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July 8th 2019

Rising Stars in Blackheath High School's 2019 Work Experience Programme

For some, the idea of work experience feels like an unnecessary chore that has to be undertaken because it’s deemed ‘worthwhile’, ‘good for the CV’ and most depressingly, because it ‘develops interpersonal skills’. Not a very inspiring way to finish Year 11. ‘Do we have to do it, Miss? We don’t even get paid. Boring!’

Or is it?! Judging by the class of 2019, Blackheath High School students have excelled not just in terms of the quality and range of placements undertaken, but of the positive impact they have made. The Blackheath High School work experience programme is structured to offer the greatest choice to Year 11 students whilst supporting their experience with a teacher visit negotiated with the student and their employer. This year, every student has been visited during term time at their placement which has given both student, employer and member of staff the opportunity to assess and discuss the development of the student’s skills.

And what a range of placements our girls have experienced: in medicine (midwifery and gastroenterology), dentistry, architecture, fashion, pharmaceuticals, design, engineering, motor racing, cyber-security, equestrian, catering, education, recruitment, retail, banking, marketing, law, local government and biological research.

Without exception, staff have commented on how impressed they have been watching our students in action and how struck they’ve been with how mature and comfortable each girl was whilst at their placement. This has been further supported with feedback from employers; I’ve had many emails giving fulsome praise:

She’s a gold nugget – we don’t want her to leave!’;

Your girls were hard working, polite and keen to engage in a range of activities’;

We’d love to have her back – there’s always a desk here for her’.

Staff have also reported a noticeable difference in the confidence that students have gained as a result of their work experience. They had made a real impact and I’m not surprised they were sad to leave, having established wonderful relationships with staff. Several students said they had not expected to enjoy their work experience as much as they did and how glad they were that they did it.

So well done to our Year 11 rising stars. I am extremely proud of the positive impression you have made and the strong rapport so many of you have established with your employers. Thank you also to all parents for supporting the Blackheath High School Work Experience Programme, to all staff who gave up their time to assess the girls during their placements, as well as Greenwich Council for undertaking the necessary pre-placement checks and for also offering a range of local opportunities.

And to next year’s Year 11, the bar has been set very high indeed!


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