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Businesses come to Shildon to support students!

posted 26 Jan 2017, 03:03 by
Three alumni, ex Sunnydale Students, returned to school recently to work with students. After nearly 10 years without an engineering facility at Greenfield Community College, Sunnydale Campus, local businesses have joined with the school to create a much needed facility at its heart.

The aim is to develop awareness of ‘Work Skills in Growth Sectors’ in careers lessons and to inform students of future employment prospects and learn essential hand skills. There is a lack of workforce in particular industries and a rising level of students aged 16-18 in the Newton Aycliffe and Shildon area who are not in education, employment or training which this development aims to address.

Inspiring and exciting our young people to make informed choices in strong career pathways is the main objective, to encourage and support them to be successful in growth sectors and work towards sustainable careers in the future.

The idea originated from Yvonne Scott, Careers teacher at Greenfield Community College, who believes working closer with local businesses will give students the incentive to strive for real life opportunities and bridge the gap between employer’s expectations and the abilities of the students.

The main objective and vision is clear ‘to give young people a meaningful education around the ‘Work Skills’ needed in today’s growth sectors’ said Yvonne Scott. Work began in June this year to refurbish a room in the school to create a Work Skills facility. Supported, by Dave Spensley, Managing Director of Go Ahead Training and Lee Childs the CEO of SWDT, both who are past students of Sunnydale school, a clear strategy has been created calling on many years of engineering experience from both organisations.

The Work Skills facility focuses on developing soft hand skills and the understanding of why and how they can be applied to future employment sectors. Their aim is to give students life skills and a good sound knowledge of how they can be used in the future.

The project has recently acquired the support of Thorn Lighting to enrich the work the students are able to do by further developing STEM, (science, technology, engineering and maths) related activities in electrical engineering. This has strengthened the learning opportunities for our young people and enriched their experiences by teaching them about ’What is light?’ and ‘How is light made?’.

Experts from all three businesses and the careers teacher will be working during the Spring term with the students in years 8, 9 and selected year 11’s to create personalised lamps, a large wall relief in metal and free standing sculptures with lighting features.

Throughout, the project will be logged in learning journals so students at Greenfield Community College can see the relevance of their learning to future employment opportunities and careers.