Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College

Work Experience

Norbury Manor in-house work experience provision

  • Year 8 students complete one-day internal student receptionist placements
  • Year 10 students undertake two-week work placements
  • Individual Key Stage 4 (KS4) students engage in work experience when required by flexible curriculum pathways
  • Groups of KS4 and Key Stage 5 (KS5) students embark on work experience placements when required by particular courses of study
  • Year 12 students participate in a work shadowing programme

Year 10 students

Year 10 students and their parents/carers learn about work experience (WEXP) at the annual Welcome to KS4 Evening early in the autumn term. The presentation provides information about the aims and expectations of work experience, offers guidance on finding placements and details paperwork requirements. Students are encouraged to find placements independently during the first half of the autumn term with support provided via the college's PSHE programme.

KS4 students taking flexible pathways

Arrangements for those taking flexible pathways including extended work experience are made in consultation with the students, their parents/carers, their heads of year and the deputy headteacher responsible for curriculum.

KS4/KS5 students studying subjects with work experience requirements

Arrangements for subject-based work experience at KS4 and KS5 are made in conjunction with the relevant head of faculty, the Work Experience Co-ordinator, students and their parents/carers.


Aims

  • To enable students to apply skills, knowledge and understanding from the classroom
  • To improve attainment by making learning more relevant
  • To promote students’ personal and social development
  • To develop students’ economic and industrial understanding
  • To widen students' knowledge of continuing education, training and employment options
  • To introduce students to a particular occupation or industry (in certain cases)
  • To support students with the transition from school to work
  • To provide experience of the workplace

Principles

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage in a preparatory programme with an emphasis on health and safety
  • Complete a 10-day work placement (year 10)
  • Develop personal and social skills through active learning situations
  • Relate to adults other than family and college staff with greater confidence ​​​​​
  • Identify the skills and knowledge associated with a particular pathway via a specific occupation
  • Participate in debriefing and feedback activities
  • Record their experience and skills used in a work experience diary
  • Widen their awareness of opportunities in the community in order to make informed choices about education, training and employment

Practice

Administration

The WEXP scheme is managed by the college Work Experience Co-ordinator. Other staff involved with the process may include:

  • Heads of year
  • Tutors of year
  • Heads of faculty
  • Careers Advisor
  • Learning Support Team
  • Learning mentors
  • EAL co-ordinators
  • Attendance Officer
  • Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

The administration of the work experience schemes involve a cyclical process through which the following can be completed.

  • Dates of work experience set and notified
  • Students given letters and ‘own find’ forms
  • Placement enquiries sent out to employers and replies acknowledged
  • Students surveyed as to preferred types/areas of placement 
  • Students matched to placements (if applicable)
  • Parents given details of placements and insurance; consent/medical forms issued
  • Preparation materials produced for work experience programme from January, including Work Experience Diary
  • Student and employer details recorded
  • Health and safety insurance checks made before commencement of placements 
  • Student interviews/preliminary visits arranged
  • Organisation of staff to visit students
  • Visiting tutor packs compiled
  • Briefing of students in groups via assembly by WEXP Co-ordinator, health and safety expert and senior manager
  • Liaison with students and placement providers throughout the two weeks
  • Student evaluation forms distributed and collated
  • Whole-school assembly on work experience
  • Thank you letters sent to placement providers
  • Certificates (successful/outstanding completion) distributed to students
  • Provider certificates sent to employers
  • Work experience report completed and forwarded to Headteacher and other interested parties
  • Broad range of placements maintained
  • New contacts established

Student preparation

  • Preparation for work experience, delivered by the WEXP and PSHE teams, takes place immediately prior to the placement and covers the following areas: preparing for interviews (see attachment at bottom of page); application form completion (see attachments at bottom of page); letter writing (see attachment at bottom of page); health and safety; self management; dress codes; expectations; and rights and responsibilities at work

Work experience diary

  • Students are asked to record their experiences and key skills in a work experience diary

Debriefing and follow-up

  • A brief session is held in college upon completion of placements so students can share their experiences and reflect on key skills and personal development; students also complete evaluation forms and write thank you letters at this session

Health and safety

  • The Work Experience Co-ordinator carries out health and safety (H&S) checks; placements deemed unsuitable are not used - students are not allowed to go on placements which have not been checked
  • Records of all H&S checks are entered onto a database of placements along with dates future checks will be made
  • H&S is an integral part of the student preparation programme; students are briefed on how to ensure their own personal safety as well as that of others and what action to take if they are placed in an unsafe/dangerous situation or are asked to do work beyond their ability/physical capacity
  • Students are briefed on what to do in the event of sickness; special considerations relating to the type of work they will be carrying out, e.g. protective clothing, are explained
  • Students each receive one telephone call and one visit during placements; they are encouraged to telephone the Work Experience Co-ordinator on a dedicated 24-hour mobile phone number in the event of problems
  • Visiting staff are asked to complete placement assessment sheets which cover health and safety; these are forwarded to the Work Experience Co-ordinator
  • Visiting tutors report back to the Work Experience Co-ordinator if any placement is found to be unacceptable on H&S grounds; if necessary, students are removed immediately
  • Every employer is advised to record emergency contact details for all students placed with them on the first day of the placement along with details of medical conditions and/or special requirements so they can contact relatives/caregivers in the event of an emergency
  • All visiting staff are DBS-checked
  • Emergencies are dealt with in accordance with other relevant policies

Equal opportunities and special needs

  • Work experience is designed to meet the needs of all students irrespective of race, class, gender or disability; every effort is made to combat prejudiced attitudes on the part of employers; students are actively encouraged to take up non-gender-stereotypical placements
  • The college is committed to raising the aspirations of all students; placements are introduced in terms of offering experience of the workplace and are not necessarily linked to future career plans
  • The EAL Co-ordinator, MA&T Co-ordinator, curriculum access support team, Learning Support department and mentors are involved in the work experience programme

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Work experience documentation and methods of communication are regularly monitored and reviewed; the current scheme is organised and documented in line with the London Borough of Croydon’s work experience guidelines
  • The Work Experience Co-ordinator attends meetings as required when statutory guidance changes at national and/or local levels or if a training need presents itself; an annual work experience report is produced
  • The Work Experience Co-ordinator uses completed placement assessment forms to maintain the placement database; details are provided in the annual report as and when necessary
  • Debriefing sessions are held with visiting tutors at placements
  • Student evaluation sheets are collated and acted upon if necessary

Development plan and targets

  • To review the quality of student work experience and de-briefing programme
  • To further develop successful college-based placements
  • To secure more challenging placements for our most able students
  • To monitor placements by ethnicity/Ever 6/looked-after children 
  • To implement an improved system of logging information on staff out on placement visits; to ensure their whereabouts and contact details are known and available