Half Term Break
Our approach to careers guidance
We have based our approach to careers provision on the Gatsby Report 2014 commissioned to look at best careers’ practice. The Report outlines eight key points which form the basis for our delivery model.
The eight benchmarks of Good Career Guidance
- A stable careers’ programme
- Learning from career and labour market information
- Addressing the needs of each pupil
- Linking curriculum learning to careers
- Encounters with employers and employees
- Experiences of workplaces
- Encounters with further and higher education
- Personal guidance
We are incredibly grateful to the extra support and expertise we are able to draw on from the University of Birmingham, its Careers and Outreach teams, Alumni and all others who make our offer so exciting. We are also indebted to our corporate partners, parents and community members who help make the world of work real.
A stable careers programme
Our careers advice, information, education and guidance is led by the Director of University Training School & Character Education Rebecca Tigue, for Years 7-11 and by the Assistant Vice Principal – Sixth Form, Liam Dwyer, for Years 12 and 13. The plan is monitored termly as part of the School Improvement plan review, and reviewed yearly to make sure we are in line with current practice. We are supported by the Careers and Enterprise Comapny, UoB Careers Network and Outreach teams and have a careers’ advisor who works in school part time.
Through the Careers and Enterprise Company, we are fortunate to also be supported by an independent Enterprise Advisor who works on our careers strategy with us. Our advisor is Alan Bain.
To fund out more and talk to either Mrs Tigue or Mr Dwyer about careers provision, please contact the School on 0121 796 5000 to make an appointment.
Learning from career and labour market information
By working with experts in the fields of FE, HE, employment and training, we can ensure we are up to date in giving current advice and guidance to our pupils, staff and parents. We will also be guided by trends and patterns that are shared by labour market experts such as Market Birmingham, STEM groups, and by actions identified by the Department of Education (for example, around allowing access to those offering apprenticeships and training).
Addressing the needs of each pupil
Whilst striving for our pupils to have high aspirations and meet the requirements of the best universities and employers, we will always offer impartial advice and guidance for those wishing to take different paths. Whilst benefiting from our special relationship with the University of Birmingham, we will also work with other FE and HE providers, trainers and employers in the local and national areas to share information about the wealth of careers available.
Through a broad Learning for Life (L4L) programme including bespoke units of work for each year group, assemblies, and opportunities to meet with employers from different sectors we will continue to broaden the horizons of our pupils and make sure they have the necessary qualifications, experiences, and character to be ready for the career of their choice.
Everyone in Year 9 will have a meeting with the Principal to discuss their future plans.
Linking curriculum learning to careers
As part of their Subject Development plans all departments promote the relevance of their subjects to careers. Many departments have displays relating to careers visible in their corridors. All subjects promote study of their subject at University or through employment. By keeping up to date with changes to the future of work, teachers will be better able to see the value of their subject in terms of knowledge and skills, and actively and explicitly link these to teaching.
Encounters with employers and employees
Our close links with our corporate partners means everyone is exposed each year to ‘real life’ employers and employees. All of year 8, for example, work on a six week project with the engineering team from Wilmott Dixon; all of year 7 and 8 work with KPMG and Shoosmiths on entrepreneurial ‘Dragon’s Den’ type projects.
Through our emerging links with Young Enterprise and our we will extend the opportunities for Year 10 pupils to be mentored by leaders from business. Our developing ‘Community Champions’ programme will mean everyone in year 9 will have their own personal contact with an employer to provide a light tough mentoring role.
We will continue to develop our assembly programme to ensure we have a diverse and broad range of speakers reflecting possible careers, vocations and employment. So far this year for example pupils have heard from a Professor of drug development, a para-olympic swimmer, a healthcare specialist and a grey hound sanctuary owner. We will also ensure that our pupils and students see themselves reflected in the people they learn from, and make sure we proactively ensure as diverse a range of speakers as possible.
Through our links with the local community, our corporate partners and our University, from 2019 everyone in year 10 will be take part in a work experience and enterprise week, and year 12 will have the opportunity for a work placement as well.
Experiences of workplaces
Getting through the doors of institutions and demystifying the workplace will enable our pupils to have the confidence to know no boundaries to their aspirations. Being able to visualise themselves in different work based environments is crucial to widening their understanding of potential routes through employment, and of the wide opportunities available to them.
We will ensure our ‘Visits to Workplaces’ programme in year 9 is creative and inclusive, and includes indoor and outdoor jobs, jobs in multi nationals and social enterprise and in ‘traditional’ and emerging sectors.
We want our pupils to know what to expect when they enter the workplace and to walk into their first interviews with heads held high.
Encounters with further and higher education
Our aspirations are for everyone to go to University or to find a suitably aspirational alternative. We recognise that University isn’t right for everyone, but we would expect pupils to be able to make an informed decision as to why they are not going rather than it be the exception for them to go. We will endeavour to find role models from further and higher education to reflect our communities and work in collaboration with parents to make sure everyone is well informed about routes to FE and HE, the financial implications and support available, and the benefits of getting further qualifications in terms of income and outcomes in later life.
The nature of our school means the word ‘University’ is already firmly embedded in pupils’ vocabulary, but we need to ensure pupils and parents know what qualifications, skills, and character virtues are required to be successful in securing places in FE and HE.
We will bring people from FE and HE in, and take our pupils out, share our own experiences and draw on the experiences of others.
We believe that by focusing on develop each and every pupil’s character from year 7, getting them to reflect on what person they want to become and what contribution to society they want to make, we will enable them to have a clear sense of their journey and be more likely to focus early on what future they want. Being able to think about the future with someone whose opinions you trust is powerful, and these opportunities are built into our L4L programme as well as schemes of work in other departments.
Specifically we will ensure that pupils:
In year 9 have a conversation with a member of the senior leadership team before they choose their GCSE pathways.
In year 11 have an impartial and independent session with our careers’ advisor.
In Sixth Form have access to guidance whenever they need it.
All pupils are familiar with technology and how that can provide personal guidance.