As an alternative to traditional work experience, we took two small groups of Year 10s from Ken Stimpson Community School in Peterborough to Perkins Engines, also in Peterborough. The company is one of the world’s leading providers of diesel and gas engines and has an excellent apprenticeship scheme and career structure.
Before we set off we did some research about the company and spent time carefully planning our questions and talking about interviewing skills. We did some mock interviews and looked at an article written by myself as an example of how a good article should be written.
The students were very excited to meet the Perkins’ employees who represented a wide variety of jobs at the company, from a top lady engineer to the canteen manager. Some students got to talk about apprenticeships and one couple interviewed the lady who does the training. It was interesting for the students to see that although the company is known for its engines there are a large variety of career opportunities available there across the spectrum.
When we got back the students wrote their articles in the style of ‘a day in the life of….’. They referred to their notes and I was impressed with the amount of detail they had written down and found out.
It was fabulous to see some of the students so inspired by the day. Some of the boys were very keen to have a factory tour and start to prepare themselves for applying for an apprenticeship when the next intake opens. The teachers were thrilled with the boys’ enthusiasm as this has given them some focus and an idea about what subjects they need to work hard on at school.
A big thank you to Perkins and the staff we interviewed. They were all so patient with the children and truly inspirational. It had the feel of a great company to work for.
“Working with Journalism for Schools has been very inspirational for the students. Thank you for your support over the last two days’ activities. It’s great to see the students participate and benefit.”
Rachel Patman, Pupil Premium Administrator, Ken Stimpson School, Peterborough.