Girls Networking!

Posted at 9:19 am on 15th July, 2021

At Flixton Girls School (FGS) we aim to provide our students with empowering and inspiring opportunities in which they can engage and enjoy a wealth of skills for use during their school life and in the wider world of work and beyond. This ethos has over the years allowed us to work collaboratively with Greater Manchester Higher and the National Uniconnect Programme. 

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These collaborative networks of higher education providers deliver a nationally coordinated approach, as part of the government-funded programme. The overall aim of this programme is to raise the ambitions of young people and the awareness of higher education providing impartial information, advice and guidance to young adults in Greater Manchester, alongside a menu of outreach activities.

Amy Metcalfe Senior Network Manager, @TheGirlsNet and advocate for gender equity and social mobility attended FGS and worked with year 9 students encouraging them to recognise their key strengths and consider pathways they can take through their education to achieve their goals. This also goes hand in hand with a ‘Confident You’ session, empowering students to think about themselves positively and how to portray this to others; as well as considering challenges such as mental health and how to build resilience.

The Girls Network ethos – ‘that no girl should have their future limited by their background, gender or parental income and that all should be supported to realise their ambitions, to discover self-worth and to develop their capacity to shape their future world’ - aligns with the FGS core values of aspiration, empowerment and excellence.  More information is available via their website

During their final session our year 9 students were able to gain insights into the world of work and had a chance to talk with professionals from across a variety of business sectors about their career pathways and what motivated them whilst at school. This type of activity increases the aspirational career choices for those students involved and empowers them to make meaningful decisions about their own future goals, as well as boosting self-confidence. 

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Amy Metcalfe said, ‘Working with the young ladies from Flixton Girls School has been really interesting. We watched them start off very quietly and evolve into engaged and enquiring participants as we discussed how to establish a personal brand and tools for building confidence. The girls' insights and perspectives were so interesting to listen to and, those brave enough to lead, allowed more girls to open up and share their own opinions which, hopefully, made them feel empowered and encouraged authentic self belief. The final workshop introduced the girls to professionals from Manchester who discussed their careers so far, how they felt at the girls' ages and how they participate in self-care. The attendance from the girls, considering many were self-isolating, was very impressive as were the questions being asked. We had a lot of fun finding out what careers the girls wanted to pursue as children and we can't wait to vote for Darcy when she runs for PM! It's been a pleasure working with the girls and I hope they utilise the free resources available on The Girls' Network YouTube channel to continue exploring different career paths as well as their personal development. Thank you for having us at Flixton Girls' School!' 

Student who participated in the sessions commented:

‘I will take away the confidence strategies and specifically the power pose and how this can impact my own personal branding.’

‘My confidence levels have increased and I’m not worried about my future career plans. It’s a pathway, my journey where the end career choice isn’t where I have to stay for the rest of my life.’

Stacey Perkin, Head of Geography and programme coordinator said, ‘It has been lovely to see students engaged and motivated, with lots of self reflection, leading to positive affirmations and great practical interview skills for our students to use now and for their future. Joining the dots between education, further education and the world or work has empowered them to forge their own pathway and reach for their goals.’