Learners in Year 11 and the 6th form at LVS Oxford have been focusing on possible career paths in November. During a careers workshop held on Thursday 2nd November, they spent time considering different career options and mapping out the journey they need to embark on to acquire the additional knowledge and skills to achieve their long term career goals.
The workshop, which was organised by Nigel Beales, LVS Oxford’s Assistant Head, in partnership with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), also included sessions with two successful Oxfordshire based entrepreneurs with very different businesses. Nigel said: “It is incredibly powerful when students are able to interact with professionals from different industries. Hearing what they do, and how they got where they are today, is really inspiring and helps our learners to decide what they want for themselves in terms of further studies and careers. All our 6th formers will participate in work experience and this event is one of a series of workshops and discussions aimed at supporting them as they prepare to take up work placements.”
During the workshop, students met Mark Calkin, Technical Director for Emerald Cube, based on Oxford Science Park. The company was established to provide applied technology solutions for Internet Connectivity and networking in challenging environments. Mark explained to students that his company’s products can be used to implement live and recorded video inspection from air, land and water. One of their most challenging projects to date has been in the area of wildlife conservation.
Students learnt how Mark and his team designed and installed technology to protect the critically endangered black rhino population from poachers. As recently as 1970, an estimated 65,000 black rhinos could be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. But in eastern Africa, 90 percent of them were killed in the 1970s. Now there are fewer than 2,500 left, in pockets in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania.
Emerald Cube’s work is technically and logistically challenging as it involves drilling holes into the rhinos’ horns so cameras can be installed, all while the rhinos are under aesthetic. Mark brought along examples of the technology that they use and students were able to quiz him on the products and what they deliver for the company’s clients.
Learners also worked with Julia Cook, locally based fashion designer and owner of two shops in Chipping Norton. Julia explained that she was creative at school but didn’t do well academically. However, she believed in her talents and her determination to succeed led her to take children’s clothes samples that she had designed to Paris as she touted for business. Today, she designs children’s clothes for Tesco and runs a successful Children’s Boutique called Tickittyboo. Her Tickitty business has expanded to a second shop, Tickittyshake, a bright, colourful café and sweet shop where customers can create your own shakes and smoothies.
Parents and carers speak positively about the ways in which staff promote positive behaviour. One said “staff are very caring, they talk to students positively and handle things fairly”