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Introductory work is included in the Social Education programme of Key Stage 3, and especially in work relating to option choices. Careers Education is also included in the Key Stage 4 programme and in Sixth Form tutorials. All Year 11 students participate in work experience, as do students in Year 12. The programme is supported by speakers, visits and special events such as Careers Conventions and Higher Education Conferences. The programme is supported by the staff of Careers South Westwho provide careers guidance to students.
Through tutorial sessions in the Summer Term we give students
in Year 7 a gentle introduction to the realities of working life and
they learn about the financial costs and benefits of different lifestyles.
They begin to consider the various pathways leading to certain
careers and see when in life they will have to make decisions about
In July, the whole year group take a day
off their regular timetable to compete in a business activity, getting
a tender together for a catering contract. They learn a little
about how businesses operate and what skills are valued in the world
In Year 7, Enterprise Day focused on making students aware of those
skills and qualities valued in the workplace. The Real Game sessions
emphasised the importance of planning ahead for life choices. In
Year 8, students are shown how to research careers pathways through
the Careers Library and ICT. They are given structured lessons
that help them make informed choices when it comes to GCSE options.
This is a course that is integrated with the Silver Library Skills certificate.
It is revisited in Year 10 when students complete their Gold Library
Skills certificate. Work-related vocabulary introduced in The
Real Game is expanded through a terminology test as part of the Library
At the beginning of the year tutors hand out a document reiterating
the meaning and importance of those employability skills introduced
in Years 7 & 8. The document shows students when in the year
they will have opportunities to identify/demonstrate/develop these
skills through work done across the curriculum.
A similar document is used again at the
end of the Year 10 to review what has been learnt and to correlate aptitudes/skills
to possible careers/learning pathways. This review is drafted
as a formal report – a Personal Statement – that is included
in the main report to parents.
Students are taught why and how to write
CVs and letters of application for jobs. Having drafted these
documents in Year 9, they adapt and use them in applying for work experience
in Year 10.
A further Enterprise Day, in which students
are taken off timetable, develops the awareness of the skills and qualities
needed to thrive in the workplace and builds on work done on the Year
7 Enterprise Day.
YEAR 10 and beyond . . .
A-Level options being chosen in Year 10 makes this a particularly busy
year for careers education.
Tutorials develop students’ awareness of the modern workplace.
They become familiar with more sophisticated ICT to help them
refine their careers/A-Level options research. Work in the Careers
Library leads to every student completing the Gold Library Skills certificate,
building on those skills picked up in Year 8 when completing the Silver
Library Skills certificate.
Sixth Formers and senior staff deliver sessions giving advice and guidance
on making A-Level choices.
For each student in the year group, careers
interviews with a Careers South West advisor (the independent careers
service used by schools in Devon and Cornwall), as well as with senior
members of school staff, are designed to give extra
support in decision making prior to the handing in of the A-Level options
forms in the Spring Term.
In February, students are introduced to
Work Experience: shown its importance and how to make applications for
placements. All students go out on work experience in October of Year 11.
An Employability Skills Report, completed
by each student at the end of the year, addresses the learning that
has gone on in this area since Year 7 and encourages them to reflect
on the decisions that lie ahead in terms of education, training and
During Sixth Form induction week, after
GCSE exams, students work with employers to focus on career pathways
and complete a job interview exercise.
The Higher Education programme begins
in Year 11 and is addressed in detail through PSHE in Years 12 &