Students in Years 10, 12 and 13 are supported to gain work experience placements to enhance their employability skills and personal development. As a school we take a blended approach to work experience, supporting both traditional placements, virtual placements and trips to workplaces.
Work experience is vital in ensuring students make an informed choice about their future education and career path. Many of our students will be applying to establishments who have made work experience in particular fields a prerequisite for application. High-quality and relevant work placements can give students the experience to enhance their employability skills needed for good jobs. A study published by the DfE showed that schools providing work-related activities found that soft skills of students were visibly improved from taking part, including ‘communication and interpersonal skills’ and ‘increased confidence’ (Nat Sen Social Research-P8, DfE, 2017).
Year 10 students have the option to choose taking on a traditional work experience placement for Activities Week, during the last week of the summer term. It is the responsibility of the student undertaking work experience to secure their own work placement and inform the School of the employer details before the last week of the spring term. This ensures that placements can be fully risk assessed and health and safety approved in good time. Support slides for Year 10 students organising their own work experience placements can be found here.
In addition to the option for a traditional placement, all Year 10 students will take part in a virtual work experience taster in school during the summer term. This is an interactive experience where students get an insight into a variety of professions to find out what it's really like to work there. Last year the School collaborated with the Department for Work and Pensions to host PWC and West Midlands Police to interact with students about their working lives.
It is an expectation that every Sixth Form student will take on either a traditional or virtual work experience placement that is approved by the School. Traditional work experience takes place during activities week and needs to be confirmed by the student and employer involved by the last week of the spring term. Work experience can also take place as an enrichment opportunity for students to carry out each Wednesday afternoon. Windsor Sixth Form also supports students wishing to follow a career in education, collaborating with primary schools within Windsor Academy Trust to host a programme of coaching and work experience for our ‘Aspiring Educators’. Health and safety checks need to be carried out before any work experience placement can be attended.
As restrictions and uncertainty in the economy continues, Sixth Form students are encouraged to enrol onto virtual work experiences on offer by reputable companies and evidence their involvement via a digital diary. Virtual experiences can take place when they become available but need to be approved by the Sixth Form team. Opportunities for Sixth Form students are posted regularly in the Sixth Form Bulletin and Careers Hub via Google Classroom.
Some providers of virtual work experiences are provided below which students may wish to consider:
|Barclays Life Skills|
|Speakers for Schools|
Other work experience support links:
|National Careers Service|
I just wanted to take the time to thank you for giving me the contact for my work experience, it’s been an amazing experience and I think it’s given me the drive to better myself and my attitude next year, knowing what it could achieve!"
I just wanted to say how thankful I am to you for supporting me to have the opportunity to go on my work experience placement. It’s been one day and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it, I just want to say again that I appreciate it a great deal, thank you so much."