Sandra Peters, Personalised Learning Manager at Great Torrington School, explains how alumni can help current students figure out life after school.
Great Torrington School is a predominantly rural school for students aged 11-16. Many pupils bus in from local villages, with a number coming from the small town of Torrington and the larger nearby town of Bideford too. We have lower than average FSM percentages and higher than national average SEN with statement or EHC plan students.
We were lucky enough to receive the Future First support free of charge as part of our partnership with Next Steps SW and started working with Future First in 2018.
Since starting our membership, we have invited alumni in for a number of events including PSHE sessions, careers sessions and for Duke of Edinburgh presentations.
Back in January we had six alumni in to speak to Year 11 during their PSHE lessons about their career journey, the qualifications they gained and their life experiences. Year 11 can be so focused on exam preparation and revision that students can lose sight of the bigger picture, amazing opportunities and life after school options and experiences, so it was great to hear from our alumni about what they’ve gone on to do.
The alumni visitors talked about their experience at GTS and where they went on to study, qualifications they gained and the careers these lead onto. The volunteers were wonderful, all doing different things they could talk about with our students. We had business people, FE/HR students and an Olympic coach!
The Year 11 students were able to ask questions and it was great to see them interacting with the visitors. Their life stories of travel, education, career change and achieving their goals was inspiring and the students gave positive feedback at the end of the session.
Sign your school up to Future First’s alumni network here.