August 30, 2016

At 16, each child leaving school gets a Record of Achievement folder. The National Record of achievement or NRA is recognised throughout the UK and can be used as evidence of the holder’s achievements whilst at school.

The NRA can be taken to job interviews, colleges, apprenticeships or whatever route you plan to take on leaving school. It shows other people how you’ve spent your time in education and the positive things that you have to offer. The NRA is also a useful way to see what you’ve achieved so far in black and white and think about what to do next.

Before the NRA

There are a number of processes that lead up to you receiving your NRA.

Throughout your time at school you’ll be required to take part in a number of activities relating to the National Record of Achievement Folder, these will include:

  • Keeping evidence of achievements and building a portfolio
  • Assessment of your progress through reports and examination
  • Planning your next actions and setting targets to improve your NRA

What does the Record of Achievement Folder Look Like?

The NRA is generally presented in a burgundy folder, but your school may have chosen a different type of folder for their students. A number of standard sheets should be placed inside the folder including:

  • Your name, address and personal details
  • A summary of your educational achievements
  • A personal statement

You can also include any other records that could be useful when applying for a job, apprenticeship or college place, such as:

  • Credits and qualifications
  • Work experience history
  • Employment history
  • Awards
  • Attendance records

In addition the NRA will include an Accreditation Certificate which demonstrates that your school has monitored and organised the processes of achievement correctly.

Now What?

You should be preparing your Record of Achievement folder throughout year 11 as job and college interviews can happen quite quickly. In most cases if you’re planning to attend college, interviews will start around Christmas time so your NRA needs to be prepared by then.

Take evidence of anything you feel may be relevant to what you want to do. For example, if you want to study English then take photocopies of your most impressive essays. If you’re planning to find an apprenticeship in the building trade then take photos of the things you learn or anything you make at school which could support your application.

However, it’s also important to tailor your NRA so it’s fit for purpose. In other words be selective about what you include when you’re showing it to different people. For instance, if you’re planning a practical apprenticeship your interviewer will want to know your GCSE grades and see evidence of your practical achievements, they won’t want to read your essay on Richard III.

During year’s 10 and 11 you’re entitled to lots of help with your NRA. Your personal tutor should have at least three meetings with you to look at your folder and help you get organised. In addition, you’ll get help writing …

Would you pass a safety test? As a woman, do you feel safe while traveling, going to the supermarket, getting in and out of your car, or even sitting at home watching TV? Do you live your life in a safe mode or do you believe that nothing untoward will ever happen to you? It behooves us all, women and men alike, to develop our own personal safety plan.

I like to live my life by following what I call the Three A’s…be Alert, be Aware and Always be at the ready. The following tips are mostly common sense but always bear repeating. We can no longer enjoy the luxury of safety. We must take the initiative and look out for ourselves.

Staying alert to our surroundings, to everyone in our immediate environs, is of utmost importance. Too often we walk by people with our head down, totally ignoring who is coming our way or walking past us. This is a mistake and could lead to a fatal mistake. Pretend you’re a law enforcement officer. What do they do when they’re out in public? They are alert. They look people in the eye, noticing their movements, their facial expressions, making a mental note of their facial characteristics, how they’re dressed. The majority of the time this may turn out to be an exercise in futility but we never know when this information that we’ve assimilated may come in handy. We never set out for the day thinking that we might be a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime.

Here are some tips to Always keep in mind:

· If your big concern is rape, remember that most rapists (according to the rapists themselves) look for women with hairstyles that make it easy to grab them – a long ponytail or braid or any hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. Rapists like women with long hair. I’m not advising that women cut their hair off, but just be aware of your hairstyle as you go about your daily activities.

· Keep your cell phone easily Accessible so you don’t have to search through your purse looking for it, thereby being distracted from your surroundings.

· Be especially Alert in parking lots, even at your neighborhood grocery store. Public restrooms are other places where we’re particularly vulnerable.

· If you’re confronted by someone you feel is suspicious, talk to them, ask them a question, look them earnestly in the face, studying their looks. This will let any potential rapist know that you could identify them in a police lineup.

· If you feel that someone is approaching you in a threatening manner, hold your hands out in front of you and yell “Stop.” Let them know you will not be an easy target. Rapists don’t want anyone who is going to be a problem.

· Always carry pepper spray with you and make sure it is handy at all times. You don’t want to be searching through your …