Wyvern students made the most of the recent Careers Week, experiencing a host of inspiring sessions and quizzing visitors from diverse professions.
With the NHS being Hampshire’s largest employer, a number of speakers focussed on the health sector. Two clinical scientists spoke to students about their work and education backgrounds, and Matt Archer, Specialist Urology Nurse, talked about his role and careers in nursing. He showed students some kidney stones and explained how they form and pass out of the body – certainly not for the squeamish! Students were also able to study pay scales of hospital staff and ask about the many careers available. Local GP, Jules Hempenstall, outlined her education, training and day to day workload.
The transport and logistics sector was represented by ex-student Laurie Alford, who talked about different roles, apprenticeships and on the job training. Students also learnt about the changing face of transport and the need for highly trained engineers to support driverless trucks of the future. Youngsters considering careers in sport were motivated by Jake Sheaf, Team GB Volleyball player, and Thinus Delport, South African Rugby player, who gave an inspiring assembly.
Law is a popular career choice and several groups welcomed solicitors from Clarke Willmott who explained the university and apprenticeship routes into this profession. Students were also intrigued by the many stories the ladies had to tell. Author Jo Cotterill entertained students with tales of working in the Creative Industry. She emphasised the importance of having a back-up plan, as becoming a successful author is hard work and can be low paid until you get published.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, ten girls attended a STEM event at Winchester Science Centre where they heard from women working in the space industry and participated in a Careers Speed Networking Session and an engineering challenge. Barton Peveril College hosted two events: forty students visited the Higher Education Fair with over 65 university stalls, and another group enjoyed a Cambridge University taster session, including a fascinating neuroscience lecture.
Reflecting on the week, Wyvern’s Careers Co-ordinator Katie Bruce, said “A huge thank you to all the visiting professionals. Our students were really inspired and enthused about the wealth of choices available to them.”
Forty-two students and six staff set off for the scenic slopes of Austria in February half-term for the annual Wyvern Ski Trip. With students from Years 8, 9 and 10 taking part, it was a great opportunity to make new friends and the friendly hotel in Saalbach again provided a very warm welcome for the group.
Regular snowfall in the week prior to the trip provided perfect skiing conditions and the mountainside location allowed students to ski from the front door of the hotel every day. Overnight snowfall topped up the snow each evening, and during the day the weather was beautiful with bright sunshine at the top of the mountain. Everyone had a tanned face by the end of the week and a couple of panda eyes from their ski goggles!
In addition to skiing, students enjoyed some exciting evening activities, including ice skating at the local rink and a Snow Show where professional skiers and snowboarders showcased their skills. Tobogganing was a new activity this year and will certainly be a regular feature on future trips as everyone loved flying down the floodlit mountain! A fancy dress party, where everyone dressed as Where’s Wally, and a fun awards and games night finished the week.
Students had a fabulous time, variously describing the trip as ‘awesome’ and ‘the best trip ever’! Mr Gregory, who took on the role of Trip Leader this year, added, “What a fantastic week! It was great to see the students enjoying every aspect of the trip and we’ve already started making plans for next year.”
Barton Peveril’s German Day in February was the destination for some of Wyvern’s Year 9 linguists, where they joined students from 8 other local schools for a variety of activities and talks.
The day began with a session by visitors from the Goethe Institut & Southampton University, outlining the importance of studying languages and the opportunities for work and study using German. Students also had a short introduction to German studies at Barton Peveril, in which they listened to an extract from a German play and worked in pairs to practise a role play in German.
A key aim of the day was for students to see how they could use German for real purposes and they were set a task to produce and film an advert in German to launch a British soft drink onto the German market. After watching and analysing current German adverts, the groups had just over an hour to write and film their own adverts before assembling in the lecture theatre to watch all the adverts.
Breaks during the day also had a German theme with ‘Berliner’ (German doughnuts) in the morning and a ‘Wurstbude’ (sausage stall) at lunchtime, where students had to order their food in German!
Laraine Ashdown, Modern Languages Curriculum Leader, said, “This was a great opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in German. They really made the most of the day and created some excellent and imaginative adverts.”
Wyvern students gave a superb performance in this year’s Rock Challenge event at Southampton Guildhall, achieving third place overall and winning awards for excellence in Concept, Soundtrack, Video Performance, Stage Crew and Drama.
‘Fragments of the Soul’ represented the changes over time in attitudes towards mental health and how society reacts to those who suffer. This theme was chosen by the College Dance Prefects, who researched articles to gain a greater understanding of mental health awareness and found statistics indicating that 1 in 4 young people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their early teens/20’s.
The innovative performance began with a dramatic sequence, set in Victorian times at the Bethlem Asylum, representing how the inmates were treated with disregard and disdain by the Victorian nurses. In the next sequence, the College Dance Prefects portrayed how we feel when we look in the mirror and perhaps don’t like what we see. Displaying clever choreography, the dancers manipulated mirrors across the stage to show the transition of time and the Victorian patients exchanging places with their modern contemporaries. Smaller groups of dancers then focussed on current mental health issues, interpreting them to show that although the stigma is eroding, there are still times when we shun those who suffer. The finale was a reminder that mental health issues are not something to be ashamed of and through awareness and tolerance, the stigma can be broken.
Thirty-nine dancers were involved in the routine, ably assisted by ten stage crew and five staff, with costumes selected with the support of Hampshire Wardrobe. Reflecting on the students’ success, Theresa Lowe, Dance Teacher, said “The students should be proud of the awards they achieved for their excellent performance and also their contribution to raising awareness of mental health issues.”
Photos courtesy of Nick Scott Photography
The annual Little Big Awards run by international company Cisco Systems, challenges school students to come up with a product that utilises the internet in a new and inspiring way. This year’s innovative idea from the Wyvern team was an infrared scanner called ‘NanDroid’ to monitor the movements of an elderly relative in their home, building a profile of their daily routine and contacting a family member if that routine is broken.
Joining seven other school teams in the regional finals, the Wyvern students had to produce a business plan and prototype of their product and then present it in a Dragons Den format to a panel of industry experts.
The team were delighted to come in the top three in all categories, winning the ‘Best Business Case’ prize, and coming second overall, narrowly missing out on the top prize.
Alan Newton, Headteacher, said “I am acutely aware of what the challenge entails, so I am very appreciative of their efforts and success. That’s quite a run of success now, four consecutive years of coming back with an award”.
The team are keen to develop their product further and already have their eyes set on another competition in the future.
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