London NHS scheme with schools improving grades – hospital

London NHS scheme with schools improving grades – hospital

Image source, Guys & St. Thomas Hospital Trust

Image caption, Student Vlada, pictured with her teacher and Year 11 head teacher Thomas Soyemi, says the programme provides “survival skills for life”

A programme providing insight into how the NHS works is improving pupils’ school results, a south London hospital has said.

The pilot project, run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and called Aspire 350, will provide 40 local pupils in Years 10 and 11 with “life skills and development opportunities”, a trust spokesperson said.

Since launching with the three local schools last February, more than 50% of participating students have achieved higher grades in their core subjects.

One student, 15-year-old Vlada, who lives in south-east London, said: “The course becomes part of who you are.”

The project, funded by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, works in partnership with local secondary schools and a referral unit for pupils identified by their school as those who would benefit from this opportunity.

The programme consists of weekly one-hour workshops delivered by NHS staff, local charities and businesses.

Vlada said the program made her feel part of her new school after moving from Ukraine two years ago.

She said: “It has led me to the career I want, and it gives us the basic skills to survive in life.”

Image source, Guys & St. Thomas Hospital Trust

Image caption, Student Breanna, pictured with project leader Hayley Robinson-Allen, says the plan is “life-changing”

Vlada said that during the course she learned skills such as financial management and first aid and discovered that she wanted to study philosophy, politics and economics at university.

Thomas Soyemi, Vlada’s teacher and head of year 11 at one of the participating secondary schools, said he was “nervous” about disrupting his GCSE lessons but said the plan was “great”.

Breanna, another student and aspiring architect, said she had never considered a career in the NHS before joining the programme.

She visited St Thomas’ Hospital to view the variety of roles available within the NHS, including engineering, paramedic work and catering.

After her GCSE diploma, Breanna wants to take her T-level exam in digital business and then pursue a career in architecture.

The 16-year-old from Croydon said: “The programme has been quite life changing because you experience how hospitals work and you also want to consider them as a career path.

“I can now also consider hospital architecture as a career path.”

Hayley Robinson-Allen, manager and project leader of the expanded participation in schools, said the programme wanted students to think about all career options, but also educate them about “careers they didn’t know existed within the NHS”.