South Cheshire College Visit

On Wednesday the 11th of March the whole of Year 10 and their tutors, Head of Year Mr Taylor, Mrs Griffin, Mrs Hassall and Mr Cumberland all visited South Cheshire College.

Pupils had been given a free choice to experience a taster session of college courses. Options had included A levels in Maths, English, Law, RE and Philosophy; practical courses such as Engineering, Music Technology, Brick Laying, Plumbing, Hair and Beauty and Electrical Wiring; physical courses including Sports and Public Services. Complicated maths problems were solved, infinitives split, rights and responsibilities were discussed alongside with moral dilemmas. Engines were dissembled and hopefully not too many pieces left over, the mantra, “lefty losey, righty tighty was muttered repeatedly by some aspirant Bentley builders of the future. Musicians “laid down some happening tunes,” to be mixed and mastered by the music technologists of the future.

Brickies built walls that seemed to stand straight and tall, one pupil is still looking for a spare bubble for his spirit level, and no doubt some entrepreneurial student is probably quoting for someone’s extension as you read this. Plumbers produced soldered joints and complex bends in pipes and probably considered how much their call out fee should be. The Hair and Beauty group seemed content to be pampered by students at South Cheshire; nails were manicured, hands massaged and even hair washed and blow dried. Future electricians did not have any shocking experiences and produced a functional lighting circuit; they were given instructions not to practice at home. Both sports courses ended up on the climbing wall, we found spider girl, spider boy, a few wall creepers and even one pupil who was so taken with the view from the summit she stayed there for 15 minutes.

All in all a great time was had by all; but this experience has a serious side. Pupils in Year 10 now have just over a year until their final GCSEs, the results of which will largely determine what courses they can access at college. We invest in this experience and next term’s similar activity at Newcastle College in order to raise aspirations and get pupils thinking about their next life stage.

If you are a parent of a Year 10 pupil please take 10 minutes to ask them about the experience, did it inspire them? Did it put them off a career choice? What do they need to do in order to access the next stage of their education? Most importantly, encourage them to aim high…why be content with the minimum? In the end you get out what you put in.