Former Wales Rugby Captain, Sam Warburton, supports Bryntirion Comprehensive School to light the way for pupils’ futures

Careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) shape the curriculum at Bryntirion Comprehensive School, offering pupils a wide range of authentic learning experiences that focus on the development of cross curricular skills – one careers project, in particular, has been supported by former British and Irish Lions and Wales Captain, Sam Warburton.

The school’s CWRE project, Victory for Velindre Challenge, supported by the WJEC and Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, challenged Year 9 pupils to develop a new product or service to assist the Velindre Cancer Charity.

In a Dragons’ Den style set up, learners had to pitch their idea to employers.  Selected teams from the heat stages of the competition went through to the school final, with patron of Velindre and former Wales Captain, Sam Warburton, acting as one of the judges.

Lillia, a Year 10 pupil, said: Whilst competing in the Dragons’ Den, I have learned how to handle stress under pressure, and I feel like it has helped to boost my confidence.”

Evie, also from Year 10, added: I worked with Velindre to complete the Enterprise and Employability Challenge and Dragons’ Den – I feel like it gave me a strong introduction to the real world and how to look at things with a business perspective.”

Head of Business at the school, Ryan Herbert, said: The Velindre challenge has significantly benefited pupils by fostering skills such as teamwork, problem solving and creativity.  It does this by providing real-world experiences, encouraging students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios, preparing them for life beyond school.”

The school takes pride in establishing strong links with targeted industries and the charity sector, with CWRE in mind.  Two other CWRE projects have linked with St Fagans National Museum of History, and Invacare, Pencoed.

The collaboration with St Fagans allowed learners to explore the range of careers involved in the reconstruction of historical buildings, as well as offered an authentic context to highlight the significance of studying History.

The Technology department developed a link with Invacare, Pencoed – a world-leading manufacturer, distributor and supplier of a comprehensive range of products to support people with home healthcare and mobility.  The new pilot project for Year 8 involves pupils designing and creating a series of prototypes, which will be subsequently judged by staff from Invacare.

Headteacher, Ravi Pawar, said: “The programme for CWRE is at the heart of our school’s curriculum.  We try to develop the integral and essential skills of pupils, through involvement in relevant and worthwhile authentic contexts. The range of activities all help to prepare pupils with the skills they need for work and life.”

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “How wonderful that the pupils at Bryntirion Comprehensive School have access to such a meaningful and rich curriculum, which allows them to perceive the value of their studies in the context of the wider world.

“The CWRE programme is sharpening the skills of the learners, preparing them for a world outside of school.  What an amazing opportunity!”

Image: Bryntirion Year 9 pupils with Velindre patron, Sam Warburton.