Careers Day - The Final Report

Careers3 smFeedback from the School

"Our first Careers Day was a fantastic success" - Kim Raccio, Dept Head Academic Studies Head of 6th

The pupils said...

Current Year 13 pupil Jack Horgan described Norwich Old Boy Patrick Sullivan as a "legend"

Old Boys and Girls reported

"Most were amazed at the confidence and the way that most of the pupils asked really searching questions, sensible ones and appeared genuinely interested in the whole proceedings" Mike Kent, KHA Careers Team

After almost twelve months KHSD and KHA finally got an allocated day to talk about careers and interviews with KHS pupils, as opposed to just odd hours here and there. This was mainly thanks to Mrs. Kim Raccio, Deputy Head of Academic Studies & Head of 6th forms, without her help nothing would have happened. (Thanks Kim!)

A little history - why did we do it?
For about three years Ken Wingfield, Simon Howlett and myself have been assisting the 6th forms on CV preparation, interview techniques with some success. However in the current job market situation it was obvious we needed to attempt something better. Hence the appeal on the KHSD website for Old Boys/Girls to help host a Careers day. This resulted in an excellent response with offers of help and they all turned up on the day, thank you all! My sleepless nights of 'would anyone come on the day' proved groundless!

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A scan of the list of presenters (noted further down) I think is a good advert for what the school has achieved over the years. Although one member of staff commented to me 'You seem to be very Finance and Management orientated! Where are your plumbers?' The fact that some of us were qualified engineers seemed to have been overlooked, you just can't win them all.

Prior to the day all presenters were given a simple brief on the objective of what we were trying to achieve. Also an itinerary with allocated table numbers and names.


It is worth explaining for those not au fait with the UK education system it is as follows. Year 10 (Lower 5th) 1st Year GCSE, Y11(Upper 5th )Final Y GCSE, Y12 (Lower 6th) 1st Year 'A' Level) and Y13 ( Upper 6th) Final Year 'A' Levels.

  • There are no longer 'streamed' classes, so all forms are mixed abilities meaning not everyone in a sixth form will necessarily be taking 'A' levels and going to University, but could be doing other vocational subjects, such as BTECH courses.

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Year 12's and 13's were seen in the morning, taking it in turns to talk both individually and in small groups to the presenters. All had to show their prepared CV and give their 60 second profile if asked, as well as ask questions themselves and get interview type discussions going. From the feedback we've had so far this was a success, the only rider being not enough time was spent with each individual and maybe we were trying to get pupils seeing too many people, something that might be avoided next time.

They all had signature sheets to be signed after seeing each presenter which at the end of the day went into a draw ( sponsored by KHA ) for four Year prizes ( Amazon book tokens ) always a good incentive!.

In the afternoon a similar exercise was repeated with the Y10's and Y11's, this being the first time 'we' have been able to talk to the 5th Forms about careers, what road to take, options etc. Again the idea was to get them thinking ahead about the future, talking to Old Boys and Girls might just start off this process. In the main I think this worked, although more individual time could have been allocated.

At the end of the day questionnaires were filled in by presenters who were asked for constructive comments on the day. The main ones are as follows.

  • Some thought we tried to do too much in one day
  • Longer time required with individual pupils
  • Many commented there should have been a one page profile of all the presenters given out well in advance of the day
  • Not enough chairs to sit on!
  • A few have asked will we be doing this again next year
Every comment made about the day will individually be discussed by the Careers Team - any future event will be improved thanks to your feedback!

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Most people were amazed at the confidence and the way that most of the pupils asked really searching questions, sensible ones and appeared genuinely interested in the whole proceedings. This was expected of the Year 13's who were quite assured of themselves, but to actually see this in Y10's and Y11's was quite heartening. One boy thought Patrick Sullivan was a legend! How many others will say in the future 'I talked to a woman who was a code breaker in Hut 'D' Bletchley Park and knew Alan Turing' or have similar tales after talking to you?

The CVs that were handed in by Y13's are being reviewed for comment. First look shows that some have actually thought about the whole subject, which of course was the whole idea in the first place.

So, was the day a success?

I think so, only time will tell, we'll see if we are asked to do another.

Simon Howlett has now opened a Careers Area for the pupils on KHSD. The fact that you live in New Zealand or where ever will not matter, you will be on hand for possible help by email. So if you would like to be part of all this and have something to offer why don't you have a look at this then register as an advisor?


My thanks to all for coming and making the day a success.

Mike Kent.


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"Our first Careers Day was a fantastic success. Our pupils really enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with the KHS Old Boys and Girls as well as meeting some presenters from Critchley' s Chartered Accountants, the Ministry of Defence, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfam, Blue Cross, Helen & Douglas House and many other places.

Current Year 13 pupil Jack Horgan described Norwich Old Boy Patrick Sullivan as a "legend" (yes, that is a compliment!) and current Year 11 pupil Elisa Olbert already inquired if we would run the event next year as there simply wasn't enough time to meet with everyone!

Thanks again to Mike Kent and all of the Old Boys and Girls (and their families) who gave so generously of their time to help make this a wonderful day!"

Kim Raccio
Dept Head Academic Studies Head of 6th

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The Presenters

The following are former KHS pupils ( friends and family) and others who made contact and attended the careers day. I have no doubt anyone reading this list would consider it a pretty successful bunch of people and I am very aware of the definition of success which can mean many things other than position or money!


SIMON HOWLETT Durham 1979-1984
Own company, Website designer. Motorcycle instructor, KHSD administrator, KHA committee member and Careers advisor.

MIKE KENT Plymouth 1951-54, Bradford 1954-59
Senior Principal Electronic Design Engineer and Project Manager, careers advisor to local M3JobClub and KHS on CVs and interviews, KHA Treasurer and Archivist.

KEN WINGFIELD MBE Norwich 1959-1962
Ex-Senior Prison Officer 30 + years experience. Qualified welder. KHA Events Committee member and careers advisor.

Own company. Matt Studio's. Creative Director Art and Design.

Business Development Manager East Midlands NHS. Leadership Training etc.

EDDIE WHITE Plymouth / Durham 1942-50 Former Head of School
School captain Rugby, Cricket . Ex-RAF Officer. Chartered Accountant, Former Finance Director in multi-national company. Founder member of Assn. of Corporate Treasurers, KHA Vice President and committee member.

NIGEL JACKSON MBE FIET Greenwich 1964-1971

careers day_2011_4_medEx- army (Brigadier, Special Air Service) Company Business Director and strategic consultant in large defence company. Educated Sandhurst, Advisor on CVs, interviews, techniques

GEORGE WINSPUR Norwich 1955-1961
Former Head of School, Law Degree from Oxford. Career as Lawyer with Kent County Council.

MATT HUBER Norwich 1955-1961
Newspaper journalist & corporate communications management in oil, insurance & construction industries.

COLIN CUMMINGS Durham 1973-1978
Detective Sgt. In Northants Police Force. Currently on child protection duties, experienced in training & recruitment of Police officers, Specials & PCO's

KEN JONES Bradford 1951-1958
Career as accountant, Treasurer for local Church.

MIKE MALLORIE Clyde 1953-1958
Own company, Cotswold Trailers Ltd. Has been General Manager, both technical & financial in engineering and associated business. Has knowledge of starting your own company.

Armed Forces Career Office, Schools Naval Recruitment Oxford

RICHARD GREENWELL Sheffield 1958-1966
Has been Bank Manager and has extensive business experience, currently secretary for Ullenwood Manor Golf Course, Cheltenham for last ten years

PHILIP HILDESLEY Plymouth 1954-56 Sheffield 1957-1962
Extensive business experience in education, teaching (UK & abroad ) was Director of Music ( his speciality) Housemaster & Director of Boarding in last job.

PATRICK SULLIVAN Norwich 1940- 1944
Naval Engineering plus associated work on Nuclear & oil fired power stations. Also experienced in teaching interview techniques and CV writing.

Ex-GCHQ and Bletchley Park, worked on ciphers in the 1940's knew Alan Turing.

MIKE CLARK Greenwich 1971-1977
Runs his own very successful business, extensive knowledge with all associated problems. Also has own Farm.

Assistant Editor with IPC. Magazines etc. Flies all over world covering events also has been designated to cover the 2012 Olympics.

LIBBY FOLEY Severn 1992-1998
Runs own business. Cheltenham Holistic Healing. Massage & Reiki Therapist.

Runs own business. Helpful Careers Company is Careers advisor.

Army Schools Recruitment Office, Oxford. Advisor on careers and five day Army Insight courses held throughout the year.

MELVILLE JAMES Plymouth 1955-1956 Durham 1956-1961
Extensive experience at Senior Director level in Logistics & supply chain management of major retail chains & companies.

BRIAN DEAN Sheffield 1948-1952
Elect.Eng. Degree & Nuclear Postgraduate Diploma Imperial College London. Eng. Apprenticeship with Atomic Energy Authority, Harwell. Chartered Mech.Eng. Reactor Safety & Commissioning Engineer in the Nuclear Industry. Executive with IBM. KHA Vice President.

. Accounting.
. Marketing Manager.
. Tax Manager.
Management Services.

GP from the White House Surgery.

Educational Counsellor.

Quality Workforce Development Officer. Early Years Team Children, Education & Families Directorate, Oxfordshire County Council.

Teacher. Head of English at KHS.

From Helen & Douglas House, Chipping Norton.

Representing Oxfam.

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