Employability Focus 2021
This year’s Employability focus began on Monday the 8 November and ran for two weeks. All pupils across the six year groups engaged in career focused learning. The ongoing efforts of staff in engaging our pupils with our ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ strategy ensures that everyone is fully equipped to enter the workplace when they leave school and enables all our pupils to achieve positive destinations.
This year our theme was ‘A Day in the Life’. In keeping with global trends on social media platforms such as TikTok we asked professionals to highlight to young people the actualities of a day in their life.
Mr. Maxwell even tried his hand at the ‘A Day in the Life…’ TikTok challenge to show what life is like for a Pupil Support Teacher! Our hope was that pupils were able to learn about the demands, challenges, and benefits of a variety of different careers.
Thanks to the support of our partners, we were able to showcase professions across all curricular areas ranging from Clyde One DJs to Oxford University Researchers!
Each faculty delivered career focused lessons from S1- S6 highlighting employability skills and how the career education standards fit their subject. Some highlights are included in this Newsletter.
The Art and Technical faculty provided a rich array of experiences for learners across all year groups. Pupils watched career focuses on YouTube, learned about the lives of artists and illustrators, and learned about pathways in related industries.
BGE Classes learned about different jobs within the creative industry. They watched videos from a fine art painter, fashion designer, graphic designer, and prop designer.
They then created their own props for films including an aged ‘wanted’ poster, a telegram created using a typewriter and stamps and a page of calligraphy. Some of the work produced was outstanding!
S1 pupils also learned about the work of an illustrator and the process that is followed when illustrating a book, working with an author and publisher. The artist was able to give an insight into her journey to becoming successful in this field.
The teacher then read a short story by Theresa Breslin and discussed the illustrations by Kate Leiper. Pupils then had to select their favourite book and illustrate a chapter/verse of the book for homework.
In Technical pupils were involved in a range of discussions about the design process and watched a vast range of videos of Commercial Manufacture. This allowed the pupils to understand the role of design in the world around us. This also allowed pupils to make a connection between Technical lessons and how we can enhance skills required for linked careers. Thank you again to our partners at ICE who sent over great resources about the lives of engineers!
The fortnight began with the launch of ‘The Our Lady’s Say’ – the new faculty podcast.
The subject of the first recording was all things ‘Employability’, with special guests Mr Maxwell and Miss Ruddy from Pupil Support. They explained what the fortnight was about and discussed with staff the ways English and Drama could support pupils in gaining the skills for learning, life, and work.
S4 English pupils had visits from Skills Development Scotland who talked about the different functions of the Careers Service. They also had presentations from our Subject Ambassadors on the skills developed in Higher and Advanced Higher English.
During the two weeks, pupils took part in a range of activities: they learned about the film industry in Drama; the day in the life of an author in English, and how skills like creation, production, analysis, and evaluation can be used across the curriculum as well as beyond the school gates.
Pupils rounded off the fortnight by reflecting on the skills they had identified and by thinking of different applications for them.
In Health and Wellbeing, we took the opportunity during employability fortnight to really focus on career pathways.
It is important to support aspirational learners who believe that the sky is truly the limit and that they can achieve any goals set. Classes focused on various career avenues and looked at the skills and qualities required to be successful.
Using the MyWoW toolkits, pupils created profiles of their skillset and used this to identify appropriate avenues for their development.
Pupils also watched various ‘A Day in the Life’ clips from a whole host of professionals from a variety of industries.
There was also a treasure hunt for S1 pupils who matched their worksheets to posters across the school! Health and Wellbeing is also a great platform for sharing correspondence about opportunities such as DYW Live.
Please follow OLHSPupilSupport @OlhsPupil to make sure you are not missing out on great opportunities for you and your families!
Our Lady’s Employability Week coincided with the North Lanarkshire Money week, so S1/2 pupils focused on the skills associated with money. This included calculating bills, foreign exchange, pay slips and earnings. Pupils were involved in discussions about salaries, rates of pay, overtime as well as gross/net pays and deductions.
In addition to this, S1/2 classes watched the career video clip related to Mathematics and discussed other possible careers linked to Mathematics.
Our S6 Subject Ambassadors, Imran Ali and Madison Adams also visited classes and described Maths courses which are offered at Our Lady’s High. Their excellent presentation also highlighted the skills gained within Maths as well as career pathways and Further Education relating to Mathematics.
In Modern Languages we enjoyed taking part in Employability Fortnight. S1 and S2 researched careers linked to languages and created fantastic “A Day in the Life” storyboards and posters. S1 and S2 also took part in a Listening Challenge with the Languages Department of MI5! We also filled in our Employability booklets with the skills and abilities linked to Modern Languages.
S3 researched jobs, skills and abilities linked to languages and watched videos of a translator, international sales manager and a French PHD researcher. We discussed these videos and then looked at “A Day in the Life” of each career in more detail.
S4 had visits from Subject Ambassadors who delivered excellent presentations about employability skills and abilities gained through Modern Languages.
In Music, we spent time learning about what it’s like to be a musician, and a DJ. Classes also then explored other, more obscure jobs related to music, including Music Therapy, Instrument Designers and Manufacturers, Music Critics and Music Lawyers.
Some classes focused on the skills required to be a musician, then considered how they develop these skills through music lessons. We then chose unrelated careers and considered how skills developed through music can be applied to a variety of different careers by creating skills matrix posters.
S1 Social Subjects pupils all focused on employability skills. They discussed what these skills could be before evaluating which ones they had. Pupils then studied case studies of various careers ranging from archaeology to a politician and identified desirable skills and qualities.
In S2 Social Subjects pupils engaged with an employability skills treasure hunt lesson which included lots of vibrant learning and teaching methods. Pupils created skills bricks, created displays and most importantly had fun!
S3 History pupils heard from a former pupil who is now a successful journalist and focused on what a day in her life was like.
In S3 Modern Studies and S3 Geography pupils continued the theme of a ‘day in the life’ by focusing on appropriate careers in such fields.
Stuart McDonald MP hosted a virtual session with Higher students who had the amazing opportunity to discuss employability skills and the day to day challenges of being a MP! An incredible experience for our budding politicians!
Again this year, subject ambassadors were on hand to support the delivery of employability inserts to all S4 classes.
Two subject ambassadors have been appointed to represent their specific subject in various ways throughout the year. The pupils created PowerPoints and lesson activities and then delivered these to classes.
The quality of the delivery and content was outstanding! Well done to all those concerned for their hard work so far!
All S6 pupils are undertaking a variety of SQA awards as part of their personal development. This year this includes Level 4 Employability Award which has enhanced their knowledge of their own skills, possible career pathways and the responsibilities associated with the workplace.
Pupils have worked with associated primary schools to engage younger pupils in their learning, to support their transition and to make them feel part of the wider Our Lady’s High School community.
For young people to give up their time in what is an immensely busy time for them in S6 is truly inspiring!
Two of our S2 girls have successfully negotiated a challenging application process to gain places on the ‘Discovering Engineering’ course in 2022. Participants will hear from staff at the University of Strathclyde and colleagues from The Weir Group who will provide an insight into studying and working in the field of engineering.
They will also be issued in advance with a Young WEIR-WISE ‘Lab Kit’ to take part remotely in practical activities which staff will guide them through during the online sessions. This is a great opportunity and is evident of the ongoing work in Our Lady’s to challenge the gender imbalance in some employment sectors.
Dr. Karen Harvie, Aimee McGarrell, Alison Ward at ICE, The University of the West of Scotland, Martin Gillies, Oxford University, The Royal Air Force, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Culture NL, Lanarkshire NHS, Ness Stewart, McTaggart Construction, DYW NL, Philip Thirlaway Royal Navy, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Jonny Campbell and all our other contributors who sent resources and materials or have offered further support for future endeavours.