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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition

Careers Information

Out and about with Mr Gay! All things careers and more

Lots of activities, in and out of school, which help our students prepare for the world of work and beyond are taking place this half term. 

Weekly mentoring for many Year 11 students by our Aim Higher Ambassador – Rahsaan Ross - ensure that these students are fully prepared for the next stage of their learning and that they make the right choices to match their skills and aspirations.

For many years, STACS has taken advantage of the University of Birmingham’s Forward Thinking Programme which runs to encourage students to raise their aspirations and aim for a university education after school. The programme specifically targets students whose parents have not attended a university. In December five students in Year 11 – Gianelle, Myah, Abbie and Ellie (unfortunately Tamzin couldn’t attend) – completed their four year association with this aspirational programme with an afternoon and evening at the university including a graduation ceremony in the Great Hall. Four Year 10 students – Connor, Rowan, Caitlin and Natalia – are having intensive weekly 1:1 mentoring from a university student to help them achieve their dreams of going to university. Five Year 9 students – Mia, Latrell, Kelly, Owen and Lauren continue their programme in April when they visit the University of Birmingham and experience a day in the life of a university student including bowling! Finally, Four Year 8 students - Freja, Jake, Timeille and Aidan - will begin their programme in the summer term – I am currently waiting to hear if their applications have been successful.

We have lots of opportunities for our Aim Higher students. Aim Higher is a national initiative funded by the government to ensure more students from disadvantaged backgrounds dream of a university education. On Friday 1st March, 45 of our Year 10 students will be taking part in cultural capital walk through Birmingham city centre before attending the What Career Live Show at the NEC where they will get the heads up about forthcoming apprenticeships as well as having access to key careers advice. All of Year 9 are off to the NEC on the 14th March to take part in the Science Big Bang Fair – watch out Science employers Tommies students are coming to get you! Also on March 14th more employers will be coming into school to inspire our students’ love of learning at the Year 8 Options & Parents' Evening. Every subject will have an employer in situ during the evening to speak to the students while they consider their GCSE options. Hopefully the students will appreciate how a love of a subject can lead to a successful profession and a happy life! On the 20th March, 45 Year 10 students will be beavering away at the University of Birmingham on a GCSE Booster Day for English and Maths – thanks to Mrs Ulmkahns and Mr Walton (and Ray!) who will be accompanying them as they strive towards exam success. Lastly for this half term, on 28 March 2019 – the Year 13 Business students are off to a Booster Workshop with Miss Brooks and Mr Hughes. Good luck to these students in the final few months of their Aquinas journey.

Since Christmas various employers have been visiting the school to speak to our Year 11 students about the world of work and the skills necessary for being successful. Many thanks to these employers who give up their time, free of charge, to pass on their experiences and wisdom to our Year 11’s.

Last, but by no means least this half term, on 11th April 2019 nearly 50 of our Year 11 students will be off to experience French culture and English and French History in northern France as part of the History departments Study & Cultural visit to Normandy in France. Myself, Mrs Lavelle, Mr Stephenson and Mr Greatrex will be showing our intrepid explorers all things William the Conqueror in Caen and Bayeux, marking the end of the First World War on the battlefields of the Somme and commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe on D-Day. These trips are always great fun and provide our students with life-long memories of good times with their friends as well as broadening their horizons away from Kings Norton and their local areas. Bon voyage everyone!

William Gay
Head of Careers & Learning4Life