The West Bridgford School


Students train for success

In November we were delighted to receive some funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2) to deliver an exciting initiative which we called Aspire. The Aspire programme allowed us to work with a group of Year 11 students to inspire and motivate them to develop their skills for employment and consider their Post-16 options and longer term career goals.

Rachel Reynolds, our school careers adviser, spent time working with the students to plan activities that would help them to make a positive transition to Post-16, linking this decision to longer term career goals. Through Aspire we provided a range of opportunities including visits to Nottingham and Loughborough Colleges, support from an employer to help students prepare for mock interviews, the Army delivering sessions around team building and Army careers and Nottingham University providing an inspiring insight into university life.

The students graduated from Aspire on 28th February with some fantastic success stories. Most of them have applied to study BTEC courses at college, some of them intend to progress to university after their Level 3 Extended Diploma course, which is the equivalent of three A Levels, and some are planning to pursue an apprenticeship

Rachel was very impressed by the progress they had made and said, ‘Most of the students were unsure about which path to take after Year 11, but over the weeks I saw them grow in confidence and start making key decisions.’ Students are interested in a range of careers including architecture, fashion buying, Army careers, the performing arts, nursing, business and trades such as plumbing and joinery

We asked the students to make comments about their experience;
‘At first I didn’t think this would help, but this has been one of the most beneficial things of the whole Year 11 - it takes a lot of stress away.’

‘This project was really helpful because I was so worried and unsure about what to do after GCSE's and this helped. It boosts people who are unsure.’

‘Use the trips to colleges, ask questions so you can easily say yes and no! And fol-low your gut instincts and have a back up plan.’