How The Moat Sixth Form didn’t let a pandemic get in the way of offering students a vital insight into the jobs market
In April 2020 The Moat Sixth Form was just a few months away from opening its doors to become central London’s first dyslexia specialist sixth form. There is a global pandemic in full effect, and businesses and industries in disarray around the country, however, alongside sixth form building work, recruiting staff and enrolling students, they needed to build links within their community to try to help get their young people work experience and become part of the return to normality in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Finding businesses who will open the door for work experience is a challenge at the best of times, and you can often feel the door close at the first mention of supporting their neurodiverse young people who can find change, unfamiliar routines, new staff and anxieties a daily struggle. All of this factors into why there are so few neurodiverse adults in employment in the country, but that is something Moat want to play a role in changing; by exploring and supporting local businesses and companies with their talented, unique and highly intelligent young people, with the capacity to think outside the box and become an instrumental part of any business or project.
With this in mind The Moat Sixth Form incorporates a robust work experience programme alongside its curriculum. Dedicated timetable space is made each week for pupils to work in the community within a multitude of businesses. The Moat Sixth Form believes academic and life skills go hand in hand to create well rounded young people ready to move forward in the world.
The Music House For Children has proven to be the perfect setting to begin an exciting journey of offering The Moat Sixth Form students the opportunity to build their employability skills. There are only so many life and employability skills that can be embedded in a classroom or a virtual classroom. For The Moat Sixth Form to be truly successful, they need to ensure their students gain important life skills and work experience alongside their academic studies.
Fast forward to August 2021 and the relationship between The Moat Sixth Form and Music House has blossomed further and expanded to include Bush Hall and Next Door Records. Media, business and performing arts students are gaining experience with Bush Hall sound and lighting technicians and having masterclasses in marketing and venue management. Childcare students are assisting toddler and baby music classes run by the Music House, and some of their most work ready students are building their skills behind the bar and in the stock room of Next Door Records.
Community and building connections within those communities has always been important and this shows what can be achieved at the most difficult of times when we support each other.