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05 December 2018

Aintree Beacon Programme raising career aspirations for local students

Last week Racing to School ran a careers activity day for Year 9 pupils at Maricourt High School in Merseyside, as part of the Racing Foundation-funded Aintree Beacon Programme, in conjunction with Aintree Racecourse.

About the Racing Together Aintree Beacon Programme

The Beacon was set up with the initial goal of offering long-term education and careers provision for local pupils in Year 5 right through to Year 13, with participation in several activities and events. Alongside growing young people’s self-confidence and core educational goals, these activities offer practical knowledge of the horseracing industry and its career routes.

Career Planning and Support

Friday’s event saw talks from staff from nearby Aintree Racecourse talking about their different roles, as well as Racing to School’s Carrie Ford outling the kinds of career paths available within the racing industry.

Danielle Lawler, the schools Careers Leader said: “The most enthusiastic thing we saw today was the pupils linking back all of the other events they have done during the Beacon, such as the maths at work day or the enterprise day. It was really good to see them bring that together and think about the different roles within the industry.”

Outcomes of the Programme

Reflecting on the day and the Programme in general, Head Teacher Brendan McLoughlin said:

“Aintree is part of our catchment area, so they’re very much part of our school community and the opportunities that are afforded by Racing to School have been wonderful.

“Our pupils have been given opportunities to discuss careers, opportunities to raise their aspirations but they have also been able to do subject-specific things such as maths, science and geography based around the racing industry. It has really taken them out of their normal comfort zone, put them into a practical arena and they have thoroughly enjoyed what they have been doing.”

Racing to School is extremely grateful to the Racing Foundation for their continued support of the project, and to Aintree Racecourse for all of their assistance and enthusiasm.

“We are indebted to John Baker and his colleagues at Aintree for sparing the time to meet with the pupils at Maricourt and to share their knowledge and advice. There is a genuine interest in the racecourse, and racing in general, among these young people – even on the Friday before the weekend’s Merseyside Derby!

“The teachers are key to the success of the Beacon and at Maricourt they are all so supportive of the Programme,” said John Blake from Racing to School.

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