Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Getting the most out of Work Experience


Telephone the placement company before your work placement:

  • to introduce yourself  to your  placement supervisor
  • to ask for information about the company, what tasks you will be doing on the placement  and to confirm some practical arrangements (e.g. clothing, start and finish times)
  • to answer questions from your placement supervisor, which might include explaining what you want from the placement.


Practice Active Listening – pay attention to other people so that they feel you understand what they are saying. You may need to do this in the following situations:

  • induction briefing –  e.g. about health and safety procedures
  • explanation of work tasks
  • taking messages from customers or colleagues
  • in team meetings where key facts and decisions are discussed
  • listening and observing colleagues to learn new skills or techniques
  • dealing with customers or service users


Speak clearly and logically:

  • think through what you want to say, making sure you get the information in a logical order and do not forget anything
  • write down the key points in order
  • How clear was the information? Was anything missed out? Was the tone and speed appropriate?


Prepare for face-to-face meetings – you may need to do this with your supervisor  to:

  • discuss your progress during a placement
  • be given specific information about a particular task that you have been asked to do
  • report or discuss a problem that may have arisen.


Take the opportunity to talk to people about their jobs, what they do and how they got there.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


You may hear a lot about Employability – but what exactly does it mean?

Employability is about making sure young people have the skills, qualifications and personal attributes to get a job, preferably in a sector they really enjoy.

Even though getting a job might seem a long way off, you will already be developing your employability skills through any work experience you do, writing personal statements, having college interviews and choosing subjects in areas you might want to work in.

  it’s never too early to start planning…

A new website has been launched offering practical advice to young people getting ready for work

The British Chambers of Commerce will launch its ‘Your Future’ programme this month which will hold 250 career events aimed improving the career prospects of young people.

More useful links looking at skills and careers – they all have suggestions about career options and looking for a job

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How to revise

With exams only weeks away for some students, here are some useful tips on revision:

1. Start revising early
- i.e. months, not days before the exam. Make a timetables (see samples) to plan your revision and stick to it.

2. Don't spend ages making your notes look pretty.
- This is just wasting time. For diagrams, include all the details you need to learn, but don't try to produce a work of art. Limit yourself to two or three colours so you don't get carried away colouring things in.

3. Take short breaks
- every hour, not every ten minutes.

4. Use revision guides

5. In study leave, start revising early
- i.e. 9am - that way, you'll get your day's work done much quicker and will have time to relax in the evening.

6. Stick revision notes all around your house
- so in the exam you think - "aha, quadratic equations, they were on the fridge..."

7. Get yourself drinks and snacks

- so you don't make excuses to stop every ten minutes...

8. Try reading difficult bits in funny accents - Australian is particularly good...

9. Sit at a proper desk, no revising in bed!

10. Don't put it off

- "Procrastination" is the long word for it. And it means rearranging stuff on your desk, getting a sudden urge after 16 years to tidy your room, playing the guitar, thinking about the weekend, writing love poems about that girl/boy you fancy, painting your toenails etc, etc... sit down at your desk and GET ON WITH IT!

11. Don't just read your notes, you have to write stuff down!

12. Don't turn yourself into a revision zombie
- if you stop doing anything else but revision you'll turn into a zombie, it's really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy... like cinema, shopping, sports, Frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes, nose-picking, whatever tickles your ferret... when you're doing these, try to relax and totally forget about revision.

13. Do lots of practice exam papers
- this is especially important as you get close to the exams.

14. Read the exam timetable properly
- double check so you don't miss an exam and have plenty of time to prepare for it.

15. Find the right environment to revise
- NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be OK, but you need to find the right kind. It's got to be something that's just there is the background that you're not thinking about at all. Music without signing is better as you won't be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Finding work experience in STEM...

Over 95% of students go on work experience in Years 10 or 11. Most placements are arranged for the latter half of the summer term in Year 10, to avoid disruption to timetabled learning. Some placements last three weeks, but most finish after two weeks, or even one.


If you are looking for a placement related to science or maths and haven’t been able to find one through school, then you may well have to find a placement yourself. You can get ideas from friends, family, online business directories or business directories in your local library, or have a look at the list below for ideas on where you can start your research:


National STEM Centre (includes e-library resources)

For more useful careers advice, and opportunities join SATROclub by emailing