County Durham pupils get career ready

As part of a programme of helping to prepare students for the world of work, students at Barnard Castle School were recently put through their paces by Barnard Castle Rotary Club, made up of local entrepreneurs.

From year 10, pupils are offered the option of sitting the Morrisby Test which is designed to help them formulate ideas about possible career choices. In year 11, these ideas are then explored more deeply through bespoke and structured PSHE lessons. As the students begin to gain a clearer idea of what interests them, they take part in the interview process with the Rotary Club.

In the weeks leading up to the interviews, students write a C.V and a covering letter, applying for a specific job of their choice. The interviewers then use these documents to assess the candidates on their interview skills, eye contact and responses to questions. Interviews last for half an hour and all pupils received a briefing afterwards and a feedback form scoring their performance (including their written material, first impressions, communication, interests & achievements, career knowledge and expectations)

Year 11 pupil, Andrew Gedye said: “Although they were not quite as scary as the interviewers from the final stages of the Apprentice, we were all quite nervous waiting to be called in and this experience has really given us a strong taste of what will come in a very important stage of our lives.”

A Rotary Club spokesperson said: “All of the interviewers said how much they enjoyed the interviews, some having remarkably intelligent students, (and this coming from a former head of Durham County Council education, and a Durham University Professor Emeritus, so I guess they know what they are talking about!), and the overall impression is, no surprise, that we would be happy to do them again next year!”

SCHOOLS NorthEast will be hosting its second annual conference focusing on what a young person needs to succeed in the 21st century. FutureReady 2016 will take place on Thursday 4 February at the Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. We will be asking:

What is good careers guidance?

How do we build character education within the curriculum?

Where will future North East jobs come from and how can we ensure our young people have the skills to access them?

How can schools effectively engage with local businesses?

We have a fantastic line-up of speakers for the day, find out more about FutureReady 2016 here and book your place today by emailing


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