SJT’s Career Fest gains high praise

With the pandemic preventing Sir John Talbot’s School’s traditional student careers festival at St Alkmund’s Church, the school decided to take the annual event virtual this year. The weeklong initiative saw a full programme of events planned for Sir John Talbot’s Year 7 and 9 students, which included live virtual forums with businesses and employers.

With the event held virtually, the school was able to reach out to a wider range of employers to help showcase various career opportunities. A fantastic variety of businesses responded and gave up their time to speak to the students, guests included: a Book Conservator from The British Library; a Royal Naval Officer; a HS2 Project Sponsor from the Department for Transport; an Occupational Therapist from Sheffield Health & Social Care; an Applications Engineer from HydraForce; the Head of Operations at St James Place Academy and a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of London’s Office to name just a few. Each day the students encountered a different employer who gave a presentation outlining their role and responsibilities; they explained the skills and qualities required for their job and pointed out school subjects which they found advantageous to their role. The visitors also spent time sharing advice with the students about gaining a career in their sector; they explained potential post-16 paths the students could take and also took part in a Q&A session, allowing the groups to pose any questions they had.

Although the main focus of Careers Fest was the employer encounters the students also had daily activities to complete. This was compiled in a Careers Fest booklet. For each AM session there was a careers focused activity to complete. While each AR session saw students work through reading material with an emphasis on careers and opportunities, which was followed by a discussion on what had been read.

Before each employer encounter the students had to answer three questions based on the limited information about the employer they had. Displayed on the board was the name of the person, the company they work for and their job title. The questions the students had to answer were:

  • What do you think their role is based on their job title?
  • What do you think they do on a day to day basis?
  • What would you like to ask them?

Following the encounter the students then needed to complete the following three questions:

  • Compare your answers above to what you know now.
  • Is there anything that surprised you?
  • Would you like to know more about jobs like this?

Teacher, Ms Biggs who organised the Careers Fest commented; “Thank you to all the employers and businesses who gave up their time to speak to our students. These encounters provided a fantastic opportunity for our Year 7 and 9 students to gain an insight into different career sectors. Many of the students found the event extremely useful – I have received numerous lovely emails from students thanking us for putting on the virtual event, with many now using the information they gained as a starting point for further research. Ahead of the first forum I was a little apprehensive about the students’ engagement, but after the success of the first employer encounter and the excellent quality of the questions coming from the students, I was soon put at ease, the groups were exceptionally motivated and engaged. It has been fantastic to see this reflected in the positive feedback we have received from our guests. One of the employees Sarah Coombes, who is a Senior Advisor in Communications for the Mayor of London’s Office was so impressed that she passed on her comments to the Mayor of London himself Sadiq Khan, who then sent us a personal message which was very exciting!”

The special message from the Mayor of London was shared recently on the school’s Facebook page @SirJohnTalbotsSchool and can be viewed below. In the video Sadiq Khan can be seen praising the Year 7 and 9 students following his colleagues visit.





Posted by marchesadmin on 10th November 2020, under SJT

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