Boys in VI.1 are encouraged to undertake work experience or get involved with the Community Action Programme
Work experience is one of the most important ways in which young people can obtain an insight into the world of work. It provides a valuable opportunity for the pupils to acquire information about specific career interests. The experience will enable them to make a more informed decision regarding careers, and may also assist them to make a more careful university choice. There is space on the UCAS form to outline what work experience has been obtained, and it is a useful addition to CVs. It also has the advantage of taking the student out of the Radley 'comfort zone'.
Work placements occur in either the Easter or Summer holiday or after GCSEs for the Vth form, and are usually for the duration of one week. The period of work experience is concluded by both the company and the boy providing reports, although the process begins with a meeting with VI.1 and information being sent to parents during the Michaelmas Term.
The specific aims of each placement is discussed between teaching staff, the pupil and the employer to ensure that golas are held in common. For the employers concerned, work experience can help them to understand more fully the curriculum and educational programmes, to clear up pupils' misconceptions about the world of work, and to develop valuable school/industry links. For the pupils involved, it will enable them to identify skills and individual qualities required in the work place, and to understand the relationships with working adults in a business structure. There is an enormous amount to plan for one week, and it is vital that it is structured to achieve precise goals.
Work experience does not need to be confined to local or city-based companies in the UK. Placements in Europe or further afield have the additional advantage of providing a 'living' experience.
Boys are encouraged, where possible, to organise their own placements. Personal contacts are more likely to yield a more 'hands on' role. However, the Careers Department can provide contacts, placements and advice. There are numerous resources available in the Careers Centre and The Radleian Society
(details of members' careers on their database provides a source of contacts). Their support at helping to provide work experience opportunities is a welcome asset to the Careers Department.