Connexions - Careers Education
Head of Careers and work related learning, Ms. K Bristow
Careers Education & Guidance
Careers Education & Guidance is delivered within the PSHE curriculum, with the expert support of the Head of Careers and the Connexions Advisers who are attached to the school. Our Advisers spend one day per week each in school and are available for a casual chat as well as interviews with parents. The Form Tutor knows the student best, takes a personal interest in their development and guides them throughout their school life. Careers topics are also supported in other areas of the curriculum - especially in the Humanities subjects. The school has traditionally given a high profile to Careers and links with the local business and industrial communities.
Year 7 - A survey of the location of industry in the area and a morning visit to a major company on the industrial estate (B.P. Oil UK, Schroff UK, Excel Logistics, B.S.I. (Testing), B.O.C. Transhield) and Dixons.
Year 8 - Understanding career categories and how they link into communities (Fast Tomato). Introduction to the "Real Game".
Year 9 - Introduction to the resources of the Connexions Room, how to use the Careers computer database C.I.D., KUDOS, Fast Tomato and Insight into higher education day at the University of Hertfordshire.
Year 10 - A one day intensive course in personal development and preparation for work experience. Application completion, CV's and interview techniques (learning to promote yourself). Business links with WENTA and The Paper Trail. The Army Day is also part of the students' year.
Year 11 Pathways Course - We dedicate a whole day to help students consider their careers. This includes contributions from former students and an opportunity to talk to university students about the advantages of a university education. All students complete one week work experience and we give this a high profile. Employers regularly comment how well prepared our students are for work experience. The process leading up to the attendance on their work placement allows the student the opportunity of communicating with employers personnel and writing CV's.
We encourage all of our students to consider university education and organise seminars given by recent graduates who we contact through our local business and industry links.
Year 12 - ’A‘ level students can spend a week ’work shadowing‘ a manager in a local company. This project attempts to give the academically able student an insight into the skills of managers and develops their inter-personal skills. Students are formally interviewed for the placement of their choice. There is a week's work experience for G.N.V.Q which focuses on specialisms like Child Development and Business.
Year 13 University Applications - We provide a day's course on how to apply to university and have a special partnership with the University of Luton, who can make preferential offers to our students as well as providing "Training" opportunities for our staff. We also organise an information evening on finance and grants for university.
What is Work Related Learning (WRL)?
The UK Governments Department for Education and Skills has defined WRL as:-
"planned activity that uses the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work, including learning the experience of work, learning about work and learning the skills for work".
In conjunction with Business and Enterprise and by adopting a cross-curricular approach, we now have over 50 students from the current year 10 attending college or on other vocational training initiatives every Thursday.
The bulk of the students are at West Herts College on the HEAD START PROGRAMME studying NVQ Level 1 in Catering, Hairdressing, Construction, Childcare, Performing Arts and Electrical Installation on a two year, one day per week course.
The students' attendance on Thursdays outside of school could mean the loss of one option from their main curriculum. However the advantages to those students are many including the learning of life skills, building of confidence and self-esteem, specific vocational studies, and an open door for progression. It is all about widening choices and the process begins during the early part of year 9 when students and parents are invited to attend an open event where the options available are presented, discussed and evaluated with the expert guidance from Tutors, Heads of Year and Connexions PA's
We are now very proud to announce the beginning of a Young Enterprise Apprenticeship option in Business and Enterprise. Other initiatives involve linking the GCSE modular work in certain subjects with Work Experience.