School Contact: Mr S Smith (Careers Leader & Assistant Headteacher)
Phone Number: 01297 552327
Careers education at Colyton Grammar School is aimed at providing exceptional students with the same inspiration that our academic programme gives.
We seek to help our learners understand their strengths, to demonstrate and develop employability skills, and have the best qualifications to maximise their opportunities in a rapidly changing careers world. We believe that as students gain greater maturity, they recognise also the importance of their core values in steering a successful career journey. We recognise that all of our students have the potential to go on beyond school to make a significant contribution to society, given their intellectual ability and personal capabilities.
To help us give the best information, advice and guidance to our students, we value a collaborative approach, working with leading universities and employers, with parents and former Colyton students, as well as the staff of Careers South West.
We have an annual programme of careers talks from employers, Colyton alumni, as well as parents of current Colyton students. Speakers give assemblies and lunchtime presentations on their career journeys and experience, and hold Q&A sessions with interested students.
We are always interested to hear from you, if you have a career story to tell, or can give advice and information about a particular career area. Please get in touch with Dr Emma Styles on 01297 552327. firstname.lastname@example.org
LEARNING ABOUT CAREERS IN YEARS 7 - 11
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 those paths.
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.
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 & 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.
LAUNCHING AN ASPIRATIONAL CAREER JOURNEY IN THE SIXTH FORM
The Personal Insight & Development portfolio of the Colyton Baccalaureate allows students to develop, refine and evidence their careers thinking. We encourage students to champion their extra-curricular involvement and community work so that they can market themselves in aspirational and competitive routes beyond school.
Students begin by reflecting on what they have learnt through work experience in Year 11, develop their CVs, and apply for sixth form work experience placements in February of Year 12.
A programme of Higher Education information, advice and guidance takes students from initial research in Year 12 through to application and interview for university places in Year 13. We work with Russell Group universities (as well as Harvard University) to provide a series of talks on subjects such as the value of H.E., choosing a course, and university life. All of our students attend a UCAS Convention and we run an H.E. Evening for parents in March of Year 12.
We also provide information and advice on alternative routes to Higher Education, such as increasingly popular and competitive degree apprenticeship programmes. Our colleagues at Careers South West provide guidance to those students who want to pursue alternative pathways or are struggling to make a decision about what to do beyond school.
As so many of our students will go on to professional and graduate careers, we invite in a number of inspirational speakers for our Head Start Day in Year 12, when there are also workshops for particular career areas and to give advice in developing professional capabilities. We follow this up in Year 13 when employers come in to school to give individual interview practice for sixth formers.
CAREERS IN THE CLASSROOM
We believe that careers education is not something that should be taught in isolation, but informed by what is learnt in the academic curriculum too. For instance, we have a range of speakers who come in to talk to students during Science Week. Throughout the school’s Science curriculum applications to industry and professional practice are highlighted. In developing and delivering our STEM programmes we have worked with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the MET Office, the Environment Agency, Babcock, Atkins Engineering, RNAS, Flybe, the Institute of Civil Engineers, as well as Exeter University.
Students are encouraged to get involved in careers related competitions at all levels, from the local to the international. Recently we have students who have worked on engineering challenges at Seaton Tramway, as well as on the national BP Ultimate STEM Challenge and the international VEX Robotics scheme. Our students have enjoyed success in business related competitions, such as the London Institute of Banking and Finance’s Student Investor challenge and the ICAEW’s national accountancy competition.