Exploring the World of Hair and Beauty: A Vocational Visit to Ely College
In September 2023, students from Riverside Meadows Academy - Wisbech Green embarked on an inspirational vocational visit to Ely College, delving into the hair and beauty industry. Under the guidance of Assistant Head Teacher Shari Welsford, the visit aimed to provide a glimpse into what a career in this industry could look like and discuss the transition from Key Stage 4 (KS4) to Key Stage 5 (KS5), particularly focusing on their next steps - life after Wisbech Green.
The visit commenced with a comprehensive tour of the college's hair and beauty salon, offering students a first-hand look at the different components of the BTech in Vocational Studies program and the level 2 and 3 hairdressing course. At Wisbech Green, the emphasis has traditionally been on theoretical aspects of the course, and this visit sparked anticipation for the prospect of incorporating practical experiences aligned with Ely College's approach.
During the trip, students received a shampoo and conditioning treatment followed by styling from Ely College Sixth Form Students who demonstrated client consultation to the close of the service, showcasing the importance of customer service and polished delivery in the industry.
Students were elated to have their hair styled using various techniques. While students selected their preferred hairstyle, Ely College students performing the treatment showcased multiple approaches, creativity and versatility, inspiring our students.
One of the significant distinctions we wished to note during the visit was the curriculum shift from KS4, where practical work is limited, to KS5, where the curriculum expands to accommodate more practical and industry-focused services. This intentional preparation aims to ensure a seamless integration into the curriculum of KS5 for Wisbech Green students who will choose a path in the hair and beauty industry for their next steps.
The experience proved to be incredibly motivational, leaving the students inspired and committed to a potential future in the industry. The key takeaway from the visit was a sense of empowerment – students realised that those working at this level at Ely College were once beginners just like them, making their aspirations feel attainable.
Mentors at Ely College played a crucial role in the visit, guiding the students through the course and making it relatable. The warmth and relatability of the mentors left a lasting impression on the visiting students.
As an expression of gratitude, Wisbech Green extends its thanks to Ely College for hosting the visit. The positive impact of the experience is evident as the students have been invited back to witness the Hair & Beauty Show in 2024, themed around musicals. We eagerly anticipate attending this event next year, further solidifying the connection between theory knowledge and practical application in the hair and beauty industry.