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RAISEing the bar

The second day of RAISE - our programme of work placed visits intended to help raise aspirations in young people - took place at the end of April. Having already experienced Farnborough Airport and UK Connect in March, the cohort of 12 year nine students from Tomlinscote School in Frimley, spent the day at The Village Hotel and near neighbours Syneos Health in Farnborough.

And what a brilliant day it was, beginning with a morning at The Village hosted by General Manager, Rob Lees. The students spent time exploring the Leisure Club including the studios, gym and pool with manager Graham Carter and his team, touring the meeting spaces and 123 bedrooms with Director of Sales, Mark Williams, before gaining insight into the food and beverage side of the hospitality industry. Lunch was provided but the students had to earn it, inventing delicious mocktails to wash down the pizzas they'd created!

Having enjoyed a delicious lunch, the students moved on to a very different work environment: the offices of Syneos Health. Beginning with a tour led by Senior Vice President, Kerry Utton and Emma Cross, Lead Trusted Process Specialist, the group gained invaluable insight into the work of this American based company which provides contract research and commercial services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

The importance of a research and rigorous testing of new medicines was the subject of Steve's presentation, before Syneos apprentices 'doctors' Rui, Ben and Jasmine conducted a double blind clinical trial with the students.

Not to worry: this wasn't a drug trial but a way to test the respective merits of two different chocolate bar brands! There was also time for everyone to better understand the role of AI (and Fortnite!) in creating pharmaceuticals.

Caroline Crabtree, teacher in charge of the project at Tomlinscote School, was thrilled with the day: 'These busy people, with important roles in running successful businesses, have made such an enormous effort to provide the students with an inspiring, fantastic experience.

As well as providing incredible insight into such widely different sectors, helping them to understand more about how actually business works, the students have seen the playful side of work. Of busy people enjoying their jobs and having fun!'

This wonderful cohort will have some activities to follow up after the first two days before concentrating on mock exams. After the summer, a third day of work place visits is being planned early on in year 10.

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