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Alumni Reveal Careers to Year 6

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Six Bolton School alumni returned to give talks at this year’s Junior Careers Carousel. This joint event brings together Year 6 pupils from the Junior Girls’ and Junior Boys’ Schools to learn more about the wide variety of career paths that they might take in the future.

Junior Girls’ deputy head Mrs Holt welcomed the guests and the guests from the Junior Boys’ School to Hesketh House for the event. She thanked the speakers for giving their time so generously to come and talk to the boys and girls about their jobs, before sending the pupils off to their first sessions.

Old Girl Janette McCormick is now Deputy Chief Constable for Cheshire Constabulary. She talked to the pupils about the realities of being a police officer – which is often very different to the way the job is depicted on television and cinema screens! She talked the boys and girls through some of the misconceptions and also discussed the many different roles within the police. For example, she explained that not all of the people working for the police are officers; some are police staff, and could be accountants, call takers, or even lawyers!

Helen Kennair explained to the boys and girls that she came to Bolton School in 1994 hoping that it would help her with her dream of becoming a doctor. She left the Girls’ Division in 2001 and did indeed go on to become a GP. However, as she discussed in her talk, she didn’t think that was what she wanted to do when she first started to study medicine, and instead came to realise it while working in hospitals. She talked about the great variety of patients she is able to help – from young children to the very elderly – and the fact that she gets to see people throughout their lives. This was a great introduction to the medical career, and perhaps in an area not many of the children might have considered.

Old Boy Christopher Jones also left Bolton School in 2001. He is now the Creative Director at Sitcom Soldiers, and brought with him the company’s Logistics Director Malcolm Smith to talk to pupils about video production. Sitcom Soldiers has so far produced a variety of projects, including music videos, TV commercials, and promotional and recruitment videos, and have worked for clients such as EA Sports, Jaguar and the NHS! Christopher and Malcolm talked about the different roles within the company, and the responsibilities and qualities of each one, from well-known jobs such as the Producer and Director, to less well-known ones such as the Gaffer and Logistics Director. The boys and girls were really excited to hear more about working in this field, and had plenty of questions to ask!

Old Girl Karen Diggle talked to pupils about what makes a person an entrepreneur and some of the famous entrepreneurs the children had heard about, such as Richard Branson and Anita Roddick. She talked to pupils about taking risks and the luck that is involved in any entrepreneurial venture, but also about positives she enjoys about her work – such as working for herself and the wide variety of roles she takes on.

Timothy Hatton is now an architect, and talked to pupils about this very interesting line of work. He talked about why an architect might be needed: to create a new building, extend an existing building, or change the layout or use of a particular space. He used the buildings at Bolton School as a really interesting example of this, explaining not only about the new Nursery, Junior Girls’ School and Riley Centre buildings, but also about the conversion of the swimming pool into the Arts Centre. He discussed how he works closely with clients to find out what they need, and creates drawings by hand which then become 2D drawings and 3D models on the computer.

Old Girl Victoria Edmondson and her husband Peter Edmondson are both vets, and brought with them three of their dogs. The pupils were delighted to meet all five guests at the veterinary practice talk, and were full of questions about the work Victoria and Peter do every day. They discussed the best and worst parts of the job as well as touching on issues such as docking dogs’ tails and the difficulties of working with large animals such as horses.

The Year 6 pupils were really inspired by all of the taster sessions at the Careers Carousel. Hearing about the alumni’s varied experiences will certainly get them thinking about the many options ahead of them in the future.

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The Careers Carousel guests

The Careers Carousel guests

Old Boy Christopher Jones talking a group through the filming process with help from volunteers

Old Boy Christopher Jones talking a group through the filming process with help from volunteers

Old Girl Janette McCormick talked to pupils about being part of the police force

Old Girl Janette McCormick talked to pupils about being part of the police force