Thursday 18th February 2010 by C. Freeman
Applied Learning, which gives students real-life experiences to complement classroom teaching, was the theme of an evening lecture attended by teachers from local secondary schools.
The event, held at the Kettering Park Hotel, was organised by Mrs Jenn Watts, Head of Art at Brooke Weston and Lead Practitioner in Applied Learning for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. She organised speakers from Brooke Weston, Connexions and other local schools and businesses to share their expertise and experience.
Brooke Weston teachers Miss Rachel Gorey and Mr Jonathan Browne both spoke at the event; Miss Gorey oversees the IEC programme which means that all Sixth Formers have an afternoon dedicated to subjects which interest them. Some help out at local businesses, horticulture projects and organisations while others mentor younger students at Brooke Weston. Each student has to find a placement that suits their particular interests or career aspiration and it is an invaluable way for them to experience an everyday working environment while still studying.
Design Technology teacher Mr Browne spoke about planning and implementing the Construction in the Built Environment Diploma, a new course that started this year. A cohort of students from Year 10 spend one day a week studying all aspects of the building trade and they do site visits and practical lessons as part of the course.
Mr Ray Henshaw of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust also spoke at the meeting, alongside representatives from Connexions, Rockingham Speedway and Lunar Racing who are going to be teaching students an IMI (Institute of Motor Industry) qualification starting from September.
Mrs Watts said: 'This event was the opportunity for teaching, careers and industry professionals to discuss ways of really engaging students, giving them educational experiences over and above those they traditionally get in the classroom. By broadening the curriculum to include tasks in the community and workplace it really gives students a head start when it comes to applying for jobs or universities. Our aim is to link what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations in as many areas of the curriculum as possible.'