We were delighted to spend the day at Harris Academy Purley, assisting ELSA, (Education, Learning, Skills and Achievement) and Croydon Council at the GET WORK READY event on 3rd July. Rainmaker volunteers were more than happy to help equip the year 9 students for their futures in the workplace with two different workshop sessions.
After running a similar event last year at Woodcote school, we were eager to get involved again for some hands-on sessions to bring students and businesses together, and introduce the students to what life is like after school, particularly when it comes to job hunting.
One of our Rainmaker sessions brought to life the realities of working as a team, with students facing similar challenges and frustrations that so many of us see in the workplace. After being separated into 5 different teams, they were tasked with building the highest tower possible with a budget of £100, and a few items they could buy from the store such as water bottles, balloons and straws. But lesson one came before all that, as each group could earn an extra £20 by completing the human knot challenge, something that requires a lot of teamwork and communication!
Once the teams had chosen their items from the shop, they were dealt a spanner to their plans. They were going to have to build their tower with another team’s materials. The news was understandably met with a few groans, but the students were quick to adapt and overcome the situation by working as a team.
Our second session, ran by Byron Calmonson, was focused on branding, particularly personal branding. An inspiring presentation from Byron had students actively engaging in what their favourite brands are; Nike or Adidas? McDonalds or KFC? And then finally, Ed Sheeran or Stormzy? The latter was met by confusion initially, but the students slowly came to the realisation that actually, humans are brands too!
The students were taught valuable lessons about self image, particularly their digital footprint and how that could come back to bite them in the future. Something as simple as a negative comment on someone else’s social media post can end up costing them a job, so it was vital that they watch how they present themselves online. The overarching lesson from this presentation was that actually, contrary to many of their beliefs, parents, teachers and employers all care about them and their futures.
We would like to thank ELSA and Croydon Council for a truly fantastic day, and we hope that the year 9 students of Harris Academy Purley have gained some life-enhancing skills and a glimpse into what the working world can be like.
Here’s to next year!
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