News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

Students Unlock Key Skills

5th June, 2018 by Jude Owens

At the end of last half term, a day before their internal exams were due to begin, Year 10 students at The Kings of Wessex Academy were off timetable for their STEM Skills Day, an annual event organised by Careers Adviser, Dr Hall.

Working in tutor groups, students spent the day engaging in a wide range of activities to develop skills for employment and preparation for work; which they will be able to put to work imminently when they undertake their Work Experience placements at the end of June.

Ten different organisations delivered exciting and challenging activities to enable students to test and develop their communication, problem-solving, time management, teamwork and commercial awareness skills. Graphic Science delivered the introduction and plenary sessions on skills particularly valued by STEM, bringing in two STEM ambassadors to present, one of whom happened to be former Kings’ student Sam Kent who left in 2012. Sam is now a mechanical engineer working for SEA, after graduating in Engineering at Newcastle University. Other sessions were provided by Airbus, Lloyds, Highways England, TSB, SciSys, Somerset Rural Youth Project (SRYP), the RAF and the Royal Marines had students running across the field with various equipment in an effort to transfer kit without touching the ground.

Local drinks company Thatchers explained more about their new talent programme and shared their core values that fit perfectly with Kings’ values of hard work, motivation, resilience and being a team-player. For their session, students had to design a poster for a fruit drink of their own invention with only 2g of sugar per litre, original packaging, and with a health benefit.

The students were suitably enthused and a few of the memorable highlights include the “land on the moon” egg-drop from SciSys in which students had to make a spaceship to carry an egg that they then dropped (and during which a few eggs inevitably broke!); the “locked in a room” puzzle challenge from Lloyds and the slacklining in the apple orchard from SRYP (a wide, low-level tight-rope challenge to build personal confidence).

By the end of the day, the students had enjoyed their diverse day of experiences that encouraged them to think beyond the classroom and normal knowledge and skills. The timing was especially opportune before their exams started the following day.

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball said:

“We are very grateful to all the presenters who provided such a range of meaningful STEM Skills Day for our Year 10 students. This is a constructive and thought-provoking day for our young people that inspires and motivates them to think beyond school and to the world of work and I thank the employers for giving their time so generously and sharing their expertise.”