The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) delivered the first of a series of workshops to a group of Year 8 boys in school on 17th June.

These interactive workshops are designed to develop employability skills. They focus on areas such as: wellbeing and confidence, debunking terminology, team working, active listening and positive behaviours for work.

The Raising Aspirations Programme, overseen by Mrs Cain (Assistant Headteacher) and Mrs Banks (Aspirations Programme and Career Provisions Coordinator), ensures that support for future destinations and employability runs throughout the curriculum.

This is just one of a wide range of activities which run all the way through the school. Other programmes and events include employability workshops, mock interviews with local business leaders, UCAS evenings, visits from local universities, presentations to student by apprenticeship providers to students, Unifrog, curriculum pathway documents mapping out destinations or links to careers, and apprenticeship Focus Weeks.

Although the Raising Aspirations Programme as a whole encompasses all students, this particular workshop overlaps strongly with a focus on raising boys’ achievement. There is a national discrepancy between the achievement of boys and girls; whilst this gap is much narrower at The Friary, there is no complacency over raising boys’ aspirations. Over 70 boys across the school currently participate in a variety of specifically targeted interventions including external mentoring, reading and literacy interventions, university summer schools and ‘outward bound’ provision.

Carrie Cain, Assistant Headteacher, said: “We are delighted to be adding this series of interactive skills workshops to our programme. The involvement of external presenters from the DWP is a high-quality addition to what we offer students as they look toward their future.