Lower Sixth pupils from The Wallace High School recently spent a week away from their Clonevin Park classrooms, sampling the world of work.
Their work shadowing programme comes at a vital time for the AS students as they will be making crucial decisions about their futures in the coming months. Assistant Head of Careers at Wallace, Mrs Margaret Mitchell, who coordinated the scheme explained,
“This programme affords our pupils a vital insight into the day to day working lives of a wide range of people. Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed their very “hands on” experiences, which included having the opportunity to write newspaper articles, make business contacts sing their foreign language skills, observe surgery and take part in scientific research. The work shadowing scheme is a valuable part of our careers provision here in Wallace, provision which includes weekly tutorials, university visits and mock interviews.”
Several Wallace pupils took the opportunity to travel, with five Sixth Years completing their placements in England. 17 year old Stephen Taylor from Glenavy spent his placement in the renowned Rutherford- Appleton laboratory in Oxford. He commented, “My placement gave me many valuable insights into the world of physics, exploring optical laser systems and carrying out research in Rutherford’s extensive library. I also took part in project meetings and attended a lecture in Mansfield College by Professor Jocelyn Bell, a Nobel nominee. I’d like to read astrophysics at Oxford next year so I was delighted to be able to explore the university city.”
Closer to home, Lauren McCaugherty also gained a great deal from her week at the Michelle O’Doherty Design Studio in Belfast. She explained, “I hope to study Fashion Management next year. My placement really confirmed this ambition – I helped out with bridal design and fittings, assisted with displays and accompanied the fashion buyer. I learnt so much about the need for imagination and forward thinking in the world of design.”
Melanie Anderson was one of several Wallace pupils who spent a week at Belfast’s Royal Hospitals. “I had a fascinating week, observing surgery and shadowing doctors in outpatients. No two days were ever the same – it was an amazing experience. The surgeon Barry Clements was really helpful, taking time to explain exactly what he was doing. His words of advice will come in useful if I realise my ambition. He said, “There is a difference between touching and feeling, looking and seeing and listening and hearing.” The week’s work placement definitely helped me realise that medicine is the career I want.”
Mrs Mitchell concluded, “We are very grateful to all the employers who helped make this week so beneficial for our Sixth years. Our pupils gained valuable insights and developed their own skills and knowledge. Their experiences will undoubtedly assist them in making decisions about their future careers.”
Last modified: October 16, 2007