Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Work Experience

As part of our careers programme, we provide Year 10 and Year 12 students with the opportunity to take part in Work Experience.

Participation is not compulsory, but represents the possibility for students to engage in a week long experience that could provide a valuable insight into the world of employment.

Work Experience is an opportunity to experience working life. Harris Academy Purley will do its best to support you with finding a placement. However, many organisations request direct contact from the student. Since placements are incredibly competitive, we strongly advise that you start contacting companies in advance and find a placement yourself. There will be knock backs; no is a common answer, but don't give up! The form at the bottom of the page will help us direct you and support you in finding a suitable organisation to work with for a week.

The process

If you wish to take part in the week of work experience, the following steps need to be completed.

  1. Consider businesses you could approach for a placement
  2. Complete and return the Work Experience Form by June
  3. Arrange an interview with your work experience employer

As soon as your form is returned, the Academy will make contact with your prospective employer to confirm the placement and to send them relevant documents.

How to find a placement 

A work placement is your opportunity to spend a period of time outside the classroom, learning about a particular job or area of work. It can help you decide on your options for after Year 11 and will give you the opportunity to develop and show evidence of vital skills such as self-confidence, communication, independence and a variety of others, depending on what kind of placement you do.  

What types of Work Experience can I do? 

Most of you will be expected to find your own placements. Think about what you want to do.  What are your favourite subjects? Ask for help making a list of related jobs.  If you start looking in time you will be able to find a suitable placement. 

English: Newspapers, Libraries, Press Officer, Teacher, Solicitors, Advertising, TV & Film, radio 

Maths: Banking, Accountancy & finance, Engineering, Meteorology   

Geography: Environmental services, Development organisations, Charities, Politics 

Family is often a good source for finding placements.  Do your parents/guardians do something you are interested in? How about your brothers and sisters or your aunties and uncles?  Do you already know anywhere you may like to work? e.g. a shop that you like, or an organisation you pass on the way to school?   

Go to www.yell.co.uk and search for a local business in the field of work you would like to do.

For example, you could search for "solicitor" in "Croydon". Give this a try!

Tips for a successful placement  

Make a list of 10 places you would like to apply to.

Call or visit them and ask if they have work experience opportunities.  For example: “Hello, I’m enquiring about the possibility of organising a work experience placement with you from 2nd July.

If they offer work experience, they will tell you what to do next.  Remember, competition for work experience can be really tough, so you'll need to make the right impression when asking them.

Be selfish. Don’t ask for you AND a friend; employers are unlikely to want a group of friends hanging out at their business. You will also come across more confident and keen if you are asking just for yourself.

Page Downloads

Title Date  
Template letter/email to potential employers 28th Feb 2018 Download
Work Experience Booking Form 04th Mar 2022 Download