Year 10 Careers Morning

Last Monday, Year 10s were treated to a series of talks from visitors who spoke about their careers. They heard about publishing, working in banking and starting one’s own business among other things, and the pupils were able to ask questions about the decisions the speakers made on the way to getting where they are. Some good stories of famous people and some more sobering accounts of low points in careers made for an interesting morning. Between sessions, pupils engaged in some light-hearted quiz questions (is it true that the name of our Lord Chief Justice is Lord Judge?) and the winners were appropriately rewarded with chocolate.

The pupils might not necessarily follow these speakers into their specific careers, but it was good for them to hear about different lines of work and experiences. A common thread throughout was that work can be very hard but it is also very enjoyable, and it is important for each individual to find the career that interests and inspires them.

UCAS Day

Unknown-4For Year 12, Monday 17th June was UCAS Day, but was actually much more than this. We collapsed the timetable to undertake a number of useful activities to help prepare Year 12 students for the future. The day started with a presentation on ‘How to write an effective personal statement’ by Laura Anderson from UEA. Students were then divided by subject area to work on their applications, while those who do not intend to go to university produced CVs instead, working under Peter Lawrence (OF), who is a recruitment specialist. 

Before lunch, the pupils were treated to two Gap year presentations: ‘Organising a worthwhile and safe Gap Year’ by Charlie Hopkinson, of Dragoman, and ‘My Gap Year experience’ by Charlotte Ogilvie from Project Trust.

The afternoon proved to be something special, with pupils being given a taste of the business world. Visiting entrepreneurs set the students real problems which they had to solve. This was a bit like the best parts of The Apprentice, but with collective responsibility … and no-one got fired! The students did not hold back and so made the most of this opportunity. At the end, each group had to feedback to others on the nature of their task and their proposed solution.

OF Careers Seminar

Last Friday evening three OFs returned to talk to Sixth Formers about their experiences since leaving the College. 

Bethany Burgoyne (Victoria, 04-09) talked about the drama course she began before moving on to study fine art in London. Jon Waghorne (Stradbroke, 03-08) studied History at York and has gone into insurance, but will soon be going back to university to study diplomacy at Oxford. Rob Baird (Ziegele, 91-95) is Commercial Director at Eurosport and Euronews, and he was able to offer guidance on how applicants can make themselves appealing to employers. All of them gave interesting and amusing accounts of what they have learnt, and the message from them all was clear: don’t be afraid to make mistakes, take care over making yourself a good prospect for employers, and make sure you feel comfortable with what you do.

It was good to hear from these OFs, and they seemed to enjoy their return to Fram!

Universities Are Not The Only Route For A level Students

These are exciting times for school leavers; perhaps also a little scary, but there are an increasing range of options out there for the A level student, and this may bring to an end the culture of the past 25 years which has seen such students going on to university as a matter of course. The prospect of building up significant debt (as much as £40-50,000 when all costs are taken into account), and a superfluity of courses that are deemed by some to have devalued the ‘currency’ of a degree, have made many bright school leavers question whether university is for them.

The number of students applying for university places is down by nearly 9% on last year, and while this is partly a reflection of last year’s rush to apply before the rise in tuition fees, the number of undergraduates is unquestionably in decline. This picture is compounded by recently published figures stating that nearly a third of university courses have been dropped in the past six years. It may be the case that, by default rather than design, degrees may return to their original raison d’être of being for those who really want to study their subject for its own sake, rather than – necessarily – as the first rung on the career ladder.

Employers have been quick to spot this, and a number of the UK’s leading companies are now offering the bright school leaver a genuine (and profitable) alternative to university. They hope to attract some of the best students into a combined programme of study and work experience, by the end of which the ‘student’ is eminently employable, qualified and free of debt. Some companies, such as Deloittes, have even established direct links with specific universities to offer the best of both worlds, even offering to pay university tuition fees as part of the package.

So what does all this mean for schools? At Framlingham, while we expect the majority of our students to continue to opt for a university education, we are also keen that this is a properly informed decision and that they are aware that there are equally valid alternative options. The university world itself is fast-changing. There are now increasingly attractive (and relatively cheap) alternatives in Europe, the US, the Far East and elsewhere, all offering courses taught in English. For many years, ‘careers’ advice in schools such as ours has essentially been universities advice, and this is no longer good enough. In this increasingly complex area, parents and pupils will look to schools as an expert resource to guide and to advise, both on the expanding university options and on the non-university route. If it makes students really think about planning their future, rather than routinely opting to go into further education because it is ‘just what you do’, then I think this will only be a good thing: for the students, the universities and the UK and world economy.

Paul Taylor, Headmaster

 

Notes:

  • This article was published in the Education Supplement of the East Anglian Daily Times on Wednesday 29th March, 2012

Charity Work

Claire Walker Completes Work In Tanzania


During half-term, Framlingham College Year 12 student, Claire Walker travelled by herself to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Claire went via Doha and a rural town in the mountains called Iringa taking 9 hours by bus! Claire stayed with several other people in a large house owned by Gap Medics. She spent five days working in a Church-funded hospital called Tosamaganga.

Claire said, “It was extremely basic but I was able to see a wide variety of tropical diseases not normally seen in England. I was on the Internal Medicine Wards and the Surgery Department, so I was able to see cases of TB, malaria and meningitis and even a caesarean section! We were also given medical lectures from the doctors at the hospital on topics such as congestive cardiac failure.

In our spare time we visited an orphanage where most of the children had lost their parents to HIV. Despite this, they appeared amazingly resilient and friendly. It was a pleasure to be able to spend time with the children. I also visited an ancient site near an old gorge which was stunning. There were also many mountains and spectacular scenery in all directions and I had the opportunity to visit a Masai market where you could buy paintings and local handicrafts. I feel privileged to have had this amazing opportunity to visit Tanzania and the memories will stay with me forever.”

Everyone at Framlingham College is extremely proud of Claire and George Castle for spending their own time to make a difference to something they both believe in.

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George Castle Completes Work Experience In India

Year 12 student George Castle has just returned from spending his half-term break acquiring work experience in Rajasthan, northern India, to gain insight into the work of doctors in the Indian healthcare system.

He shadowed the Internal Medicine and Intensive Care teams of the Goyal hospital in Jodhpur, and also observed General Surgery there. The hospital outpatient work included exposure to patients suffering from chest conditions like emphysema and tuberculosis. This experience also enables him to gain an ASDAN Universities Award.

India is impoverished. A third of the world’s poor live in India, more than the 26 poorest African nations combined. Also 42% of India’s children below the age of three are malnourished, almost twice the 28% of sub-Saharan Africa. India is ranked third in the world among the countries with the most number of HIV infected people.

George also spent time at the local orphanage, and attended five local Hindu wedding ceremonies.

Jodhpur is a bustling city of magnificent palaces, colourful temples and ancient forts. George travelled 25 minutes to the hospital each day by three-wheeled auto-rickshaw, witnessing many accidents on their chaotic roads, and also avoiding collisions with the wandering sacred cattle, camels and elephants.

It was an incredible experience, mixing different cultures, cuisine and language.

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