Employability Skills

A huge focus in the sixth form is preparation for a successful career. To that end we offer a comprehensive range of enrichment, voluntary work and work experience opportunities. In particular we promote employability skills so our students leave us at the age of 18 with the confidence, maturity and transferable skills that will open doors for them in the world of work. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) Employer Skills Survey found that 81% of employers rate employability skills as the most important factor when assessing potential candidates. Employers responding to the survey said they lacked applicants with:

  • Planning and organisation skills;

  • Good customer service;

  • Oral and written communication skills;

  • Problem-solving skills.

So that our students stand out from the crowd we offer the following provision in the sixth form:

Work experience week: at the end of Y12: in the past our students have benefitted from placements at Aardman Studios in Bristol, North Somerset Magistrates Court and the Natural History Museum in London and have conducted archaeological fieldwork and have worked with Ellen MacArthur and her foundation on solving environmental challenges

Voluntary work: we organise placements in local hospitals and primary schools for students wishing to enter the nursing/midwifery and education professions. We also work with Avalon Camps who appoint our sixth formers as tent leaders on holiday camps for under-privileged children and many sixth formers volunteer to help run clubs and competitions for younger students in the school

Employability skills: at the beginning of Y12 students learn key employability skills including interpersonal, oral presentation, problem-solving and time-management. We also take sixth formers to the World Skills Show in London and Skills South West in Bristol so students become familiar with employment opportunities and the skills required to fulfil their potential. Students also participate in team, problem-solving events with members of the armed services and enjoy a range of activities during Y12 Enrichment Week including MasterChef

Sedgemoor District Council’s Apprenticeship Programme: this programme has proved highly successful for students wishing to follow the apprenticeship pathway at 18. Students receive employability skills training from mentors and successful students gain vital apprenticeship experience with a summer placement. We also invite employers from the National Apprenticeship Service to come and talk to our sixth formers about the skills required to fill the latest vacancies

Leadership: sixth form students become Senior Leaders and act as Ambassadors during school events; students also lead a range of clubs and competitions in the sixth form – a particular privilege is getting to chair our annual Question Time with a panel of politicians across the political spectrum. To support their leadership roles students receive training and get to participate in leadership conferences with students from other schools

The Young Enterprise Company Programme: this is for students interested in setting up their own business and competing against other schools in the regional final. Students develop the full range of employability skills including effective customer service by taking their products to trade fairs in Bristol and Exeter. Positions include Company Director and Treasurer

Business, Accounting and Skills Education (BASE) Competition: BASE is ICAEWs (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) National Business and Accounting competition for students in school or college aged 16-19. A unique and exciting experience, students are able to engage in a business challenge that enables them to develop key employability skills and understand what it’s like to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant

The Citizenship Foundation’s Bar National Mock Trial Competition: this competition is a perennial favourite among sixth form students. Participants prepare defence and prosecution cases for a number of trials that take place at Cardiff Crown Court or Plymouth Combined Court. Positions available include barrister, court clerk, court usher, witness, juror, court reporter and court artist. You will develop all the most important employability skills by participating in this fun competition

The Engineering in Education Scheme: engineering is a very important growth area of the UK economy and sixth formers increasingly apply to study a variety of engineering degrees at university. This scheme allows students to collaborate with local companies to work on real, scientific, engineering and technological problems. The scheme provides students with an in-depth experience in science, engineering and technology that will enable them to make an informed decision about their future studies and career

The English Speaking Union’s Schools’ Mace Debate Competition: students develop their critical analysis and oral communication skills by debating against other schools on topical issues. This is a particular favourite for students interested in history, politics and philosophy

Student Ink Magazine: sixth formers run their own magazine with regular features on current affairs, sports, fashion and culture. For students interested in journalism this magazine allows them to add to their portfolio of work

Amnesty International Student Group: students lead their own human-rights group, participate in campaigns and raise money for this renowned organisation.

Sixth Form Committee: students collaborate on sixth form issues and help shape protocols and policies. Students also organise social and citizenship events such as Rag Week and Freshers’ Week