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Careers Events at The Trafalgar School at Downton

At The Trafalgar School at Downton, our students take part in many different careers events across all year groups at various points throughout the year. These events enrich the careers education that our students receive during their time here.

Friday 23rd February 2024

NCS Experiences - Live it!

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Today, Luke Brown from the National Citizen Service (NCS), came to talk to our Year 11 students about their 5 day residential experiences that run in the summer – “Live it! Get ready to boost your confidence, grow your resilience, meet new friends, be a force for good, and learn new skills for the world of work.”


NCS have been running these experiences for the last 10 years, and over 750,000 students have already taken part. 90% of the students that get involved are from Year 11, so it is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people from schools in the surrounding area.


The residential experiences run Monday – Friday and there is a pick-up point at the NCS hub site in Salisbury. From there you will go on to YMCA Fairthorne Manor in Southampton where you will take part in activities such as laser tag, bushcraft, high ropes, canoeing and rock climbing – a great way to burn off some steam after your exams!


You will also have the opportunity to take part in three workshops; Citizens Aid, Presenting Yourself and Your Voice Matters. All of these activities are great at building your leadership, communication and teamworking skills, which are all important for your future at college, university and the world of work.


The residential experiences are part-funded by the government, so the cost is £95 per student, which includes all accommodation, food, activities, etc. Bursaries are available in certain circumstances (e.g. Pupil Premium, Free School Meals, etc.), so please enquire if cost is the only barrier to you taking part.


Spaces fill up quickly on a first come, first served basis, so if you are interested apply as soon as possible by visiting their website.

Friday 2nd February 2024

WSE & S6C Sports Academy Assembly

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Today Adam Jones, Director of Sport, visited Trafalgar to talk to our Year 11 students about the Wyvern St. Edmunds and S6C Sports Academy. They gave an inspirational talk about the Sports courses available at S6C plus the opportunities that are available in their Football, Rugby and Netball Academies.


S6C is a college that will give you the chance to be independent with your study and time management. They offer a variety of Sports courses, including CTECs and a new A-Level in Physical Education. For the A-Level, you are only required to have one sport specialism and it is assessed by 40% practical assessment and 60% formal examination.


Part of the extended offer at S6C includes the WSE & S6C Sport Academies, comprising of Football, Rugby and Netball Academies. These are run by professional sports coaches who have links with local clubs. You will train 3 times a week and receive a Sports Academy uniform that you can wear with pride on game days. All sport academies have an excellent winning record; the Rugby Academy has currently won 5 out of 6 games! You don’t need to be studying a sports course to be a part of the sport academies, so anyone can take part and there is also a fitness suite if sports clubs aren’t your thing.


The official deadline for applications to S6C has passed, but you can still put in an application and it may be considered. For further information please head to their website.

Friday 26th January 2024

The Burgate Sixth Form Assembly

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Today our Careers Assembly was hosted by Helen Costello, Head of Sixth Form, and two of her Year 12 students. Helen wanted to get across to students that the next steps in their lives are really special, not just in terms of their academic journey, but also their social journey. The next 2 years will be crucial for developing their own identity, experiences and personal growth, and The Burgate Sixth Form provides an excellent environment in which to do this.


The Burgate Sixth Form is less than 5 miles from Downton and provides a nurturing environment for students as it has a small intake with 230 students across Years 12 & 13. They are in the top third of sixth form/college providers nationally, and from the students that applied to go to university after Year 13, 98% were successful.


They offer mostly A-Levels in a variety of subjects, but also offer a BTEC Drama and a CTEC Sport. You can also choose to do an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) which is an A-Level standard standalone qualification designed to extend and develop a students' abilities beyond the A-level syllabus and prepare for university or their future career; this is highly desirable to universities.


At The Burgate Sixth Form you will find small class sizes which means that you are not just a number, your tutors and teachers will know you personally and will support you with any decision that you make about your next steps. The Year 12 students that spoke today confirmed that they always feel supported and listened to by their teachers and that they are never put under pressure to choose a certain path for their future. They also highlighted the benefits of being close to Fordingbridge town centre, which you can visit during your free periods, or if not, that there are plenty of fun, social spaces within The Burgate Sixth Form’s campus to hang out with your friends or study.


It is not too late to apply, so please contact them directly to arrange a tour. You can also go on their website for further information. If you have applied, they look forward to seeing you on Fresher’s Day, Thursday 27th June 2024.

Wednesday 24th January 2024

Appren-T-Fest 2024

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Today all of our Year 10 students visited the Appren-T-Fest 2024 hosted by S6C and Wiltshire College. This was an incredible apprenticeship fair which started with a presentation and followed with our students visiting numerous employer tables at an exhibition to discover apprenticeships available to them in the local area.

First we heard from Junior Saunders, the Founder of Junior Inspiring Education, where he inspired our students to realise that an “…apprenticeship is just a different journey to the same destination.” He went on to tell our students what an apprenticeship actually is, how much you could expect to be paid, how long you would do it for and the different levels that you are able to obtain. He also spoke about transferable skills from your hobbies, which give you confidence during interview situations and the importance of resilience “…which is really being uncomfortable, but carrying on anyway.”

Next, three large employers in the local area were competing to pitch their apprenticeship opportunities to our students. Wiltshire Council, UK HSA (UK Health Security Agency) and The Army, all gave brilliant presentations about why their apprenticeships were the ones to go for. 

We found out that Wiltshire Council offers apprenticeships in many different work areas, including business administration and social care. They also offer flexible working and hybrid options of splitting work at home and work at the office. UKHSA offer apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 7, which you can do alongside your job and the training is paid for by them. They also have multiple sports and social clubs available to staff and free bus travel to the office is available from the Salisbury area. Meanwhile The Army told the students about the many different apprenticeships on offer, including brick laying, carpentry, scientists, and many more. You also get free accommodation and they will pay for you to learn to drive. 

The next stage of the event involved visiting an employer exhibition where employers were ready and waiting to talk to our students about the amazing apprenticeship options that they have within their business and industry. Students were able to talk to Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Chemring, GoSkydive, Stonehenge Plumbing, NFU Mutual, Salisbury Reds, Trethowans and many many more. 

All students really had their eyes opened to the endless possibilities that come from apprenticeships and one student said “…it is great to see that there are other pathways and options available to me when I leave Trafalgar.”

A huge thank you to Steph Jones at Chemring for sponsoring our travel to the event.

Monday 15th January 2024

Year 10 Hospitality and Catering School Trip to Mooltan Barracks


Today our Year 10 Hospitality and Catering students had the opportunity to visit the kitchens and catering facilities at Mooltan Barracks, part of Tidworth Military Camp. We were hosted by Food Services and Catering giant, Sodexo, who took us through every part of their huge operation at the barracks. Sodexo run 13 military catering facilities from Warminster to Aldershot and have Apprentice Chef vacancies for school leavers.

The Head Chef, Matthew Spencer, showed the students what a real-life hot plate team briefing looked and sounded like. This detailed the menu for the day (which changes every single day on a 28 day rotation), the prices, the elements that each meal comprises of, recommended portion sizes and allergen information.

We were then led on a tour of the backstage area by the Catering Manager, Vanessa Newton. Students were able to look at the food storage areas, industrial fridges and walk-in freezers. We learnt about how important the due diligence process is within professional catering to keep food safe and consumers healthy. This included information about temperature checking and traceability of food coming into the building in case there are ever any issues for customers. 

Sodexo’s professional kitchen really opened the student’s eyes to the scale of cookery required for this amount of people. We saw a potato rumbler, vegetable slicer, and a salamander grill. These are all pieces of large scale machinery used on a daily basis in the kitchen to increase the efficiency of staff when serving large numbers of military personnel each day. Students were also shown a water boiler that could boil 180 litres of water in 40 minutes!

Everything that the students saw today directly relates to the module that they are currently studying at school and could be a part of their GCSE exam next year.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Sodexo and Mooltan Barracks for allowing us to visit. Specifically our thanks go to Paul Preston (CRL Support Manager – Sodexo), Pete Evans (Account Manager – Sodexo), Matthew Spencer (Head Chef), Vanessa Newton (Catering Manager) and all of their team at from Sodexo at Mooltan Barracks.

More information on the Apprenticeship opportunities at Sodexo can be found here.

Friday 15th December 2023

Brockenhurst College Assembly

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At The Trafalgar School at Downton we want to ensure that all Year 11 students have an awareness of every Further Education provider available to them. Our Careers assemblies support this work and today we welcomed Brockenhurst College. Steve Jenkin, Assistant Principal, took us through why Brockenhurst College might be the place to “…discover your route to success!”


Brockenhurst College is set in the beautiful location of The New Forest and is just a 5 minute walk to Brockenhurst village. It is easy to get to via a network of 14 dedicated bus services, one of which goes through Downton, plus there is the option of train travel from Salisbury.


There are 3,000 students on role who have the choice of over 43 different subjects at A Level and 30 different subjects for vocational courses. The subjects run from the more traditional Maths, English, and Sciences to Animation, Beauty, Electronics and Criminology. The teaching staff are all experts within their field; the Performing Arts lecturer also does the sound and lighting at the Glastonbury Festival and the Dance Teacher performs on Broadway!


There are many incredible enrichment opportunities including a Brock2Kenya humanitarian project, supporting the running of the college newspaper and Business Enterprise activities; there will be something for everyone. All of these opportunities, both educational and enrichment, are supported by a strong pastoral team who want to give you the right emotional and wellbeing care possible in order to fulfil your potential.


Their next open day is in May 2024, however, you can book a tour at any point. Deadline for applications is Friday 1st March 2024, so if this is the college for you, start applying now!


To find out more you can visit their website here.

Friday 8th December 2023

Sparsholt and Andover College Assembly

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Today our Careers Assembly presentation covered two post-16 options; Sparsholt College and Andover College. Will Freemantle told students about both of these incredible colleges and the facilities that they offer.


First we heard about Sparsholt College. Sparsholt is a 450 acre site that boasts sports pitches, an aquatic centre and even a zoo! You are able to study from Foundation level right up to Level 3 courses, which are the equivalent of 3 A Levels. Subjects range from Conservation, Countryside and the Environment to Fishery Studies and Aquatics. If you choose to do Equine Studies you will have access to stables which house over 30 horses that you can ride and take care of as part of your course. Animal Studies is their most popular course, using a mixture of classroom based training and on-the-job experience in the onsite zoo which is home to over 600 animals. There are also opportunities to do T Levels and Apprenticeships, so there really is something for everyone.


Sparsholt’s next open day is on Saturday 3rd February 2024, but in the meantime check out their website here.


Next Will told the students about Andover College. Andover is a top A Level provider with 17 out of 20 courses achieving a 100% pass grade! There is an incredible pastoral ethos to support students to achieve their very best. If you study here you can choose your A Levels from 40 different subjects including Animation, Fashion, Law and Business to name a few. They also offer BTEC and Vocational Courses, as well as T Levels. Their University Prep Programme enables students to build the key skills needed for university such as writing and research skills and also gives an insight into societies and university life.


Andover College’s next open day is on Wednesday 7th February 2024, but you can go to their website now to see more information.


Both Colleges have no fixed deadline for applications, but the earlier the better!

Friday 1st December 2023

Bishop Wordsworth's School Sixth Form Assembly

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Today our Careers Assembly was hosted by Bishop Wordsworth's School Sixth Form (BWS). We heard from the Head Master, Dr. Stuart Smallwood, who told our students that the next steps are all about choices and they need to be confident with their choice so that they can aspire to excellence, which is what will be expected of them at BWS.


BWS boasts outstanding results as 76% of their students achieve grades A*-B at A Level, with many of them gaining entry to Russell Group universities and over 80 % getting their first choice. You can choose to do 3 or 4 A Levels with a variety of incredible subjects including Business Studies, Geology, Music and many more.


BWS want every student to feel a sense of pride, ownership and identity, which is why there is a Sixth Form dress code giving a unique Sixth Form experience. Around 400 students have use of a purpose-built Sixth Form block with a common room, games room and separate kitchen area.


Their pastoral support is a key part of the offer at BWS. All teachers know students personally and strive to support everyone to achieve brilliant results and secure their future goals.


To find out more you can visit their website here.

Thursday 23rd November 2023

DSTL Workshop - Inspiring Careers in Computing and STEM

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Today, we were delighted to welcome two inspiring Cyber-Security experts from DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and their amazing Lego Spike Kits after school. In a drive to promote careers in Computing and STEM, students in Year 9 were tasked with building a vehicle out of Lego with the intention of putting it through its paces in the upcoming weeks.


The club runs every Thursday from 3.15 - 4.15pm and we still have spaces for Year 9 students who are keen to explore careers in Computer Science, or even just to do something fun with Lego and robotics.

Friday 17th November 2023

BBC Bitesize Careers Roadshow


Today we had a visit from the BBC Bitesize Schools Tour team. These tours focus on careers in a variety of sectors and hopefully help to inspire young minds about the opportunities that exist on their doorstep. The aim of the Bitesize Schools Tour is to raise awareness of career aspirations to secondary school pupils across the UK, and give them practical advice on how they can pursue a career in a variety of settings.


Kathryn Wilson, BBC Radio and TV Presenter, hosted the event and she interviewed 3 professionals from different industries. Kathryn spoke to Chelsey Baker, an Ocean Biogeochemical Model Analyst from the National Oceanography Centre, who told the students all about her job where she answers questions about the ocean using computer models, which often takes her out to sea for long periods of time.


We were also introduced to Nick Gowman. Nick is a Freelance Cartoonist and Illustrator whose job is so varied and changes everyday depending on the contract he has been given; from dinosaurs to sweet wrappers!


The third panelist was Sophie Phipson who is a Production Apprentice for the BBC and her role involves producing the BBC Bitesize content, from roadshows to videos, website publications to TV.


The panelists told us about the different routes into their careers. This could be a more formal route like university or through on the job learning as part of an apprenticeship. Students also learnt about the soft skills that employers have said are just as important as their academic skills. These are qualities such as problem solving, positivity, listening skills, time keeping, teamwork and leadership.


Our year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students really enjoyed this interactive careers show - “...I loved that the jobs weren’t ‘typical’ jobs that you hear about all the time...”


To discover BBC Bitesize Careers for yourself, please click here.

Friday 3rd November 2023

Ringwood School Sixth Form Assembly

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Today our Careers Assembly was hosted by Ringwood Sixth Form.


Andy Walbrin (Director of Sixth Form) and Tom Cooper (Head of Year 11), shared with us why Ringwood Sixth Form is a "local, friendly and supportive" further education option for Trafalgar students.


Ringwood Sixth Form is rated as one of the highest performing providers in the country for the 14th year running and has 35 different Level 3 courses (BTEC and A Levels) for students to choose from.


Ringwood School has over 1600 students from Year 7 - Year 13, but there is a separate block just for Sixth Form students. This has a designated social and learning space, including a wonderful outside area and a Costa Coffee.


There are high contact hours between students and teachers. This offers incredibly supportive pastoral care and personalised careers guidance to ensure that you make the right next step for you beyond Sixth Form.


Their open evening is next week on Thursday 9th November 2023, 5.30pm - 7.30pm and it is only 15 minutes down the road from here, so go and take a look!


For more information, please visit their website.

Monday 16th & Tuesday 17th October 2023

Mock Interviews 2023


This week, Year 11 students took part in our Mock Interview event. This is an important part of their Careers Education as we help them to get ready for life after Trafalgar.


Local employers became our interviewers and gave the students a real taste of what an interview could be like. This prepares them for their Further Education school/college interviews that will be taking place over the coming months.


There were a lot of nerves around, but students and employers alike found it a positive and uplifting experience. Many of our employers said that they were impressed by the confidence of our students and how prepared they were for the interviews!


A huge thank you to our employers:

- Luke March (NHS Trust)

- James Hayes (Fawcetts LLP)

- Tim Latcham (Wessex Water)

- Graham Simpson (Total Foot Health Ltd.)

- James Read (Giant Peach)

- Jake Stewart (Evelyn Partners)

- Sam Cook (Evelyn Partners)

- Amy Northam (Evelyn Partners)

- Joseph Fletcher (Evelyn Partners)

- Lou Sturman (Qinetiq)

- Andy Stewart (Army Careers Centre)

- Tara Baron (Army Careers Centre)

- Rob Gibson (Alabare Christian Care and Support)

- Nicky Hankins (Horizon Magna Motor Group)

- Solomon Rimer (Wilton Wholefoods)

- John Page (School Governor)

Friday 13th October 2023

South Wilts Grammar School Assembly

Today our Careers Assembly was hosted by South Wilts Grammar School (SWGS). Kate Parker, Director of Sixth Form, spoke about how SWGS is the “best of all worlds”, driven by their 3 values of academic excellence, community and independence. This was evident when ex-Trafalgar students, Cam Simpson and Blake Newman, who accompanied Kate, spoke so positively about the experience that they are currently having at SWGS.


SWGS now gains 50% of students in their Sixth Form from different schools around the local area, so it is not just for students who have moved up through the school. They offer a broad choice of subjects across A Levels, with the introduction of Sociology from September. There is excellent pastoral support with individual care and fantastic teaching of a diverse and exciting curriculum, driving you to gain outstanding results and academic success.


They have incredible facilities for their Sixth Form students. There is a common room which looks out on a huge outdoor green space. A separate Sixth Form Café, quiet study rooms and a Learning Resource Centre. SWGS has a great sporting programme and also have strong links with 5 Rivers Leisure Centre.


Their open afternoons are on Wednesday 18th October 2023 and Thursday 7th December 2023 at 14:00 – 15:00. Alternatively their open evening is on Thursday 9th November 2023, 17:00 – 19:00. Please visit their website for more information and to book your place at one of these events.

Friday 29th September 2023

Sarum Academy Sixth Form Assembly

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Today our Careers assembly was hosted by Sarum Academy. Harry Gale (Assistant Head) and Sam Filer (Head of Sixth Form) spoke to our Year 11 students about how Sarum Academy could be the place to "create your future".


They understand that as a 15/16 year old, you may not be ready to decide what you would like to do, so they offer a wide range of subjects and types of qualifications. Sarum Academy has achieved great results and for the last 5 years their students have made better progress than the national average.


There are incredible facilities including new air conditioned buildings, a fully equipped fitness suite and an amazing 3G all-weather pitch.


Sarum Academy has linked with Salisbury FC and as part of their Sport qualifications you will have the opportunity to have 5 hours of extra professional football coaching a week.


Their open day is on Tuesday 10th October 2023, 4:30 - 6:30pm. No need to book, just turn up and take a look around!

Friday 22nd September 2023

S6C Assembly

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Today, Ben Hillier, Head of College at Salisbury 6th Form College, spoke to our Year 11 students in our first Careers assembly of term.


S6C is a college where “it’s all about you!” There are only 450 students, which allows everyone to know everyone and your teachers will know you as a person. They will know your subjects, your careers aspirations and support you to achieve them.


Ben had two very important messages for our students. Firstly, visit more than one sixth form provider. You won’t know what is the right fit for you unless you actually go and see as many schools and colleges as possible.


Secondly, apply to more than one school or college. The more places you apply to, the more choice you will have and apply before the deadlines. This year they were oversubscribed in English Literature, Law, Maths and Geography and almost at maximum capacity in Psychology, Media, Sport, Business and Creative Media. Their advice is to apply early as, if courses are full, even if you apply by the closing date, you may not be guaranteed a place.


S6C will be introducing 4 new courses for September 2024:

  • Engineering Extended Certificate (= to 1 x A Level)

  • E-sports Extended Certificate (= to 1 x A Level)

  • A Level Spanish

  • A Level Animation


S6C open events are on Wednesday 11th October 2023 and Thursday 16th November 2023. Book a place on their website.


S6C applications open from Sunday 1st October 2023 and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 31st January 2024.

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