Careers Encounters

Careers encounters and experiences at Dashwood Banbury Academy – planting the seed that inspires and prepares our pupils for their future beyond education

At Dashwood Banbury Academy our mission is ‘Growing together; succeeding together.’ Linked to our values of self-worth, engagement and purpose, staff and pupils are inspired and motivated to have fun learning new things and develop the confidence to thrive. We realise the importance of offering our pupils opportunities to experience the ever-evolving world.

At Dashwood Banbury Academy, we believe that we should inspire our pupils from an early age about the exciting career opportunities that, if they work hard, are out there for them. We strive to ensure our pupils are ready for their future and prepared for employment and careers, some of which do not even exist yet.

In the Department for Education published Careers Guidance (February 2018) it states the importance that ‘Every year, from the age of 11, pupils should participate in at least one meaningful encounter with an employer’.

A ‘meaningful’ encounter is one in which the student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace’.

Through our carefully planned curriculum, we endeavour to provide our pupils pre 11 years, with opportunities to meet and talk to people in a range of different careers from explorers to scientists and Formula One engineers to carpenters. We also pride ourselves on the opportunities we provide for our pupils to learn a variety of different skills linked to their curriculum sessions: virtual reality systems, coding, cookery and wood craft.

What do we do at Dashwood?

  • Hold an annual Careers Week for Reception – year 6 to ensure all of our pupils experience a variety of careers in their primary education.
  • Have well-established links to our Aspirations Trust secondary schools – Wykham Park and Futures Institute Banbury to prepare our pupils for secondary education through weekly Year 5 and 6 weekly STEM subjects lessons.
  • Affiliation to the North Oxfordshire School Sports Partnership with access to a sporting calendar of events hosted by local secondary schools.
  • Have a partnership with a local, family-run farm Greatworth Hall with seasonal visits to enable pupils to learn about and experience farming practice.
  • Linked to our active participation in the Polar Explorers Programme we have an assigned STEM Ambassador who links up with pupils about inspiring STEM programmes.
  • Working with a local author to provide writing and drama opportunities including performances.
  • Use the skills and interests of our staff to provide extra-curricular clubs that inspire pupils and support them in developing new skills.
  • Have a Careers Encounters and Experience action plan to work with local business partners and our community to inspire our pupils and develop their social skills and confidence

Careers encounters and experiences:

NurseryMeet a fire officer
ReceptionMeet a vet and veterinary assistant
Year 1Meet a local fire officer, local doctor, police officer
Year 2Meet a local fire officer, local dentist
Year 3 and Year 4Meet the professional and workshop experiences: Carpenter, Personal Trainer, Author, Hair Dresser, Formula 1 Engineer, Virtual Reality Programmer, Teacher, Sports Coach, Construction – bricklaying, textiles. Assembly lead by Polar Explorer STEM Ambassador Ricky Munday, drama and author workshops with local author Lawrence Prestidge
Year 5Life as farmer (Greatworth Hall partner farm)
Meet the professional and workshop experience: Carpenter, Personal Trainer, Author, Hair Dresser, Formula 1 Engineer, Virtual Reality Programmer, Teacher, Sports Coach, Construction – bricklaying, textiles.
Year 6Meet the professional and workshop experience: Carpenter, Personal Trainer, Author, Hair Dresser, Formula 1 Engineer, Virtual Reality Programmer, Teacher, Sports Coach, Construction – bricklaying, textiles. Careers sessions at Norbar Torque (Engineering)

It matters because…

We build relationships and links to local business and provide experiences that inspire our pupils. The relationships that we build benefit not only our pupils but also the businesses that we work with…

‘Thank you.  We are really pleased that the day went well and we were very happy to be part of your Careers Week.  It was very refreshing to see a Primary School put such energy and enthusiasm into educating the younger age group on some of their career options.’

(Correspondence in reflection to Careers Week from The Apprenticeship and Training Company Ltd)

In the words of our pupils…

F1 Engineers with pupil‘It was really cool, we actually learned how they make F1 cars and we saw parts of the cars! I have never done this before! I realised how big the cars actually are! Thank you so much!’   (Year 6 pupil – Reflecting on his Formula One Engineering experience)

‘I learned that women CAN do jobs in F1. Women can be engineers too! They can help make car parts and travel all over the world. I loved building the car part’.  (Year 5 pupil – Reflecting on her Formula One Engineering experience)

‘Seeing our pupils so engaged in learning new skills that may inspire a career when they are older is absolutely fantastic. It has been a wonderful experience to have skilled professionals inspiring our young people.’  (Teacher, Dashwood Banbury Academy)

Learning woodworking skills

‘I actually made something out of wood! I was so proud of myself. Using all the tools was fantastic and I learned lots. Thanks Adam!’  (Year 3 pupil – Reflecting on her carpentry experience)

Bricklaying experience

Bricklaying experience

‘We had to make a sausage so we could spread it on to a brick. We made a pyramid of bricks. I liked that we used real cement and the adults helped us when we needed it! Thank you!’   (Year 3 pupil – Reflecting on her bricklaying experience)

‘I enjoyed it because we used real bricks and real cement. I have learned a new skill and now know that bricks are not as heavy as I thought!’  (Year 3 pupil – Reflecting on his bricklaying experience)

Woodwork skills

‘I really enjoyed that we got to make plant pots and even painted them at the end. I learned new skills such as how to make sure wood does not have splinters by using sandpaper’   (Year 3 pupil – Reflecting on his carpentry experience)

‘I learned that woodwork carpenters do a lot of jobs to build houses and they use so many tools. I enjoyed painting my creation! Thank you!’   (Year 3 pupil – Reflecting on his carpentry experience)

Beauty careers

‘I really enjoyed that I learned a new skill – I did not know that you can do hand and arm massage with different lotions. It was really relaxing! Thank you!’   (Year 5 pupil)

‘I learned how to give a relaxing arm massage. Thank you for teaching me!’   (Year 5 pupil)

‘I got to paint my teacher’s nails! It was great!’   (Year 6, pupil)

‘Thank you for a great experience! There was so much chocolate and when we designed our lollipops we could be creative and do it our own way. It was so yummy!’  (Year 5 pupil)

‘We had such an amazing time learning new skills. Thank you for spending the day with us!’  (Year 4 pupil)

We also had a postman visit us. ‘We had so much fun learning how a post person gets their round down. We had to remember which letterboxes we had posted in to so we got the job completed correctly.’   (Year 3 pupil)

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