Category Archives: Careers & College

Information about the different options open for pupils after they leave school whether that is college, university or work. Also includes work experience.

Cardiff University workshops & lectures for 6th form

cardiffUniversityCardiff University Curriculum Support are linking with schools and are offering a series of workshops and lectures relating to AS Level, A Level and degree level subjects.

Follow this link http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/curriculumsupport to investigate the range of subjects on offer and to register for events. Individuals can attend events once registered or if there is enough interest (eg. a full minibus) School may be able to organise transport.

Why bother? Apart from invaluable subject enrichment, attending events outside school proves you are passionate about subjects and serious about taking studies further. When applying for courses of study after yr12/13 you can expand on the experiences gained in your personal statements.

Yr 12/13 news…Interested in a career in medicine or research? Read on…

EVENT DETAILS: SATURDAY 20TH SEPT 10am – 3pm FREE ENTRY – Click here for tickets.

Find out how we are fighting cancer in Wales at the free drop-in event: Cardiff Cancer Research Open Day

  • Meet our cancer scientists, doctors and nurses
  • Go behind the scenes in our lab*
  • Find out more about cancer research happening near you, from  lab research to clinical trials with short talks, fun games and interactive demonstrations

Come along and experience our local cancer research brought to life by the researchers themselves. See how researchers in Cardiff are working together to discover and pioneer new cancer treatments.

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There will be interactive activities suitable for all ages including children.

* Please note, due to health and safety reasons, minimum age for lab tour will be 13.

The Open Day includes a talk programme with short talks delivered by top researchers and clinicians, which are suitable for a public audience. The programme will be:

10:30am: ‘Personalised Medicine’ by Dr Rachel Butler, Consultant Clinical Geneticist and Head of All Wales Genetics Laboratory ‘

11:30am: ‘Using the Immune System to Fight Cancer’ by Prof Andy Sewell, Associate Director for Immunity and Infection Research Institute, Cardiff University School of Medicine

12:30pm: ‘Understanding basic cancer biology in the search for new treatments’ by Prof Alan Clarke, Director of Cancer Research UK Cardiff Centre and European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute

1:30pm: ‘Hot off the Press: New test predicts survival in blood cancer patients’ by Prof Chris Pepper, Institute of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University School of Medicine

2:15pm:  ‘Improving outcomes through clinical trials’ by Dr Richard Adams, Consultant Oncologist at Velindre NHS Trust and Director of the Wales Cancer Trials Unit

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Year 13 student Callum reports on his Swansea Uni experience

During the summer holidays I went to the S4 Swansea university science summer school where I participated in university-level science workshops and experiments. Initially when informed about the opportunity I was quite reluctant to enroll because I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad I did. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and has definitely motivated me to do well in my A levels so that I can go to university.

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 Day one

On my first full day at the summer school, I studied computing with a techno camp workshop. In teams of 4 we designed a robot from Lego NXT mind storm kits and programmed it on the computer. We competed amongst other teams to see who’s robot was superior. We had to guide our robot around mazes, park it in parking spaces etc. After that we played robot football where we had to design a robot to be a striker and defend the goals at the same time. This was turned into a competition to see who’s robot could score and defend the most amounts of goals.

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After the workshop everyone was given free time and so with the friends I had made so far we explored the gigantic university campus and later walked to Swansea town centre to explore to shops. Later in the evening there was a pub quiz held by the summer school where we grouped together with teachers and answered science questions.

Day two

On the second day I studied biology where I learnt about the topic of marine biology and I had to dissect a mackerel. While dissecting this mackerel I learnt about its internal structures and their functions, I enjoyed this so much because you got to see what you were learning from a physical prospective.  After that we got a tour around Swansea universities science facilities and learnt about the importance of algae, why it is grown from business and its important medical uses. We also got to see muscle filtration and hold real life marine animals such as blue lobsters.

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After the workshop, the summer school then took us to the cinema that they have on campus. It was absolutely packed with people of a variety of ages. We watched an Asian cartoon film, which was similar to anime.

Day three

On the third day I studied physics and mathematics. I learnt about finding exoplanets. I found this really interesting as we got to learn about space and I actually understood it really well considering mathematics and physics are not my strong point. We had to conduct an experiment using a light sensor to detect the shadow created as our exoplanet circled our star. We did this using software on the computer, it was so interesting.

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After the workshop, my friends and I went to the beach, which is directly opposite the university campus. During the week we had also met other students from Germany that were staying in the same halls of residence and so we invited them to the beach with us. We all went in the sea, played volleyball, built a campfire and sat around it until late.

Day four

On the fourth day of Swansea summer school I participated in a geography workshop where we learnt about climate change. We conducted an experiment with collecting carbon dioxide in different heats which was meant to represent the different distances away from the sun, it was really fun.  Later on in the day we explored the university campus to look at the wild life, we then participated in a dendrochronological experiment where we drilled holes into trees and removed sections of the tree to analysis the patterns of tree rings to see how old the tree was, to see if it was a victim of disease or a natural disaster.

After the work shop we all headed to Mumbles beach area where we explored the natural wild life before heading to the beach to explore general marine life. As a group we then explored the beach, went in the sea and generally enjoyed ourselves.

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Fifth day

On the last day we had a talk about UCAS applications from S4 ambassadors who are current students at Swansea Univeristy, Swansea university lectures, professors and Swansea university admissions tutors. They showed us previous examples of personal statements, what they like to see and what they expect from us. They also showed us what they don’t like to see and how to avoid it. There was then a award ceremony and students that had excelled in the individual workshops were rewarded with vouchers, certificates and clothes. There was also an award from the best tweet.

If I choose to go to Swansea University I will receive a £500 bursary just for completing the weeklong Swansea university summer school. The experience was definitely worthwhile as I got to immerse myself in the student lifestyle as well as expand my education. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested.

 

 

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Year 10 work experience

Year 10 students are on work related learning next week.  As part of their Welsh Baccalaureate qualification they are required to carry out 30 hours of work experience or work related education. Most of the provision for this will be carried out during the following dates:-

Monday 30th June- Thursday 3rd July

 

  Work Placement Pupils Non work placement pupils
Mon 30th June Work Placements RCT Careers Day x 30 pupils (bus to Pontypridd) Careers and world of work activities  x 40- 50 pupils
Tue 1st July Work Placements Young Enterprise activity for all pupils 
Wed 2nd July Work Placements Anti-Racism Workshop x 40-50 pupils RCT Careers Day x 30 pupils (bus to Pontypridd)
Thu 3rd July Talk the Talk- Effective Communication Workshop Talk the Talk- Effective Communication Workshop
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Sophie’s Work Experience – Reflections from a far off land

I am leaving today, this far off land of kimchi and hospitality, of bustling roads and spiritual temples, of green mountains and polluted cities, this remarkable land of South Korea.
Mark Twain, (1835-1910) famously said; “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. I hope before I boarded the plane that I exhibited none of those vices, but certainly it is true that I had not really considered that what divides us is so very much less than what unites us. I think Maya Angelou (1928-) said it best when she wrote; “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends”.
I cannot claim that a few days in Asia has transformed my view of the world, I hope that before the trip I was open to new ideas, different cultures and more importantly I hope that others recognized that I was open to them. What has changed and what is interesting about travelling to a country as different as Korea is that it is easy to see those differences, it is easy to recognize that the language is completely foreign, the writing beautiful but unintelligible, the food unrecognizable, (at times I wasn’t sure if I was eating fish, pork or vegetable). I revelled in those differences, not comparing to back home just excited that this is different.

Seoul is very much a globalised city; Starbucks not on every corner but on every other corner, McDonalds and Domino’s Pizza as well as all the designer brands, but the country and its people retains its unique character. I hope what I have learnt is that when I travel again to countries closer to home that I spot the differences that perhaps I have ignored in the past. Sitting on a Spanish beach is easy to ignore Spanish culture when all around are holiday making Brits, it’s easy to ignore Spanish food when all around us are international restaurants, and it is easy to ignore Spanish music when I am listening to the downloads on my IPod.
Travel does open the body and soul (especially in Seoul), but only if the traveler takes that first deep breath and, as Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) said, “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it”.
Look forward to seeing you all soon…

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Sophie’s Work Experience – Working Girl

I had hoped to get away with it, to have a few days away from school and from work. But no, as I walked into the office this morning I was presented with my desk, my computer and a set of tasks. The first challenge was that the computer has a Korean operating system and I was told all I needed to do was click, click, click, click and click. By the third click I was error messaging in Korean!!

My task was to create some banner images for a travel site that the company Afterabc is putting together, all sounded remarkably straightforward, and I suppose after the first 75 mistakes I found my way and produced my first piece of work for an overseas company.
In years to come, hopefully many years to come, I will be reminiscing with my children and grand children – I remember the time when I had to work in Korea, unpaid, on a Korean computer, but wow, back to reality more photographs to resize and upload.

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Sophie’s Work Experience – Temples and Churches

I suppose if I was asked before visiting Korea, I would have guessed that Koreans were Buddhist. I hadn’t really thought that Christianity would be the dominate religion. It seems that about 30% of the population are regular church goes and about 20% regard themselves as followers of Buddha. At night, the neon crucifixes stand out in the city skyline selling religion like the great M of McDonalds.
The Buddhist temples seem somewhat more discreet, perhaps the notion of evangelical conversion is non Buddha. In the middle of the high rises sits a beautiful Buddhist temple, as I walked through the welcoming gate, the stresses, strains and even the noise of the city seemed to disappear. Maybe it is my imagination, but the idea of quiet contemplation really does cause one to put into prospective what’s really important.


The Bongeunsa Temple is opposite the beautiful 5 star Intercontinental Hotel and yet it is a whole world away, resident monks sit before the statue of Buddha as do many visitors, I too felt compelled to kneel. The temple originated in about 794 C.E and was the head temple during the Joseon dynasty and was central in the revival of Korean Buddhism away from the teachings of Confucianism. Towards the centre of the temple complex is the Mireuk Daebul, Great Statue of Maitreya Buddha. The statue is 23 metres high and is based on the story of Maitreya coming to earth to save all those who are suffering (it is remarkable how the great religions have so many similarities). Nearby, is another great statue of Haesu Gwaneum-sang, once again the concept is a figure who sees, hears and feels the sounds of suffering. It is hard to convey the spiritual nature of the Temple; I do not claim to have had a religious experience but I do understand how place and peace can have effect on the inner being.

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Sophie’s Work Experience – A visit to F1

I have a confession to make I am not an F1 fan. The idea of spending a weekend watching cars drive round in a circle is not really my idea of fun. However, the company my dad works with has a contract with F1 Korea, hence we were invited for the weekend to the Yeongam circuit to watch the second Korean Grand Prix.
Yeongam is it seems thousands of miles away from Seoul. We were confidently told the journey would take 4 hours by coach, it seemed more like 20. Nevertheless, even for a somewhat bored teenager it was comical to watch a bunch of middle-aged people having fun singing karaoke songs and playing silly games, but it wiled away the time, and I can always tease my dad about his appalling rendition of Queen’s ‘We are the champions’. The westerners on board scored a woeful 68, whilst the lowest for our Korean friends was 92. (The stereotypically image of Welsh singers took somewhat of a bashing).
We stayed about 10 miles from the circuit, in a lovely little seaside hotel, fish soup for breakfast was a little challenging but the company of Korean visitors could not have been friendlier. Blonde hair in Korea made me stand out from the crowd.


The most amazing thing about Formula 1 is the noise. I thought it was going to be loud. It’s not loud it’s deafening, even 40 yards away from the cars and with ear defenders, it’s hard to hear yourself think. The rest was a bit of a blur, a chap called Vettel won and the Brits second and fourth. A little better than an afternoon of homework but quite a close run thing. NO NOT REALLY, I loved it! Sebastian Vettel is amazing and never disappoints. The race itself was a little bit predictable, but the speed is hard to convey. The cars are reaching speeds of over 200 miles an hour and the decelerating to 50 miles an hour to go round a sharp corner.

Incredible.

I am a F1 Convert!

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Sophie’s Work Experience – Seoul: a chaotic urban sprawl

Seoul is a city of about 10 million people and is unlike any city in the UK. The city is built on the banks of the Han River that meanders for miles. For those that have visited London, the river is about 5 times as wide as the Thames, and in a similar way to London, the character of the city differs on the North and South. One side of the river the commercial buildings are lower normally 5 or 6 storeys, on the other they are skyscrapers, not New York but certainly very modern and very clean.


Unlike London, Seoul is surrounded by mountains that act to contain the city. As far as I can tell the city does not have a recognised centre, there are no districts as such, no area just for shopping or no area just for finance or no residential area. It’s all mixed together, in a great hubbub and higgledy piggledy mess, such creates almost permanent traffic jams on the main arterial roads that run each side of the river, the road network is reminiscent of spaghetti junction on speed. It’s not that the city is ugly, it has many beautiful buildings but there is no sense of a great architectural plan, but more a sense of just build, build, build. Such was a consequence of the desire to transform the country after years of war and occupation.
I suppose what I did notice most is the lack of trees and open space. The colour is grey.
I understand that almost all residents of Seoul live in apartments and that most of the apartments are identical. (one doesn’t have to be here for long to recognise that group uniformity is much valued and that individualism is discouraged). The apartments are normally about 18 storeys high and are either 2 or 3 bedrooms with a kitchen and living room area combined. It’s important to understand that it is normal for Korean people to live with their extended families, so a 3 bedroom flat may well have parents, grandparents and children all under one roof.


The result today is a city with some charm but lacking the old and new that we in Europe are so used too, it’s either 30 years old and decaying or brand new and amazing. There are no great historic buildings, and at the same time it’s not Dubai, it’s not a showcase city but a working hub that buzzes 24/7.
We are staying at the Seoul Olympic Parktel , a hotel built just after the Seoul Olympic games in 1988 and it’s surrounded by a beautiful park. An oasis of green space in the otherwise urban sprawl, the Olympic stadium surrounds the park, and incredibly there are numerous exercise equipment that are free to use and are non vandalised and unmonitored. It’s worth saying again, that within the parks and in many other areas along the riverbank, there is equipment that is free to use, open to the public and not damaged or covered in graffiti in any way.

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Music Department finds out about Sound Engineering

The music department recently welcomed Mr Rhodri Browning, a sound engineer who has worked for a number of well-known TV programmes including This Morning and S4C’s rugby coverage. He spoke to the Y10 and Y11 BTEC students about his experiences as a musician working in the media. Our students were able to ask him questions ranging from how to break into working in TV to how you survive as a freelance in a competitive world. Some students even got to have a go on the outside broadcast sound equipment!

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Sam Fripp finds out about sound engineering