Experiences of workplaces
Experiences of workplaces are part of a structured programme of work-related encounters at each stage of a student’s course or education, rather than a boltedon arrangement. Students, parents, teachers and employers fully understand their scope and purpose. Younger students and students in academic or general education explore careers and the world of work, relate their learning to the real world and develop their employability skills. Post-16 students, especially those in technical education, focus on activities closely aligned to their study programmes. • Students are active participants in the process of choosing workplace experiences that will fulfil their needs and interests, often with the help of their families. The school monitors the quality of placements offered to students from deprived backgrounds to ensure that they are not unfairly disadvantaged. • Students are prepared well for the experiences they are about to have. This is more than just dealing with organisational matters. It is about framing learning so that students know what they can get from the experience. Schools work closely with employers to make the experiences as positive as possible. • Students are well-supported during the workplace experience and have opportunities to talk with a trusted and familiar adult about what they are doing and finding out. • After the experience, students undertake structured reflection in a specially-arranged session and/or in subject lessons to reinforce what they have learned. • Employers provide valuable feedback to the school. They provide information about how well students have performed doing work experience or work shadowing placements. They also evaluate their experience of taking part in activities arranged by the school. • Consider alternative models of work experience to ensure time is well structured and has maximum impact. This could mean there is less focus on the length of the work experience and more on quality and evaluation.