Our goal at Highshore is that as many as of our young people possible obtain employment in the future.

We aim for students to experience and participate in the world of work as fully as possible. We run both internal and external work experience programmes, visits to work places and employability workshops from organisations. This gives our students the chance to focus on their independence, communication and self-help skills, better enabling them to seek employment upon leaving school.


Our students, parents, staff and governors are committed to getting Highshore students into the wider community outside of school. Highshore School’s core values are independence, self –help and communication. A working environment is a great way for students to practice these skills so upon leaving school and seeking employment students are best equipped to make decisions about their future choices and employment prospects. The success of this is measured through reviews with pupils, parents and employers. This information is to be next reviewed in June 2023.

We are always looking for new community partners so please get in touch with Dom Fryer, our Careers Lead and Community Liaison, to discuss ideas and we can tailor to individual requirements. dfryer@highshore.southwark.sch.uk 

Work Experience: This could be in a long or short term capacity. Some students go to work experience one day a week (which could be a few hours) or a week’s work experience Monday- Friday. We work with employers to run a flexible programmes to suit both the organisation and student needs.

 Volunteering: If your organisation would like to contribute in other ways, we have corporate responsibility teams come in to help at school we also have regular classroom or holiday programme volunteers.

Award Winning Provision

In June 2017, Highshore won the Southwark Schools Excellence Award for Innovation & Collaboration for our Work Experience Pathways.

Work Visits: Groups of students may visit businesses or organisations on trips to get a greater understanding of the work of work.

Enterprise stalls or selling opportunities: Sixth form students have one day a week allocated to enterprise education where they make products to sell. Pupils have previously sold items on Tooley street and in neighbouring schools.

Internal Placements

Internal work placements are an opportunity for pupils to develop their work skills and independence before moving to external work placements. they work on a weekly rota and develop their skills over a school term. Whole school internal roles include:

 Staff & Seasonal Post Duty: Pupils collect, sort a deliver staff post to pigeonholes and seasonal cards to their classmates.

Canteen Duty: Pupils wrap cutlery, arrange jugs an cups on tables, hand out cutlery, serve from the salad bar and help pupils at lunchtime.

School Library Duty: Pupils monitor and tidy the library, whilst also checking pupils books in and out.

For our Key Stage 5 pupils that have a one day a week placement but perhaps aren’t yet ready for an external placement, specialist roles have been developed. Pupils follow a personalised, weekly routine. This helps as a reminder of their responsibilities and is a way to help them gain independence in their role. These include:

  • Stock and Resources Assistant :Pupils check and replenish stock of beverages and classroom resources across the school. They also prepare and make resources for teachers for example printing, laminating or ICT presentations.
  • Classroom Assistant: Pupils work in classroom to support other pupils, prepare the classroom for lessons, pack away equipment. Some pupils specialise in a subject area that they are interested in e.g. PE or work in different classes where support is required

Feedback From Employers

  This whole process is an excellent way of helping two organisations combine talents and needs

– Steve Symmonds, Manager Dulwich Mind Shop


  I only have positive things to say about our relationship with Highshore and Bradley’s time with us. Having him work with us is such a great experience for all involved. Bradley is a great kid who not only does a fantastic job but has helped the whole team improve as a unit

– Andre Bienkowski, Just Hospitality


 Vicky has made excellent progress this year she is developing her own style, and is thinking ahead to future projects she would like to undertake

– David Tootil, Southbank Mosaics

Case Studies

1: Alfie – Alix Partners

In 2015 Alfie started a weekly work experience placement with corporate restructuring firm Alix Partners where he worked with the Facilities team to carry out tasks such as measuring office temperatures, replenishing office stock and setting up meeting rooms for clients.

The placement was set up by the Down Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme, and overseen in partnership with Highshore. Alfie continued to progress in his role throughout his time at Highshore and became a real asset to the Alix Partner team. In 2016 he got the opportunity to appear on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show where he talked about his work.

From Alix Partners London office, Andy Constable, intern Alfie Scullion, Annalis Jovinsdottir, and Sulaiman Saadani press for progress by challenging stereotypes and bias on International Women’s Day 2018.

Andrew Constable-Alix Partners:
The most rewarding part is seeing how Alfie has matured as a person and grown in both confidence and ability. Alfie started in the office needing direction and to be shadowed during his tasks. Today, he is totally comfortable completing his work unaided.

We have seen him become a valuable member of the team that adds value to our Firm with not only his presence but also the work he completes.

He is the envy of his friends at college and I love how proud he is to work with us at AlixPartners. The office wouldn’t be the same without him!

2: Josiah – Just Hospitality

In October 2016, Josiah started a work experience placement in the catering kitchens at Just Hospitality, Bermondsey. He travelled and worked fully independently at the placement and quickly became part of the team.

As his time at Highshore was coming to an end Josiah had decided that he would like to pursue  a college course in Catering at Lewisham College which he had mention to the Just Hospitality team. Managing director of Just Hospitality, Dean Kennett, had recognised Josiah’s skills and enthusiasm which lead to Josiah being offered a paid day of work while he studied at college

Dean Kennett – Managing Director Just Hospitality:
Earlier this year, I was chatting with Josiah about his plans at end of school term. He has been with us one day a week doing work experience for the past two years and has progressed really well. He said he enjoyed being in the kitchen so much that he has decided to enroll in cooking school. With our current expansion plans we were looking out for some extra help in the kitchen as well and that’s when I decided to offer Josiah a paid part time role in the kitchen.

He started this morning and here he is, making us lunch on his first day. I couldn’t have been more proud. To see my vision for this association with Highshore turning into reality is simply incredible. 

3: Kalim – South London Gallery

Kallim now has a Saturday job at Café 67 after his involvement with the South London Gallery whilst he attended Highshore School. Kallim first became involved in the gallery through a school visit to an exhibition by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard in March 2011. Taking part in a workshop at the gallery, he made some work performing directly to camera – showing off a streak for performing that has continued in his projects with Art Assassins. The exhibition inspired him to make his own film work back in school, for which he gained a Bronze Arts Award.

Following on from this, in autumn 2013 he came for work experience at the gallery. He worked on the schools’ programme, with groups of school children as well as working with a number of different staff members. He took part in gallery meetings and over this time became a familiar face in the gallery, well-liked by all. By the end of his work experience, it was suggested that he could somehow become the gallery mascot!

As his work experience came to an end, he was invited to join the Art Assassins youth forum at the SLG. The group of young people aged 13-21 meet every Thursday evening at the gallery and produce their own projects and exhibition. Over the past year, Kallim has become a valued member of the group, taking part in a number of projects and making good friends. In spring 2014, the group produced their own video game which they launched at an event called Arcade Peckham. Kallim devised his own character to feature in the game. In the summer of 2014, he was involved in the Art Assassins Listening Party, launching the Art Assassins audio recordings produced as tape. Kallim took the mic, speaking confidently to the invited audience about the tape that they’d made. He independently recruited audience members from around the gallery to come in to see their work – drawing in lots of people.

Previous Employers

These employers have assisted students by giving them work experience during the last five years. Click for link to website

Employment and Transitions

Here we will put details of supported employment providers, colleges, Individual Supported Placements and general careers information on for students and parents.

Toucan Employment

Toucan Employment is a not-for-profit charity organisation who support people with learning difficulties/disabilities in Southwark, Lambeth, Brent and Lewisham.

Care Trade

Care Trade run “The Autism Project” a supported employment programme for young people on the autistic spectrum

Local Offer

There are a number of opportunities available to help you secure your journey to employment and a successful career.

Roots and Shoots

Roots and Shoots deliver Retail Skills and Horticulture Skills. Within a Personal, Social Development (PSD) strand they deliver Employability and Personal Development all available at Award, Certificate or Diploma level.

Lewisham College

Link to Lewisham College’s supported learning courses.

Southwark College

Highshore has a link course for some 6th form students at Lewisham College who offer supported learning courses.

Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill College programmes are designed for students over the age of 16 with a range of special needs. Offering social and vocational opportunities for students in the heart of their communities.

Work Fit

WorkFit is the Down’s Syndrome Association’s employment programmme which brings together employers and jobseekers who have Down’s syndrome.