Innovative ways to bring careers advice to children when school visits are on hold are being put in place by Daventry Hill School in Northamptonshire.
Daventry Hill is a co-educational, all-through (ages four to 18) SEND school for students with cognition and learning difficulties. One of the school’s main curriculum drivers is employability and addressing the national issue that only 5.9% of people with SEN (Special Educational Needs) gain meaningful and paid employment.
Prior to the pandemic, visitors from industry were encouraged into the school, and students took an active role within the wider community, something that proved to be incredibly effective, allowing students to actively engage with professionals and immerse themselves into an industry specific experience to develop a greater understanding.
In order to keep that momentum going, the school is currently developing a refreshing innovative idea to create Careers in a Box, which will support bringing the industry into the classroom through developing sensory toolkits.
Each box is sector themed, and it is filled with specific industry activities, equipment and relatable items that help bring that industry to life for the students, for example uniform, health and safety equipment, tools, story-time text and tasks students can complete within the classroom linked to that industry.
The school, which opened in 2016 offers a personalised education for students with cognition and learning difficulties while assisting families to support their children’s journey into adulthood. The delivery of employability education starts as soon as young people walk through the door, using a creative approach to delivering through enterprise, role play, entrepreneurship, employer engagement, core competency skills development, self-awareness and much more.
The vision is that the vast majority of things the school does has an employability focus that is meaningful to each individual student.
Stacey Drake, Careers and Employability Leader at Daventry Hill School, said:
“The employment statistics are even more alarming when you learn that over 65% of people with an additional need want and are able to work, but have just not had the support to be able to get there.
“This is the reality of life after school for adults with learning barriers, who have so much to offer employers from multiple sectors.
“Career in a Box has already received great support from some wonderful local employers including Ensafe, Amazon, RS Components, Wilmott Dixon, Elysium Healthcare, Wincanton and Cummins. Without their generosity we know we wouldn’t have been able to get the idea off the ground.”
The school would love to hear from any businesses that may want to get involved. The goal is to have a whole library of different industries for young people to explore, eventually being able to offer things like 360-degree tours of workplaces, images and Q&A sessions with people from that sector to really bring the box to life.
If you would like to find out more or offer support to Daventry Hill School contact Stacey Drake, Careers and Employability Leader at S.firstname.lastname@example.org.