Plymouth grammar school pilots an 'Employability Passport'
A GRAMMAR school is piloting a new award to support exam results and prove employability skills.
Devonport High School for Boys (DHSB) is aiming to provide formal recognition of the extra skills demonstrated by students to reflect on all that they accomplish beyond academic qualifications.
Sue Moreton, Information, Advice and Guidance Co-ordinator at DHSB, said: "Employers are looking for drive and resilience, and we increasingly read more in the news about employers placing a high value not only on results but on those all-important employability skills including communication, team-work, problem solving and the ability to set and achieve targets."
The DHSB award was launched last year, initially aimed at Year 10 students, and the pilot group are completing different levels of the award this term.
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Applicants were required to complete one challenge in each of three areas: problem solving, target setting and team working for a bronze award.
Applicants were then required to complete two in each for silver, and three for gold.
Gold applicants also have to present to a panel of staff, governors and local employers.
The employability skill of communication should be inherent throughout all the challenges.
Students suggest their own challenges, or find ideas from a list of activities suggested by all the staff at DHSB.
Challenges completed so far range from performing with the BBC concert orchestra, developing relationship lesson plans for a younger age group, building a solar-powered car or working as a volunteer assistant at a local football club.
Recent discussions with an employability sub-group of Plymouth Learning Trust, the organisation comprising the headteachers of 16 Plymouth secondary schools, have explored the possibility of developing the idea of this award into a city wide 'Employability Passport'.
It is hoped the passport will pilot at the start of 2014 in several of the Plymouth schools.
Ms Moreton added: "This award has the potential to take students to the next level of employability and university suitability."