Third year pupils at Stromness Academy have recently enjoyed a week of activities during the school’s annual Careers Week.
A part of the school calendar since 2019, Careers Week was developed to support pupils in S3, who will shortly be making their subject choices for their fourth year, which can influence where they will end up after school.
The purpose of the week is to inspire and inform pupils about the variety of careers available to help them imagine what they could do in the future. Throughout the week, pupils learn about some of the careers available to them in Orkney and hear about the different pathways they can take into their future job.
The week began with the whole year group taking part in an interactive assembly. This included games designed to expose them to a variety of different jobs – including many they had never heard of – and help them understand there is no wrong path into their chosen career.
They also heard an inspirational talk from former pupil Corrine Sinclair, who works with EMEC. Corrine spoke about her own career journey and encouraged the young people to explore the options available to them, reminding them that even if they choose one career path or option out of school, they can always change path later in life. You can read Corrine's story here.
Other inputs throughout the week included an activity with STEM Orkney, where pupils had to work in teams to build a marble run and see who could get their ball to travel the furthest distance.
Robert Gordon University provided an online activity to develop entrepreneurship and innovation skills, with pupils designing a ‘backpack of the future’. This involved developing a concept, designing the backpack, gathering customer feedback on the design, then making changes based on the feedback to improve the design.
Orkney College UHI provided a lunchtime information session about the courses they can offer as part of the school timetable, as well as further and higher education qualifications.
There was also a lunchtime Q&A session with NHS Orkney for those interested in healthcare careers, while pupils interested in a career in construction got the chance to undertake a visit to Orkney Builder’s site on Cairston Road.
Helen Murray, a Guidance Teacher at Stromness Academy and school lead for Careers Week, said: “We weren’t able to have Careers Week last year due to school closures, so we are delighted that we were able to bring it back this year. This is a valuable week for our S3 pupils, as they can learn about different careers, explore their options and speak to and hear from local people who have followed varied and interesting career journeys.
“While we weren’t able to offer the breadth and scope of activities we have in the past due to restrictions in the school, we were still able to invite partners and local business people into the school virtually. We are delighted with how well the pupils engaged and took part in these activities and we hope they feel better informed as they make their subject choices for S4.”
The school are supported in delivering Careers Week by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney, who now have a DYW School Co-ordinator based in the school. Luigi Borsotti took up the post as Stromness Academy’s School Co-ordinator last October. He works with staff to help young people engage with the world of work and develop employability skills.
Rachel Scarth, Project Manager for Developing the Young Workforce Orkney, said: “We were delighted to be able to work with Stromness Academy on their Careers Week again, following last year’s hiatus. This week is a great chance for pupils learn more about the different options available to them including apprenticeships, further and higher education or going straight into work either for someone else or for themselves.
“We don’t expect pupils to know exactly what they want to do when they leave school, but we do want them to be aware that there are a number of options available to them. We want them to start thinking about what subjects they are interested in, how they like to learn and equip them as best we can so they can make the decisions that are right for them.
“Along with the school, we would like to thank all of the local employers and the learning providers who contributed to this year’s Careers Week, their input was really valuable.”