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Kirkby Sports College headteacher

Kirkby Sports College launches career taster courses with University of Liverpool

Kirkby Sports College recently joined forces with the University of Liverpool to kick-off a new initiative to give students taster sessions on a range of careers.

The Knowsley college for 11-16 year olds took a group of animal-loving students to the prestigious university for a specialist veterinary training course. KSC careers coordinator Jay Phoenix said the session signalled the start of a new campaign to drive student career ambitions and raise aspirations.

Mr Phoenix said the college aims to achieve this by teaming up with business and organisations in the Liverpool region which can provide crash courses on a variety of careers. Ten Year 9 students took part in the visit to the University of Liverpool, which has one of the best Veterinary Science departments in Britain.

Mr Phoenix said it is extremely rare for the department to grant such access to school pupils but they were treated to a detailed programme including a practical lecture to show the students what it takes to become a vet.

“The visit dispelled a number of myths about potential barriers to attending university,” said Mr Phoenix. “It provided the pupils good clear advice about how higher education works after college. At the same time it allowed them to gain a better understanding of all round university life.”

As well as a practical lesson the university’s Head of Faculty Professor Susan Dawson and Senior Lecturer Dr Neil McEwan spoke to the students. They told them about the qualifications they would need to achieve in their GCSEs and A Levels in order to be considered for the course.

Kirkby Sports College headteacher Bill Leyland said: “The students who attended the course are about to enter a critical two year period in their studies. This visit helped motivate and inspire by showing how the next few years can directly affect their chosen career path. Thanks to the time the university spent with them they know that to gain a place at the best veterinary school in the UK is within their reach if they work hard now.”

Prior to the visit the University of Liverpool sent a team of current students and recent graduates to Kirkby Sports College. They told the students exactly what higher education was really like and how they got there.

“They answered questions about finance, personal development, and gave advice on all the things young students worry about before university,” said Mr Leyland. “It has been a very worthwhile exercise and one we are looking to repeat as part of our on-going career taster course initiative.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

Kirkby Sports College

Kirkby Sports College Centre for Learning was officially opened in September 2009, by Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services, and former Executive Director of Knowsley’s Children & Family Services.

Kirkby Sports College Centre for Learning provides secondary education for pupils aged from 11-16, for up to 1200 pupils, with a maximum intake of 240 places per year.

The centre was Knowsley’s third Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Centre for Learning to open its doors to pupils, so that they, along with the community, can access state of the art technology, as well as excellent facilities for sport, cultural and leisure activities. This centre specialises in sports and is a centre for excellence for maths.

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