Community and Business Links
Centre in the Park
Each week in term time, a small group of year 8 students visit the Centre in the Park. We visit for an hour, and help the Centre's clients explore the internet if they want to (but not many do!), or we play dominoes, scrabble, sevens, join in the quiz, or just have a chat. Students learn in lots of ways - respect for the elderly, the art of conversation, observing the amazing team of staff in action, the value of experience and knowledge in older people (where they lived, the jobs they did). Many of the Centre's clients have family who have attended Cavendish over the years.
The Centre is a lovely, inspirational social centre where older residents of Hemel Hempstead can go to spend one or more days per week; they have local transport from their home and back again, the staff organise different activities each day, and refreshments and lunch are served. For the students, it's a 10 minute walk from school with a member of staff. One team of students per term visit on a rotation basis organised by Ms Davis. We go on different days of the week so that students don't miss the same lesson, and so that we meet different people at the Centre each time. We have been going there since December 2011.
The Junior choir also visited to sing to the Centre's clients and staff. We have helped people look up their family heritage, seen modern views of the streets in London where people used to live, helped people to contact family using email, and designed posters for events.
In December 2014, the Sixth Form delivered Christmas hampers of items collected in a lower school competition to the Centre in the Park. These consisted of both festive goodies and practical food items to help those who struggle over the winter period. One of the ladies said how the whole centre is so grateful for having a good and strong relationship with our school, and how much they appreciate our support.
All of us involved in this project are really proud of our connection with the Centre. If other students would like to take part in the visits, they should contact Ms Davis or Mrs Shaw.
The Hospice of St Francis
On Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 December 2015 Sixth Form students ran the annual ‘Wacky Week’ event. This year the money raised from ticket sales for the events went to The Hospice of St Francis, a local charity that cares for terminally ill patients.
The events included a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ and a talent show, and raised in excess of £500. In addition, both Sixth Form students and staff raised further monies by holding a Christmas jumper day and other activities which made a fantastic total donation of £1,291.
Signpost are a local charity that counsel and support teenagers and young adults and help them to become active learners in school and the community. In October 2014, the school raised over £450 for the organisation through Wacky Week - a series of fundraising events organised by Sixth Form. The cheque was presented by our Sixth Form Committee to William Allen, Manager of Signpost, and Sheila Barton, a Trustee of Signpost. The money raised will help many young people who have difficulties in their lives.
For more information on the help and support offered by Signpost, visit their website: www.signpostcounselling.co.uk
We are very proud to work with many organisations in the community, to help Cavendish students meet people and get involved in activities outside school. This means that students learn to contribute to the community we live in, they gain social skills and other benefits, they work with local businesses, they volunteer and raise funds and enjoy being part of the local culture.
Many local businesses provide work experience placements for our students, providing them with valuable business awareness and employability skills, and many of them support events at Cavendish as part of our Careers Education programme for students. A few of the closer links we have with business partners are described here as examples of the busy schedule at Cavendish.
Finmeccanica - Engineering Education Scheme
Aspiring engineers from Cavendish Sixth Form earned well-deserved credentials in April 2016 when they presented and demonstrated their project to a panel of experts to achieve their award for the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) from the Engineering Development Trust.
Connor O'Shea (Project Manager), Lewis Bellamy, Connor Wharfe, Joe Jefferson, P Bandy and Robert McNulty designed and engineered a prototype security system for a bank vault which uses both key code and facial recognition authentication, created from components and controlled by a Raspberry Pi. This electronic engineering challenge was set by the team’s sponsors Finmeccanica. Taking part in the East of England round of the national scheme, the Cavendish team was supported throughout by mentors from Finmeccanica: James White (Graduate Engineer) and Jamie Chandler (Technical Apprentice).
In addition to the team award, each of the team members graduated in the Industrial Cadet scheme and earned their gold CREST award from the British Science Association. To cap it all, they won the Students' Choice for their working prototype and display, as voted by the 18 other teams from 16 other schools on the assessment day held at the University of Hertfordshire. It was a thrilling outcome from their six-month project, which involved creativity, innovation and teamwork alongside learning new technical and project management skills.
The EES links teams of students with industry, to work on real scientific, engineering and technical solutions to industry challenges, and helps the young participants develop skills and experience that employers value.
Mark Allchorn, Acting Headteacher at Cavendish School, said: “I’m delighted at the success of our students in the challenge. They’ve put together a project which has drawn on a wide variety of skills individually and as a team beyond the classroom. They’ve worked closely with employers and experienced the importance of applying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in the real world. Their achievement provides inspiration for other students at Cavendish as a beacon in developing STEM subjects.”
Selex run a competition for schools each year called Rampaging Chariots, where student teams build remote-controlled cars from a kit provided by Selex, and then compete at the Selex site in Luton in June. A Cavendish team took part in 2014 and will take part again this year.
Selex have sponsored two STEM/enterprise events at Cavendish for 60 students in year 8. They have sponsored four year 8 girls to attend a 3-day residential event called Girls Into Engineering at Bristol University. Selex have supported us on many careers events including the Careers Forum in March 2015, they provide work experience placements (we have students in year 10, 11 and 12 placed with them in Summer 2015) and many other initiatives.
Over the six months to April 2015, Selex sponsored and supported a Sixth Form team to take part in the Engineering Education Scheme - http://www.etrust.org.uk/engineering-education-scheme. The team showcased their project at the Celebration and Assessment Day at University of Hertfordshire along with other schools, and were presented with certificates. As a result of their work on this project, each of the students also achieved their gold CREST award - http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/crest-awards.
A team of graduates comes to Cavendish in the autumn term to run their CV Workshop and Big Interview Day for some students in year 10. This is an inspiring and aspirational event, learning from the graduates who work at the IBM location in London, adjacent to the National Theatre. IBM also take some year 10 girls on work experience placements.
Cavendish School is a member of this local network which helps businesses link with community groups in the Dacorum area. Our main involvement is the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Cavendish was one of the first Dacorum schools to participate 3 years ago and has supported student teams in this challenge every year since. Teams of 6-8 students in year 12 are each matched with a local charity and a local business mentor, and tasked with turning £100 into £1000+ for the charity. It’s a great enterprise and learning experience, and students gain enormously in confidence and skills - http://www.connectdacorum.org.uk/dragons-apprentice.
Engineering Masterclasses at the Paper Trail
Review of Engineering Masterclass 2015
For the past 3 years, Cavendish students from year 9 have taken part in this programme which has been sponsored by the Royal Institution to help young people learn about various aspects of engineering. It takes place over 6 Saturday mornings in the Spring term and is led by local engineering expert David Lane. Each session involves guest speakers from the world of engineering who describe their work and then get the students involved in a design/build/test activity relating to the topic. Sessions have covered crash testing, bridge structures, circuit building, the Doppler effect, steam power (including a tour of the Paper Trail), robotics and other fascinating projects.
Freedom have helped our Sixth Form students with CV and interview skills and other employability techniques during Learning For Life lessons. They support our Careers events, and provide a range of resources to help our students learn about skills for business.
Dacorum Borough Council
Cavendish students have attended Democracy awareness events at the Civic Centre and we have worked with DBC on a number of other local issues, for example we have had visiting experts come to Cavendish to speak about waste awareness.