A careers event was held at Stronsay Junior High earlier this week to help pupils think about their career options and understand the range of opportunities that are available to them on Stronsay, elsewhere in Orkney and further afield.
Titled Stronsay Destinations and using the theme of No Wrong Path, the event was organised by school teachers Mrs Groat and Mrs Barber, Developing the Young Workforce Orkney and Skills Development Scotland. We were joined at the event by Cooke Aquaculture and Papdale Halls of Residence.
A whole school assembly in the morning helped pupils understand what activities were planned for the day. Pupils from the nursery class were then asked what they wanted to do when they grew up and their career ambitions included becoming a gymnast, a ballet dancer and The Hulk!
These ambitions served to remind older pupils that geography doesn’t define them and living in Stronsay shouldn’t limit their ambitions for themselves.
During the morning, Cooke Aquaculture worked with pupils from the lower and upper primary school to help them understand what the company does and some of the jobs that are available with them.
Their sessions included some hands on activities and pupils were encouraged to ask any questions they may have about salmon farming.
These sessions gave pupils an understanding of the life cycle of a salmon, what sorts of predators may like to eat them, the process of looking after salmon from eggs to adult and how they are monitored and their welfare managed by staff. All of which highlight the variety of jobs needed to care for salmon.
A fantastic scale model of a 7kg salmon gave pupils a chance to try and lift it, while they were also given a chance to see and touch a real salmon.
There were some great questions from both the lower and upper primary pupils and it was great to see them engage with the employers. The upper primary pupils also gave some thought about what subjects they were good at and if these would be useful in jobs with the company.
In the afternoon, pupils in P7 and the secondary school attended a careers event where they could learn about the education, training and career pathways available to them, speak to Cooke Aquaculture about career opportunities and also speak to House Parents from Papdale Halls of Residence to find out what it’s like to stay there. This would support their transition to KGS, should they choose to go there at the end of S4.
This event was also open to the community, which gave us a chance to speak directly to parents and answer their questions as they support their children in taking their next steps.
The school also used the event to launch their Stronsay Destinations booklet which included updates from former pupils of Stronsay school about their career path, many of these show there is no wrong path into a career. It was really interesting to read the variety of jobs undertaken by former pupils of the school, with the one common thread being that - no matter where in the world they now call home - they were all proud to be from Stronsay.