The existence of strong links between schools and businesses is of benefit to all concerned. Over the years we have established links with a variety of businesses both locally and further afield. Many in the local community are keen to get involved in helping to develop and encourage our students as they step out of school and into the world of work.
Their involvement includes:
- offers of work experience placements with constructive overseeing and feedback for students in Years 10 and 12.
- participation in mock interviews for our Year 11, 12 and 13 students, helping to prepare them for college, university, apprenticeships and employment.
- presentations on topics of interest to students, either as a whole year group or within specific curriculum areas.
- supplying materials or loaning equipment for specific projects.
- supporting events within the school to provide a window into the world of work and an understanding of the realities involved.
We are a member of the Burford Chamber of Trade.
For the business community the benefits of their links to Burford include opportunities:
- to pass on their experience and expertise to the younger members of the community.
- to work directly with young people they may wish to employ.
- to assist in the development of skills to the benefit of their own businesses.
- to network and liaise with other business individuals within and beyond the community.
- the raise the profile of their business at school events and through the donation of items or awards.
- to build relations with key individuals responsible for the commissioning of on-site work at the school.
- to view the school facilities available for hire at first-hand.
Our GCSE course in Environmental Land Based Science has received extensive support from rural, farming, zoological and horticulture businesses with the provision of livestock, materials and expertise for ‘The Acre’ – the outdoor classroom where practical, hands-on work takes place. The establishment of these relationships has led to work experience and day excursion opportunities for students and school and social media promotion for those businesses involved.
Showcasing opportunities with the rural community
In 2014 the school held its first ‘Countryside Live’ day to highlight the many opportunities for employment and training within rural communities today. Organisations, including the Police Force and training colleges, and businesses, both small and large, took part. Students were able to gain an understanding of the variety of skills in demand today, from specialised crafts to complex computer knowledge. There were opportunities to learn about everything from animal health and care to advanced agronomy and vehicle restoration.
Several times a year we hold a Business Breakfast to which we invite local business contacts. This is a chance for us to showcase some aspect of the work we are doing, to enhance students’ knowledge of the business world, for students to experience face-to-face contact with those in the business world and for individuals to network.
In February our Sixth Form Young Enterprise Team presented their products and demonstrated what they have learnt about business since taking part in the scheme. In July the Business Breakfast focussed on advances within the Technology Department during the current academic year.
Each year selected Year 10 students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Oxfordshire County Council STEM Apprenticeship Launchpad Scheme. This enables students who are interested in Science and Technology to visit Oxfordshire companies in order to see how these subjects can be applied in the workplace and to learn more about routes into these careers.
To date some of the companies visited have included:
- Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
- ICE (Innovative Cryogenic Engineering)
- SS Tube Technology
- JSP (Johnstone Safely Products)
- Oxford Instruments
- Begbroke Science Park
The school regularly takes part in apprenticeship conventions and a number of our recent alumni, who are currently apprentices at Culham, visited during our Apprenticeship Week in March. The workshops they gave to students in Year 9 provided an insight into the possibilities within apprenticeships, at a time when these students were considering their GCSE options.
PSHE and the Sixth Form Enrichment Programme
The school’s PSHE curriculum brings students into regular contact with business and the Sixth Form Enrichment Programme invites speakers from the world of work to visit. Politicians, Peers from the House of Lords, individuals from finance institutions and government service providers all contribute to promoting strong links between the school and business.