The recent year 8 options day at Dartford Football Club demonstrated an example of cross Trust working with several teams from the Trust exhibiting to help to inform our students. 620 year 8 students from The Leigh, Wilmington and Longfield Academies visited on the day which was ably supported by the Trust Design Team, Teach with LAT and Trust Business Managers.  The teams were able to discuss their sector focusses with students looking to take GCSE options.

Nicola Coulton, Trust Graphic Designer writes , “The Year 8 Options Event was a great opportunity for students and the design team to get together and chat about the many different creative pathways available to the students who are now in the process of choosing their options. 

From questions about graphic design/computer animation and game development/product design, the interest amongst the students was encouraging, even having one question on what qualifications were needed to becoming a tattoo artist!

This is a sector that we are passionate about and it was good to see so many students with such a keen interest.”

Teach with LAT later commented on Twitter- “We had a great day speaking to year 8 pupils from LAT schools about careers in teaching. We felt inspired by their ambition and enthusiasm”.
Jo Allen, Business Manager at Wilmington Academy said “It was a fantastic event, the students I spoke to from all the Academies thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and as we said a lot of students don’t know what their career path will be at that age, but having them there talking to all the local companies hopefully it will make those ones that don’t start thinking about it. 
 
My first impression when I walked in was how professional the whole event looked. Everybody was engaged with our students, and from a networking perspective I had a great time, plenty of talking to all those businesses regarding our Alumni. Hopefully we will get some new members from it. “
This was the first time that a joint options event has been held in this way. Senior leaders commented:
“Feedback from staff and students was great.  Personally, from the reports I had, I think the bigger combined event was much better and more useful to the students. I think taking them off site gave the event a sense of gravitas not previously achieved.  I’m really impressed with feedback so far.” – Rebecca Roberts, Wilmington Academy.
“It was a really excellent day with lots of opportunities for students to talk to a variety of people. I think it demonstrated the strength of a Trust event with a greater capacity for students to meet and discuss with a large amount of people from local businesses or national companies. Students were taken out of their comfort zone but had the benefit of having an excellent booklet that provided questions they could ask. This was an excellent starting point for them and ensured it gave them the confidence to start a discussion with one of the exhibitors. “ – Stuart Lindars, Leigh Academy.
“Longfield Academy Yr 8 students found the day to be informative and enjoyable. It was fantastic to see so many of our young learners communicating with the wide range of delegates in a mature and purposeful manner. We look forward to next year!” – Saara Huq, Longfield Academy.