The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly inclusion community of practice identified that SEND and AP schools were struggling to engage students with virtual employer activities. While virtual encounters can be appropriate for mainstream students, the lack of hands-on activity meant that students with SEND were struggling to stay focused on the task at hand. The Careers Hub worked with the community of practice to develop face-to-face pizza-making workshops delivered by a local business. These workshops were delivered outdoors ensuring Covid safety protocols were followed but allowing students the opportunity to interact face to face.
One-day workshops were delivered in six separate settings and were promoted to Alternative Provisions and Special Schools. School staff supervised pupils and facilitated the interaction. This allowed them the opportunity to gain an understanding of the hospitality and food sector and relate this to their lessons and pupils in the future.
The project allowed for extensive two-way engagement and the educational settings involved in the pilot had the opportunity to develop pre- and post-activities for the workshop. The delivered workshops used the activity of pizza-making to develop students’ skills, including numeracy, communication, and teamwork. Students also had the opportunity to explore what it means to own your own business including the importance of marketing and promotion, the use of digital equipment, and basic business principles. Depending on the cohort, the workshop was tailored to either expand on the business and entrepreneurial aspects or focus more on the practical tasks.
Evaluation of the activities was positive and showed an increase in students’ confidence particularly relating to meeting new people, trying new things, and communicating within a work situation. Staff also reported increased understanding of the local labour market and hospitality sector.
“Thank you for providing such an informative, meaningful and FUN workshop for our pupils yesterday. The pupils probably weren’t even aware that they were learning about how a mobile food business was run because it was all presented so seamlessly. Judging from the number of inquiries from pupils asking if you would offer a placement for work experience, they recognised and wanted to share in your passion for creating a quality product.” – Alternative Provision Careers Leader