Sydenham High sixth formers build key professional skills

The problem of graduates leaving university without appropriate skills for entering the world of work is being tackled head on by Sydenham High School GDST through a new Professional Skills programme for the Sixth Form.

All Year 12 students receive specialist training in corporate communication, make contacts in the professional world and complete a self-directed project in order to build on and develop their work skills.  The programme matches each student with a professional ‘mentor’ and they have the opportunity to interview them face-to-face. This year, the contacts have ranged from corporate lawyers to personal bankers and TV producers to surgeons.

The school has contacts with large firms and organisations operating in the City of London who come into school to help students develop their corporate communication abilities in emailing, speaking on the phone and conducting meetings and interviews in a professional and effective manner.

The course has a very reflective nature; students blog and record their experiences online, commenting on the obstacles faced, tackled and overcome.

Year 12 student Zoe MacCormack said: “Getting the chance to meet women who are successful in their professions and being able to ask them about their career paths and motivations was really inspiring. It was also really good to get an insight into the business world and visit their place of work.”

By the end of the programme, Sydenham High’s Year 12 students should have the key skills they need to gain work experience, internships and places on graduate schemes in their not-too-distant futures.

The Professional Skills Programme is co-ordinated by Head of Biology Dr Elyse Waites and Head of Sociology Jemma Roye.

The photo shows Year 12 students Catherine and Tanuja interviewing surgeon Mayoni Byrne

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