Updated: Jan 16, 2020
The World of Work day for Langley Academy students in years 8 & 9 was spent at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster. As part of the Rising Futures Programme students take an insightful journey into what the future could hold for them at an inspirational workplace. Students were treated to a tour of the historic building. Along the tour they met each department that helps contribute to the running of the whole operation. This gave a valuable insight into the World of Work for students, seeing a variety of opportunities requiring a number of skills. Let's see what they learnt!
We started with a talk about the history of central hall and what it has been used for over the years, including helping the homeless in London and that it once contained a bank. The students were engaged and asked some insightful questions, including some information about the history of the Methodist church. They were also able to answer questions about what had been said.
The Great Hall was next on our tour where worship services are held as well as concerts from various different acts. It holds 2440 people and the students were invited to sit in the Royal box where lots of famous and important people have been seated before them. It held the first meeting of the UN and has the second largest self supported concrete dome in the world.
After this, we made our way to the balcony which is directly opposite Westminster Abbey and often used to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Our guide gave us a bit of history about the local area and pointed out some local landmarks.
Back on our tour of the building, we were told that the gallery had been named after the architects who won a competition to build it. The winners were Lanchester and Rickards who were inspired by the opera house in Paris to design the grand main staircase.
This brought us back to the original room where the students were split into three groups to go on to see different departments working within the building. The first stop for our group was the Catering department. They explained that they cater for a wide variety of events from just 10 people up to 2000. The staff have to start by making sure everything on each table is set up in the same way.
The students were then set a task to work together and makes sure they set up a table with cutlery, glasses, napkins and bottles of water. They had to make sure everything was lined up neatly and each place setting was identical. The students took part in this enthusiastically and worked together as a group to finish the task quickly. The manager said that they did a better job than the staff!!
The students were then treated to decorating brownies with an array of sauces, sprinkles, sprays and sweets. They had a lot of fun and varied between very precise painting and placing toppings on the brownies to those who piled on as many toppings as possible.
Finally they were given an activity to test their knowledge of different foods. Cups were passed filled with strong smelling herbs and spices which the students had to identify. These included mint, cumin and star anise. All the students correctly guessed mint and some of them had smelled the others before but couldn’t remember what they were called. They were also given some interesting facts which they all engaged with.
Next on the tour was some time with the porters who set up whole rooms for conference attendees. They explained that there were several different styles of setup with different items available. The students were told about who might be using the rooms then given a task to set up four tables with notepads, glasses, pens, sweets and water bottles.
The students worked together really well to complete the activity. They split up tasks and between them showed leadership skills, great group working and made the job fun. With a bit of time to spare at the end of the task, they played a group game led by one of them.
The next department we went to was the audio and lighting technicians 'White Light Events' who deal with a wide array of events. They got the students involved with a test presentation showing them how to use the equipment needed to change lighting, sound and combine them with a screen presentation. The students were split into a couple of groups so each of them had a chance to get involved in some way, with two being invited onto the stage to be part of the presentation.
After lunch, the students were all reunited for a security presentation. The security staff who work at the building set up a metal detector arch and wand that they use to ensure visitors are safe. The students got involved with some example scenarios the staff had set up.
They explained about how their role includes a lot of customer service as they deal with so many people (most of whom aren’t there to cause problems). They told us about the role of CCTV in their jobs and gave some information about keeping ourselves safe in everyday life. They also gave us some information on cyber security for the students to be aware of.
The final presentation of the day was from a DJ who showed all the students how the deck works and how to mix songs together. Several of the students were able to try it out on the stage in front of all of our group.
At the end of the day, the students were all presented with a goody bag from some of the staff they’d met during the course of the day.
Everyone enjoyed the day and learned quite a lot. The students got involved with all the tasks and asked some really insightful questions. Thanks to the great staff at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.