Leeds Sixth Form College hosted a Raising Aspirations event this week with the aim of exposing Pudsey school pupils to high powered, high salary careers and the different pathways taken to get there.

On 23 March, pupils from Leeds West Academy, Crawshaw Academy and Co-op Academy Preisthorpe attended the event, organised by Carla Smithies, Leeds Sixth Form College Project Co-ordinator, at St George’s Centre. They took part in tasks that involved learning about different educational pathways and building a CV. 

Teachers from Leeds Sixth Form College were there to assist with the tasks and give support and advice to the students. Pupils were able to choose from a number of career pathways including: sport, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), humanities and social science and creative industries. 

The main task was a scavenger hunt style activity where the pupils collected pieces of a character’s CV from around the room which included information about how they progressed through education and employment. The idea was that the pupils could understand different ways to reach a certain career. 

Helping students find their pathway to success

Rachael Booth, Principal of Leeds Sixth Form College, said: “This event was the first of a series of activities we’re going to be undertaking with pupils from the Pudsey region who will learn about exciting and aspirational pathways into a number of careers and how to get to those ambitious future job roles. 

“The aim of this event was for pupils to see progression opportunities through someone else’s eyes – we’re trying to enthuse them about careers that don’t even exist yet.”

Owen yr 9 pupil
Owen yr 9 pupil

Owen, a year 9 pupil from Co-op Academy Priesthorpe, said: “I enjoy music. I just finished my music GCSE, I’m really enjoying computer science too. Outside of school, I play guitar, drums, bass and piano.”

It was clear that Owen has a passion for music and used the event to learn more about creative careers out there.

He said: “After school, I hope to go to sixth form and then Leeds Conservatoire. There’s a lot of careers in music, like being a music producer and sound recorder, that I’d like to explore.”

Ershal, a pupil from Leeds West Academy, said: “I like doing art and photography. I enjoy creative subjects because I like how you have the freedom to do what you want.”

Despite Ershal’s love of creative subjects, her career aspirations were heading in a different direction, “I’m thinking of doing law, I looked into different jobs to see what sounded interesting to me and that stood out.

LSFC yr 9 pupil
LSFC yr 9 pupil

“This event has been helpful in learning how to write a CV and looking at what will be useful for getting a job” 

Harman Atwal, from Co-op Academy Priesthorpe, spoke about his interests in a career in health care. 

“When I’m older I might become a paramedic, I want to help people. Someone in my family struggled with their health which made me want to help people and it seems like a really exciting career.” 

Jane Wearing, Assistant Principal at Crawshaw Academy said: “It was an excellent experience for our pupils. They had the freedom to move from station to station to build up a profile and talk to new people. They engaged with activities well and had great discussions with the facilitators.”

Senior leaders from all three of the academies have a meeting planned to discuss the details of the next raising aspirations event as this will be part of a series of activities aimed at pupils from years 7-11.