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Smithdon High School

Careers

Careers Education at Smithdon High School
 

Careers Leader:  Miss S Fairweather
Telephone Number: 01485 534541
Email: s.fairweather@smithdonhigh.org.uk

At Smithdon High School we are proud to be able to offer impartial, informed and high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance to all students, across all year groups. We offer this to fully prepare our students to make informed choices for post-16 education and training. This ensures they become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful, to raise their personal aspirations and to empower and prepare them to go on to take all opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in adult life.

Aims:

At Smithdon our careers education, information and guidance (CEIAG) has the following aims:

  • To provide independent and impartial advice for all pupils
  • To educate and empower all students to make informed decisions and succeed in whatever path they choose
  • To raise students’ aspirations
  • To support inclusion, challenge stereotypes and promote equality
  • To maintain and build new links with advisor networks, Further and Higher Education providers and a network of employers
  • To provide students with experiences of Further and Higher Education, apprenticeship and employment

The Gatsby Benchmarks

All schools now use The Gatsby Benchmarks (a framework of 8 guidelines, adopted by the Government) to ensure students receive the best careers provision.

These guidelines are:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education
  8. Personal guidance

Opportunities

We are continuing to develop our programme of activities to ensure we offer our students as many opportunities and experiences as possible.

Students will have a better understanding of the pathways available to help them achieve their goals and will develop a better understanding of the skills and qualities employers want, along with an awareness of work-related learning.

Across both Key Stages 3 and 4, students are engaging in a continuously developing careers education within their Personal Development lessons with their form tutors. Alongside this are assemblies, visiting Higher and Further Education and apprenticeship speakers, taster days, Super Learning Days, employer visits and Unifrog learning activities. For Year 11, there is also a dedicated careers and work room.

For our current programme highlights for each year group, see below:

Year 7 Careers Programme
 

Careers lessons within the Personal Development topic, Living in the Wider World:

  • Personal core values and how these influence choices
  • Setting realistic and challenging personal targets and goals
  • Similarities, differences and diversity along with the impact of stereotyping, prejudice, bigotry, bullying and discrimination
  • Strategies for safely challenging stereotypes, prejudice, bigotry, bullying and discrimination
  • Human rights and how to seek support
  • Equal rights in learning and employment
  • Personal identify as a learner
  • Personal review and planning, including personal value to future employability and strategies to further develop employability

Year 8 Careers Programme
 

Careers lessons within the Personal Development topic, Living in the Wider World:

  • Different types of work, including employment, self-employment and voluntary work
  • The laws and by-laws relating to young people’s employment
  • Different work roles and career pathways
  • Labour markets
  • Choices at the end of KS3
  • Ambition and enterprise
  • Skills for enterprise
  • Online branding
  • Social and moral dilemmas about the use of money (including gambling)
  • Risks associated with financial decisions

Alongside this we also introduce Unifrog: a website used to learn about the variety of different careers available and routes into those careers. Unifrog also provides areas to save information of personal interactions, activities and competencies in preparation for CV and personal statement writing in later years.

Year 9 Careers Programme
 

Careers lessons within the Personal Development topic, Living in the Wider World:

  • Evaluating personal strengths as areas for development to use for goal setting
  • Discrimination in the wider community and workplace
  • Extremism and intolerance
  • Responding to extremism and intolerance
  • Cults
  • Social media opportunities
  • Social media views
  • Legal and personal risks of sharing content online
  • Harassment in and out of the workplace
  • Future employability
  • CEIAG available

Year 9s are invited to visit a careers festival to inspire their future. There is an opportunity to meet with representatives from a wide range of industries, including guest speakers and workshops.

Year 9 also have additional training and sessions on Unifrog to assist with their options choices. Alongside this there are opportunities for one-to-one, careers-based discussions and guidance to ensure informed decisions are made.

Year 10 Careers Programme
 

Careers lessons within the Personal Development topic, Living in the Wider World:

  • Study and employability skills
  • Opportunities available for career progression including in education, training and employment
  • Changing patterns of employment and different types of business organisation and finance
  • Independent work experience opportunities
  • Rights and responsibilities in the workplace
  • Attitudes and values in relation to work and enterprise
  • Confidentiality in the workplace
  • Skills to maximise chances when making applications for education or employment
  • Debt and gambling
  • Critical consumers
  • Consumer rights

Year 10 continue their skills work on Unifrog to search for careers and opportunities beyond their time at Smithdon.

The students also learn about personal statements and CVs, and their place and importance in the application process. With guidance and designated time students create each of these personal documents.

Year 10 are also offered the opportunity to attend various taster days at Further Education institutes to give them an idea of what it would be like to study at their chosen venue. There are many open day/evening events which the students will be informed of and encouraged to attend.

Additionally, students (either in Year 10 or Year 11) are invited to participate in mock interviews conducted off site with our local Rotarians. The interviews are formal and students are given individual feedback to enable them to develop their techniques for future interviews. We have been fortunate enough to offer this opportunity for several years and the students, despite their understandable nerves, have found the experience to be beneficial for many reasons.

Year 11 Careers Programme
 

Year 11 students’ main focus is their choice of future course and the application process.

Alongside using Unifrog, the students are encouraged to look at Further Education providers both online and via visits. At this stage, Unifrog is a fantastic tool to research the opportunities available; searches can be conducted based on location availability, future career progression or subject preferences – entirely up to the student. Further Education and apprenticeship opportunities are shown.

All Year 11s have direct access to the careers and work room every lunch time, where Miss Fairweather (designated careers lead) is available to discuss any queries or offer guidance and support.

During the Autumn half term Year 11 make their applications through the Help You Choose website. This process is supported by form tutors and completed during tutor time sessions. However, students are advised and encouraged to undertake an element of independent research into all aspects of “looking ahead”. Again, Miss Fairweather is available for meetings or individual discussions should additional guidance be needed.

Additionally, students (either in Year 10 or Year 11) are invited to participate in mock interviews conducted off site with our local Rotarians. The interviews are formal and students are given individual feedback to enable them to develop their techniques for future interviews. We have been fortunate enough to offer this opportunity for several years and the students, despite their understandable nerves, have found the experience to be beneficial for many reasons.

Useful websites: