Learning About Careers In Years 7 - 11
As part of our careers programme, we strive to ensure students get a clear appreciation of the importance of all subjects in a range of careers, and a deeper understanding of how studying subjects can lead them to particular careers and industries.
An overview of our entire programme can be seen in the careers policy, here.
In Year 7, we introduce Careers education in PSHE, discussing what a career has meant, can mean, and may mean in the future, focussing on what a career could be for each student individually, and how it can help them lead a happy and fulfilling life. We encourage students to reflect on what subjects and activities they enjoy, and how they may want to positively impact their communities, and the world through what they achieve.
We provide speakers from a range of careers to talk to students about the connections between their career and lifestyle, deepening students’ knowledge and understanding and challenging conventional stereotypes they may hold about particular professions.
In Year 8, students engage in comprehensive reflection on who they are, what they enjoy, and how they may want to impact the world through an enjoyable and fulfilling career. Further time is dedicated to considering their aspirations and interests, employability skills for the future world of work, and also what qualifications are needed. This includes talks from a range of FE and HE providers to give students insight into all the paths available.
They are given time and support in using Launchpad - an online service for researching and learning about different careers, how to reach them, and associated labour market information (LMI). This can all provide some input into the GCSE Option choices they make in this year (although we stress that they are not selecting their future career at this point!).
In Year 9, students have begun their GCSE courses, and we make opportunities to reinforce the relevance of the knowledge acquired in all GCSE subjects to students’ potential careers and future lives. Students also learn about basic employment law.
There are talks from inspiring speakers on future careers and the importance of having a breadth and depth of knowledge across subjects. In addition, we have talks from FE and HE providers on the range of paths available in the future.
Honeywell Careers Partnership: Each year in the summer, Year 9 students take part in a careers partnership event with global tech firm, Honeywell. They hear from staff in a variety of roles in the firm to give students an understanding of the large number of different roles within a successful organisation, and that all sorts of qualities and motivations are necessary in a modern workforce. Students draw up questions for our speakers on matters they feel are important and would like to hear more about (e.g. evolving working practices in modern blue-chip organisations, the sustainability agenda and promoting women in engineering and tech roles).
We work with the company to develop a creative team challenge for students to work through, involving novel uses for the firm’s technological innovations. The resulting House competition ends in the presentation of the Honeywell Trophy.
In Year 10, students research, apply for, and take part in a week of work experience, undertaken in July of Year 10. The school supports them throughout this process by providing information and guidance on:
• Suitable types of placement, and what to aim to get out of it.
• How to write a CV, and letter of application.
• Use of the CSW database of employers.
• Following up and confirming placements, and interview conduct.
Placements are checked to confirm safety and that appropriate insurance is in place.
This is supplemented by talks from speakers and FE and HE providers, to help students consider what placements may be ideal for them, and what future paths they may consider.
Work Experience takes place in July of Year 10. Students are provided with guidance and support to ensure they conduct themselves professionally and safely, and gain as much valuable experience as possible from their placements. This includes preparation for identifying workplace skills and knowledge before departing, completing a logbook during the week, and thorough reflection and group discussions on their return.
We then encourage students to return to their careers and pathways ideas and thoughts, and reflect on how the placement has affected these.
In Year 11, we continue to provide extensive careers guidance and support as students make choices about the next stage of their education. This includes:
• Talks from FE and HE providers, giving detailed information about the range of
qualifications and training open to them.
• Talks with Q&A sessions from Year 13 Colyton students about the experience of studying
all subjects available.
• Individual careers discussions with a careers advisor from CSW, Dr Oliver Jenkin. This
provides an opportunity to discuss and consider all potential next steps in an independent
• Individual discussions with a member of the senior leadership team of the school, to
provide extra guidance and support for their decisions.
• Use of the Kudos online careers service that we subscribe, and other online resources,
plus the extensive careers resources in the careers library.
• An inspirational speaker to help them focus on the future benefits they will gain from the
continued focus and effort in revising and preparing for their GCSE examinations.