Many face September with a sickening sense of trepidation, as it means the holiday season is over, and it’s time – once more – to launch into the rigours of a new school term. This September, however, a host of Urmston Grammar alumni have voluntarily returned to school, but this time not to experience the expertise of their ex-teachers’ subject knowledge, but to pass on their own experience of the world of work.
They came from a host of occupations: from legal work to midwifery, from sound engineering to financial advising and many others besides. One former student, Richard Ballam, has his feet on solid ground as a chartered surveyor, while another, Jane Pickersgill, is a genuine high-flier – a flight lieutenant in the RAF. Current Year 11 students were able to quiz the former students about the day-to-day tasks their jobs entailed, but without actually knowing their precise job titles. Our current students had a great deal of fun trying to guess the occupations of the former.
Jane said: “I enjoyed being able to give something back to the school especially as my career is not a ‘traditional’ one for UGS alumni and not at all what I had in mind to do when I left at the end of Year 13.” And Richard had this to say to Urmston Grammar’s current students: “We once occupied your desks, and walked these corridors; we too were young and filled with hopes and dreams.” He went on to advise: “Put in the work and effort, and be guided by your teachers – you can go far from here and achieve great things.”
Whilst it was fun, it was also a highly informative exercise, all part of Urmston Grammar’s Work Related Learning Day, during which students also attended workshops on negotiating skills, CV writing and interview skills.
Year 11 student, Jessica Tasker, enthused: “It was interesting and stimulating to meet people from the world of work, and benefit from their knowledge and experience.”
Our thanks go to all those who gave up their time to make this such a valuable venture for our students.