Last week our annual Simon Balle Careers Fair took place in the school hall. Over 35 companies were in attendance; ranging from the banking industries, construction, armed forces, fire brigade, and many more. Students from Y12 attended during the first hour followed by Y10 students, with many staying on afterwards.
Students really enjoyed the day gaining valuable insights into the world of work and the range of opportunities available to them.
On Wednesday we hosted a Y8 ‘Discover, Believe, Become‘ careers day. Over 180 students worked together for the day, learning and practising vital skills such as teamwork, problem solving and resilience. Students were taught the importance of how they should present themselves to prospective employers, as well as the importance of gaining work experience.
Y8 students were also introduced to the concept of ‘Black Box Thinking’ which they found fascinating. The day finished with a quiz looking at local market information as well as students setting aspirational future goals. Overall it was a very successful day giving students a taste of the skills required for 21st century employment.
This week Y12s have spent time with their corresponding forms in Y10 as part of the Period 5 Careers Programme. At the start of the week they collaborated to produce dynamic CVs that will make them competitive as they begin to prepare for the workplace. Later in the week, the Y12s will put the Y10s through their paces as they begin to hold formal interviews.
“It is great to get involved with the lower years and build relationships within Houses. I am also finding it useful being on this side of the process as I prepare my Personal Statement. It gives me a different perspective”
Last Monday over 45 students from Y10-13 attended the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes. Our students had the opportunity to engage with over 100 employers and providers showcasing the potential apprenticeship and trainee schemes available to them post-Simon Balle.
Employers including Amazon, BT, IBM, Lloyds Banking Group, NHS, Santander, Volkswagen and Volvo presented a range of opportunities to inspire students’ potential career paths.
“An insightful, interesting and interactive experience.” Charlie Stokes Y12
“It broadened what I thought I could do after sixth form” Christian Carroll Y11
“It helped me to gain knowledge of what areas are available for me to go into with the interests I have.” Louis Farrelly Y12
On 7th March A Level Psychologists visited the Museum of the Mind at Bethlem Hospital in Kent. Students were given a talk on the history and modern workings of the Hospital and treatments, a visit to the museum and gallery and a seminar on ethical and legal considerations in treating patients.
Not only is Mental Illness a significant part of their course but it is also an important issue which Y13 have studied in lesson 5, considering the impact of stigma and illness and how to maintain mental health. Students found the experience thought-provoking and valuable for their studies.
‘Bethlem Hospital was fascinating in giving us all an insight in relation to how far our understanding and treatment of metal health has progressed. As a psychology student, it was incredibly valuable to my studies and I’m glad that I had the privilege of going.’ Georgina, Y13
‘We had an interesting talk from one of the staff about how mental illnesses were treated centuries ago; it’s drastically different to what is done today! The museum was also full of intriguing exhibits, and I would love to visit again.’ Karys, Y12
Y12 chemists are currently studying the reactivity of group 2 metals and their uses in the medical industry. In the video below you can see the reaction of magnesium with steam. You can see the distinctive bright white flame when magnesium burns but also a yellow ‘halo’ around the top of the conical flask.
This is caused by the hydrogen, which is produced in the reaction, burning. Metals found in group 2 on the periodic table are very useful to the medical industry and found commonly in ‘milk of magnesia’ and ‘barium meals’. The chemists are now going to produce a report explaining other uses in the medical industry of these metals.
Y12 Chemist Reactivity from Simon Balle on Vimeo.
On Friday 3rd March, thirty Y12 students attended the UK University Search Fair at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
This was a fantastic opportunity for students to meet an array of universities from all over the UK and gain vital advice for their UCAS applications. Exhibitors were featured in 3 large halls overlooking the famous pitch.
Y12 students were treated to an insightful and useful apprenticeship talk last Friday. They were visited by Vinicio Cellerini – Zurich UK Head of Commercial Insurance – and Suzanne Shipton – HR Business Partner at Zurich. Accompanying them was SBS alumni Sam Eustace, winner of the Insurance Times Awards Apprentice of the Year.
Vinicio started as an apprentice himself so is passionate about promoting the schemes to more young people around the UK. This was a great opportunity for our students to learn from someone who has found incredible success from apprenticeships and to gain knowledge of the skills necessary to succeed in a professional environment.
Just before Christmas our Y8 students put a lot of effort into the creation of their chocolate box projects. They had to design and create their own chocolate box, calculating the volume and surface area and creating different nets. They also looked at marketing strategies, key sales points, pricing and packaging.
They then had to set up a stand for both students and staff to come around and look at their creations, ask questions and decide which of the students’ projects had the best features. We had several winners from each class, the students thoroughly enjoyed creating their boxes and we have some fantastic work produced. One student actually made his chocolate box out of chocolate which was very impressive – well done Jack!
On Friday18th November, eight Y8 and 9 students ‘took over’ Hertford Museum for the day and ran tours and activities for thirty students from Abel Smith School and the general public. Takeover Day is a nationwide event created by the charity Kids in Museums, and our students leapt at the chance to take responsibility for running the museum for a day.
Lucy, Amy, Ruby, Scarlett, Amy, Eleanor, Tilly and Ella had been working hard for weeks preparing their quiz trail, tour guide speeches, object handling session and advertising through social media and posters. Their dedication paid off on the day as they confidently educated the museum’s adult visitors and the younger students about a myriad of topics, including Hertford’s Roman history and the experiences of the town during both World Wars.
The Simon Balle students used the event as an opportunity to improve their organisational skills, work as a team, learn new knowledge and take responsibility for teaching others. The day was an unqualified success thanks to their effort and creativity. Lucy M in 9B commented that she “thoroughly enjoyed the whole day” and particularly liked “talking to members of the public about the Hertfordshire Regiment”. Several people who visited the museum during the day spoke very highly of the students’ enthusiasm, knowledge and confidence; they were a credit to the school.