We work with businesses and schools to build capacity in language and employability skills.
School: Musselburgh Grammar School
Project: S3 Life with Languages Careers Event
Date: February 2022
As part of their 2021 Life with Languages careers event, Musselburgh Grammar School held a ‘Meet the Expert’ virtual session followed by an employability week in which pupils took part in a range of tasks relating to one of the speakers. The experts included representatives from the Scottish Government, The Balmoral Hotel, The Royal Navy, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and a freelance football interpreter.
Following the virtual session, pupils used their language lessons to explore any one of the careers of the guest speakers. In collaboration with the professionals, a series of 3 lessons were created for pupils to explore this job further and complete authentic tasks carried out by the professional, which required language skills to be used. This enabled pupils to choose which career they found most engaging and wanted to explore, while also working individually or in groups to research this organization, identify tasks they would do in real life, try these out and ultimately see the benefit that learning languages can have in the working world.
The authentic tasks included translating, interpreting, producing resources in the target language, research and cultural awareness. Real contexts such as COP26, military manoeuvres and football helped to engage and motivate learners to complete these tasks. The five experts gave feedback on the activities.
The partners involved were all keen to advertise the opportunities available to pupils in their sector, and to build long term links with the school. These speakers aimed to use the event to identify pupils interested in the sector following the event, mentor pupils through the application process and ultimately support recruitment of interested pupils at the end of S4, making this a meaningful project and process for all involved.
The verification team were hugely impressed by this submission from Musselburgh Grammar School.
There is so much to commend in it – it is an excellent example of how to integrate Employability really effectively within the curriculum, and of how to use a partnership approach in order to offer a meaningful experience to all parties. We were really impressed by the planning and thought behind the activities, and by the detailed evidence supplied. In terms of structure and policy, there are clear links to Experiences and Outcomes, and to principles of DYW. It all paints a full picture of an effective project which deserves recognition. It will be of benefit to the wider languages community to see this, as both an inspiration and an example of what can be done.
For this project, an inspiring and broad range of partners was sourced, covering a variety of career pathways and demonstrating the breadth of possibilities of careers with languages. There really was something for everyone, and the well-planned and well-executed follow-on activities allowed for true personalisation and choice. We very much liked the nature of these activities; they were similar but not formulaic, and clearly engaging. It was clear that the co-ordinating teacher worked creatively with digital technologies in order to bring the presenters’ professional experiences to life and planned the subsequent learning activities with the presenters to make the learning activities as authentic as possible.
Feedback from learners gave a flavour of the benefits which they so clearly got from engaging with this project; the fact that they referred to “jobs I wouldn’t have thought of” is testament to the fact that the aims of this project were successful.
Aside from the outstanding quality of the project concept and execution itself, the documentation and submission are exemplary. We are delighted to award the Bronze Scottish Languages Employability Award to Musselburgh Grammar School. We also feel that it has the potential to be an equally outstanding submission for silver if, as planned, it is extended into the Senior Phase in future sessions. Thank you for this fantastic submission, and congratulations!