Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021

DYW – Interesting Practice: Career education projects in Shetland Council

What is this?

This exemplar provides an overview of the Community Café and ‘Teen Takeover’ projects at Sandwick Junior High School, developed in response to the national DYW  agenda.​

Who is this for?

​This exemplar will be useful for practitioners involved in the planning, implementing and evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce agenda.

It supports professional reflections around the Career Education and Work Placements Standards as well as School / Employer Partnerships.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

This is an exemplar of interesting practice. It aims to inspire reflective thinking by practitioners engaged in career education and the provision of work placements for children and young people from 3 - 18. It particularly focuses on partnership working between schools, employers and third sector organisations across the local community. This exemplar is solution focused and outlines practical ideas on how to provide learners with the opportunity to enhance skills for learning, life and work as well as meaningful experiences and access of the world of work.

You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • How effectively do you plan for career education opportunities and progression pathways for learners from 3 - 18?
  • In what ways do you ensure that you meet the needs of all learners to develop skills for learning, life and work?
  • In what ways does the curriculum provision and timetabling in your establishment incorporate career education for all learners?
  • To what extend are partners involved in delivering meaningful, work related experiences for learners, the delivery of skills and qualifications as well as prospective career opportunities?


Word file: Teen Takeover and the Community Café at Sandwick Junior High School (283 KB)

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What was done?

Young people at Sandwich Junior High School run a monthly Café for the wider community providing biscuits, cakes and healthy options with tea/coffee and the opportunity for people to connect with each other. The café is part of a schools' wider strategic plan to provide young people with (timetabled) opportunities for wider achievement and the development of skills for learning, life and work.

The school also collaborates with Haysdock Cafe Restaurant in Lerwick on the 'Teen Takeover' project where young people from S3 plan, prepare, cook and serve a 3 course meal for paying customers over two nights – mainly family members and school staff.

Both initiatives are close linked to the DYW agenda, providing learners with the opportunity to enhance skills for learning, life and work.

View the 5 videos looking at the project from different perspectives.

Can't view these videos? You can also view these clips on Glow (log-in required).


Sandwich Junior High School was looking for opportunities to progress the DYW agenda. Both the community café as well as the Teen Takeover project allowed for meaningful, real-life links to the world of work and the development of skills for learning, life and work.

It also provide opportunities to connect with employers, third sector organisations and the wider community through work placements and enhance social enterprise activities.

What was the impact?

The projects had a significant impact on the wider skills development of young people (communication, enterprise, finance etc..). It also fostered community links and provided opportunities for intergenerational dialogue, awareness raising for needs in the community (e.g. Alzheimer's Scotland) and employer connections with young people.

It is also part of school's ambition to realise and recognise wider achievement beyond the curriculum as significant contribution to the overall development of a young person's skills portfolio.