Engaging in different ways across the region
Through this year's Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's Building our Future primary programme the Sofia education team conducted careers engagement activities with more than 400 local students from Years 4 to 6, as well as those from special educational needs schools.
With the 2022/23 academic year coming to a close, the Sofia team has summarised its engagement in the programme, which is run by Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA) and has been designed to make careers education more meaningful to children from an early age.
Key to the success of the programme is hands-on involvement from local employers and also the implementation of a range of different engagements tailored to the school's individual needs.
During the past year, the Sofia team, in particular education consultant Rich Hurst, has worked with five different local primary schools and two special educational needs schools, giving the students the opportunity to take part in a range of different projects related to offshore wind and supporting early careers preparation activity.
Nine offshore wind farm cable mapping exercise sessions were held with students from Bankfields, Whale Hill, Grangetown, Westgarth and Caedmon Primary Schools, where the students were tasked with calculating the most efficient route from an offshore wind farm site to the onshore substation, avoiding constraints such as marine conservation zones and housing developments.
The teaching resources used were prepared to be freely available to any schools or teachers and can be downloaded here: https://sofiawindfarm.com/community/education-and-skills/primary-school-teaching-resources/
Also with Westgarth, Sofia ran a four-month long project tasking Year 5s to come up with inventive ways to clean bird guano from offshore wind turbines and platforms, which is a real life issue in the sector. They were also asked to include suggestions around how to deter birds from the structures. Sofia both set the task at the start and judged the student teams' outputs at the end.
With both Kirkleatham Hall School and Kilton Thorpe Specialist School, Sofia was engaged with 'meet the employer' sessions, interactive projects and with carrying out mock job interviews. These were to help the students understand the type of sectors and careers available locally and prepare them for potential post-school work opportunities.
Sofia will continue to support the programme as it continues into 2023/24.
Sofia education consultation Rich Hurst introducing the 'bird poo' challenge at Westgarth Primary.