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Innovation Fest

Year 9 pupils visited Birmingham City University STEAM House for Innovation Fest. The festival showcased the work of the university students in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Pupils were able to get involved in a number of interactive sessions throughout the day such as 3D printing, structural challenges, gaming and coding, to name a few. There was also an interesting talk from an AV Engineer who works at Holovis in the East Midlands. His job is to engineer the sound, storytelling and imagery for roller-coaster rides. It is a job that takes him all over the world, most recently Orlando and Abu Dhabi, where he helped design a new rollercoaster for Ferrari World.    

K. Choomer said: “I enjoyed the variety of activities and that so many were hands on”.

S. Wilkes said: “I really enjoyed using the VR Headsets but I found building the structures the most interesting”.

F. Palmer said: “I didn’t think I wanted a job in these areas, but games and roller-coaster design looks really fun.”

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RICS Chartered Surveyor Workshop

Year 12 and 10 pupils were visited by Randip Bahra, a Chartered Surveyor and Fellow with RICS.  Pupils learnt about the numerous different career opportunities within surveying and learnt about Radnip’s journey into the his career and his passion for helping disadvantaged individuals progress into the heights of surveying careers. He is currently working with the Department for Education on building projects within schools across the region.

Pupils were introduced to sustainable projects, not just those that are environmentally friendly, but projects that have a wider social and economic impact too. For example, a project in Snow Hill in Birmingham has helped create a living space for the homeless, but the building also holds training hubs and meeting spaces for local employers, giving tenants the skills and contacts to progress their futures:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-18007879

K. Bynoe (Year 12) said: “I learnt a lot more about what a surveyor actually does and I now know about lots of different career opportunities that I didn’t before.”

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National Apprenticeship Fair

With apprenticeships becoming an increasingly popular option, our Year 12 pupils visited the National Apprenticeship Fair at Millennium point. 

Students gained access to independent apprenticeship advice from Top UK Employers and Training Providers, including JLR, Ford, Vinci, the NHS and the BBC.

T. Clarke said: “I spoke to the police who have encouraged me to apply and look at specialisms.

M. Singh said: “That was useful, and I met the former Head Boy, who is doing really well for himself as an apprentice”.

Our students are keen to meet even more employers and apprenticeship providers. If you are interesting in exhibiting at our next Careers Fair in school, please contact postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

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In2MedSchool

Our aspiring medics in Year 12 attended the annual In2MedSchool Hackathon at Imperial College London. Following months of preparation, students presented their healthcare initiative, Fit Focus, to medical experts at the university. They received excellent feedback for their App to tackle childhood obesity and it was a great opportunity to develop some of the important skills for medical school, including teamwork, communication and courage! All students represented the school admirably and will now have a unique experience to add to their medical school applications. 

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Crown Prosecution Service Webinar

Students and Pupils with an interest in pursuing legal careers, volunteered to take part in a webinar with the Crown Prosecution Service. Alongside celebrating International Women’s’ Day, with talks from some inspiring female leaders, the session allowed pupils to understand more about a career within the legal profession directly from the experts. 

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Sixth Form University Taster Lectures

Our Sixth Form students have been signing up to attend taster lectures at local universities, with popular topics including Motion Tracking using AI, Making a Murderer and a French Language Booster. 

These taster sessions are a great way for students to experience university level teaching and help them to decide what course to study. It is also an excellent opportunity to explore a university campus and get a feel for where they may wish to study.   

Our Year 12 Sports Scientists impressed lecturers at the University of Birmingham with their engagement in a series of mini taster lectures, covering everything from the nitty-gritty of Politics and Policy, to the fascinating realms of Physiology, Psychology, Neuroscience and Physiotherapy.

Sixth Form students should check their emails regularly for advertisements about university and employer taster events.  

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Youth Parliament Success

8 of our aspiring lawyers in Year 12 took part in the regional Youth Parliament Debate for the Midlands. 

They faced a number of tricky topics, spanning from the ethical questions arising from Artificial Intelligence to the cost of living crisis. 

Students prepared well for their debates and spoke with confidence to put forward their arguments. It was certainly a scary prospect for them, and they had strong competition from the opposing teams, but the students grasped the spirit of the debates quickly. Of the two debates the team from Barr Beacon School led, both motions were passed!  It spoke to the calibre of each student and their natural tenacity, articulation and awareness of the wider issues in the world. 

A teacher from Loughborough Grammar School, who was in attendance during the event, took the time to write to us: “I was so impressed with the team fielded by your school, even more so as I understand from your staff that it was their first time doing it, although this was not at all apparent from the impressive way they conducted themselves. They spoke so eloquently and thoughtfully, and worked so well together as a team, being superb ambassadors for your school.”

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Enterprise Masterclass

A group of our Year 9 pupils took part in an Enterprise Masterclass at the University of Birmingham. Following a tour of the campus, pupils created their own business ideas around a UN Sustainable Development Goal. They discovered new ways to generate creative ideas as a team and all pupils successfully completed an elevator pitch, which developed their presentation skills. Pupils were able to have a taste of studying Business at university and even took part in work that is usually given to undergraduate level students. 

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PwC Visit

PwC visited the school to talk to our Year 12 students who are interested in pursuing apprenticeships. PwC offer a range of School Leaver Apprenticeships and Flying Start Degree Apprenticeships programmes. Representatives from the company spoke about their own experience of working for PwC and gave tips to succeed with their competitive application process. 

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WPR Agency PR Workshop

Year 12 Business and Media students took part in a PR workshop, run by WPR Agency. 

After learning about what working in PR involves, and its differences to advertising, students were set a task. They put together an pitch for a new restaurant in the Bullring, encompassing media coverage, social content, influencer engagement and events. Our visiting speaker was very impressed with the innovative ideas from each group and praised students for their creativity and excellent team work when formulating ideas. 

Students said they enjoyed the chance to ‘have a go’ at a real career and valued having the chance to work in a team. They were interested to share their ideas and hear what the other groups had created, and one student even said “I didn’t realise before, but I am actually more creative than I thought.”

Contact Info

Barr Beacon School
Old Hall Lane
Aldridge, Walsall
West Midlands
WS9 0RF

T: 0121 366 6600
postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

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