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Longfield Academy – Case Study

A team of volunteers (including apprentices) from CPI came into lead a one-hour session with groups of Y9 pupils. This activity was planned between the school careers team and our Enterprise Adviser from CPI. 

The objective was to make pupils aware of an employer in the town and also to link their science learning to possible future careers. 

Pupils had a short presentation on the company and what it did; the range of career options within the company; and the different routes into the organisation including degrees and apprenticeships at level 3 and above. 

Pupils carried out an experiment to extract DNA from strawberries and learnt how DNA is used in CPI’s work.  

The second experiment was creating slime and then looking at the chemical formula and the type of substance formed and its properties.

Gatsby Benchmarks 

This workshop focussed on supporting Benchmarks 1 and 4: 

The Gatsby benchmarks that are highlighted in the activity are: 

A Stable Careers Programme/Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers/Encounters with Employers and Employees – this is the second year we have worked with CPI and our Y9s. Next year we are looking to incorporate their support with other aspects of the Y9 science curriculum. Pupils were able to talk to employees during the practicals and learn more about their roles and different routes in. 


A whole year group took part in the workshop and all students were fully engaged. 

Feedback from teaching staff: 

  • Really good session – liked the fact they talked about options/routes for getting into science careers. 
  • Pupils were engaged with the activities and the volunteers. 
  • It was good that several of the volunteers were from Darlington and had taken different routes into the company. 

Feedback from pupils: 

  • It got me more interested in the subject. 
  • It taught us about some different careers. 
  • It was good – lots of interactive stuff – working on your own and working with others. 
  • Volunteers were good at communicating. 
  • Liked making slime – it was bouncy and fun to play with but also learnt why it was bouncy. 

Feedback from employer: 

It was lovely to get the opportunity to attend Longfield and deliver a STEM talk/experiments, alongside my CPI colleagues. Seeing how enthusiastic the students were and how much fun they were having whilst conducting the experiments was really rewarding. Hopefully this session will have inspired them to look into a STEM career and realise how many exciting opportunities are available.