At St Edward's we believe that careers education plays a major part in helping young people choose pathways that suit their interests, abilities and individual needs. A robust careers programme helps avoid disengagement, puts school learning into a wider and more relevant context, and helps raise aspirations.
Effective careers education should ensure that students develop the skills and attitudes necessary for success in adult and working life. It should develop in students an awareness of the wide variety of education, training and careers opportunities both locally and nationally.
We also believe that careers education is set in the context of vocations; and we aim to help every child reflect on their unique calling - how they will use their God-given gifts and talents to live life to the full. We believe that our school should do far more than merely prepare students for examinations, and we seek to form well-rounded individuals, who know themselves and their own strengths and areas for development. We also aim to support parents and carers in advising and supporting their child.
The lead staff for careers education are Mr Daniel Hurley (Assistant Headteacher) and Mrs Charlotte Eastwood.
Our careers programme begins in Year 7, and students will spend time considering "Who am I?"; and start to consider their own vocation. We also offer an enterprise day, lessons on careers related themes in PSHE and some 1:1 careers interviews for targeted students. All Year 7 students will also attend a Careers Fayre.
In Year 8 students will build upon the key skills that they began to develop in Year 7. There is also a focus on careers in engineering and STEM. All Year 8 students will also attend a careers fayre and will be offered the opportunity for individual careers advice.
In Year 9 students will be supported in making choices for their GCSE studies, supported through our options process, in which we equip students and their parents and carers with information about programmes of study, and where they can take you. Every Year 9 student will be given an individual careers appointment with an independent careers advisor. All Year 9 students will also attend a careers fayre
Year 10 students are given additional opportunities to practice interview skills with the Rotary Club and local business leaders. They will also attend an apprenticeship show so that they can explore this particular route. Year 10 students will also be offered independent careers advice and will attend a careers fayre.
Through Year 11 students will be prioritised for careers interviews, and will also have a 1 to 1 destination interview with senior members of staff. Our sixth form open evening will show the wide range of opportunities at St Edward's for post-16 learning. We also provide information on other local opportunities and apprenticeships. All Year 11 students will also attend a careers fayre.
In the Sixth Form we provide a range of information and support for UCAS and other higher education routes, together with support for those who plan to enter the world of work when they leave our sixth form.
Further details about the careers curriculum are available through our Future Choices termly newsletter.
Part of the careers education that is on offer to all students at St Edwards is expert careers advice. This is an important part of careers education as it allows students to reflect upon their futures and make informed decisions about what their next steps will be.
We employ Aaron Rigby as our independent careers advisor. Aaron is working with the school for two days a week, and is based in the “Learning, Reading, Careers” base.
Aaron works on behalf of Dorset Youth for Christ, a Christian organisation who offers guidance, advice and mentoring to young people in order for them to make the right choices to secure a successful future. Aaron is working in partnership with St Edward’s as part of a larger project facilitated by the Southern Universities Network.
How do we measure effectiveness?
As a school we are constantly reviewing our careers education to ensure that it is the best that it can be. We judge the education that we provide against the Gatsby benchmarks and also the Investors in Careers advice. We also involve student voice in monitoring the quality of the careers advice. Finally we look at the future destinations of our school leavers as a guide to the effectiveness of the careers advice that we have provided.
We also work hard to ensure education and training providers can access pupils to talk about technical education and apprenticeships. We invite education and training providers to our 6th Form Open evening so that our students have a wide range of information available to them. This year we are also planning to attend the Careers and Apprenticeship show with our Year Ten students. As a school we are also going to hosting our own careers fair that will be attended by all of the students of the school. This will ensure that every student has the opportunity to meet with education and training providers to talk about technical education and apprenticeships.
We will review the published information at the start of each academic year.