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Careers Programme

We aim to provide excellent careers provision for all, inspiring students to aim high with aspirational career goals, to foster a love of learning and respect which will help them to flourish as they begin their career journey into the world of work.

Our Careers Leader, Jo Knight supported by Claire McGrath (SLT), are available daily for any advice and guidance and can be found in the Careers Office in the Sixth Form Centre, or contacted via info@stmarys.net / 01279 654901 ext 258.

We support all pupils to consider a broad and ambitious range of careers to help our pupils develop high aspirations and understand where their choices can take them in the future.

Our Careers Library is situated in the O’Brien Library and is available to all students at St Mary’s. It is updated regularly with Labour Market Information and resources for the students to peruse. 

St Mary’s Catholic School offers a broad-based curriculum for careers. Aside from Careers and work related education (CWRE) which is delivered during PSHEE, and special events, such as the Year 11 Mock Interviews and Careers Carousel, many aspects of careers skills are delivered within the curriculum by other departments within the school via their teaching, for example decision making, research skills, self-awareness, etc.

Our Careers Education and Guidance policy has the following objectives in line with the eight Gatsby Benchmarks for Careers Excellence when delivering the careers programme in school:

  • To plan and provide a stable careers programme for our learners
  • To expose students to relevant labour market information (LMI)
  • To address the needs of all students
  • To link curriculum learning to careers
  • To provide opportunities for students to encounter employers and employees
  • To support students to obtain work experience placements at year 10 and 12
  • To provide opportunities for students to encounter further and higher education
  • To provide personal guidance to students on careers education

This policy has been developed in consultation with governors, staff and the Careers & Enterprise Company. It is reviewed yearly.

Learning Outcomes

CEIAG at St Mary's aims to provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to support the 6 core aims of the CDI’s framework. These six skills are the learning areas that our careers programme and interventions focus on for life long career development:

 

  • Grow throughout life; grow throughout life by learning and reflecting on yourself, your background, and your strengths.
  • Explore possibilities; explore the full range of possibilities open to you and learn about recruitment processes and the culture of different work places.
  • Manage careers; manage your career actively, make the most of opportunities and learn from setbacks.
  • Create opportunities; create opportunities by being proactive and building positive relationships with others.
  • Balance life and work; balance your life as a worker and/or entrepreneur with your wellbeing, other interests and your involvement with your family and community.
  • See the big picture; see the big picture by paying attention to how the economy, politics and society connect with your own life and career.

The CEIAG programme provides pupils with a wide range of experiences to help them progress effectively through their education and on to successful careers. The intended career learning outcomes for students are based on the National Framework and can be found embedded in the Statement of Entitlement.

Careers guidance at St Mary’s is provided in three categories;

  • Universal; all pupils develop their careers knowledge and skills through assemblies, dedicated Careers PSHEE lessons, tutorial time. External independent speakers will be invited in to speak to students throughout the year.
  • Concentrated; pupils identified by Learning Coordinators with a need for advice will have an interview with either the Careers Leader or where a more intensive guidance needs are identified will be referred to the independent careers advisor who visits the school weekly. Years 12 & 13 students intending to look for apprenticeships or employment are also identified and offered careers interviews as a priority.
  • Self-Referral; pupils and or their parent/carer may arrange an appointment to see the Careers Leader.

Student Entitlement Statements

Year 7:

  • We focus on helping pupils identify that making good career choices means finding a job that combines their strengths, interests, preferences and personality traits
  • Pupils are introduced to the careers library and the resources available to them. They are informed about how to use them and where to find advice and guidance from Careers Leader
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers research
  • Pupils are introduced to Labour Market Information and how important this is when planning a career
  • Pupils have the opportunity to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work
  • During Careers Week speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills, students are able to sign up for these presentations
  • Students have optional access to impartial careers advice via the Careers Leader

Year 8:

  • Pupils question the values of different job roles in society and we then introduce students to their career journey where they explore the decisions they need to take to help support their chosen career path
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers research
  • Pupils have the opportunity to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work as well as Further Education providers to discuss potential educational choices.
  • During Careers Week speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills, students are able to sign up for these presentations
  • Students have optional access to impartial advisers via drop in sessions during the lunch break

Year 9:

  • Pupils receive 2 options preparation PSHEE lessons
  • Pupils define their personal goals and identify resources to help them research their preferences
  • Pupils are supported to think about GCSE options in terms of career pathways
  • Options Evening. At the annual Year 9 options evening parents and pupils can receive further guidance on their choices and the process involved. At this time we issue all pupils with their Options Selection List
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers research
  • Pupils are given a dedicated time slot to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work as well as Further Education providers to discuss potential educational choices.
  • During Careers Week speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills, students are able to sign up for these presentations
  • Students have optional access to impartial advisers via drop in sessions during the lunch break

Key Stage 3: By the end of this key stage, all students will have:

  • Used the Careers Library or Careers materials for research to help them make choices about post 14 courses and learning programmes.
  • Received opportunities for impartial advice and guidance relating to their post 14 choices and beyond.

Year 10:

  • Pupils explore the many different career opportunities open to them and identify careers suited to an individual based on their interests.
  • PSHEE Careers lessons introduce students to an online careers program to help them explore different career options and the qualifications needed
  • Pupils learn about Health and Safety at work in preparation for their week of work experience
  • Pupils undertake a weeks work experience to explore the world of work and engage with employers
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers research
  • Pupils are given a dedicated time slot to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work as well as Further Education providers to discuss potential educational choices.
  • During Careers Week speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills, students are able to sign up for these presentations
  • Students have optional access to impartial advisers via drop in sessions during the lunch break

Year 11:

  • Pupils are allocated a time for a careers meeting with our independent careers advisor to help understand different career pathways and entry requirements and encouraged to make contingency plans should results be better/worse than expected and set personal targets for development.
  • Pupils learn about employability skills and transferable skills through PSHE lessons and are encouraged to think about the kind of behaviour potential employers look for.
  • Pupils learn about what a CV is and have the opportunity to write their CV with advice and feedback given
  • Pupils take part in a mock interview preparation workshop learning the skills needed to conduct a successful interview
  • Pupils take part in mock interviews
  • Pupils have Futures Meetings with senior members of staff to discuss their post 16 plans. Often these meetings take place in the evening where parents are present too.
  • Pupils are given a dedicated time slot to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work as well as Further Education providers to discuss potential educational choices.
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers research
  • During Careers Week speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills, students are able to sign up for these presentations
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Students are encouraged to attend careers talks, fairs, college open day

Key Stage 4: By the end of this key stage, all students will have:

  • Enhanced their self-knowledge career management and other employability skills
  • Understand the importance of Health and Safety at work regulations
  • Gained direct experience of work during one week’s work experience
  • Gained access and individual guidance to help make decisions about their future choices
  • Chosen and applied for their post 16 choice and allowed for alternative options.

Year 12

  • PSHEE Sixth Form futures lesson
  • Pupils are encouraged to attend university open days and careers talks
  • Enrichment week gives pupils the opportunity to attend various university talks ranging from student finance, personal statement writing, apprenticeship workshops and budgeting.
  • Pupils are encouraged to use Unifrog to carry out careers, university and apprenticeship research.
  • Pupils take part in a weeks work experience
  • Pupils have the opportunity to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Careers Week. Speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills
  • Students have optional access to impartial advisers via drop in sessions during the lunch break
  • Students are given specific help with preparing UCAS applications

Year 13

  • Pupils have the opportunity to attend the Careers Carousel to engage with employers to learn about the world of work
  • Pupils have a Labour Market Information assembly to show them the importance of LMI when planning a career
  • Pupils take part in a more in-depth mock interview linked, where possible, to an employer in the field with which they would like to pursue a career.
  • Pupils are encouraged to attend university open days and careers talks
  • Oxbridge preparation interview workshops
  • Careers Week. Speakers are invited to talk about a range of careers and employability skills
  • Students have optional access to impartial advisers via drop in sessions during the lunch break
  • Students who do not plan on going to university will be given a time slot to meet with the independent careers advisor to discuss their next steps
  • Pupils have access to their own Unifrog account to carry out careers, university and apprenticeship research
  • Students are given specific help with preparing UCAS applications

Key Stage 5: By the end of this stage all students will have:

  • Received appropriate advice and guidance on all of their post 18 options available
  • Researched, evaluated and obtained guidance and applied for appropriate opportunities with consideration for a contingency plan
  • Developed their employability skills and career portfolio

Our Careers Policies can be found below.

Information to be reviewed July 2024

“Having the careers support here at St Mary’s is a great asset as you make your way through the school. Right from the get go, you have the chance to attend careers carousels where you can start to think about your future and get the chance to speak to employers to see how you might best tailor your studies.

... always on hand to have one-on-one meetings. These are a great chance to ask all of your burning questions, or even just to talk to someone about all the thoughts you are having, and to make sense of what you might want to do. Either way, you will come out of the meeting knowing the next steps to take, and what you can do to achieve your goals”

Sean Browne, Year 13