On Friday the 28th February, 11 Year 9 students from Ivanhoe, along with another 50 from local schools, were invited to take part in an equality and diversity day at Stephenson College. Having previously run the event for older students we were asked to be part of the pilot for younger students.
The idea of the day was to challenge students ideas of what skills they possessed and what are traditionally male and female courses. Sessions were pre assigned and our students were asked to put aside their preconceptions and give each activity a go with equal enthusiasm.
We started the day in a Childcare session, covering basic baby skills as well as some activities that childcare students would learn for sharing with young children in a nursery setting. After a little hesitation the lads threw themselves into changing and dressing the baby dolls. A couple of our male students at the end of the day said that this had been their favourite session, with one taking home information about the childcare courses on offer.
Next we moved on to Professional Construction, where we were surprised to find out that Stephenson College offer courses in this area up to degree level and also have business sponsors lined up to pay student fees and guarantee jobs.
Before lunch we moved on to hairdressing, where students were shown how to do a range of hair plaits. Some students found this more challenging than they thought it would be, (the tutor made it look easy), but some took to it straight away.
After lunch in the college canteen we went to our last session, brick laying. Here we learnt how to cut and roll the mortar, how to lay it down and all had the opportunity to build a simple brick wall. The students took the task very seriously and at the end we had some impressive structures.
On the bus on the way back to school the conversation was lively about all the skills they’d picked up on the day and which sessions they’d enjoyed the most. Lots of the students talked about wanting to take their parents back for the open days. Staff and students were impressed with the facilities on offer on the Stephenson campus and the pleasant atmosphere around the building. It also was lovely to hear from Stephenson after the event, who said that tutors had commented on how well behaved and engaged our students were on the day.
We look forward to taking some Year 7’s and 8’s back later in the year.
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