Alumni of a Wellingborough school were among professionals who went back to the classroom to inspire today’s students to career confidence and academic success.
Wrenn Academy in London Road is one of 900 state secondaries and colleges nationwide which have worked with the national education charity Future First to harness the experience of former students to motivate the current generation through ‘old school tie’ networks.
The school held a ‘World at Work’ day in which alumni were among 35 speakers taking part in workshops with Year 8 students and talking about their career paths.
The returning alumni include Orren Hopkins who works in quality control at Norton Commercial Data and Glenn Kightley, a spacecraft (thermal) systems engineer with Airbus Defence and Space.
Glenn said: “It’s great to be able to give something back to the school that I went to - and always fun to talk to inquisitive young students.
“There’s so much going on in the UK space sector right now, from Tim Peake’s return from the International Space Station to the development of the European ExoMars rover – it’s an exciting time to be involved.”
Orren said: “When you see it click in their eyes, it makes all of your hard work worth it.”
Kath Baigent, CEIAG officer at the academy, said: “Students found the day interesting and inspiring.
“Huge thanks to all the visitors for making the day so successful.”
Future First’s vision is that every state school or college should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community that helps it to do more for its students.
More than 200,000 former students across Britain have already signed up to stay connected with their old school or college.
They’re inspiring young people as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors and fundraisers.
Christine Gilbert, executive chair of Future First and a former Ofsted chief inspector, said: “Every state school student should have the opportunity to succeed in life after school, regardless of their background.
“If students see ‘people like me’ have succeeded, they are more likely to believe they can too.
“They work harder and have higher expectations of success.
“We want more schools to see the benefits of using their alumni as a powerful resource.”
Former students can also register with Future First by clicking the “For Former Students” link on http://www.futurefirst.org.uk.