Learning About Careers In Years 7 - 11
In Year 7 we introduce careers education in PSHE, looking at the fundamentals. We consider the difference between a career over a lifetime and a job, which is more temporary and specific; we establish how careers are involved with one’s values, one’s skills, qualities and personal motivations. We invite speakers from a range of careers into school and show how their careers fit alongside their lifestyles and have changed to adapt to external drivers as well as personal ones. We always aim to involve speakers who challenge conventional assumptions/stereotypes.
In Year 8, careers work is linked to the GCSE subject choices that students will be making. We discuss how globalisation and technological innovation is changing the world of work. We teach the importance of adaptability through developing and evidencing key employability skills. Students are shown how to research careers pathways through the Careers Library and IT programmes giving up-to-date LMI (Labour Market Information). This is a course that is integrated with the Silver Library Skills certificate. Work-related vocabulary introduced in Year 7 is expanded as part of the Library research activity.
We build on the ideas introduced in Year 8 regarding the necessity of adaptability and flexibility when it comes to careers journeys and the development of employability skills. We also teach students about basic employment law, especially in regards to young people.
Honeywell Careers Partnership: Each year in the summer, we collapse the timetable for a couple of mornings to involve Year 9 students with a careers partnership event with global tech firm, Honeywell. They hear from staff in a variety of roles in the firm who promote the message that not everyone in big tech firms needs to be an engineer, 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.
Students learn about job application through the process for securing work experience placements. They develop skills in writing CVs, letters of application and professional conduct through email and telephone conversations with employers. They are also taught about interview skills. We expect all of our students to have secured a placement by the end of the academic year.
Students use more sophisticated ICT to help them refine their careers/Key Stage 5 options research. Sixth Formers and senior staff deliver sessions giving advice and guidance on making A-Level choices. Local F.E. providers talk about technical qualifications (i.e. Apprenticeships and T-levels)
For each student, there is a consultation discussion with an independent advisor from Careers South West, as well as with a senior member of school staff. These discussions are designed to give extra support in decision making.
A week of work experience in October gives students a deeper understanding of the qualities that are valued in employment, as well as an opportunity to develop their confidence, and to reflect on their own ideas for career paths.