Careers Programme - St Wilfrids Catholic High School and Sixth Form College

St Wilfrid’s is committed to providing all students in Years 7-13 with a programme of activities and supporting activities. We feel that we are well placed to be compliant with the Gatsby Benchmarks by the end of 2020. More information on the benchmarks can be found here: https://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance. To ensure St Wilfrid’s is delivering the best possible careers education and guidance we are currently working towards the ‘Quality in Careers Standard’ with C&K Careers, which, once obtained, will be valid for three years. This is in accordance with the DfE Career Strategy (January 2018) recommendation that ‘all schools work towards the updated Quality in Careers Standard, incorporating Compass, to support the development of their careers programme’.

The current careers programme is delivered through a combination of methods, including PSHCE in Years 7 to 11 and through assemblies, presentations, employer visits, work experience, seminars, work-related and university workshops and 1:1 sessions from Year 8 to 13. Additionally, several special events are organised such as the annual careers fair, STEM sessions, UCAS information evening and Student Finance presentations for students and parents/carers.

How do we Measure the Impact of our work?

We measure the impact of our careers service regularly, with weekly team meetings with our dedicated careers lead. The careers provision is held accountable by termly reporting to both the Senior Leadership Team and the Academy Council. The work in careers is also an important part of our in-school Whole School Improvement Plans and Self Evaluation. Our regular use of the Compass evaluation tools and our partnership with C&K Careers, working towards the Quality in Careers Standard is also helping us to constantly monitor and review our provision. Finally, our CEIIAG Policy is updated on a yearly basis. Further details can be found in our CEIIAG Policy May 2020 on the policy page: click here

When will we next review our information?

The policy has been reviewed (March 2020) and is currently being ratified by the Academy Council. The information on these pages was reviewed in March 2020 and will be reviewed again in December 2020

The Programme

Key Stage 3

  • The ‘Pathways’ programme for Year 8 is designed to support them in their GCSE choices.
  • The pastoral curriculum in Year 7-9 covers economic wellbeing, active citizenship and develops enterprise and entrepreneurship. A particular example of this is through mini-enterprise in Year 8.

Key Stage 4

  • One-to-one careers discussions with the school Careers Advisor in Year 10 informs individual Careers Plans that each student, their tutor and their Head of Year may use.
  • A number of students every year will take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
  • Extra-curricular clubs and trips support students in developing their understanding of a range of subjects. Students are giving advice and guidance about what to participate in e.g. the National Citizenship Service ‘The Challenge’.
  • Students in Year 10 undertake Work Experience. This involves work experience preparation and Health and Safety workshops.
  • The options programme for Year 11 supports their post-16 choices.
  • The pastoral curriculum in Year 10-11 covers economic wellbeing, active citizenship and charity fundraising.

Key Stage 5

There is a range of support for university applicants through:

  • A Higher Education lesson, as part of the curriculum.
  • Year 12 and 13 students are encouraged to visit university open days, masterclasses, taster courses and summer schools at a variety of universities, to develop their application profile.
  • The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) helps develop invaluable research and independent learning skills which are central to higher education.
  • Year 12 students participate in the ‘Progression Module’ preparing them for further education
  • There is a dedicated team to support students with the UCAS process. Each student will have support tailored to their application from a subject advisor, their form tutor and the Sixth Form team.
  • Interview preparation, practice and workshops are offered by the Sixth Form Team and Careers Team
  • There is preparation for and support with aptitude and pre-admissions test.
  • The pastoral curriculum for Years 12-13 includes lessons on life at university, including on finances.
  • Charity fundraising and enterprise activities are encouraged that develop students entrepreneurial skills.
  • Sixth Form students are encouraged to undertake volunteering and work experience to support their university applications. A range of opportunities are advertised throughout the academic year, as appropriate to specific students.
  • A number of students every year will take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. At Sixth Form, this will usually mean Gold or Silver.

For those not going to university, we have a tailored package of support to ensure that you are able to be competitive in the labour and apprenticeship market. The package for each individual will depend upon personalised need and will be bespoke. Our careers team will work with you during one-to-one appointments to ensure that you have the right guidance and are able to make strong applications. Furthermore, we ensure that young people are able to make informed choices on their future careers across all year groups. In addition to this, we are able to offer the following support for those who do not chose a university path:

  • Students across the school will have the opportunity to attend the Careers and Higher Education Fair, which will include providers from across the local area and ‘live’ opportunities available to them
  • In the past year, there have been several assemblies from external providers with regards to the current apprenticeships on offer: most recent examples of this are assemblies to improve our students’ understanding of degree-level apprenticeships; support from Wakefield careers service on ‘live’ apprenticeships; and assemblies from national business and finance companies such as KPMG
  • We ensure that our students are well-guided in the up-to-date Local Market Information to encourage our young people to stay within the many opportunities within the Leeds City Region
  • In KS3 and 4, we have strong links with local providers such as Wakefield College. We help to arrange visits for students considering an application and discuss their individual needs
  • We work with Prospects to provide independent advice and guidance to our young people, to maximise their applications to apprenticeship and vocational provider
  • Our teachers refer to the local labour markets and link their subject to their curriculum at various points in the year. This has been mapped across the subjects to enable the school to improve its provision under the Gatsby benchmarks.