This week is National Careers Week which aims to empower positive change through careers education. At DANCOP we aim to do the same through not only careers education but through our impartial advice on options and pathways for young people after school. To celebrate National Careers Week we are reflecting on a successful careers focused event at Magnus Church of England Academy.

Where can a degree in sport take you? Can you do an apprenticeship in sport? Why would you study sport if you do not want to be a fitness instructor or coach? This innovative and exciting hands-on project answered all these questions and more for learners.

What can I do with Sport? is part of a group of activities focussed on different curricular areas. Learners explore the careers that studying these subjects can lead to and the different higher education pathways that can be taken.

What can I do with Sport? is aimed at students in years 9 to 13 and in this case it was a year 12 group who participated in the activities. All learners were part of the same Post 16, BTEC Level 3 Sport cohort studying at the Magnus Church of England Academy in Nottinghamshire, which is part of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust. Twenty six learners took part in three activities from February to March 2020, supported by two teachers and two DANCOP colleagues.

The first session helped the learners to understand the sports sector and the benefits of choosing a career in sport that had a higher education (HE) pathway. It explored in some detail ways in which skills learnt from studying sport at HE level could be transferable to other careers. The session then developed by looking at the major employers within the sports sector, both obvious roles and less obvious roles. In session two, learners were given a range of jobs in the sport sector and had to create resources that helped to explore the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of roles such as exercise psychologist, sports administrator or nutritionist. The final session was a visit to St George’s Park where students worked with professionals to go through a typical fitness day, including hydrotherapy.

The rationale which led us to develop this project are informed by both academic research and anecdotal school practitioner feedback. The aims for the project were met through the sessions as they addressed careers focussed questions to do with labour market information and the jobs available within sport. The session helped learners to explore the major employers and the different HE routes available. They were also able to spend time with professionals working in the sport sector to hear at first-hand about their stories and experiences.

Learners reported through end of project evaluations that they had a positive experience. They said they are 65% more inclined to go to higher education and 77% of attendees felt that they had enough information to apply for the right pathway for them.

All sessions were supervised by the same member of the school staff who was able to see the journey through the sessions. He reported that learners had increased intentions to progress to higher education and has increased their own knowledge about their options. He said “I have never seen the students so excited to research careers.”

If you want DANCOP to enhance your careers education, get in touch with the team to book delivery. We have a full programme of workshops and activities to support you and your learners. These can be tailored to your needs and delivered face to face or remotely. Contact us at info@teamdancop.co.uk to book!

Author: Vaughan Hamilton & Stephanie Hughes