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Year 9 International Women’s Day Event

Suggested Age Range: Year 9
Hours to Prepare & Review: 5
Type of Activity: Range of workshops

Rationale
The purpose of this event was to ‘inspire Year 9 girls and raise their aspirations’. In addition, a key aim was to help develop the students’ ‘self-confidence and resilience’. The girls were given the opportunity to meet and talk to women who have or have had a range of job roles and to enable the girls to find out more about women who have been successful in a wide variety of ways and roles.

Structure
Period 1 – There were two presentations in the hall:
Zena Jones, a History teacher at Sir James Smith’s, started by finding out if the students knew the origins of a number of familiar celebratory days, such as ‘Pancake Day’ and ‘Valentine’s Day’. She went on to explain the origins of ‘International Women’s Day’ in Russia in 1917.

In addition, Zena identified a number of gender based inequalities in 2019 in work, sport and the law. She then helped the students identify some famous women and asked them to list their ’Top 10 Ten Women’ and to form a case for each one.
Mish Poynter, Sir James Smith’s Enterprise Adviser, talked through her pathway to running an award winning lingerie and swimwear business based in Wadebridge.

Period 2
All the girls took part in a fitness session.

Periods 3 & 4
The girls took part in speed networking sessions with women from different organisations/sectors:
• Construction
• Manufacturing
• Health Service
• Training
• Retail
• Research
The girls were in groups of six and talked to all six volunteers. They also took part in a 25 minute ‘Mindfulness’ session.

Period 5
The girls were divided into three groups and then worked in pairs to research a women selected from a list of ten. They then gave a presentation to the other sixteen girls in their group.

Zena Jones, History Teacher said,
The day was a fantastic opportunity for the Year 9 girls to come off timetable and to immerse themselves in the history, mindfulness and career choices of women. It all began with the importance of women in society and their journey to achieving equality, the girls were empowered with the knowledge of the accomplishments of their predecessors and were able to make connections with their own successes and future goals. Following this was an exercise and mindfulness session illustrating that keeping our bodies healthy and our brains reflective was an essential part of self-awareness. In the afternoon there were various speakers who shared their experiences in careers, business and the working life. Overall, the day was a valuable and carefully crafted insight into the life of a women and all the possibilities that they can access as a women.”