Young people from across East Suffolk have been learning more about potential careers through a series of fun skills initiatives delivered by East Suffolk Council and local organisations.
Children from local primary schools (Years 5 and 6) along with secondary school and Sixth Form students took part in three separate programmes which combined hands-on activities with innovative learning styles; Eyes On, Game Anglia and the Cefas Masterclass.
East Suffolk Council, together with East Coast College, Game Anglia and Cefas are committed to providing young people with opportunities to learn and practice new skills, in order to help develop a vibrant post-16 skills system which is closely aligned to the current and future economy.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Economic Development said:
“We would like to thank all the local organisations and education providers for their enthusiasm, support and involvement with these initiatives.
Highlighting the wide range of new and emerging industries available in East Suffolk and giving young people an insight into related skills, such as coding, marine science and engineering, will not only help them thrive within their chosen careers when the time comes but will also help local businesses to secure skilled employees and grow as a result.”
The Eyes On programme, developed by the Council’s Economic Development Team, offers Year 5 and 6 pupils an opportunity to learn more about specific career sectors such as catering, engineering, construction, renewable energy, creative media design and maths-linked outdoor pursuits.
650 pupils from Brampton, Ringsfield, Ilketshall St Lawrence, Red Oak, Blundeston, Dell, Roman Hill, Carlton Colville, Bramfield and Corton Primary Schools took part. The catering workshop, delivered by East Coast College and hosted at Dell Primary School, saw the pupils making pancakes, sampling exotic fruit and making napkin shapes for silver service. Pupils at Ringsfield Primary designed and raced their own electric cars whilst 65 pupils from Red Oak Primary School learned about the construction trade. The workshops were led by Persimmon Homes, who supplied materials to enable the children to construct ready-made homes.
The pioneering Game Anglia programme was developed between the Council and games industry professionals from Suffolk-based Game Anglia. 300 secondary school pupils from Kesgrave, Alde Valley, Farlingaye, Felixstowe Academy, Saxmundham Free School, Thomas Mills, East Point Academy, Pakefield, Bungay, Sir John Leman, Ormiston Denes Academy and Benjamin Britten Academy took part in a series of unique workshops focusing solely on the games industry, delivered by games professionals. Through these fun and imaginative workshops, participating students were able to learn more about coding and other essential future skills needed for this emerging industry and speak directly with young games makers and digital artists.
Within the workshops, the children were able to create their own game using the coding programme Scratch, build their own add-ons and joysticks and were able to ask questions directly to industry professionals. Many of the students expressed an interest in coding as a future career.
Mark Backler from Game Anglia said:
"Game Anglia is in a unique position to help prepare these students through our background and direct connection to the games industry. It has been great for us to be able to help teach young people about the joys of making videogames and to support them in developing the necessary skills.
The kids were so engaged and willing to learn. It was a really fun experience for everyone involved!
Videogames have the power to inform, educate and entertain. We think they are the most powerful medium of our time and so by helping set these young people up with the skills to create digital interactive content, East Suffolk Council and Game Anglia are helping prepare them for a bright future."
The Cefas Masterclass took place in Lowestoft in July, with 25 students from Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Sir John Leman Sixth Form and Bungay High School Sixth Form working with marine biologists from Cefas.
The students took part in 4 workshops, learning about fish dissection, plankton and toxins in shellfish, fish tags and marine artefacts. They were also able to listen to a number of young Cefas scientists talk passionately about their work.
Due to the ongoing refurbishment of the Cefas building, the masterclass was held at Lowestoft Sixth Form for the first time and will be held externally again in future years.
Linford Mann, marine biologist at Cefas said:
“Cefas was proud to deliver the fourth annual Cefas Masterclass July 2019, providing a number of practical and engaging marine science activities to students from the Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Sir John Leman Sixth Form and Bungay High School.
Activities included a finfish and shellfish dissection, live and preserved plankton taxonomy, marine artefacts and suture stitching. The activities were well received by all students who volunteered to attend. Cefas is looking forward to continuing the annual event next year with the hosting support of the Lowestoft Sixth Form College.”
Lowestoft Sixth Form student Harry Kelsey said:
“I am very pleased to have taken part in the activity with Cefas. It has been extremely informative and a real eye opener to how much ocean life there is and how we need to look after it.”
Lowestoft Sixth Form College said:
“L6FC were incredibly excited to have Cefas join us today for a marine biology masterclass where a large group of students from L6FC, Bungay and SJL rotated through some great hands on sessions on fish dissection, plankton, fish tagging and marine artefacts.
The students were all brilliant ambassadors and took a great deal from the day. It definitely has opened their eyes to what Cefas does, what careers there are in the sector as well as what careers are on offer not only in Lowestoft but also internationally. Thanks Cefas and East Suffolk Council, we will hopefully see you again next year!”
Rozie Harrison, science teacher at Sir John Leman High School said:
“The students had a fantastic time. The students loved the really hands on experiences and all of the speakers were clearly very passionate about marine biology, which left an impression on the students, particularly those who are keen to work in this sector and were not aware of the depth nature of Cefas’s work.”