This is the first year that NHS Borders have delivered a Virtual Work Placement (VWP) in collaboration with DYW Borders, Scottish Borders Council and Inspire Learning. Peebles High School, Berwickshire High School, Eyemouth High School, Earlston High School, Jedburgh Grammar Campus and Selkirk High School all took part in this week long placement, with the other four secondary schools aiming to implement this programme in February 2022.
The aim of the NHS Borders VWP was to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in relation to the variety of services and career prospects available within the health and social care sector. Secondly, it aimed to develop their knowledge and skills in relation to employability specifically valued by employers in this sector. The programme saw a high interest in schools and pupils and saw over 40 pupils attend.
Throughout the five-day programme, pupils were provided with the opportunity to develop a range of values and employability skills that are highly valued by health and social care industry employers. These included, timekeeping, dress code, appearance, organisation, and problem solving, team working, interpersonal skills and much more! Pupils worked alone and in teams to create a presentation that was presented within breakout rooms on the final day and determined whether they would achieve an SCQF Level 4 or Level 5.
Libby Noble, Care Home Education Facilitator, NHS Borders: “The quality and volume of work that was produced by the pupils was outstanding. All pupils exceeded our expectations both in the quality and volume of work that was produced. It was clear that each individual pupil had engaged with the lessons, applied the knowledge gained from the class, and followed the instructions. All pupils worked hard over the five days and this is clearly demonstrated in the quality of the resources produced.
It can be challenging for pupils to come together from different schools in a Teams call, and to then participate in virtual classroom activities. We were particularly impressed by how the pupils interacted both in the classroom and in their individual schools. It became clear that confidence was growing over the week as pupils bravely interacted both through chat and verbal response. All pupils were polite and respectful not only to facilitators, but to each other and we would like to thank each pupil for their contribution. We wish each individual pupil success in achieving their ambitions and we would like to remind them to reach for the stars."
Molly Macfarlane, Selkirk High School, S6: "I really enjoyed it; I did this work experience in S6 as I didn't get to in S4 due to Covid-19. I would tell anyone to do this if they don't know a lot about the NHS as they can learn and gain an insight to what it could be like working in the NHS, before, through the pandemic and after, as it is much different now than before."
Nicola Shaw, DYW School Coordinator: "A fantastic week, which provided senior pupils with the opportunity to connect with NHS and begin their learning in Health and Social Care. Pupils learned about the variety of employment opportunities and roles within the NHS and created an amazing final presentation to share with their peers and training providers, achieving a SQA Virtual Work Placement Unit – Level 5."
Shelee Fojcik, Jedburgh Grammar Campus, S6: "I really enjoyed the placement and learning about the different roles and routes to careers in the NHS."
Christina McGorum Begara, Peebles High School, S5: "I found this work placement week very interesting. I would have liked to hear about more roles within the NHS, for example, Doctors, Surgeons, Dentists."