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Careers Programme

We deliver the above by providing pupils with a variety of careers activities and experiences relevant to their stage of development — known as the careers programme. This planned programme of impartial careers information, advice and guidance is conducted with the help of internal staff, external professional providers, and institutes such as universities, colleges and business representatives. Activities range from in-house activities where guest speakers and exhibitors are invited, to trips outside of school, to 1:1 careers interviews to name a few.

We have used empirical research and evidence taken from the Department of Education’s paper: Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents(Dec, 2017), the Government paper: Careers guidance and access for education and training providers: Statutory guidance for schools on providing careers guidance (Jan, 2018) and the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks to inform and develop our careers programme to make it  relevant, impartial , and robust and compliant with Ofsted and statutory regulations.

We assess the impact of our careers guidance with the pupils in their destination after finishing at Blessed Thomas Holford.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Personal introduction from the CEIAG team so pupils can recognise who they are and know how and where to access careers information, advice and guidance.

Year 8

Personal introduction from the careers information, advice and guidance team on how and where to access careers and Post-14 options advice, information and guidance.

Pupils at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College choose their GCSE options in Year 8. The careers programme for this Year centres around how to choose these options.

A Key Stage 4 Evening is held in November where pupils and parents can access advice and guidance around GCSE options. This evening is offered as a general introduction to GCSE options and is provided to stimulate parent and pupil dialogue about the choosing of options. A booklet detailing the course curriculum for each subject, what future career paths specific subjects can lead to, and a guide to choosing options is given to each pupil and parent. Careers information, advice and guidance staff attend the evening to provide help and guidance to those parents and pupils who require it.

The above Evening is followed by Year 8 Options Evening in January where the Headteacher delivers a speech to pupils and parents detailing how to choose options. Tasters in each subject area are provided where parents and pupils can go and ask the teaching staff exactly what is involved in the curriculum of specific subjects. A careers taster session is provided where Kudos (a careers computer programme) is introduced to parents and pupils and individual usernames and passwords are given so that pupils can access the programme from home. Kudos provides parents and pupils with a programme that helps them plan and research post -14 choices and future career pathways. Parents and pupils also have access to the careers information and guidance team at this evening should they have any worries or concerns that they need to discuss regarding how options choices can impact post-16 choices.

Pupils submit their final options in February. Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College require pupils to submit options choices in Year 8 so that pupils receive 3 years of studying the GCSE curriculum. The final year of the curriculum is dedicated to revision of work previously covered.

Key Stage 4 

Year 9

Personal introduction from the careers information, advice and guidance team on how and where to access careers and Post-14 options advice, information and guidance.

Classes around Labour Market Information are provided to get pupils thinking about what careers they would like to pursue and what qualifications they need to be successful in these choices.

Career information, advice and guidance team attend Year 9 Parents Evening so that pupils and parents have access to impartial careers information and guidance.

Year 10

Throughout Year 10 various enrichment activities are provided. This programme is focused around the theme of careers and career pathways.

Guest speakers are invited into school to represent a range of career options and career routes. This is executed through the following:

Year 11

Enrichment activities such as the Careers and Higher Education Fairs (please see description in Year 10 section) held at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College provide pupils with the opportunity to explore and research various career pathways. These are held to inspire and encourage pupils to start thinking about future goals and what is needed to implement these goals.

All Year 11’s have a weekly one hour tutorial session based around study skills, exam technique and various CEIAG sessions including how to create a CV.

Each Year 11 pupil has a 1:1 guidance interview with either the Careers Adviser (Miss Johnson), Director of Data and Guidance (Miss Simister) or Head of Sixth Form (Mrs Connaughton) to help with post-16 choices.

Career information, advice and guidance team attend Year 11 Parents Evening so that pupils and parents have access to impartial careers information and guidance.

Career information and guidance team attend GCSE results day.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

Year 12 students benefit from a weekly tutorial programme held on Thursday mornings between 09.15 – 11.15 a.m. The aim of this programme is to prepare students for the wider world. Guest speakers representing universities, businesses, professions and apprenticeship schemes are invited in to college to discuss different topics. This year, these topics have included Degree Apprenticeships, CV writing, workshops on how to apply for work experience and the benefits of work experience, cookery lessons, student finance, budgeting, an introduction to Higher Education, an introduction to apprenticeships, a mental health workshop on how to beat stress when studying for exams, an introduction to the National Citizen Scheme to name but a few. Year 12 students also have the opportunity to visit the Safedrive conference organised by Greater Manchester Police. In the final half term, tutorials focus on applying for University and include advice on researching courses, universities, what qualifications universities require for specific courses, how to write a personal statement, deadlines for applications. Those students who wish to apply for university are expected to draft their personal statement over the summer holidays so that help and guidance can be offered on how to perfect their statement as soon as they enter Year 13. Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College aims to have all UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) applications completed by Christmas.

In September, the Year 12 students are given the option of visiting one of three universities (in 2018 we visited Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool) for a day of workshops, tours and talks. Staff from Blessed Thomas Holford Sixth Form College attend this trip with the students.

Those pupils interested in applying to Oxford or Cambridge are given the opportunity to participate in 2 trips to colleges from these universities with a member of the Sixth Form College staff. In March, all Year 12 students attend the Manchester UCAS Exhibition. The careers department pay for all transport to this event. The above events are designed to introduce students to university life and post -18 options.

Year 12 students visit the Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Careers and Higher Education Fairs held in February and January. (see description under Year 10 section).

All Year 12 students are required to search for, and complete 2 weeks, relevant work experience during July. Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College enrol Mploy to undertake Health and Safety checks of the premises where students will be carrying out their placements.

Career information, advice and guidance team attend Year 12 Parents Evening so that pupils and parents have access to impartial careers information and guidance around post – 18 options.

Year 13

Year 13 students benefit from weekly tutorial sessions on Thursday mornings between 09.15-11.15 a.m. Guest speakers are invited from universities, apprenticeship providers, colleges, counselling practices and various industries. The focus of these sessions is around preparation for Higher Education, Careers and independent living. Topics covered include budgeting, finance, house sharing, mental wellbeing, cooking, drugs and alcohol education, CV writing, applications and the interview process.

Year 13 students applying to university are guided and mentored through the UCAS process and are given 1:1 sessions on personal statement writing and general UCAS advice.

In October of Year 13 representatives from universities, colleges, local businesses and a variety of professions are invited into Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College to take part in our mock interview programme. This provides the Year 13 students with valuable insights into what types of questions may be asked not only at university interviews but also job interviews. This event provides students with information on how to prepare and research for interviews. Each student is provided with feedback from their interviewer and an outcome on whether they would have been successful at the interview or not!

Year 13 students get a final chance to visit the Blessed Thomas Holford Career and Higher Education Fairs held in February and January respectively, if they so wish.

Year 13 students not applying to university get 1:1 career sessions with the Careers Adviser (Miss Johnson) and Director of Data and Guidance (Miss Simister) to guide them in their post-18 decisions.

Career information, advice and guidance team attend Year 13 Parents Evening so that pupils and parents have access to impartial careers information and guidance around post – 18 options.

Career information and guidance team attend A Level results day.