Year 8 options event at the Leigh Academy

In preparation for GCSE options, the Leigh Academy held a half day of informative workshops, presentations and a careers carousel to help year 8 students consider options in relation to possible future career pathways.


Facilitated by Kent based businesses and higher education providers, all 240 students split into small groups and began with a series of workshops on key areas of consideration:

  • Professional standards- what are expectations in the workplace?
  • Why study languages- the importance of not only language skills but of cultural awareness
  • The importance of STEM subjects
  • Why consider going to university- what are the benefits?


Image Consultant, Sarah Grant on professional standards


Mark Goldfinch on the importance of studying languages

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STEM Ambassador Emanuel Forche on studying STEM subjects


Student ambassadors from Canterbury Christchurch on why go to university?


Communications Consultant, Chris Pollard, on why study languages


STEM Ambassador and Business Consultant Bryan Humphrey on studying STEM subjects

Edward Enebeli, Leigh Aspire Programme Manager on professional standards

Feedback from external facilitators was extremely positive with the following comments:

“Many thanks for the team work, and hospitality shown from the Leigh Academy.
Just you let you know, I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the students, giving presentations and chatting to the students and parents afterwards. It’s good to see a positive interest in engineering with the younger generation. If I can assist in the future, do not hesitate to contact STEM.” Bryan Humphrey

“I enjoyed the 4 sessions and was impressed by the school facilities. The staff were welcoming from the front desk, yourself and all the teaching staff. Last but not least the pupils were fun 12-year-olds, bright and interested I think. My aim was to challenge some (mis)conceptions about languages. I think if I validated one child in his/her choice to study a language, or even persuaded one to try a language, then that’s a success! “ Mark Goldfinch

An absolute pleasure- I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and would like to repeat this.
I spoke about Foreign Languages – the job opportunities available, Body language at interviews and Cultural languages. I found the students engaged, interested and asking and answering questions. So, if any of these are useful for different years happy to offer my services.” Chris Pollard

Parent presentations

Following on from the student workshops, both students and their families were invited to attend a careers style carousel and longer informational presentations on university life and the importance of STEM subjects.


STEM Ambassador and chemical engineer, Tayo Ajasa presents to year 8 and their families on potential STEM careers

Canterbury Christchurch University presents to students and their families


The final part of this event was a career carousel, similar to a trade type exhibition.

Delegates were asked to help students consider the following:

  • What kind of person are they?
  • What do they like/dislike.
  • What are they good at?
  • How can they harness their personal attributes in the workplace?
  • What subjects did you study and why?
  • What inspired you to chose your career path?
  • What have your successes (and failures) been?
  • What does your company/organisation do, and why is it important?
  • What you enjoy most about your career?
  • The skills and attributes that are important in your role?

Again, feedback was positive including:

The event went well and your students were polite and friendly.“- Simon Platt, Kent Training and Apprenticeships

Sincere thanks to all our valued participants:

Leigh Academy alumni
Leigh Aspire Programme
Kent & Medway STEM Ambassadors – Tayo Ajasa and Bryan Humphrey, Emmanuel Forche
Canterbury Christchurch University
Kent Training & Apprenticeships
Sarah Grant Image Consultancy
Coventry University London
Orchard Garage
That’s Bellion Film Production
LAT Graphic Design
Hadlow College
Bresser Photography
Mark Goldfinch
Chris Pollard

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