The aim of Careers Education within the school is to help pupils develop the skills, attitudes and values and to provide appropriate support which will enable them to become effective decision makers at key transition points during their time at school and beyond.
Careers Education is available to all pupils: in Years 8-11 as a theme delivered through curriculum subjects as well as Learning for Life and Work; and as a distinct Careers Education class in Years 12, 13 and 14. Through our programmes pupils will develop:
Self-awareness and development where they assess their personal skills and qualities and those necessary for their future career aspirations;
Knowledge and understanding of learning and career pathways and opportunities available to them locally, nationally and internationally; and
Career management skills and qualities that will enable them to plan and implement the necessary steps to progress to their individual career development choices.
The Northern Ireland Careers Service (NICS) support our work through guidance interviews, attendance at parent – teacher meetings and information open evenings.
Students receive specialist advice at Careers Guidance Interviews which are carried out by experienced Careers teachers and by the NICS. Any pupil at key transition points can request an interview and all Year 12 students will receive at least two guidance interviews. Year 13 and 14 students receive advice and guidance in the form of formal interviews and in a more informal on-going nature from teachers who have an ‘open door’ policy.
Outline of programmes
Year 10 students undertake Personal Career Planning where they receive help from Careers teachers, subject teachers, form teachers and parents to make their GCSE subject choices based on their abilities and future career aspirations.
This Personal Career Planning process continues to Year 12 where students are actively involved in making decisions regarding their future moving on to AS/A levels, to further education or to training or employment.
In Years 13 and 14 pupils continue to make preparation for their future career choices. In Year 13 students attend a work experience placement. These placements take many forms. Some students take part in hands on activities and have an opportunity to complete tasks in their chosen field. However, because of the nature of some of the chosen professions, a Work Shadowing placement or Workshop is often carried out which gives students a chance to speak directly to professionals about their work and about ways of entering their profession. Extensive use is made of online information including university and college websites, Higher Ideas, The Careers service NI website, UCAS and CAO. Students are guided in their choice of subjects and are acquainted with the range of career opportunities which are open to them. Individual advice and help is offered in completing CVs and applications. A range of additional opportunities are arranged at this level including university and college presentations, visiting speakers from employment areas, conferences, workshops as well as information sessions and open days. Students also receive advice in preparation for university admissions interviews and exams.
Advice is available in school in August for students who may need guidance after receiving their A level results.