Bo’ness Academy-Partners and the Community

Bo’ness has designed a clear strategy and has well-established approaches to developing in its young people skills for learning, life and work. The strategy involves establishing local, regional and partnerships to provide real- life contexts for learning. Curriculum leaders are using partners to provide a context to the learning and an insight of the working environment. Young people find this to be motivational and are enjoying the skills led curriculum.

 

Bo’ness are using their expanding partners to meet the needs of all learners and to prepare young people for the pathways which are likely to exist for them in the future. The curriculum has had a complete overhaul to establish a more wide ranging approach to the skills agenda.

The partnership and community approach at Bo’ness Academy is a key strategy for promoting skills development across all curriculum areas. The school is using a wide range of partners and community based projects to promote the importance of the skills agenda. Bo’ness Academy are using the skills agenda to push attainment and to foster a community approach throughout the school.  Bo’ness Academy are using their expanding partners to provide a curriculum that provides a framework to support all young people.

Community Café
This is a project that has been used effectively to support young people who are disengaged. The project is now well established and is supporting the local community. The school has fostered links with local partners to provide the school and the local community with a fully functioning and efficient café. The young people involved are provided with the opportunity to learn new skills relevant to the workplace and qualifications that are recognised in the sector(Health & Hygiene)

YPI
This is targeted at the S4 cohort and has been very successful at engaging the young people at the school. The groups use their own unique skillset to produce a presentation on their agreed research topic. The young people felt that their skills for work, life and learning had improved and in particular they had more confidence in making informed decisions. The groups have used local community as their focus and had fostered links with the local charities such as the Bo’ness Storehouse food bank

Children’s University
This was another established partnership link that been very successful, the young people believed it had motivated them across the whole school. They spoke of the skills that they had developed during the programme. The school have developed their strategy this year to include the P6 cohort in their local feeder Primary schools. They felt that this approach would further develop their strong links with the local community and give the P6 another opportunity to work with the school. The school use the profiling tool developed by Children’s University but also feed the information into the existing profiling model in the school. The school have used PEF to support the course and target the participants through SIMD. The project has further developed links with INEOS, they have provided Inspiration visits to their workplace and are now working closely with the school on a sustainability project around the plastic journey which will be used as IDL across the school curriculum areas.

STEM@Helix
This was a targeted programme organised through the DYW Forth Valley group which provided the young people with the opportunity to work with others. They worked in teams to develop a model display. The young people felt that it allowed them to have more focus on STEM and to work in a real-life context. The young people also go the opportunity to meet the Queen at the award ceremony which gave them a real sense of achievement.

Forth Ports Discovery Week
This was a targeted programme but was very successful. The young people had the opportunity to visit a local employer and spend a week working with a wide range of departments. The programme was activity focused and the young people had the opportunity to work with some of the technical equipment. They had the opportunity to discuss the workplace with Modern Apprentices which they said helped to provide an overview to the wide range of different career pathways. The young people were surprised by the sheer size of the company and the opportunities that they could provide.

School/College Partnership
The school has long-standing partnerships with the local college. The school has a SCOTS course which offers young people a taster course, this allows the young people to experience a wide range of different areas before they take an extra block in their chosen field. This along with the introduction of the Foundation Apprenticeship programme are providing the young people with an opportunity to experience college. The school will begin to provide the FA programme for Business and Accounts at the school in the new academic year.

Balfour Beatty(STEM)
This a targeted programme to encourage young people to look at STEM as a possible career pathways. The young people were tasked with designing a building that maintained heat. They had a mentor and visited buildings and structures to understand the project context. The culmination of the project was a presentation to explain their design. The young people involved felt that the experience had given them a real insight into the careers available in the STEM sector.

Young people are experiencing a curriculum in which they are developing more career related skills and learning more about growth sectors and the career pathways that may be available to them post-school. The use of career pathways and partners are ensuring that the young people are motivated and have the skills required to make informed career choices which is improving the positive destinations.

Staff are able to use their own expertise to help the young people make these informed decisions.  We have found that by providing young people with more opportunities to work with partners that they have more motivation to look at their long term career pathways. Partners are able to use a real context to show how important the skills that we introduce in school are in progressing a career journey.

Involving partners in the school community has highlighted a range of career pathways that our young people were not aware existed. Having DYW as a focus for staff Career Long Professional Learning has helped to highlight across the whole school community of the importance of introducing young people early to skills for work, life and learning.

Our curriculum review meetings have an important role to play in the development of our young people. The review allows young people to discuss their career pathway with a wide range of different of inputs including parents/carers. This wide ranging approach gives the young person to reflect on their learning, achievements and future career pathways

We focused on local partners as this allowed us to foster a community approach which we believe is the best way forward for the school. We are superbly supported by DYW Forth Valley.
Our next step is to provide more opportunities within the existing school timetable that allows all of the learners the opportunity to undertake a wider range of skills. This will include the FA programmes that our own staff will lead in the new academic year

Quotes
‘The importance of DYW cannot be underestimated as it’s vital that we prepare and equip our young people with the skills for life, learning and work. Within our school all young people have opportunities for appropriate work placements during their time at Bo’ness Academy. This has to be both “real” and appropriate in order for our young people to gain maximum benefit from these opportunities.’ Head Teacher Steve Dougan

‘Moving forward our focus is to continue exploring opportunities for pupils and ensuring we have a curriculum in place that best supports the needs of Bo’ness Academy pupils. We aim to continue forging links with local employers and continuing to strengthen the partnership with DYW Forth Valley. An emphasis will be placed on the consistent delivery across the school of the career education standard and how pupils identify and record the skills they develop across the school.’ DYW Lead Ross Latimer

‘Encourages me to do more outside of school’
Hannah Waugh S2

‘I didn’t know there was so many different jobs’
Jay Brown S5

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