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What is Work Experience?

Work Experience is a period of time spent by students in Year 10 in an adult working environment.  The variety of places available is limited only by safety, insurance or security restrictions.  The choice is determined by the student and courses chosen in consultation with subject teachers, tutors and with Mrs Gardner, the Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator at school. This year, Year 10 Students will be spending one week from 11th July to the 15th July 2016.

Why does Work Experience happen?

Work Experience helps students to:

  • Develop key skills, appropriate attitudes and develops personal qualities which together make for work readiness.
  • Understand the world of work.
  • Increase your knowledge of particular jobs or careers.
  • Improve and appreciate your employability skills and talents
  • Gain confidence
  • Accept the importance of school and college and or university work
What can I do for my Work Experience placement?

Depending upon the courses you are presently studying at school, some, such as Health and Social Care, require you to gain a Work Experience placement within that subject area to support your coursework.  You may already have a clear idea of the career you wish to follow post 16 and so Work Experience within that area would be your ideal choice.  If you have no clear idea what you would like to do for Work Experience, please see Mrs Gardner, Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator in the Library who will be able to help and support you.

Who can help me?

Make sure you discuss your Work Experience placement in depth with your parents/carers in the first instance.  If you require any guidance or advice, Mrs Gardner will be available to provide support and assistance during Tutor time, break or lunch time and by making a specific appointment directly with her.

What do I hope to gain from Work Experience?

This might include:

  • An insight into what the workplace is like.
  • Experience/ideas for your future career.
  • Learning that you would not like to work in a certain environment in the future.
  • Experience and a reference to use when applying to colleges of further education or Sixth Form post 16.
  • Learning about yourself – how to approach tasks and deal with problems, your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Contact for a future part time or full time job.  
Planning the Placement:
  1. Look for places which will challenge your abilities and test out your career options.
  2. Find the right placement in good time (some placements require up to a year’s notice).  All Year 10 students should have secured a placement by the end of February 2015.
  3. Make the initial enquiries and contact the employer yourself preferably by approaching them directly or by writing a letter of application attaching a personal information sheet (see sample at the back of the booklet).  This is particularly important.
  4. Keep the school informed.
  5. Try to take up placement opportunities in non traditional and unusual areas.
  6. Be prepared to carry out any tasks you are given to the very best of your ability, recognising that some of the tasks may be boring or menial.  As you complete these tasks successfully, it is likely that you will be given more stretching tasks as the week progresses.
  7. Do some basic research beforehand into the employing company and what it does.

  Remember to take or send your yellow Work Experience Placement form (see sample at the back of the booklet) to the employer with your letter of application and personal information form.  This should be completed in full by the employer and sent/given back to you.  You should then return this completed form immediately to Mrs Gardner, Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator at school.  This completed form confirms your Work Experience placement within that company/organisation. 

Health & Safety and Insurance:

All employers providing Work Experience are required to confirm that they hold under 16 insurance liability insurance and have had a recent Health and Safety Check.  This will be checked by us.

All parents of students in Year 10 have been asked to sign a form giving consent for the placement and complete a student’s health questionnaire. This is a legal requirement.  If these forms have not been returned you will not be able to go out on Work Experience.

Employers are required to complete and sign a Statement of Risk and Control Measures form (Risk Assessment) provided by the school requiring both you and your parent’s signature (see sample at the back of the booklet).  This is to inform you of any potential risks or hazards you may encounter during your placement and the measures to be taken to minimize these risks.  This is a legal requirement.

Points to take into consideration:
  • How do I get to my placement?
  • How long does it take to get there at busy times?
  • Who do I report to on the first day?
  • Who will act as your supervisor at your placement?
  • Are the hours of work and meal arrangements clear?  What time you should arrive at and leave work (students are required to work a normal working day).  Whilst you cannot be requested to work at night, it may be that you do not keep to the timings of the school day e.g. you may attend from 10.00am to 5.00pm.
  • Whether you are required to wear any special clothing due to health and safety requirements?
  • Any relevant risks and health and safety issues?

Students may be requested to have a preliminary interview/visit with the employer or to contact them by telephone.  Please ensure you arrange to do this yourself.  It is vitally important that you make a good first impression!  Ask questions to make sure you understand what is expected of you.

During the Placement:

Students will be involved in a variety of experiences, these may include:

  • Work related tasks
  • Administrative/organizational tasks
  • Work shadowing
  • Visits
  • Observation
Students will be expected to:
  • Be punctual, reliable and co-operative.  Punctuality and turning up for work on time is vitally important so research your travel arrangements beforehand
  • Remember to call the employer and school if you are ill or going to be late.
  • Behave properly in an adult working environment.
  • Work a normal working day.
  • Undertake any reasonable request made by the employer.
  • Dress appropriately (finding out what is expected beforehand).
  • Listen carefully and follow instructions.
  • Abide by all health and safety guidelines as stated by the employer.
  • Tell a member of staff where you are at all times.
  • Have a positive and helpful attitude.
  • Enjoy and stick with it!  It is therefore vitally important that you make the right placement choice initially.
  • Complete your Work Experience Diary on a daily basis.

A member of staff from school will visit you during your placement to record the type of work you are doing and to ensure there are no problems.

After the Placement:

Employers are requested to provide a testimonial, which in many cases will be your first reference, and which is often asked for by Further Education establishments.

An evaluation and review of Work Experience will take place in school when you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with employers, students and staff and reflect upon the experience as a whole.

Many young people find Work Experience is a key influence on their choice of career and in developing their self–esteem and can ultimately change your career and further education plans.

Further Information:

If you have any queries about Work Experience please contact Mrs Gardner, Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator at school.  Her office is located within the Library.

Tel No: 01675 462435 ext. 247

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.