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Cookstown High School, Cookstown

CHS Host a Business Breakfast

20th Nov 2019

On the morning of Thursday 7th November Cookstown High School held a Business Breakfast for representatives from local engineering companies.  This event outlined the High School’s plans to build closer links with companies and discuss ways in which pupils can benefit from a closer working relationship.  Attendees were first addressed by Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Mrs Lynne Dripps, who spoke of the school’s rich history including school alumni, for example, Sir Alan McClay, Almac. Mrs Dripps explained that given the school’s inclusive nature with, Grammar school pupils and Secondary school pupils, each individual regardless of their background is encouraged to flourish and to develop their character which values integrity, dignity, purpose and a strong work ethic alongside a high standard of education as well as embracing wider opportunities. The High School has enjoyed a fruitful and successful relationship with employers and appreciates the support of businesses especially in the local area.

Year 14 pupil Adam Speers explained to the business representatives how industrial visits have helped his studies by giving a first-hand experience of the workplace providing an insight into different sectors of the engineering industry.  

Charlotte Stewart, Year 13 highlighted the importance of work experience opportunities for her peers.  She said “By taking a test run we can give ourselves an edge when it comes to applying for jobs.  Also, during work experience pupils have the chance to gain recognition and build relationships with companies they will seek future employment with”

The pupils also highlighted how funding from a local company, Steelweld, had helped in the purchase of a new laser cutter for the Technology and Design department.  Charlotte Stewart explained “This has had a huge impact on the quality of coursework produced and how we manufacture projects in school.  With the laser cutter pupils develop CAD/CAM skills and use the laser cutter to manufacture parts, in a process very similar to which takes place on some industrial visits”.

The High School Principal, Miss Evans, thanked engineering businesses for their support in raising pupils’ awareness of available opportunities and careers which has in turn sparked and ignited interest and aspirations, and encourage specific engineering skills. She highlighted the importance of preparing pupils as future employees to be flexible and adaptable to the fast-changing world of work and developing skills such as problem solving, effective communication, being responsive to change and entrepreneurial. The High School aims to have an ‘authentic blend of business and education working together in a dynamic strategic partnership’. Miss Evans outlined plans to launch the Employers’ Forum at Cookstown High School which would inform, shape and develop curriculum opportunities to encourage the application of skills and especially highlight accessible routes for all pupils such as encouraging Engineering careers for female pupils.

Cookstown High School would like to thank all the companies who attended and for their support including Steelweld Fabrications, Keystone, Nugent Engineering, McCloskey International, TES Engineering, MGR Services, Terex, and Greiner Packaging.