We’re thrilled to have welcomed our pupils through the doors of our brand new dedicated Futures Zone this term.
Weybridge House has undergone a comprehensive transformation over the summer months, resulting in the creation of top-tier educational environments designed to facilitate learning, personal development, and enable our pupils to thrive.
This remarkable makeover includes a state-of-the-art conference room, designed to foster collaboration and ignite creative thinking. Additionally, we are introducing a serene Wellbeing Space, meticulously crafted to champion mental and emotional well-being amongst the RMS community.
Our latest addition, The Hive, a bustling Sixth Form Cafe, has already become the talk of the school. Read more about The Hive here.
We took some time to talk with our Head of Careers, Miss Pickford, to hear more about our fantastic Futures Zone and the superb Futures Program on offer at RMS.
What are your first reactions to seeing the newly completed Futures Zone?
When you see an artist’s impression of a new build you never actually expect it to be as good in reality, but the Futures Zone really is! It is an amazing space; light, bright and welcoming, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
What are you most looking forward to seeing happen in this space in the year ahead?
Definitely having regular weekly ‘pop up’ lunchtime careers talks from various local businesses, parents and alumnae. Having this dedicated space means we can invite many more guests in, tailored to as many different careers and industries that capture our students’ interest.
I am also looking forward to running bespoke careers related workshops, again tailored to the students’ needs, covering topics such as interview techniques, part-time job applications, apprenticeship searches and so on.
I will also be using the space for dedicated staff training both on current trends in the employment market, and on our Destinations platform Unifrog, which all the students use. This will enable form and subject staff to fully support the students as they consider life beyond RMS.
Why do you feel it is important to have a dedicated Futures programme at RMS?
Preparing the students for life beyond RMS is pivotal to what we are here for. A dedicated Futures Programme, which runs alongside the academic curriculum, is key
The world of work is changing at a rapid pace, and the skills required to keep up with this are becoming more and more crucial.
It is therefore imperative that the students have a broad understanding of this changing market, and feel confident when leaving us that they have the skills to adapt to wherever their career path takes them, in addition to a real understanding of their own passions and skill sets.
The new Futures Zone demonstrates to students, parents and business links how valued and important this aspect of the students’ education is.
On a day-to-day basis, what will the new space be used for?
Day to day I will be having 1:1 guidance meetings with students at key points in their education, such as Year 9’s choosing GCSE options, Year 11’s selecting A levels, and helping Sixth Form with post-18 decisions.
These meetings are the bedrock of my work here, ensuring the girls are making fully informed decisions, and with the right motivation behind them.
I am also running daily drop-in sessions for all year groups, training sessions for staff, weekly co-curricular enterprise clubs for Year 7 to Sixth Form, alongside lunchtime career talks and workshops. The facilities are already being put to full use!
Reflecting on all that you see happen during the weeks, months and across the whole year, what are the highlights of the Futures program for you?
I do enjoy running large scale events such as our careers fairs – which we are expanding on this year to include termly fairs each dedicated to specific sectors (such as our upcoming Green careers fair, to be followed next term by a Media, Creative & Performing Arts Fair, and an Apprenticeship Fair in Trinity Term). Expanding our Enterprise provision across all year groups is also very exciting.
I am also delighted that so many businesses, local and national, are keen to work with us. I am excited to develop these links further in the coming year following our new membership to both the Watford and Hertfordshire Chambers of Commerce.
However, it is actually the little things which make me the proudest of our students.
Seeing a student who didn't think they had the confidence to speak in public then push themselves out of their comfort zone and present a business idea to a panel of judges, makes my job worthwhile
Similarly, I enjoy seeing a student come to the realisation that perhaps their skillset is suited to a different GCSE or A level choice as a result of a guidance meeting, and celebrating an apprenticeship offer following months of interview preparation.
Most rewarding of all, having alumnae back to school recounting their career paths which started here at RMS makes me feel very proud.
How do you best see the Futures program at RMS shaping the future of our students?
I think the programme has to continually evolve and be tailored to the girls needs, which is why we regularly ask the students in each year group as they progress through RMS what it is they need in terms of guidance and information.
The programme will continue to evolve with the students. Continual involvement in the futures programme enables them to start shaping their future from day one at RMS, even though they will perhaps only realise the journey they have taken once they look back at their time with us.