Education Outreach

We believe in supporting young people to fulfil their potential and to become responsible, successful and resilient adults. Our education outreach programme, which has been active since 2012, aims to increase the skills and aspirations of young people in the local area. The three main strands of the programme are:

  • Supporting careers provision in schools and colleges
  • Enriching the school curriculum with a particular focus on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Specific projects targeted at disadvantaged students.

So far, we have engaged 30,000 young people and worked with over 100 schools. In 2019 alone we took part in over 80 activities including careers presentations and workshops, projects to improve STEM skills, work placements, site visits and initiatives specifically geared towards improving the life chances of young people living in disadvantaged areas. See examples of this work in the case studies below.

Our project area includes some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country and we understand the importance of working in partnership with other organisations to address the challenges faced by young people and their families. In addition to our own projects, Sirius is a member of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area Board, a government initiative that aims to improve social mobility.

We also fund a wide range of education initiatives including Scarborough Science and Engineering Week, which we have sponsored for the eighth consecutive year, and a £1 million programme in Tees Valley and North Yorkshire to support the STEM curriculum and promote STEM careers.


Case studies

    Newby & Scalby Primary school

    In July 2019, we joined forces with a local academy trust to pilot a project to improve children’s maths and science skills. Developed by Scalby School in partnership with Sirius Minerals, the project helps pupil to transition from primary to secondary school and challenges year six children to work in teams to design, build and test a marble run structure. This was chosen so that students could learn how to apply their maths and science skills, but the project will also develop their ability to communicate, work as a team and present their findings. We aim to roll it out to schools across the North Yorkshire Coast. Find out more about the project below or here.

    Caedmon College, Whitby

    In June 2018, a group of local students were invited to take part in a 6-week project to find out about the types of roles available at Sirius Minerals. Watch their journey below.

    Scarborough and Ryedale Young Carers

    In November 2018, a group of young carers supported by local charity, Scarborough and Ryedale Carers’ Resource, took part in a project with Sirius Minerals to learn about life in a large company and the different career pathways available to them. The secondary school students, who all care for a relative, visited the company’s head office and the Woodsmith Mine site over a four-week period where they spoke to staff across a range of disciplines. The project involved them taking part in practical tasks to help them develop their employability skills, including team work, communication, presenting and problem solving.

    Read more about their experience here.

    George Pindar School, Scarborough

    A four-year project working with a group of 25 students from one of the most disadvantaged areas in the country is our most ambitious project yet.

    Background

    George Pindar School is the closest secondary school to the Sirius Minerals head office in Eastfield, which is among the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. It can be challenging for young people from disadvantaged areas to go onto have successful careers. This exciting new project aims to improve the life chances of young people living people in the area and is part of our efforts to target our support at the schools and young people where it is most needed.

    What does it involve?

    The ‘Stepping Forward’ scheme, run in partnership with NYBEP – Successful Futures, is our most ambitious project yet. Over a four-year period, 25 students will take part in a wide range of activities that will help them to make positive decisions about their futures and to develop the skills and qualities that they will need.

    The year 8 students (currently aged 12 and 13) will take part in at least one activity every half term until they leave school after their GCSEs. Activities will include team building sessions, skills workshops, work placements, 1-2-1 interviews with careers professionals, and the opportunity to meet people in a wide range of jobs.

    Particular emphasis will be placed upon developing the core qualities which are valued by Sirius and other employers – including teamwork, communication, problem solving, resilience, and an eagerness to learn and improve.

    What has happened so far?

    The project was launched in July 2019 with the whole year group taking part in a ‘survival skills’ team building event at Dalby Forest. The students worked together to create a shelter, light a fire, cook simple food and learn orienteering skills. Following this, the students were invited to apply for the programme and the final 25 were selected by teaching staff.

    During the first session in September the students took part in various team building and communication skills which involved designing a name and logo for the project. At the following session in December, the students visited the Sirius Minerals headquarters in Scarborough and had the opportunity to interview staff from different backgrounds about their careers and find out how they got to where they are now.