Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance at Windsor Girls’ School
Why is Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance is important?
Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) helps young people develop the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to make successful choices and manage transitions in learning and work. The government has shown its commitment to the development of CEIAG through the revised Career’s Policy and statutory requirements.
At Windsor Girls’ every effort is made to enable young people to learn about careers and the world of work so that they can manage their own development and make life choices and decisions that will benefit their own wellbeing and contribute to the wellbeing of others.
The Careers Leader is Mrs Saunders who can be reached via email: email@example.com or by phone on 01753 795155.
Below is a summary of content and examples of activities by year group. This is also available as a colour coded diagram.
Whilst students do not begin Windsor Girls’ School until Year 9, work between key staff at feeder schools has allowed careful planning of the transition process. There has been a key drive to align the curriculum covered at Key Stage 3 and staff have been working together to enhance the experience for students. Information is shared through sessions with students and key staff members in the summer term of Year 8. The parents’ information evening allows information to be shared before students start school. For SEND students there is additional support to make sure the transition process if smooth. This will include Windsor Girls’ School staff attending the Annual Review of students holding EHCPs.
Students are assessed using CATSs testing at the start of Year 9. This supports with placing students in the correct groups and classes to allow them to access the curriculum and make expected progress. This is regularly reviewed throughout the year but particularly at the three Data Collection windows. Students and their parents and carers are invited to a Parent Partnership Evening and a specific Year 9 Options Evening. Information about the range of courses is shared and students and staff have an opportunity to speak with individual staff members before selecting their options for Key Stage 4. Following this event students take part in an ‘Options Taster Morning’ which helps them to finalise their choices.
Year 9 students are encouraged to take an active role in school life. The first Community Week has a theme of ‘Go for It’ with a wide range of clubs and extra-curricular opportunities on offer. These continue throughout Year 9 with choir, school productions, sports team, Youth Speaks and the Mock Magistrates Competition being amongst the most popular.
There are other stand-alone events which introduce students to the world of work and provide opportunities to meet with employers. Examples include Go4Set, a STEM project and the O2 Coding workshop.
All Year 9 students have a lesson in CEIAG called Learning to Work, once a fortnight. Students cover themes and topics as set out by the Career Development Institute (CDI) handbook. These include self-awareness, investigating work and working life, understanding business and industry, diversity, health and safety and managing change. Also during these lessons students will be completing their LORIC booklets to capture their non-curriculum activity which develops the softer skills which employers are often looking for.
In addition to the careers programme which covers self-development, career exploration and career management, students are given the opportunity to learn from employers. Windsor Girls’ works in partnership with the impartial organisation Learning to Work to deliver the Work Ready Conference during Term 6. Students learn what qualities and skills are relevant to different careers and build on their employability skills. During the week students are encouraged to come to school in business dress and to work collaboratively to develop team work and problem solving skills. Over 50 employers visit school over the week and students learn about a range of route available to them. They learn how their education and training can take place in a number of environments from further education to apprenticeships and traineeships.
Further events for Year 10 include the Year 10 Parent Partnership Evening which supports students and parents at the start of Key Stage 4. A large number of Year 10 students choose to undertake the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award; we are very proud to be the largest provider in the RBWM. The Award allows students to develop vital transferable skills which are sought after by employers. Students have also taken part in a Women in ICT event in conjunction with Adobe and specific sessions aimed at students who are looking to study medicine in the future.
The careers programme at this stage again visits transferable skills and qualifications required for various careers, incorporates information about different qualifications and courses available post 16, successful completion of applications forms, CV writing and interview skills. Students will be encouraged to explore and make use of The National Careers Service website and other programmes available through school.
All Year 11 will have at least one careers interview with an external fully qualified careers’ advisor. All advisors are trained to level 6. The individual appointment allows students to explore a range of different options without bias. Some students may need a follow up appointment to offer further support and guidance. Following all interviews information is collated and students are assigned to relevant ‘insight sessions’. Sessions involve visitors from different employment sectors who work with small groups to share further information about their field. The informal atmosphere allows students to ask questions and to gather more specific information and network.
During Year 11 there is a Parent Partnership Evening in addition to the Sixth Form Information Evening and subsequent ‘taster sessions’. All Year 11 students will have a Sixth Form interview with a senior member of staff to give the opportunity to explore options and aspirations for the future. Information on open days and events are shared with students and a group of students will attend the Berkshire Apprenticeships Adventure.
Extra-curricular clubs include ‘Aspiring High’ and Duke of Edinburgh Silver in Year 11. Students apply to be part of Aspiring High which involves a range of visiting speakers and visits to places such as Brasenose College, Oxford.
At the start of Year 12 students are supported with their A level choices. This process gets underway in the Autumn term of Year 11 and continues post GCSE results until the end of September. With the reforms to Key Stage 5 education all A Level course are now linear and take two years to complete. For this reason it is essential that all students are secure in their choices and are able to succeed. To support students and parents with this transition the school holds a Parent Partnership Evening.
During Year 12 students have a ‘common’ period on their timetable which allows students to meet as a year group to focus on a range of careers and PHSE related topics. Regular visiting speakers from universities, apprenticeships providers and charities provide students with external information to inform future career planning. All Year 12s are expected to complete a week long work experience placement in Term 6. In addition students have the opportunity to attend the HE Conference in London to gather information on post-18 options and to participate in open days and university visits. Also during Term 6 the UCAS and Enrichment Week is held to focus attention of the students before they go into the summer holidays. Information on taster courses is shared via weekly email communication with students from the Careers Leader.
The Aspiring High groups continues into Year 12 with increased opportunities to work with partners such as Eton College, Windsor Castle and Oxford University. The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is available to Sixth Form students.
In Year 13 students are encouraged to make informed choices about their futures beyond Windsor Girls’ School. The Careers Information Advice and Guidance is tailored to the needs of the students. Typically three quarters of our Year 13s will move on to further study at universities, drama schools and conservatoire. For these students UCAS applications sessions, one to ones for personal statements and mock interviews for competitive courses such as medicine and Oxford and Cambridge. Students have also attended an overseas university roadshow to find out more about studying abroad.
However, with the increase cost of university study, there are an increased number of students who are considering alternatives. Sessions looking at alternatives to university, apprenticeships and school leavers’ schemes are offered. Students have access to CTM Pathways which creates bespoke advice for students and provides opportunities for them to meet with employers and participate in internships.
Students have access to sessions at Windsor Castle, Peter Jones’ ‘Tycoon in School’ Competition. There are also regular emails which share information and opportunities for taster sessions, internships, Year in Industry placements and Gap Years.
Student Leadership is an important aspect of school life and Year 13 play a vital role in this structure. Beginning with the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl and the Senior Student Leader Team, leadership opportunities are made available. Students are able to develop their employability skills by taking the lead of aspects of school life such as chairing the School Council, public speaking, charity fundraising and producing the school newspaper.
More important and relevant information will be posted on the school website during the year as and when it is available. However, the links below may be of use to you and your child in preparation for the decisions they have to make in the coming years.
This website provides a wealth of information for parents about the different stages and choices our students are faced with.
The law has changed to make schools responsible for securing independent careers guidance for their pupils in years 8-13. This is because school or college is best placed to secure the advice and support they need to help them decide what option is best for them. Your child can also contact trained advisers for impartial advice at the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 (open from 8.00am to 10pm, seven days a week) – and they can use the web-chat service by accessing the website above.
This government website provides up to date information about apprenticeships, including vacancies.
In addition, we have recently been fortunate to receive some free resources from a company called ‘How2Become’. Please see their website link where you can find out more about them and the services they provide for schools, parents/carers and student.