Overview of our careers programme by year group
Below is an overview of what students can expect to happen as part of their careers education and work-related learning programme in each academic year.
The impact of our programme on students is evaluated using a range of information, including:
- student feedback on their experience of and learning from careers activities and events
- gathering informal feedback from external partners and from parents
- student destination data post-16 and post-18.
In Year 8, students spend a day working together on an activity called The Real Game, through which they explore some of the realities of adult life (including budgeting and managing a work-life balance), and realise how career decisions and lifestyle choices can impact on the direction and quality of their lives in the future.
They are introduced to the idea that demand for specific job roles can vary both over time as well as from area to area, and the reasons for those fluctuations.
In summary, the main themes from The Real Game are: ?
- change is constant ?
- learning is ongoing ?
- the importance of following your heart ?
- focus on (and enjoy) the journey, not just the destination ?
- access your allies - find out who can help you get to where you want to go.
The five themes from The Real Game are developed further during Year 9.
Students learn how to use careers software (eClips and Fast Tomato) and other resources in the school’s careers library to assess their own strengths, abilities, interests and preferred learning styles and to see how these relate to different careers.
In February, students attend the Slough Careers Event with Year 9s from other local schools, where they meet exhibitors representing employers, universities, FE colleges, charities, training providers and gap year organisations to gain insights into the range of learning and work-related opportunities on offer. This event helps students to think about their GCSE options within the context of longer term career aspirations.
Around the same time, each student is mentored by a staff member who supports his/her research into different subject choices so that they select GCSEs that complement their talents, interests and goals.
As part of their ‘Raising Achievement at GCSE’ presentation at the start of Year 10, students hear about the skills and attitudes that competitive universities and employers look for when they recruit and about ways in which students can start to develop those attributes now.
For example, students are encouraged to explore the world of work via work shadowing visits (organised through parents, family and friends), and/or through volunteering with local charities after school or at weekends.
Working with our education-business partners (Learning to Work), students participate in a ‘Work Ready’ event where they learn how to write an impactful CV and how to manage the job selection process successfully by participating in a mock recruitment interview led by volunteers from the local business community.
Students also have the option to complete an online assessment from the Morrisby Organisation which measures aptitudes and work preferences to arrive at a personalised profile of suggested careers and associated study options.
During the autumn term in Year 11, every student has a 30 minute careers guidance interview with an external careers adviser from Adviza, where they can discuss their ideas for the future. Students receive a personalised action plan by email soon afterwards, which summarises the key points of the interview and signposts them towards relevant websites and other sources of information.
In March, students participate in a Business Insight Day where they visit a local company to understand how a large multinational organisation works, how the various departmental functions contribute to the success of the business and about the range of careers opportunities they offer.
As part of the transition into the Sixth Form, students return to school following their GCSEs for a day in late June, when they are reminded about the importance that university admissions tutors and employers place on work experience and the benefits to be gained from undertaking some shadowing and/or volunteering during the summer holidays.
Years 12 and 13
In Year 12, students attend a UCAS Higher Education exhibition where they can meet representatives from universities across the country to ask questions, gather information and get an insight into life as an undergraduate. They also have the option to complete a questionnaire to identify Higher Education courses and universities that best match their interests and academic abilities.
In July, our annual one-day ‘Towards the Future’ careers and HE conference is held where past students from Langley Grammar School talk enthusiastically about their experiences since leaving school. They range from recent leavers where the rigours of the UCAS application process or employer selection process are still fresh in their memories to older alumni who may be more established in their careers and who bring a different perspective to their discussions with students. Other speakers include representatives from universities, apprenticeship and school leaver scheme providers and gap year organisations. This event provides an excellent foundation from which students can start to consolidate their research over the summer holidays in preparation for making their applications to universities and/or school leaver schemes at the start of Year 13.
Additional specialist support is provided for students applying for vocational courses (like Medicine and Dentistry) and for those following the Oxbridge Pathway. Throughout the Sixth Form, students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of supercurricular events and activities, designed to broaden their horizons and to prepare them for life beyond Langley Grammar School.
Students can seek advice and guidance through unlimited booked one-to-one interviews with the Careers Guidance Manager and through a drop-in service at morning and lunchtime breaks.
Current opportunities are promoted in a regular careers newsletter (available on the school’s website and emailed to every Sixth Form and Year 11 student). Topics covered include news about upcoming work experience placements, careers-related webinars, apprenticeship and school leaver schemes, careers exhibitions, taster days with universities and local firms, new resources (like websites and podcasts) and public lectures organised by nearby universities.