Gifted and Talented students descend on Engine Shed

Engine Shed is proud to be hosting the Steps to Success conference for gifted and talented students on Wednesday 19th December.

Steps to Success is the first city-wide conference for year 12 students (including lower sixth form and first year college students) aimed specifically at pupils who have been identified as being gifted and talented in various fields. The conference comprises a variety of sessions with speakers from the tech, engineering, and medicine industries to inspire students to achieve the ambitious grades they are predicted. By offering access to specialists and experts, students will learn more about applying to university, alternative routes into career paths, developing study skills, and wellbeing during exam periods.

Hetty Brown, an English Literature teacher at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, and Verity Jones, a senior lecturer at UWE Bristol, are running the event as Bristol Gifted and Talented. Hetty said:

“I was inspired to run today’s event in response to research that Bristol is a divided city: the students who thrive academically and go on to success in university or professions and those who do not. In my role as coordinator of more able students at St. Brendan’s Sixth Form College I learned that if you put a determined focus on to these questions, you can make a huge difference to outcomes for more able students that reflect more fairly their potential.

“The Engine Shed was the perfect venue for this event as an exciting hub of innovation and industry in the city. As a former engine shed of Bristolian innovator Brunel, it inspired our young people to change the way the world works in 21st century Bristol too!

“Engine Shed has supported Steps to Success as part of its Diverse Workforce for the Future project which, in turn, stimulates long term, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and our Year 12 students are the future of that. As well as providing the venue, they have connected to some of our speakers including SETsquared Bristol member, LikeToBe, who are running a workshop, and Karl Brown, Lawyer and social mobility champion for the Law Society and from Clarke Willmott Solicitors.”

The schools involved in Steps to Success are in disadvantaged areas, who may not otherwise have access to universities, local businesses, academic opportunities, and apprenticeships. The aim of the event is to enable these students to be stretched and challenged in their abilities, and to balance their studies with their social lives and mental health.

Lorraine Fairbanks, Partnerships Manager at Engine Shed, said:

“We are so pleased to be working with Hetty and Verity from Bristol Gifted and Talented to host Steps to Success. We want to support young people across the West of England, and help raise awareness of the exciting work and education opportunities in the region. We believe that young people are not afforded enough opportunities to experience potential workplaces before they join the workforce. By holding the event in our innovative space we are showcasing the potential opportunities available to young people.”

Verity Jones added:

“Having been involved with the work of London Gifted and Talented, we wanted to empower the young people of Bristol to make the most of their potential and accessing the fantastic opportunities that Bristol has for work and higher education.”

For more information about Engine Shed’s Diverse Workforce for the Future project, and the work we are doing to support young people following careers in the digital, tech, and low carbon sectors, visit our projects page here.