Wednesday 13th September saw the first LAT Freshers event being held at Dartford Football Club. 130 post 16 students from Wilmington Academy and The Leigh UTC attended the event as part of their induction.

International Baccalaureate Learner Profile

As part of the Trust’s commitment to embedding the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile across all Trust academies, the purpose of the event was explained  by LAT Education Improvement Director, Sharon Waterman. Within her address, she explained that during the next two years of their education, students will have numerous opportunities made available to them to explore the aspects of the world that they will soon be joining – these might be cultural, educational or work related.

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Additionally, as part of the Trust, students were encouraged to network with their peers from another academy. A key point was that Trust academies strive to help students to explore their potential as fully rounded individuals and Mrs Waterman urged them to take every opportunity possible to achieve the very best from the next two years.

I.B learners strive to be

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-Takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective


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The first presentation of the day was given by Carl Foster, author and owner of Self Made, Carl discussed his own personal journey, documenting the difficulties that he has overcome from struggling with literacy at school to becoming an author. The message was very much one of resilience and self belief and that students can achieve if they believe that they can.

Carl commented- “I was really impressed by your students and enjoyed meeting and talking to them about their life goals. Thank you for inviting me; I really appreciate the opportunity”.


During their time at Post 16, and indeed throughout their time at the Trust, our academies supply numerous career developmental opportunities for students including employer, apprenticeship and higher education engagement.

Accordingly, students then had the opportunity to visit a number of “trade exhibition” type stands to further explore possible routes that they might wish to take after leaving our academies.

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At post 16, our academies are keen that students should be able to consider logically where the qualifications that they study with us can lead them to. Students were asked to question participants on not just qualification requirements but the kind of traits which a person might need to display to take up various roles. They were advised to speak with every stand and reflect upon the information given, even if initially, students thought that this option might not be for them.

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Thank you to the following external  participants:

Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

Canterbury Christ Church University

KCC, Kent Training and Apprenticeships

Teach with LAT

Apprenticeships with The Leigh UTC


The Electrical Contractors Association

QA Apprenticeships

University of East London

First Impressions

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Image Consultant, Sarah Grant gave an insightful and highly interactive workshop on “First Impressions”. All students will be faced with the prospect of having interviews- even if in the short term this is for a Saturday or holiday job. She spoke to them about how to best approach an interview situation in regard to how to best present themselves. Interactive aspects included exploring eye contact, smiling, handshakes, breathing and posture. As a wider learning opportunity, students were urged to think about body language in general and what nonverbal communication signals they give out.

A handout containing interview guidance was given to students to take away and reflect upon later.

Sarah  commented- “I so enjoyed  meeting the children and found watching their interaction and chatting with them fascinating.”

Ms Evans of Wilmington Academy commented “Sarah was brilliant – her talk helped carry the energy from the carousel into the afternoon session”

The Whole Person

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Lynn Stapley, a local volunteer from Guide Dogs for the Blind came along with her dog, Qula, to explain what she does, why she chose to volunteer as a puppy walker and what the benefits are in becoming a volunteer. Students were very taken with Qula and we hope that this opportunity gave them the chance to think about how they might develop their own skills and experiences which may include volunteering.

Academy Feedback

Ms Sanders, Wilmington Academy- “Having the event at the football club was excellent. The venue gave the day a sense of gravitas and professionalism.  It was a very good day overall- I think the students got a lot out of it, which is what counts.”

Ms Warner Co-ordinator of post 16 –” Our Leigh  UTC post 16 students found the LAT freshers event extremely valuable, as they begin their post 16 journey. As part of our post 16 vision, we want to ensure that destinations are at the forefront of students’ minds, and this event helped to show the opportunities available to them in the local area. Being able to network with other post 16 students within the Leigh Academies Trust, apprenticeship providers, Universities and the guest speakers helped to develop their skills as young professionals and foster their aspirations. “

Mr Leahey, Principal, The Leigh UTC “It was well received by our students who all got a lot from it”

Thank you to Dartford Football Club for hosting our first Freshers event and all the guests who helped to make the day a success.