Year 7 pupils had a day of team challenges and understanding how they learn. This included an activity making animals out of plasticine to represent how they think they learn. Declan from 7N thought he was a bit like ‘a bull in a china shop’ – charging into tasks without really thinking them through first. Pupils in Year 7 also had a range of team challenges, including who could build the tallest scarecrow out of newspaper and an obstacle course activity in the gym.

Year 8 pupils’ activities were focused on how to keep safe. They carried out a range of workshops on anti-bullying, road safety, internet safety and we were fortunate to have PCSO Donna Whelan and Dave Kane visit us to deliver workshops on anti-social behaviour. Pupils also spent an hour learning first aid and how to do CPR on one of our ‘Little Annie’ dummies.

Year 9 pupils participated in activities based on body image and discrimination. We were very pleased to welcome Alex Lewis who gave a fascinating talk to pupils who were captivated by his story. Pupils in Year 9 also carried out a work shop looking at how magazines use photo-shopping to alter images and then created a campaign against a form of discrimination.

Year 10 pupils’ activities were looking at the dangers of drugs, alcohol and unprotected/underage sex. Motive8 (a local drug awareness project) ran a workshop with pupils followed by a lesson allowing pupils to further explore issues around drugs. Pupils also had a session on the dangers of binge drinking and used the laptops to research the law for young people on sex, drugs and alcohol.

Year 11 took part in ‘Futures Day’. They attended the area careers fair at John Hanson school for Test Valley and other local secondary schools. As well as the opportunity to talk to a range of representatives from a large number of career and educational organisations pupils attended a presentation by Alan Bullock. He is an international careers consultant and gave an inspiring talk about a wide range of opportunities for young people.  He shared examples of differing pathways to success and also talked about university fees, overseas opportunities and everything there is to know about apprenticeships.

It was very evident at the fair that apprenticeships are becoming more popular with an increasing number of the employers. Apprenticeships are now offered in a wide range of areas with different qualification levels starting at Level 2 and progressing up to degree apprenticeships as an alternative to university.

Back in school pupils were shown how to produce a personal statement and given access to career profiling programmes to increase their awareness of the wide range of opportunities to consider. The day culminated in the completion of a careers portfolio enabling every pupil to identify the next steps they need to take.