Reynold Stober is the Head of Business and Economics at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School. As part of the preparations for delivering the Digital T Level from September 2020, Reynold completed an Industry Insight placement at EDF Energy. The placements are part of the T Level Professional Development support offer providing opportunities for professional updating for teachers that is industry relevant and that facilitates knowledge transfer and professional exchange.
What were your key objectives for going on a staff placement in industry?
I wanted to develop and update my technical skills including identifying and closing any gaps in my knowledge so I could pass on this information to my colleagues. I also wanted to understand the different roles and responsibilities in the sector and how I could develop my student’s employability skills as preparation for potential future employment in this industry.
Tell us about your experience and the highlights from the placement
I had a really good experience at EDF and I gained a real insight into the digital world, especially how network and enterprise architecture is prioritised, by making sure the business strategy uses appropriate technology systems architecture to achieve their goals. I also saw the practical application of the Agile and Waterfall project management techniques in developing software. I found the mix of cultures in terms of the workforce very interesting, as the technical aspect of the business is outsourced to a company in India, and it was fascinating to observe how the outsourced staff worked alongside the local EDF employees.
What did you value the most about engaging with EDF Energy?
I really valued EDF’s organisational culture and how it impacts on the business and the crucial role it plays in shaping the business behaviour. The Industry Insight placement developed my knowledge of the different aspects in the digital industry and it also gave me an overview of the different job roles and responsibilities in the sector.
What has been the impact on you, your colleagues and organisation?
The most important learning for me was an awareness of the need for continuous professional development, as I identified knowledge and skills gaps which I have now addressed. I will also use the specification outline and skills identified from my placement to design a scheme of work with learning objectives, activities and resources to develop these skills, so that delivery supports students with their industry placements. We are also developing new and more innovative assessment techniques to develop wider vocational and transferable employability skills.
How will this positively impact on future T Level learners?
This experience has provided me with a unique and in-depth focus on how to plan and deliver a T Level pathway for those pupils who may find the content and method of delivery more accessible, interesting and rewarding when linked to practical content. We will now focus on how the qualifications can be brought to life through highly effective classroom-based delivery models that link to work related learning and connect with the community, business and other stakeholders.