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Year 8 Inspired After Career Day

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Year 8 girls were recently inspired by a wonderful and varied Career Day.

The day began with an Acting Masterclass from Simon Trinder. This was a great opportunity to learn from someone who has experienced life as an actor, director and writer. Simon trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has since worked with many different theatre companies, including the Manchester Royal Exchange, the RSC, and Shakespeare’s Globe. He is an experienced drama instructor, having taught at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and more recently The Independent Centre for Actor Training, where he is the Principal.

Simon gave the girls a very realistic view of acting, explaining that life in the world of theatre is a labour of love, and offered them a series of fantastic tutorials. He asked one of the girls to read a sonnet aloud; he then asked two girls to hold her back while she tried to fight her way forwards, saying the sonnet as she did so. The physical activity combined with the words really helped to bring the sonnet to life, and when she read it again afterwards, it was a much more powerful performance. After working on the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet with the group, he chose one girl to read it while the rest of the Year 8s pretended to be ‘penny dreadfuls’ – the lowest class of Elizabethan theatre-goers. Eventually, through her passionate reading of the Prologue, she managed to quieten her audience down and engage their interest.

The girls then split into smaller groups to attend a further four talks on a really varied range of careers.

Eraina Smith spoke to the girls about the many different aspects of Civil Engineering. Eraina is herself a Chartered Civil Engineer, specialising in the design and construction of roads and bridges. She ran through all the different areas that Civil Engineering might touch on: highways, sewers and stadiums, airports, sea defences and skyscrapers, renewable energy, or even the art of demolition. She spoke a little about her own work, then gave the girls an engineering task of their own to complete with wooden blocks.

The girls were also given a really engaging talk on fashion enterprise by Barbara Waters and Dr Chris Parker. Both work in the School of Materials at the University of Manchester. Barbara lectures in fashion and textile marketing, and liaises with fashion and textile companies to organise industrial placements for students.  Chris is a lecturer in Computer Aided Design. He has worked internationally for retailers, and his main interest is how design as a way of thinking can be utilised to find new and innovative ways to make life exciting!  As well as giving a really interesting talk on the world of fashion and design, they divided the girls into groups and asked them to create a collage of a particular fashion trend from Spring 2014 using clippings from magazines. This creative task really engaged the Year 8s.

Jess Chai came in to speak to the girls about entrepreneurship, and was joined by Old Girl Sammy Adams Mercer. Jess and Sammy met during their time at Coventry University, and recently graduated with degrees in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship. After leaving university, both young women have set up their own businesses and were therefore perfect candidates to speak to the Year 8 pupils about this exciting and challenging career path. The Year 8s really connected with the two entrepreneurs, who gave a fun and interesting insight into the pros and cons of self-employment and entrepreneurship.

There was also a talk from Sarah Maddocks, a microbiologist who teaches and does research at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She focused her talk on DNA, its many different uses, and the mapping of the human genome. She planned an activity which allowed the girls to use their own saliva to take a close-up look at their own DNA! Sarah also emphasised to the girls that DNA is not only useful for diagnostics, for example in criminal investigations; it is also a vital part of research. Sarah has herself worked on using DNA to develop antiretroviral drugs.

It was a great way for the girls to discover the many different options available to them.

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The girls really enjoyed the Acting Masterclass

The girls really enjoyed the Acting Masterclass

Sarah Maddocks

Sarah Maddocks's talk on microbiology was fascinating

The activity in the fashion enterprise session was a lot of fun

The activity in the fashion enterprise session was a lot of fun