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 our curriculum. Another is that in year 11, students follow a work related learning scheme of work in Citizenship, culminating in a WOW day, as soon as possible after they have received their mock GCSE results, when the reality of their future is looming nearer. This year, our WOW event was held on Friday 20th 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 practise, develop 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 responses to the interviews were enlightening – “I’ve learnt not to be over confident, be calm and collected”, “If you look the part, it’ll give you more confidence”, “Interviews aren’t as scary as I thought they would be” and “I need to add more to my CV and get more work experience”
Interviewer responses included “All the pupils were polite and smartly dressed. They gave a good impression and seemed keen to be part of the day”, “A very impressive group of young people”.
The workshops comprised of Interview Skills, E- interviews,Creating a website, 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 Financial skills ran through the principles of tax and pensions.
Overall, the day was deemed a huge success, one of our workshop presenters, Ed Flack from Wizeup Consultants said “I work in about 30 schools all over the country, throughout the year, delivering my workshops to students. What makes schools unique are the people who inhabit them. When I come to the Anglo I find bright, inquisitive young people who have time and respect for their teachers, time and respect for visitors and time and respect for each other. Days such of these are rare. Few teachers see the benefit of taking a whole day out of the timetable, especially in a GCSE year, but it is days such as these which sets the Anglo apart. Everyone here has been given a unique insight into how the world of work operates – an opportunity that has been grabbed with both hands. I have no doubt in my mind that schools such as the Anglo are the best that I work in and Anglo itself represents the best of the best”.