In preparation for GCSE options, the Leigh Academy held a half day of informative workshops, presentations and a careers carousel to help year 8 students consider options in relation to possible future career pathways.


Facilitated by Kent based businesses and higher education providers, all 240 students split into small groups and began with a series of workshops on key areas of consideration:

  • Professional standards – what are expectations in the workplace?
  • Why study languages? – the importance of not only language skills but of cultural awareness
  • The importance of STEM subjects
  • Why consider going to university – what are the benefits?

Year 8 Options event 1

Image Consultant, Sarah Grant on professional standards.

Year 8 Options event 2

Mark Goldfinch on the importance of studying languages.

Year 8 Options event 3

STEM Ambassador Emanuel Forche on studying STEM subjects.

Year 8 Options event 4

Student Ambassadors from Canterbury Christ Church on why go to University?

Year 8 Options event 5

Communications Consultant, Chris Pollard on why study languages?

Year 8 Options event 6

STEM Ambassador and Business Consultant Bryan Humphrey on studying STEM subjects.

Year 8 Options event 7

Edward Enebeli, Leigh Aspire Programme Manager on professional standards.


Feedback from external facilitators was extremely positive with the following comments:

“Many thanks for the team work, and hospitality shown from the Leigh Academy.

Just you let you know, I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the students, giving presentations and chatting to the students and parents afterwards. It’s good to see a positive interest in engineering with the younger generation. If I can assist in the future, do not hesitate to contact STEM.” Bryan Humphrey


“I enjoyed the 4 sessions and was impressed by the school facilities. The staff were welcoming from the front desk, yourself and all the teaching staff. Last but not least the pupils were fun 12-year-olds, bright and interested I think. My aim was to challenge some (mis)conceptions about languages. I think if I validated one child in his/her choice to study a language, or even persuaded one to try a language, then that’s a success! “ Mark Goldfinch


“An absolute pleasure- I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and would like to repeat this.

I spoke about Foreign Languages – the job opportunities available, Body language at interviews and Cultural languages. I found the students engaged, interested and asking and answering questions. So, if any of these are useful for different years happy to offer my services.” Chris Pollard

Parent presentations

Following on from the student workshops, both students and their families were invited to attend a careers style carousel and longer informational presentations on university life and the importance of STEM subjects.

Year 8 Options event 9

Canterbury Christ Church University presents to students and their families


The final part of this event was a career carousel, similar to a trade type exhibition.

Delegates were asked to help students consider the following:

  • What kind of person are they?
  • What do they like/dislike?
  • What are they good at?
  • How can they harness their personal attributes in the workplace?
  • What subjects did you study and why?
  • What inspired you to chose your career path?
  • What have your successes (and failures) been?
  • What does your company/organisation do, and why is it important?
  • What do you enjoy most about your career?
  • What are the skills and attributes that are important in your role?

Again, feedback was positive including:

“The event went well and your students were polite and friendly.”– Simon Platt, Kent Training and Apprenticeships

“The students were so engaged.  We had a great chat afterwards and the responses were positive.  The event was well worth doing.” – Sarah Grant, Image Consultant

“Polite, engaging students who were interested and willing to ask questions.” – Canterbury Christ Church University

Sincere thanks to all our valued participants:

Leigh Academy alumni

Leigh Aspire Programme

Kent & Medway STEM Ambassadors – Tayo Ajasa and Bryan Humphrey, Emmanuel Forche

Canterbury Christchurch University

Kent Training & Apprenticeships

Sarah Grant Image Consultancy

Coventry University  London


Orchard Garage

That’s Bellion Film Production

LAT Graphic Design

Hadlow College

Bresser Photography

Mark Goldfinch

Chris Pollard

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