City Academy Bristol learns about the Iconic Black Bristolians Project

As the academic year comes to a close, City Academy students heard from their final inspirational speakers today. Michele Curtis, Artist and Director of Iconic Black Bristolians and Nadia Lloyd also from the Iconic’s Team, presented to Years 7 and 8 about their roles as Artists and Project Managers, and the potential of creativity.

Iconic Black Bristolians is a project that celebrates black history and, in turn, Bristol’s history by telling the stories of the ‘Seven Saints of St Pauls’. Michele has researched, funded and shaped this project in line with the 50th anniversary of St Pauls Carnival and shares the history and memory of its founders.


Talking to City Academy students today, Michele and Nadia showed their portraits, shared their research and told the story of how the project came to be. The aim was to inform local students of artistic entrepreneurship, to encourage creativity, celebrate cultural heritage, and to inspire them to have their own icons and share their own stories.

With students thanking the Iconic’s team with a rapturous round of applause, it’s safe to say they enjoyed hearing about the local talent, local creativity and local people with very high aspirations.

 A big thank you to Michele and Nadia for their time.


A Busy Week for Bristol WORKS Partner Schools

This week has seen lots of action with Merchants Academy and Ashton Park School both participating in Bristol WORKS activity.

On Tuesday, Merchants Academy took part in Engine Shed on Tour. Working with boomsatsuma and Engine Shed, the students visited Hargreaves Lansdown to learn about the organisation and the roles within it.


The team of Year 9 girls interviewed staff and toured the Learning Academy and other spaces with 360 degree cameras to make a VR tour of their experiences.


On Wednesday, Alun Griffiths visited Ashton Park School. Taking their ‘Exchanging Places’ Tipper Lorry and ICE ‘Bridge to Schools’ activity.

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Groups of students learnt the principles of engineering whilst they worked together to construct a bridge that they could then walk across.

Whilst various groups took part, other students got to climb aboard their Tipper Lorry to learn about Health and Safety and experience what it might be like to drive the vehicle in a safe and secure way.

On Thursday, Merchants Academy took part in another Engine Shed on Tour, this time at Future Space. Working with boomsatsuma and supported by Engine Shed, they learnt about about the organisation and the way that Future Space connects entrepreneurs and tech innovators with scientists, researchers and graduate talent. Touring the company with the latest 360 degree filming equipment, they edited their footage into a virtual tour for their peers.


This week has also seen Bristol WORKS work experience student, George from Merchants Academy, take up his placement with the Mayor’s Office and the Labour Group Office. You learn about his experiences by reading his blog.

Keep an eye on this page for more Bristol WORKS activity coming soon. 

Bristol City Council Welcomes Work Experience Students from WORKS partner school, City Academy

This week, two year 10 students from WORKS partner school, City Academy, have been on work experience at City Hall. Placed within the Learning City Partnership Team and the Employment Support Team, Maryam and Liana were introduced to many jobs roles, projects and members of staff across their week.

As well as completing various tasks set by their mentors, Mayram and Liana started the week by attending the Employment, Skills and Learning Celebration event. Here, they experienced first hand the work that goes on in the city and were able to share in celebrating some of the Bristol's learners and partner organisations. 

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After this exciting start to schedule, the students were then introduced to various other people within the council. Their first meeting was with Marvin Rees who hosted them in his office, welcoming their questions and talking them through an average day as Mayor.


Later in the week, the students met with the Economic Development team to give them an overview of the economy in Bristol, discussing its changes and the factors driving that change. The session introduced the students to larger employers as well as the diversity of SME and micro businesses in the area.

They also had a Apprenticeships session. The aim of which was to inform the students about what apprenticeships are, what the various levels are and what options would be available to them. The session also involved advice about how to apply for apprenticeships and tips and guidance for applications and interviews.

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The week was a huge success with Liana stating:

“I honestly didn’t know doing work experience with the Bristol City Council would be this much fun. I definitely think that everyone should look into applying”

Watch this space for more work experience placements from our other Bristol WORKS partner schools.

Engine Shed on Tour goes to Extract Coffee with Ashton Park School

Earlier this week, Bristol WORKS partner school, Ashton Park, visited Extract Coffee Roasters to make an exciting 360 degree film of the organisation with boomsatsuma and Engine Shed


Once the students arrived at Extract, they were introduced to the equipment, the objectives of the trip, and the roastery itself. After this, they commenced their first tour, learning about how the coffee is roasted, the efficiency of the machines, and process from bean to bag. 


The second tour was all about the training. In order for customers to get the best from Extract Coffee, they offer training to companies they supply to. The Ashton Park students learnt all about 'Latte Art'. They practised how to make shapes in their coffees and understood the role and responsibilities of being a barista. 

After the tours were over, the team edited their footage to create a 360 virtual tour. 


The premise behind the project is to offer rare insights to exciting and innovative organisations, giving young people the opportunity to create careers content for their peers. The day was a huge success with one student saying "It opened up future choices for me." 

Watch out for more Engine Shed on Tour to come. 

Griffiths Interactive Workshops at Ashton Park School

In a matter of weeks, Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction will be visiting Ashton Park School for an exciting day of construction and safety. 

In order to teach students about the principles of engineering in an interactive and engaging way, Griffiths will be facilitating their 'Bridge to Schools' activity. This will see two teams around twelve students spend an hour working together to construct a bridge that is approximately seventeen metres in length and three metres tall. 

In order to do this effectively, it is essential that students use skills that they practice in their everyday lessons such as calculation, communication and exploration of ideas. 

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There will be three bridge building sessions at Ashton Park meaning that Griffiths will be working with up to seventy students, making direct links to industry and offering invaluable insights into construction. 

In addition to this activity, Griffiths will also be taking a tipper wagon to the school and teaching students about the principles of health and safety in Construction. Students will get to sit in the cabin of the lorry and discuss the safety considerations of pedestrians, cyclists and road users with the driver. They will get to see and experience the blind spots and learn about how to safely pass a construction vehicle. This provides an unique opportunity, under a controlled and safe environment, to view the highway from the driver’s perspective.


With so much hands on activity, it's set to be an exciting day of real challenges and career insights for Ashton Park students. 

Young Enterprise - My Money Week - 11 - 17th June

The resources and materials for the tenth annual My Money Week, which takes places from 11 – 17 June, have now launched at

This year they have developed a set of exciting and brand new digital video resources which offer an interactive learning experience for schools and students with short videos focused on making money decisions. Primary pupils will explore raising and saving money and charitable giving by making decisions on behalf of a school council in the primary videos. Secondary students will consider mobile phones, insurance and risk by making decisions on behalf of the young people in the secondary videos.

The videos are accompanied by a comprehensive set of downloadable teaching materials containing further activities, ideas and lesson plans which schools can use to deliver engaging and relevant financial education for students.

Taking part in My Money Week is free for schools, however Young Enterprise are asking schools to register for access to the videos so that they can capture participation. 

Click in the link above to register, gain access and get going!

WORKS Employer Visits Offer Exciting Industry Insights

As the academic year draws to a close, schools often have to try their hardest to keep spirits and enthusiasm for learning high. This is especially true for Year 10 students who often start to yearn for the summer holidays as the pressure of moving into Year 11 mounts.

In order to combat some of these feelings, and to inspire students to tackle their challenges head on, WORKS had organised career insights and motivational talks for our partner schools.

Starting with a visit from Bristol City Community Trust’s Chris Stenner, Year 10 students at Ashton Park School have been visited by representatives from various organisations such as PR Rocket, The Bottle Yard Studios, and The Square Food Foundation who did a live food demonstration on stage. There’s more to come for Ashton Park with inspirational visits from Lloyds Bank, Bristol 24/7 and Destination Bristol.

Merchants Academy have also been visited by The Square Food Foundation as well as a representative from Bristol City Council to discuss Equalities and Inclusion. Later this month, they can expect visits from The Bottle Yard Studios and wellbeing service, The Quiet Heart.

With Orchard School Bristol wanting to offer Year 8 and 9 students insights into the creative sector, WORKS offered a visit from Junior Saunders. Whereas City Academy were more interested in offering inspirational speakers from the political and commercial sectors such as Marvin Rees, Cllr Asher Craig and Karl Brown.

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With so many choices ahead of them, it’s invaluable for students to meet a range of employers from a range of sectors. As research suggests that young adults that have four or more experiences of work at school are five times more likely to engage in further education, employment and training, WORKS intends to support the developing relationships between schools and employers in any way it can.

Group Mentoring for Orchard Girls

Orchard School Bristol are keen to improve the expectations and aspirations of all students. With the many social and economic pressures affecting families and individuals in Bristol, it is unsurprising that many young students are left confused about their options and unsure about what is truly accessible to them.

For this reason, with the support of Bristol WORKS, and its network of willing employers in Bristol, Orchard School will be offering targeted group mentoring to young females in need of learning more about the world of work and the possibilities ahead of them.

Running once a week, the mentees will meet a variety of women from a cross-section of industries who will talk to them about their careers and the pathways that led them to the workplace. The hope is that each session will offer the year 10 girls a taster of different roles, pathways and sectors, allowing them to learn from the mentors’ experiences and feel more equipped to make decisions about their own futures.

With volunteers coming forward from organisations such as Catalyse Change, Poco Tapas Bar and Bristol City Community Trust, the students are set to hear a variety of stories and experiences that we hope will inspire and excite them.  


City Academy Meets the Team at Pukka Herbs with Engine Shed on Tour

A group of students from Bristol WORKS partner school, City Academy, visited Pukka Herbs recently as part of the Engine Shed on Tour project. 

The students, all in year 10, visited the exciting organisation to learn about the job roles, their objectives and their working environment. Taking them on a tour of their new offices, situated at The Chocolate Factory in Keynsham, the team at Pukka Herbs showed students round their yoga space, their think pods, their isle of tranquility, and they even got into their lab to see some of the tea being tested. 


The Engine Shed on Tour project is a partnership with boomsatsuma and sees schools visit exciting and innovative organisations around the city to showcase the opportunities that Bristol has to offer. Whilst there, the students film their tours on 360 degree camera equipment and edit it on location on the Engine Shed on Tour bus. Once the films have been edited the students can they share their tours with the rest of their school community who can view the tour and look around the organisation as part of a VR experience. The films made as part of the project are all open career resources, designed to offer rare access to creative organisations. 

Watch the City Academy students' tour of Pukka Herbs below. 

Watch this space for more Engine Shed on Tour visits with all Bristol WORKS partner schools. 


Mayor visits City Academy to celebrate Bristol WORKS

Last Friday, Marvin Rees visited City Academy to celebrate the Bristol WORKS programme and find out about the kind of engagement the City Academy students have had with employers. 

Whilst there, the mayor took part in a short assembly with pupils, sharing his story of education and finding out what their hopes and aspirations were. After this he jumped on board the Engine Shed on Tour bus to see a 360 degree film that City Academy students made with boomsatsuma at Pukka Herbs, all part of the Bristol WORKS activity.

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WORKS is Bristol Learning City Partnership initiative and is building a unique collaboration between employers, learning providers, and local communities to develop a skilled local workforce. The programme offers bespoke experience of work programmes created with schools, based on the needs of the schools and their young people.

Launched in 2015, Bristol WORKS is about to enter a new chapter of work as it reaches out to four new schools that will be part of the initiative during the next academic year.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “When I became Mayor one of my main aims was to improve the local children’s experiences of work.  Research suggests that young adults who had four or more experiences of work while at school are five times more likely to engage in further education, employment and training afterwards.

“We want to make sure children across the city are inspired to achieve more and can access more opportunities. As part of our WORKS programme we have been connecting schools with employers to find new opportunities for children to experience work in a whole new way. It has been great visiting City Academy and finding out how our children are benefiting from this scheme.  If you are a local employer who thinks you have something you can offer, I’d encourage you to get in touch with our team to see how we can help.”

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Four local schools have been involved in the programme this academic year: City Academy, Orchard School, Ashton Park and Merchants Academy.  

Jon Angell, Principal of City Academy said, “Bristol Works has been a fantastic addition to our careers and works programme here. We have worked really closely with them around STEM work in Year 8 and 9 and with EDF. That work has continued with one of our partner primary schools Easton Primary School, with our students going there to work with their students. We’ve had some amazing guest speakers talk to our students, Mayor Marvin Rees and Councillor Asher Craig to name but a few. They really raised our student’s aspirations and showed them that there are a number of career pathways available to them. Another initiative is having employers come in and meet and hold careers interviews with our Year 11 students to talk about what their plans were, not necessarily to be employed by those companies, but to ensure students have a career plan.”

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Many employers are currently involved in the WORKS programme offering assemblies, mentoring and lots of other experience of work opportunities to local students.

WORKS pledge employer, Engine Shed, have partnered with boomsatsuma to run their Engine Shed on Tour activity. The tour sees all Bristol WORKS schools, and others in the region, gain rare insights into exciting and innovative organisations around the city. The students have access to state of the art equipment, filming their tours and editing them on location on the Engine Shed on Tour, boomsatsuma bus. Making the 360 degree films allows the students to see the breadth of opportunities on offer in the region and create engaging resources for their peers and other schools.

Nick Sturge, Engine Shed Director, said:  “It’s wonderful to see the WORKS project taking on the important role of linking schools with innovative businesses in the Bristol city-region. In the same way, Engine Shed on Tour takes students to local companies with an aim to inspire their careers. It’s great for the city and its future generations that Engine Shed and Bristol City Council's WORKS project can work together to a mutual end."

More information on the programme can be found on the website and find out what’s on offer:

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