock interview with an external professional who gave invaluable personal verbal and written feedback to each student. Student response to the interviews were enlightening –
“I’ve learnt that I can be interviewed without getting too nervous”, “I talk too fast and I flail my arms around too much”, “The way you present yourself is vital”.
Interviewer responses included “Very impressed with the quality of the year 11 students – very mature, polite, well behaved & thoughtful”, “Thoroughly enjoyable experience”.
The workshops comprised of Interview Skills, Learning Agilities, Programming (creating an interactive CV), Financial Skills and Creative Thinking. The Creative Thinking session was based upon brand and brand positioning in the advertising world and utilised group work, collective thinking, idea generation and presentation skills. The Interview Skills incorporated top tips on interview techniques – body language, handling difficult questions, what not to do (from experience!) etc whilst the Learning Agilities workshop explored ways of learning through problem solving, teamwork and leadership skills activities.
Overall, the day was deemed a huge success – “It was great to interact with the students and see what they expected their future to be like and where they wanted to go” and “I thought it went really well and if success can be judged on student participation then I think this was one of the most successful days of its type that I have have been a part of at ANY school in either the state or private sector.”