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From September middle school pupils will join college for a taste of vocational courses

From September middle school pupils will join college for a taste of vocational courses  
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An innovative partnership between Hirst Park Middle School in Ashington and Northumberland College will give 120 Year 8 pupils (aged 12-13) a hands-on vocational learning experience, starting this September.

David Godfrey, Principal of Hirst Park Middle School, said: "Our staff work tirelessly to ensure our curriculum gives pupils access to real, relevant and inspiring curricular experiences. We are delighted to be working with Northumberland College, an organisation that is equally passionate about curricular development.

"At Hirst Park we are committed to providing our pupils with experiential learning, to develop a skills set that will ensure they have the best chance of success in school and in life."

Over a 6 to 12 week period pupils will have the opportunity to participate in a course of vocational tasters that will incorporate painting and decorating, joinery, brickwork, plastering, and tiling as well as hair, beauty, hospitality and catering.

It is hoped that this innovative pilot will help to inform pupils about future study and employment options that may be open to them.

Hirst Park Middle School is part of the Ashington Learning Partnership Trust, a collaboration of five schools that also includes Ashington High School, Bothal Middle School, Central First School and Wansbeck First School. The Trust has a strong track record of working with local businesses on experiential projects that enable students to develop a wide ranging skills set.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal and Chief Executive of Northumberland College, said: "We are happy to be partnering with Hirst Park Middle School and our dedicated staff will welcome pupils to our Ashington campus from this September.

"Here at Northumberland College we recently received our best ever Ofsted inspection result and we take pride in forging strong relationships with local educational providers to ensure pupils understand the relevance of successful vocational learning to their future and to adequately prepare young people for the workplace."