Careers Advice & Guidance
It is important that all students are fully supported and guided through the process of planning their futures. With a full time careers professional and a programme of education, information, advice and guidance for all students from Years 7 -13 we believe our students are well prepared for their futures. All staff at Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School play an active role in preparing them. We have a full programme of careers education that is delivered through PHSE, special events, enrichment programmes, visits, trips and assemblies and also within individual departments and through form time.
All students will:
- Develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their abilities and affinities
- Gain a greater knowledge of the range of opportunities open to them
- Take part in work related activities in and out of school
- Understand the labour market and the requirements and expectations of employers
- Learn to make decisions wisely about their future
- Be fully prepared to manage change and be fully supported through key transition periods
- Learn how to improve their own employability: how to find work, how to get work and how to progress their careers
We are very proud of our extensive and very strong links with employers. These employers work very closely with students through work placements, visits, talks, interview preparation, careers fairs, study abroad fair and work related learning events. In addition to the comprehensive programme of support we also run the Top Flight group which gives the additional level of specialist guidance and advice required for students applying to competitive courses and universities.
We have held the prestigious Investors in Careers award since 2007 which reflects the quality of the provision and resources available to students. All students can meet with the Careers Lead for individual advice about options, future choices, UCAS planning and applications, CV clinic, interview preparation, apprenticeship applications, and any other guidance they need. There is no restriction as to how many 1:1 guidance appointments they can have over their time in the school. We also welcome parents to contact us for any advice or guidance they require. The Careers Lead is always in attendance at Parents’ Evenings from Year 9-13. No appointment is necessary on those evenings.
Our careers information is updated annually in Term 1 of the school year.
Next Step – Students are supported in their transition from primary school into secondary school and begin to learn more about themselves. During the year they complete a self-assessment and self-development journal mapping the development of their skills.
Exploring Work – Students explore the world of work gaining a greater understanding of employers expectations, employability skills and the labour market.
Welcome to Work Day (W2WD) – Students arrange to spend a day with an employer shadowing one or more members of staff. They complete a reflective diary with the focus on women in the workplace. They then complete a project and prizes are awarded to the top 5 projects.
Preparation for GCSE Options – Students are given several lessons to prepare them for the decisions they need to make in February of Year 9. They learn more about how to make decisions wisely, understand more about the range and structure of their choices and are supported in this by 1:1 careers appointments.
Make it Work – Experiencing the world of work and employers’ expectations is vital in moving towards employability. During Year 10 all students take part in a 3 day work relating learning experience working with employers from a range of sectors. They work in teams on problem solving and real world tasks in a challenging and stimulating environment led by employers. The focus is very much on developing their employability skills. They are fully prepared for this with a series of 3 preparation lessons during PHSE focusing on teamwork, communication and problem solving skills. They also have a follow up lesson to reflect on what they have learnt.
Preparation for Progression – Students undergo a programme of education, information and guidance to help them make the vital decisions about their future. A series of PHSE lessons teaches them about effective decision making, explores their options and gives support in making their applications. It covers the full range of routes into their future including sixth form, FE College, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes. This is supported by 1:1 careers interviews and a progression interview with a member of the Leadership Team. All students attend a subject fair which is run by our Year 12 students. This gives all the students a chance to find out what it is like to study particular subjects at A level.
Preparation for Employment – Over a series of PHSE lessons students will learn how to write an effective CV, develop the skills required for successful interview and then will have a mock interview with an employer. We are well supported by local employers and this is always a valuable experience for all our girls.
Work Experience – Students complete at least one week’s work experience at the end of their final GCSE year. An important part of that process is for students to find their own work experience placement – this gives them a valuable insight into the process of contacting employers using speculative letters and telephone calls and by submitting their CVs. Students complete a reflective journal which becomes a valuable resource when completing their personal statement or application for apprenticeships/school leaver programmes at the end of Year 11 or 13.
Enrichment – All students in Year 12 have an enrichment afternoon once a week. As part of this programme they each have 2 careers lessons to begin the process within sixth form of planning their future.
Future Day – A focus day designed to ensure that students fully understand all their progression routes and the variety of paths into these. They learn about apprenticeships and school leaver programmes and have sessions led by recruitment specialists on writing CVs, developing interview skills and the benefits of networking. Alongside this students can also attend workshops focusing on universities and degree courses including effective shortlisting, writing a personal statement, surviving a university interview and money management as well as how to cook on a budget. These sessions are led by specialists in their field including local and other Universities including Kent, Cambridge, UEA, UCL and many others.
UCAS application process: We have had a great deal of success in preparing students for their applications to university. Students are fully supported during the whole process of choosing their course, finding their 5 choices of university, completing their application and personal statement as well as being fully prepared for portfolio submission and interviews, as appropriate. For students making early applications to Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry (Top Flight) we have formed a very successful partnership with the Kings School and our students and theirs benefit immensely from working closely together in preparing to make their applications and through the interview process. With 80% of our students making applications to University this is the main focus of Year 12. However, there are parallel programmes of support and guidance for students intending to take gap years or to go straight into employment with training.
Personal Statement Clinics: All students are given a great deal of support in writing their personal statement from staff across the school as well as the careers department. Regular and frequent personal statement clinics are held from June onwards.
Alternatives to University: Once the application process for UCAS is finished at the end of November of Year 13 the focus very much changes to supporting those in their applications to the competitive apprenticeship and school leaver programmes increasingly available. We have had students gain places in highly competitive and very prestigious schemes that have led, and are leading to very successful careers. Students complete nationally recognised qualifications, including degrees, fully paid for by the employer.
Information Evenings: Parents, and students, are invited to Future Evening held in Year 12 and the Student Finance evening in Year 13.