Year 9 Work Shadowing Experience

Posted: 2nd February 2023

For their Personal Discovery Framework lesson last week, Year 9 gained their first taste of the working world. The students were assigned to different departments around the School, including Mrs Barrett’s office, Reception, the Estates and Commercial offices, Boarding, and Admissions and Marketing, to shadow and understand what goes on outside the classroom here at Cobham.

On Wednesday, in the Admissions and Marketing office, students Sofia and Luise were tasked with planning and executing a photographic shoot to promote the School to prospective parents. First, they mind-mapped ideas, considering which elements of Cobham Hall life they would like to represent. They decided to concentrate on themes of creativity, focus, happiness and challenge, and set out to capture these around the School. You can see some of their excellent work pictured below.

Armed with their new skills, Sofia and Bella toured the School for their second work shadowing experience on Friday. They were on a mission to discover what their fellow Year 9 students were doing in other departments. Visiting the Estates Office, Commercial Office, School Office, Mrs Barrett’s Office, and Boarding, their task was to prepare content for an article about their peers’ experiences, by taking photos and conducting interviews, while keeping in mind their chosen themes.

Here is a breakdown of what happened:

In the Commercial Office, students were helping to prepare for an event and checking that everything was in place, such as catering. The Year 9 helpers enjoyed their time as Commercial Assistants and said

“Mr Glynn-Williams was very nice and the experience was great fun.”

In the Estates Office, the students were preparing documents and were given the difficult responsibility of making a phone call. Most students found the shadowing interesting, but others weren’t as convinced, with the quote “stapling isn’t for me”.

On the other side of the school, however, a group of students had a fascinating exploration with the Maintenance team, seeing parts of the building they didn’t know existed. Bardot describes her experience here:

“We had a behind-the-scenes tour of the school with the caretakers Ian and Chris.  We got to venture into the dungeons and boiler rooms, areas usually off-limits to students – we felt special! We learned about how they keep the School running smoothly, it was educational and exciting. It was great to see the school from a different perspective.”

In the School office, students were preparing for Parents’ Evening by creating table tables and badges. The participants enjoyed their time here and described that they felt very mature and appreciated the “iced-coffee vibes”.

Students also helped out by auditing the trophy cabinet in Mrs Barrett’s office, where they found the decision-making difficult.

Other students were organising clothes left behind by previous students in Boarding, to be sent off to charity. For this they said:

“It’s interesting to get a different view of Boarding”.

The participants were surprised by all the work that goes on behind the scenes and how much preparation is required for all the different jobs and events that take place around School.

At the end of their experience in the Admissions and Marketing office, Bella and Sofia said:

“We found working in Marketing fun and creative. We got to go round and see what everyone else was doing, it was fun getting quotes from everyone and finding out about their experience. It was interesting to see how Cobham Hall works every day. In Boarding, they were sorting out all the clothes and seeing which ones were suitable for charity.”