We are proud to hold the national quality mark for excellence in careers education – the Quality in Careers Standard – which we were awarded in 2020 in recognition of our commitment to Careers Advice and Guidance. We were reaccredited for Investors in Careers in July of 2023. Our Careers programme ensures that every pupil is well prepared for the world of work, and our aim is to help students identify their strength and passions, and guide them accordingly.

Careers education starts in Year 7, and as a result our students gain a good understanding of the career paths open to them and the subjects they need to study to achieve their goals. The majority go on to study at top universities after Sixth Form, and increasingly pupils are choosing to take up higher education apprenticeships with top employers such as Renishaw and Hazlewoods. All our Careers activities and are mapped against the Career Development Institute (CDI) Framework and the Gatsby Career Benchmarks; as a result students develop the key skills required in the world of work – communication, leadership, independent learning, problem-solving, teamwork, planning, motivation and interpersonal skills. Our Careers Policy, see link below, sets out the Careers programme in more detail.

Pupils crowding around a stand at the Careers Fayre

Year 7 and 8 students attend monthly 'Look@myjob' assemblies and have three careers lessons every year delivered through the PSHE curriculum. Year 9 pupils have 10 sessions a year, plus Enrichment days. Students regularly undertake research, and implement their Personal Careers Plans, with the aim of working towards and fulfilling their careers aspirations and targets. Assessment is through discussion with pupils and reflection on their progress in Careers, which is recorded in the School Careers Portal for students and parents to access.

Year 7

Monthly employer assemblies with Q&A. PSHE: Future goals and ambitions. Self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses. Planning for the future.

Year 8

Monthly employer assemblies with Q&A. PSHE: skills and self-reflection, money management, different career paths, personal reflection and action planning.

Year 9

Monthly employer assemblies with Q&A. PSHE: Stereotyping at work. What is enterprise? Employability skills. GCSEs and Year 9 options. Pay, working patterns and conditions, and comparisons. Roles, hierarchies and positions. How to research careers. Personal reflection and action planning.

Year 10 pupils have ten Careers sessions a year and Year 11 have eight sessions plus Enrichment days. Students regularly undertake research, and implement their Personal Careers Plans, with the aim of working towards and fulfilling their careers aspirations and targets. Working with Careers teachers, form tutors and the Head of Key Stage 4, each student creates a personalised career plan which is discussed further in one-to-one interviews.

Year 10

Three drop down activities throughout the year which cover careers research and employability skills, work experience and interview skills. Careers lessons: Following your passion. Financial management. Preparation for work experience. Employment rights and legislation in employment. Entrepreneurialism. Self-employment. Competitive job markets. Health and safety. Personal reflection and action planning.

Year 11

One drop down activity in the year, which covers mock interviews. All Year 11 students are offered a one-to-one Careers interview with a qualified L7 Careers Advisor to discuss their goals, ambitions and plans in an unbiased and impartial way. Careers lessons: CV writing. Labour market information. Options available post-16 including information on technical education qualifications and apprenticeships. Interview technique. Individual careers interviews and guidance. Employability skills and personal branding. Personal reflection and action planning.

Students have ten hours of Careers provision in each year, plus presentations by visiting speakers from business and higher education. Year 12 students undertake work experience, and are encouraged to research their post-18 options, attend university open days and prepare thoroughly for applications.

Year 12

Employability skills. Post-18 options including technical education qualifications and apprenticeships. CV writing and job applications. Changing labour market and employability. Networking. Interviewing skills and techniques. Alternatives to university including Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. Preparation for Year 12 work experience. The UCAS application process, specific courses, applications to Oxbridge, how to successfully conduct university research and personal statement preparation. Individual Careers advice and guidance interviews.

Year 13

Support with UCAS applications. Oxbridge mock interview preparation. Early entry support for students interested in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences. University talks and presentations, faculty and subject-specific talks. Individual careers support for students. Provision and guidance for students applying for Higher Degree Apprenticeships. CV writing and interview workshops. Student finance and living independently.

The Careers Education and Guidance Programme throughout the year groups is enhanced by an intensive programme of extracurricular activities and events. These include work experience in Years 10 and 12, the annual Careers and Higher Education Fayre, mock interviews, guest speakers, visits to national skill and apprenticeship shows, plus individual student interviews, specific workshops and UCAS preparation. The Department hosts various key speakers, presentations and topic-specific workshops to help students prepare thoroughly for the world of work and life after school. The Learning Resource Centre (LRC), which is based in the Sixth Form but is available to all students, also boasts a sizeable Careers library of books on specific industries and on how to research and make applications for university, how to prepare for job interviews and how to answer admission test questions.