Year 10 Work Experience Success

The week after the half term break continues to be our focused Careers Week for Year 10, where students are offered the opportunity to take part in Work Experience. We are proud of the fact that we are one of few schools locally who continue to offer ‘traditional’ Work Experience for our pre-16 students, indeed coordinating 300 work placements is quite a task!

As a proactive member of the National Pilot programme for Good Careers Guidance, that has see our views, knowledge and experience influence the Department for Education’s National Careers Strategy, we fully support the assertions that students should:

  • have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace (Benchmark 5)
  • have first-hand experience of the workplace to help their exploration of career opportunities and expand their networks (Benchmark 6)

We have had some hugely positive feedback from the students and the employers who hosted placements. From us, as a school, we would like to express our gratitude to the students, parents and employers who supported this process and made the week so worthwhile.

For the small number of students who did not attend placement, there were a full range of career-related activities going on in school. Use the #CareersWeek2018 on Twitter to see some of the things students got up to.

We hope the week has induced some self reflection for students as they begin to formulate their career plan. Once they arrive back in September students will be asked to think about their Post 16 future and begin the Sixth Form/College/Apprenticeship application process. We have excellent personal guidance available through our Student Mentor, Janet, where students can discuss their ideas.

KEVI Science Gardens: Past, Present and Future

The development of our three Science gardens depicting the past, present and future has been inspired by one of our Alumni, Alan Davison Emeritus Professor of Environmental Biology (Newcastle University).

Alan became a Foundation Governor to the school later in his life and as he moved into retirement, his passion and drive to continue working with the school, helped us to find new ways of enriching the learning experience for our students and galvanised us into action.

The Present: The Mulberry Science Garden

Between 2014- 2016 we worked with Alan and utilised his expertise and knowledge to develop the first science garden. With support from Brims Construction Company, 4 raised beds were built and Alan designed 10 different environments with particular plants in each section for students to study. Additional help came from Wyevale’s ‘Heighley Gate’ Garden Centre and Morpeth Town Council in looking after the plants and maintaining the new space.  The final step to completion was with the science charity Opal who helped us to begin a small wild meadow area.

The garden has been a great success with staff and students enjoying it and using it all year round in a variety of subjects. Alan died in August 2016 and to honour him we are continuing his work with the development of a further two science gardens. In the future we will host community events and invite the public in to view our special gardens. The first public event is planned for this summer to commemorate the death of our famous Morpeth botanist William Turner.

The Past: The KEVI William Turner Garden – under construction

Alan’s interest in local history has led us to explore our past and recognise the possibility that William Turner, the famous botanist, physician and theologian who was educated in Morpeth, may well have been a former pupil of our school. The King Edward VI School began life as a church school in the Morpeth Chantry back in the 1300s and was later re-founded (1552).  As a boy, William Turner (1508-68) lived in Morpeth and received his early education here before leaving for Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

To develop our Turner Garden, we have worked closely with the Friends of William Turner Morpeth group (FOWTM) and received expert advice from plant historian Dr Marie Addyman. The preparation work began in 2017 and with everyone’s help; we have now completed the first phase of planting with recognised plants from the 1500s.

The Future: The Carbon Capture Garden – 2018 – 2020 project

Alan’s interest in the future of the environment has led to us furthering our links with Newcastle University. With the help of Professor David Manning and his Research Assistant Kevin Stott from the National Green Infrastructure Facility, School of Engineering, Urban Sciences Building, we are now embarking on a two year scientific project to develop a Carbon Capture Garden. This garden will be a site of experimentation for students and will be based on the knowledge that the NCl University team have acquired during the development of their ‘SUCCESS’* project.

Click here for a list of plants used.

KEVI STEM Champions

Girls STEM eventThirty Year 9 Girls took part in an amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) event hosted by ACCENTURE at St James Park. A total of 400 girls attended the event representing 40 schools across the North East. The event was also replicated in London and Manchester, and various cities across the world.


Girls STEM Event activity

Activities included a workshop to design and build a wind turbine and an “ideation” event where the girls had to come up with innovative ways to reduce food waste. The girls also had time at an Innovation Fair where they had the opportunity to experience many different STEM projects including experiencing virtual reality, electronic workshops, robot racing and much more.

The highlight of the day was the awarding of prizes for the most efficient wind turbine – KEVI designs won 1st and 4th position with Chantry 3rd place – a fantastic achievement for the Three Rivers Learning Trust!

Girls STEM Event - winning team

National Careers Week/National Apprenticeship Week

This coming week sees the return of these hugely successful annual events. In school we are supporting them in a number of ways. Assemblies for the next week will be ‘futures’ focused and there are a wealth of resources for students and parents on the KEVI Careers site, do make sure you explore these.

Over the course of the week there are a number of exciting opportunities which have been arranged for students: visits, workshops and talks. The full programme can be viewed on the KEVI Careers site, via the National Careers Week 2018 page. This information has been shared with all students and they have been asked to sign up for the various events. As places are limited, students will be notified whether they have gained a place the day before. Places for events will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

In the spirit of Careers Week, we are aiming to raise awareness of opportunities that can enrich the learning experience and enhance any CV. The National Park Authority are running an eight week, New Naturalist programme which leads to a John Muir Award. This opportunity is open to Year 9 and 10 students, and will really develop their knowledge and skills of nature, conservation and biodiversity in the local area. Any interested students should see Mrs Johnston before Friday 9 March.

You can also follow us on social media or search twitter using #NCW2018 and #NAW2018 to gain further insight into the breadth of events during the week.

King Edward’s Inspires 2017

Once again, thanks to the huge support we receive from many of our alumni, businesses, colleges, universities and training providers, our annual KEVI Inspires event was a phenomenal success – the best one yet! We have a variety of exhibition stands, as well as an in depth workshop/presentation programme.

The event attracted support from a wide range of organisations from across various sectors and a wide geographical area, from London to Dundee! We are immensely grateful of the support provided and are proud that our school can deliver such a unique and valuable event for our students and their parents.

This year, we were delighted to invite colleagues from Berwick Academy Sixth Form and The Church of England Academy. We have developed a range of careers provision with these schools, as part of our work and inclusion on the National Career Benchmarks Pilot programme. Feedback from Berwick in particular was outstanding, with their Head of Sixth Form saying that her students are ‘talking about possibilities and opportunities they never knew existed!’ This really captures the essence of the event and is what makes it special.

Next year King Edward’s Inspires will be held on 22 November 2018 and we have already had pledges of support from many of the organisations present this year, which is phenomenal. Further developments next year could be the inclusion of a sector specific panel discussion with industry experts… watch this space.

KEVI Inspires 2017

Thursday 16 November sees the return of our annual King Edward’s Inspires event. The event is designed to inform and inspire our young people and their parents/carers of the possibilities and prospects beyond the confines of school.

In its fourth year the event has gone from strength to strength with even more delegates in attendance. The event has attracted over 60 organisations from the worlds of Further and Higher Education, Apprenticeship and Training Providers as well as high-level employers. As ever, the event is well supported by our alumni, who were in the same position not too long ago.

King Edward’s Inspires is a mix of the traditional careers fair, with a supplementary programme of talks and workshops, designed to give that little bit more detail on a particular area. We are delighted that the North East Local Enterprise Partnership will be in attendance to give us the latest and most up to date information on the state of the region’s job market, and provide a glimpse of where exactly the jobs are in terms of sector. We are lucky enough, particularly for our Sixth Form students and parents/carers, to have Student Finance England at the event to give the full overview of the finance options for university and the application process. There are a whole host of organisation supporting the event, and we could not be more grateful to them for their time. A full overview of the event can be found via this link.   

From the work we have been involved in with the North East LEP and the Gatsby charitable foundation on the National Pilot for Good Career Guidance, we are thrilled our colleagues from Berwick Academy and the Northumberland Church of England Academy.

We hope the event will be a real success, for students and their parents. This is one step on their journey to becoming accomplished young adults, being ready for the workplace and the challenges that will bring. Parents/carers, we are sure, will be delighted at the huge range of opportunities available to their son/daughter and will relish the opportunity to become more informed.   

Folow events on the evening via twitter using #KEVIinspires

Ben Carvin

Year of leaving?


Current Job

Environmental Consultant

Favourite subject in school and why?

I loved Geography! I still do in fact. Both my parents were geography teachers so some may say I had no choice! I found learning about the planet and the processes that go on around us fascinating. It’s also continually evolving as a subject so felt really current. I bet some of the stuff I learnt when I was at school is old fashioned now and I haven’t been gone that long!

What have you done since leaving KEVI?

After leaving KEVI I went to study Environmental Science at the University of Leeds. After my first year, I went to South Africa to work on a research project for 2 weeks which really opened my eyes to the world of travel. I studied at McMaster University in Canada for a year before returning to Leeds for one final year. I was offered a graduate job whilst still finishing my degree so after a couple of months travel after graduation I joined Advisian as an Environmental Consultant. I use what I learnt at school and at university to assess potential risk in the ground. I recently travelled to India with work to volunteer with a charity called Pollinate Energy. In India, I helped Pollinate to deliver life changing sustainable products to the urban poor in Indian slum communities. I loved every single second of it. I still live in Leeds so the decision I made to come here after school was a good one!

What has been your biggest achievement in life and how did your experience at KEVI help you to achieve other successes?

Graduating from university with a first class degree surrounded by my family and friends is the best thing I had ever done. It was a product of all the effort I put in at university but also the years of effort I put into my GCSEs and A Levels at KEVI. Life at KEVI taught me that all experiences in life are important whether academic or outside of school. You learn a lot when you don’t think you necessarily are. All of the extra-curricular activities I took part in at KEVI helped me learn what I enjoyed and what I didn’t. These experiences helped me to build confidence and have the belief I could achieve anything I wanted.

What one piece of advice would you give to current students?

Don’t be afraid if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. Be confident and try things out to see if you enjoy them. I originally applied to study Geography because I didn’t realise there were other subjects out there. Really research what courses are out there if you want to go to university. I still don’t really know where I’ll end up but I know I’ll enjoy the journey to wherever I do end up by being confident and taking every opportunity I get. Also, the world is awesome; go explore it!

What’s your next big goal?

Keep learning from people around me to stay happy and make a difference in the world somehow!