Careers Extra-Curricular Activities
At The Appleton School we run a number of extra-curricular activities and events all of which are designed to develop employability skills in students, helping to prepare them for the future and the world of work.
Young Enterprise Company Programme
The Young Enterprise Company Programme gives Year 10 students the opportunity to set up and run their own company for a year, they get to find out what it's really like to run a business. They have to make all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital through to designing their own product or service, to selling directly to customers and ultimately winding up the company and paying their taxes. This all takes place with the support of a Business Advisor who meet with the students on a weekly basis to offer advice and guidance along their journey. They bring a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team. The aim is to return a profit for their shareholders by the end of the year.
Throughout the year students attend Trade Fairs to sell their products/service to the general public where they compete against other schools. They also have to submit an end of year company report which is assessed by a panel of judges. The best eight from across the South East Essex area are selected to compete at the South Area Finals where they deliver a 5-minute presentation to an invited audience and panel of judges.
By taking part in Young Enterprise students develop practical business skills and key employability skills that employers look for when recruiting new staff.
Business Studies Day
Year 10 Business Studies students take part in the National Enterprise Challenge every year which is a nationwide inter school competition run by the Inspirational Learning Group. Students work in teams and are given a task which simulates a real life business challenge. They have to present their findings and ideas to a panel of judges at the end of the day. The winning team are then invited to compete against schools from across the country at the National Finals where they present to a panel of judges from business.
New York Business & Enterprise Trip
Each year we take a group Year 10 students on our annual Business & Enterprise enrichment trip to New York City where they explore the sights of the “Big Apple” including: taking a ferry from Battery Park to visit Liberty and Ellis Island; take in the sights of Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building; a walking tour of the financial district, Times Square and Central Park; visit the 9/11 Memorial, Museum and One World Observatory.
Overall a very tiring but exhilarating four days!
Annual Careers Day
During the Summer Term we hold an annual Careers Day for Year 10 and Year 12 students to support them with their end of Key Stage 4 and 5 options. Year 10 students get the opportunity to take part in a Further/Higher Education taster day at one of the local Universities; Anglia Ruskin or the University of Essex, Southend /Colchester, and some students take part in a vocational taster day at South Essex College.
The Year 12 Careers Day starts with an introductory talk highlighting what should be considered when making decisions about their next steps. This is followed by two workshop routes and students choose which one they would like to attend depending on their interest:
- Higher Education– This includes a Student Finance Workshop and a Personal Statement workshop followed by a carousel of short talks on how to choose the right university/course and student life.
- Apprenticeship/Employment Workshop - This includes a presentation on how apprenticeships work followed by CV Writing and Interview Techniques.
In the afternoon all students take part in a Careers Speed Networking event where they speak to a wide range of employers on an informal basis about careers in their industry.
In June we take all year 12 students to the UCAS Exhibition. This is an excellent opportunity for students to explore a variety of post-18 options in one setting. Students get the opportunity to speak with university admissions staff and subject specialists to find out what university life is like.
Year 12 Work Experience
All year 12 students complete a one-week work experience placement linked to their career aspirations and/or their subjects of study. In previous years, placements have been varied, ranging from shadowing our local MP, the Superintendent of Essex Police, a consultant at Basildon Hospital, Mental Health professionals and many more.
The skills and experience that students gain while doing work experience is extremely useful when putting together their CV, personal statements and university/apprenticeship/job applications.
Business & Enterprise Day
Bi-annually we hold a Business & Enterprise Day at the end of the Summer term where all students work off timetable to take part in a range of activities/events that develop their understanding of business and develop their enterprise skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication and many more.
Year 10 Mock Interview Day
Each year we hold a Mock Interview Day for our Year 10 students. The aim of which is to give students the opportunity to practice their interview skills and receive feedback from one of our business volunteers. We regularly have over 40 volunteers who come into school for this event from local businesses such as Essex & Suffolk Water, HSBC, HMRC, Essex Police, the RAF, BT to name just a few!
Students complete a CV and an Application Form which is given to their interviewer beforehand. They are then given a 30-minute interview where they practice generic interview skills, they are given feedback on the completion of their paperwork and how they conduct themselves during the interview. This gives them an excellent opportunity to gain some valuable feedback to help with their studies and prepare them for future college and/or job interviews.
Students come into school in very smart business attire, appropriate for an interview, and are always extremely nervous. The feedback we receive from our volunteers is always very positive and they are very impressed with the confident and mature manner of our students.
The Peter Jones Foundation Tycoon Competition
During Year 8 students get the opportunity to take part in the Peter Jones Foundation Tycoon Competition. Tycoon is a unique national enterprise competition for students aged 6 to 18 where they have to work in a team to develop a business idea. They have to write and submit a business plan in order to borrow the funds needed to start their business whilst competing with students from other schools across the country. Students are given an online mentor who is available to give support and guidance throughout their journey.
This gives students experience of how to run a business from deciding on a suitable product, carrying out market research, producing a marketing campaign and managing finances.
Year 7 Teambuilding
The move from Primary School to Secondary School is an exciting time but we also recognise and understand that it is a big step. Here at The Appleton School we run a number of initiatives to support students with the transition. One of which is a Teambuilding day for all of our Year 7 students. Within the first 3 weeks of starting we take students to an outdoor activity centre where they take part in a programme of activities working in teams with students from their new form group and their half of the year. This gives them an excellent opportunity to make new friends to help provide an excellent start to their life at the School.
These are just a sample of the activities we run in School designed to develop enterprise skills outside of the classroom, helping to prepare students for the world of work.