Girl power is on the rise in our Construction course which has seen a large increase in the number of students – particularly females.

In Year 10 there are 79 construction students and almost half – 39 – of those are girls. An after-school GCSE Construction group has also been set up in response to demand from students and that is currently all female.

These figures go against the trends seen in the subject over the years and teachers believe that this could be linked to companies such as Rolls-Royce, Miller Homes and Tomlinson encouraging more females into the engineering and construction industries.

Ex-student Amy Blackham, who is a quantity surveyor for Miller Homes, visited the after-school group to talk to current students about her job.

She said: “I’m really impressed with the number of girls attending the after-school group. I think at university I was one girl in a group of men. There are lots of different aspects to my job from procurement to managing budgets and trades and I am responsible for three sites at the moment.”

The after-school group was created after a handful of girls asked Mrs Molumby, Director of Bakhita House and teacher with responsibility for Key Stage 4 options, if they could still study Construction even though it didn’t fit in with their options.

Students are now developing hand-tool skills that they can use in real-life situations such as painting, bricklaying, carpentry and using a range of power tools and equipment.

The after-school group meet once a week for one-and-a-half hours to complete practical tasks and study the WJEC Level 1 / Level 2 Award Constructing the Built Environment.

GCSE Construction results in summer 2016 were the best yet at Saint Benedict CVA with 27 of 29 pupils achieving A* – C 93%, of those A* – B 79% and A* – G 100% attainment success.

Their practical work is internally assessed during the course and externally moderated in Year 11. There is an exam taken on-line that is externally set and marked by the awarding body.

Student Charisma Talabucon, 14, attends the after-school Construction group.

She said: “I am interested in the different aspects of careers in the construction field. I’m enjoying the course; it’s really good. It’s great that it’s so practical and you can see the results of what you are doing.”

Student Keeley Nagra, 14, also attends the after-school group.

She said: “I think it’s great that so many girls are doing it; it’s all about empowerment. It’s a subject that you can get a lot out of in terms of useful life skills and going forward thinking about a career. I would be really interested in an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce.”

Construction l-r Bozenka Stojke, 15, Keeley Nagra, 14