Careers Education, Information and Guidance
Students throughout their time at Stretford Grammar School are supported in lessons to develop academically and also to think about life after school and the skills needed for the world of work. A detailed programme of information and guidance is provided to all students through PSHCE lessons, specialist work related learning days, appointments with Connexions and work experience programmes.
Key Stage 3
Students throughout Key Stage 3 learn skills related to good financial management through the Skills for Life programme supported by local financial institutions. This provided them with the opportunity to investigate budgeting, saving for the future and day to day expenditure and income. Throughout the programme students meet with employers who explain the different employment sectors and the skills they have developed in these sectors. The opportunity to question employers gives students an opportunity to discuss future options, career paths and to begin to develop an understanding of the route their career path may take. Students at Key Stage 3 have access to our on-line planning tool analysing skills developed in school and relating these to the world of work. Access to Launchpad is available in school or at home and allows parents and carers to support their child in thinking about future hopes and aspirations. Year 9 students begin the year using Kudos our on line GCSE support which links directly to Launchpad and allows students to review their progression from Year 7 before making option choices in February. The annual Year 9 skills development day allows students the opportunity to investigate the skills they have and link them to future career choices by involving local and national businesses leaders on a day when students develop, market and trade a product. Students work with the Connexions Careers Adviser in PSHCE lessons and have access to 1-2-1 support through request or referral, a service which we also offer to Year 8 students. A programme of career investigation linked to qualifications focuses on areas such as post 16 and post 18 education, Apprenticeships and employment opportunities as well as beginning a five year cycle of investigating labour market data locally and nationally to identify trends and skill need. Parents and carers are invited to attended the Key Stage 4 Options Evening, when students can discuss options with all teachers and meet with our Careers Advice service. We combine this with the development of work related learning skills to help inform students of potential careers and students are entered into a national business skills conference in which we reached the National Finals in 2014.
Key Stage 4
Students continue to investigate career opportunities with a focus on developing a greater understanding of employment and training opportunities and have the opportunity at the end of Year 10 to undertake a work of work experience in an area related to their hopes and aspirations. In partnership with Education Business Solutions we ensure that all Work Experience placements meet Health and Safety regulations and students are support before and after the placement with lessons on health and safety, salaries, employer expectations and how to make the most of work experience. In the Summer Term of Year 10 all students have an appointment with the Careers Adviser to discuss options post 16 and this is linked to use of our on line planning tool, Kudos. As students enter Year 11 we turn the focus of CEIAG to the development of skills relating to applying for education and employment. This includes sessions on CV writing, letters of application, interview techniques and application forms. Continuing our look at labour market information we match future need to post 16 options as part of our taught PSHCE programme. All Year 11 students meet regularly in timetabled sessions with the Connexions Adviser who supports them in making post 16 choices and provides additional support for students with specific needs.
Our Sixth Form Open Evening and Taster Days in schools allow students not only the opportunity to discuss course options and content but also to experience life in a Sixth Form by taking part in Sixth Form lessons and living the life of a Sixth Former. This is preceded by in school days on revision techniques and how to make the most out of the time in the run up to examinations. We invite parents to attend an open event to discuss this programme and to see how they can support their child. As part of our duty to provide independent information and guidance we make all possible options known to students whether in our own Sixth Form or elsewhere. Our Connexions Adviser also attends results days to support students make the next step.
In Year 12 we encourage students to think about life post 18 quickly to provide focus for studies at AS and A Level. Students are given individual Connexions appointments throughout Year 12 and 13 to help them consider the future choices they may make. Students can also use our Connexions drop in facility every Thursday lunch time to have a 1-2-1 session concerning anything they wish to discuss. Form tutor time throughout the Sixth Form is used to develop our information and guidance programme moving from settling in to Sixth Form and expectations at the beginning of Year 12 to Higher Education, Apprenticeship and employment opportunities from the Spring Term. Universities and employers visit school to discuss opportunities and we use Apprenticeship Ambassadors to support the development of this area of opportunity. Discrete sessions are undertaken on writing personal statements and using UCAS and the National Careers Service to support decision making. All Year 12 students take part in a mock interview day with employers from the Greater Manchester area and apply for real posts and are interviewed as they would be if they applying for that post. Individual feedback supports students develop an understanding of themselves and the skills they will need in later life. Students attend the UCAS information day in Manchester, talking to HE providers about courses and opportunities including funding. Potential Oxbridge candidates and those applying for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science are given guided small group support and attend open days at Oxford, Cambridge and medical schools in support of developing their own understanding. Students receive a programme of support from organisations such as local HEIs on the completion of applications, how to make the most of open days and student finance and we run our annual evening for parents to cover these areas. Many Year 12 students choose to undertake focused work experience so that they can be certain of future choices or meet specialist entry requirements. All Year 13 students continue to receive and individual Connexions appointment and are mentored by a member of the Senior Leadership Team or Sixth Form Team as they prepare to make UCAS or employment applications. Students can be referred to Connexions for individual support by parents, carers, form tutors or teachers as necessary. Students are offered interview practice prior to university days and afterwards meet ot discuss the outcomes.