I Can Be - Schools Together
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I Can Be

In Spring 2021 Withington started a new and exciting partnership with I Can Be. I Can Be is a small charity that aims to break down barriers to opportunity for disadvantaged children.

When organising Withington’s Careers Convention, Head of Careers, Mrs Nicki Cottam, asked participants whether they were happy to have their Convention video passed on to I Can Be for their resources bank and/or be contacted about volunteering for I Can Be by hosting a virtual visit.  Claire Daley (Deputy Director at I Can Be) also agreed to participate in the Careers Convention, and produced a pre-recorded video and hosted a group seminar on the night.

As a result of this communication, throughout the summer term 2021, 10 WGS volunteers hosted 13 virtual visits for I Can Be. These visits included visits with 10 maintained primary schools in 6 boroughs of Greater London which impacted 110 girls (aged 7–8), 57 (52%) of whom who were known to be eligible for Pupil Premium funding.

Aims

I Can Be is a registered charity that brings 7 and 8-year-old girls into the world of work, introducing them to inspiring women and helping them to discover the breadth of opportunity around them.

I Can Be’s partnership with WGS was a fantastic opportunity for I Can Be to recruit new and inspiring volunteers to their visits programme, in order to expand the range of professionals and jobs in their network. Working with WGS therefore gave I Can Be girls the opportunity to meet a wider range of volunteer professionals, and to learn about an inspiring range of jobs and careers. For example, thanks to the partnership, the girls at I Can Be had the opportunity to meet:

·       a dentist

·       a podcast producer

·       a barrister

·       a clinical psychologist

·       an architect

·       a TV production assistant

·       a banker

·       a nurse

·       a Formula 1 quality‑assurance manager.

Background

Head of Careers, Nicki Cottam, approached I Can Be when planning WGS's Careers Convention to see if they would be interested in establishing a partnership between the charity and school. 

Impact

During the programme, the girls asked WGS volunteers at least 57 questions and completed 13 verbal activities related to the jobs they were learning about.

Feedback from these events has been fantastic and a small summary of the lovely comments received are below. 

Feedback from schools about visits that were hosted by an WGS volunteer:

·       “The volunteer was excellent, and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it. We are really looking forward to our next session!”

·       “We had a great session this afternoon! The volunteer was great, and the children really enjoyed her activity. We look forward to our next visit!”

Feedback from WGS volunteers:

·       “It was my pleasure! I really enjoyed it and it was so well organised.”

·       “The teacher was brilliant at assisting with the session and the children were engaged and interested, so I couldn't have asked for more really!”

·       “I really enjoyed it! It's a great thing you're doing, and I'm thrilled to be involved.”

Pupil Involvement

Throughout the summer term 2021, 10 WGS volunteers hosted 13 virtual visits for I Can Be. These visits included visits with 10 primary schools in 6 boroughs of Greater London which impacted 110 girls (aged 7–8), 57 (52%) of whom who were known to be eligible for Pupil Premium funding.

Claire Daley (Deputy Director at I Can Be) agreed to participate in Withington's Careers Convention, and produced a pre-recorded video and hosted a group seminar on the night which was available to all Year 9 and above pupils and parents at Withington. 

Frequency

The partnership with I Can Be was established during the Withington Career's Convention 2021. The Careers Convention runs every two years and we very much look forward to our continued partnership with I Can Be in the future.