Life Skills on MARS - graduation ceremony at Northampton Filmhouse, April 2019 | Instructus

Life Skills on MARS

This April we rolled out the red carpet for the graduates of the very first Moulton Apprenticeship Readiness Scheme – better known as MARS.

MARS marks our first full-scale project as an educational charity. With employer visits taking place alongside personal development sessions, the project prepares GCSE pupils for the working world in a way that schools can’t do alone. Launched in partnership with Moulton School & Science College, MARS provides a comprehensive primer on real work experience.

On the evening of the 24th we joined the first cohort of pupils at Northampton Filmhouse for a gala graduation ceremony. The event, held before an invite-only crowd of families and educators, was a pure celebration of what the pupils had achieved. As for why we held the event at a cinema? That’s simple – beyond the glamour of the venue, we also wanted to share the pupil’s successes on the biggest screen possible…

Unlocking Student Potential

For their final project the pupils opted to create video presentations about the course. Each group took a unique approach, from slide presentations to stop motion, and their exuberance and energy crackled on the screen. The end result was a kinetic trip through how their own life experiences have readied them for the world beyond school.

Afterwards the pupils took to the stage for their graduation, delivered by HM Lord Lieutenant for Northamptonshire, David Laing.

Speaking on the night Angie Dabbs, Deputy Head Teacher of Moulton School & Science College, said “good career guidance is critical if students are to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them.”

“The academic curriculum only goes so far in preparing young people for the world beyond the classroom. We very much believe in the whole person, and in unlocking the potential of each student so that they can fulfil their dream. The MARS project, designed by Instructus, fitted that bill perfectly and so we jumped at the chance to be involved.”

“MARS has enabled our pupils to consider the gap between their GCSE subjects and what an employer might be looking for in a trainee or apprentice.”

While we’re excited about future programmes, it’s still sad to say goodbye. We wish these pupils every success in their GCSEs and beyond. Whatever happens next, they’ve enjoyed a layered learning experience that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

As far as pilot programmes go, this makes the MARS launch an incredible success.

MARS is an educational project for Northamptonshire. If you’re a Northants-based employer or educator and would like to know more we’d love to talk to you.

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