It is claimed that the average student leaving school today will have 14 different jobs by the age of 38. Girls leaving FSG therefore will perhaps now more than ever, need to be adaptable in the workplace, be able to learn new skills quickly and be able to network effectively to create opportunities. We must prepare our girls to flourish in a world of fewer jobs for life and where careers continually evolve. The world can be full of unexpected opportunities. Our job is to prepare our girls to seize them and to create them! We have then, surely one of the most exciting jobs in the world; preparing students today for absolutely anything and everything tomorrow.
Exam results, as important as they undeniably are, only take us so far. They are what students get. They do not define who students are and will play only a part in shaping who they will become; we want our girls to leave us with the knowledge, experiences, skills and attributes necessary to challenge themselves, to be confident, successful and adaptable to change.
Excellent exam results though, remain crucial for the future success of students. They are the hard currency of our education system and open doors in an increasingly competitive and global job market. Mathematical proficiency, the highest standards of spoken and written English and general academic ability are crucial skills.
We aim to motivate our girls by giving them a clear idea of the routes into jobs and careers that they will find engaging and rewarding. We look to widen their horizons, challenges stereotypes and raise their aspirations. Importantly, we must also provide a reactive curriculum and programme of opportunities that responds to student needs and to the future direction of travel of our economy.
Our Careers education programme sees all students benefit from experiences for work experience and more in-depth internship programmes. Girls will have the opportunity to take part in entrepreneurial activities through Young Enterprise and their ‘Tenner Challenge’ and Companies Programme’. They will have workplace visits – where they go out into the workplace but also will benefit from guest speakers coming in to visit them in school. Girls will have mock job interviews – with external panellists to really make the interview experience as lifelike/nerve wracking as we can get it - a first interview experience should obviously not be the real deal! There are workshops both before and after these to plan and prepare thoroughly but also to respond to feedback provided. We have an extensive masterclass programme with guest speakers from various different careers – from medicine to legal to town planning! Girls are provided with detailed labour market information in advance of options evenings and of course girls are supported through UCAS or apprenticeship applications when the time comes. Our careers programme is complemented by, and is, a key part of the FSGBacc, a wide-ranging programme of academic and pastoral initiatives with a single focus to produce well-rounded individuals who are resilient, resourceful and well-prepared for life beyond school.
Following the statutory guidance, we use eight ‘Gatsby’ Benchmarks that define a world-class standard of excellent careers guidance. A good careers programme means achieving all eight Gatsby Benchmarks with every pupil.
In sum, we aim to school deliver a stable careers programme that is informed by up-to date career and labour market information. Our programme aims to ensure we focus on the individual student, addressing the needs of each pupil to provide support that benefits them. Our programme aims to create clear links between the subjects students take and the careers these subjects might lead to. It is important that students have experience of employers, workplaces, and further and higher education providers to explore future ambitions. To support these ambitions, we offer personal guidance to every student.
You will find our action plan for our careers programme below. This includes what we do to meet each Gatsby bench mark and how we intend to develop each strand further to ensure that our careers programme is a gold standard in offering.
ALL KS3 and KS4 STUDENTS
All students receive relevant and contemporary careers information through their tutor group in the form of the “Futures” programme - a weekly series of activities delivered to boost employability skills. These units are developed individually to suit the skills relevant to each year group; including personal finance, employability skills and interview skills.
All students are invited to take part in a variety of masterclasses and lunchtime talks from outside speakers to encounter a variety of professionals and inspire their future ambitions. All students take part in our annual Careers Fayre which allows students to engage local employers and explore their ambitions further.
All students are invited to take part in entrepreneurial challenges such as the Young Enterprise Company Programme, in which students operate their own public company, and the Young Enterprise Tenner Challenge to build essential skills for life in employment.
KEY STAGE 3
In Year 7, students are afforded their first experience of the workplace with a visit to EDF energy at Dungeness to understand first-hand the wealth of rewarding roles across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
In Year 8, all students will undertake a PSHE module using the careers resource Fast Tomato prior to Options Evening to help students make informed selections regarding their options and explore future career interests. CXK also provide a full careers advice service at Year 8 Options Evening for parents and students to access.
All Key Stage 3 students undertake relevant careers-based lessons as part of their PSHE curriculum.
KEY STAGE 4
Each Year 11 pupil will be seen by CXK in a group interview for “Careers Guidance” before Christmas, following this, those pupils who need a little more help will be seen for a one to one interview. Each pupil will complete an Action Plan in their appointment(s), detailing what they need to research and what they are initially considering for their Post 16 education or training.
Pupils are also offered a full week of work experience in July to ensure they develops relevant skills and experience to facilitate future career and academic ambitions.
All members of Year 12 are expected to undertake a programme of long-term work experience, called an Internship, with local and national employers, starting in the second term. The aim of this is to provide a worthwhile experience that develops work place skills and provide worthwhile experience for future interviews.
CXK careers advisors provide ongoing support to our 6th Form pupils with regards preparing for their next steps after their studies, whether Apprenticeships, School Leaver Schemes, Gap Years and Higher Education (such as University and Distance Learning). This helps pupils to explore the options and pathways available, including where they may lead and the opportunities therein. These are offered frequently. Students are afforded direct careers advice from our providers CXK at Parents and Options Evenings as appropriate.
This policy statement sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.
All pupils aged 11 to 18 (years 7 to 13) are entitled:
· to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point;
· to hear from a range of local providers (to include further and higher education providers and study programmes) about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events;
· to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic, technical courses and progression pathways.
Management of provider access requests procedure
Opportunities for access
Several events, integrated into the school careers programme, will offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak to pupils and/or their parents/carers. This can take the form of assemblies, lesson visits, masterclasses, talks, careers fairs and/or other special events throughout the year. Please speak to our Careers Leader to identify the most suitable opportunity for you.
Premises and facilities
The school will endeavour to provide the Main School Halle, Upper School Hall, classrooms or private meeting rooms available for discussions between the provider and pupils, as appropriate to the activity. The school will also make available AV and other specialist equipment to support provider presentations. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Leader or a member of their team. The provider will be supervised throughout the duration of their visit by the relevant member of staff. Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course literature for the Careers Library, which is managed by the Sixth Form Administrative Assistant and is found in the Sixth Form Study Area.
Our Safeguarding and Child Protection outlines the school’s procedure for checking the identity and suitability of visitors and is available from the School Website for scrutiny. Education and training providers will be expected to adhere to this policy.
CXK: CXK is a charity that delivers a range of services to empower young people and adults across the south-east to build the skills and confidence they need to move into education, employment or training. Their website is an up to date hub of career planning resources, labour market information and emotional wellbeing in employment https://www.cxk.org/resources
Start: Build your profile by identifying which skills and qualities you are strongest in, these are then “matched” to jobs you maybe suited to in the future. Delve deeper into the information to find out how many opportunities there maybe locally, what other jobs are similar and actual job openings. www.startprofile.com
National Careers Website: This site contains hundreds of different job profiles, each with further links to explore and labour market information for each role and sector. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
ICould: Explore different roles and search by subject areas to find out where your choices could take you. http://www.icould.com/
The following links can help you when exploring your options:
Options with your subject: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/options_with_your_subject.htm
The Complete University Guide: http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/
Alternatives to University: http://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/
Applying for Post 16 options www.kentchoices4u.com
Applying for Higher Education https://www.ucas.com/
Applying for Apprenticeships https://www.getingofar.gov.uk/
Student Finance for Education https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance
Student Finance for Higher Education https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login
Student Loans Myth Busting http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes
Scholarships for University http://www.scholarship-search.org.uk/
Dance and Drama Awards https://www.gov.uk/dance-drama-awards
Support for students from overseas http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/
Advice on budgeting for College or University https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/budgeting-for-college-or-university
What is an apprenticeship?
Want to earn money? Build a career? AND achieve a recognised qualification?
If the answer is yes, then an apprenticeship might be for you!
An apprenticeship is a job with training. As an apprentice you will work for an employer and earn a salary, as well as gaining qualifications and skills. Many business owners view apprenticeships as the first step towards building a career in your chosen industry.
Apprenticeships cover lots of different industries, meaning that you can find a job which matches your skills, interests and even hobbies.
Some types of jobs are in high demand, but securing an entry level apprenticeship can help you to progress and build a successful career in your chosen industry.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need five A-C's at GCSE to become an apprentice, while good GCSE grades often help secure a placement many employers consider enthusiasm, energy and a positive attitude to be just as important as your academic achievements! Through apprenticeships you can progress from a Level 2 qualification right up to Degree level and many top employers are increasingly turning to apprenticeships to recruit high achieving young people, enabling them to gain a Degree without incurring the personal debt associated to the traditional Degree route.
Apply for the right level of apprenticeship
Apprenticeships work alongside the national frame work for qualifications. This same framework decides the level of qualification you will receive. One of the common problems people find when trying to select an apprenticeship is at what level they should access.
There are 9 levels of qualification in the UK. Our students will have qualifications at level 2 when they sit their GCSE’s and at level 3 when they sit their A Levels. Students at The Folkestone School for Girls should typically be looking at level 4+ with occasional exceptions.
For example: you may need to do a level 2 apprenticeship for some fields such as hairdressing. This is due to the skills needed at this level are the foundation for other levels so most students will start here. Level 3 apprenticeships are the same as A Level so if it is a particularly specialised apprenticeship then this may be a starting level.
National Qualification Level
GCSE grades 4-9, BTEC Tech Awards pass- distinction
Intermediate apprenticeship/ Level 2 apprenticeship
A level, BTEC National
Advanced apprenticeship/ Level 3 apprenticeship
Certificate of higher education (CertHE), Higher national certificate (HNC), NVQ Level 4
Higher apprenticeship/ Level 4 apprenticeship
Diploma of higher education (DipHE), Foundation degree, Higher national diploma (HND), NVQ Level 5
Higher apprenticeship/ Level 5 apprenticeship
Degree with honours - for example bachelor of the arts (BA) hons, bachelor of science (BSc) hons
Degree apprenticeship/ Level 6 apprenticeship
Master’s degree, for example master of arts (MA), master of science (MSc), Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
Doctorate, for example doctor of philosophy (PhD or DPhil)
· Intermediate apprenticeships (GCSE equivalent) - The right choice to get the skills and work experience you need to start a great career. This will give you the opportunity to progress to higher level qualifications.
· Advanced apprenticeships (A-Level equivalent) - The right choice to get you into more supervisory level positions. Normally the minimum required for most jobs in engineering and science disciplines.
· Higher apprenticeships (university equivalent) - The right choice to take you into specialist technical roles and senior management, often years ahead of those who have gone to university.
Typically a student in year 11 thinking of an apprenticeship route for the next part of their education will have GCSE’s at qualification level 2 so should look at level 3 of beyond for their apprenticeship.
A student in year 13 thinking of an apprenticeship after they have finished their school based education will have level 3 qualifications so should be aiming for a level 4 or higher apprenticeships and those who wish to have a degree but university is too expensive/ not something they wish to do then level 6 apprenticeships would be ideal.
What do I need to find out about apprenticeships?
You must do your research. Finding an apprenticeship in some ways harder than selecting a university so research is important! When looking at apprenticeships these are some of the key things to find out:
· What is the job you will be doing- find out what it entails and what sort of thing you will be expected to do.
· Find out a bit about who you will be working for - your employer. This might help you understand if they are the right employer for you and is useful for any interview you might have.
· Who the learning or training provider is- these are the people responsible for your qualification award so knowing who they are is important.
· The skills and qualifications you need to apply- this will help you decide if it is right for you.
· How long the apprenticeship lasts- apprenticeships are training programmes but you don’t want to be training forever so how long will you spend training.
· What the working hours are and how much you get paid- you need to be able to plan other things like your living situation so knowing these things will help. It may be that some apprenticeships pay better than others so it could be a consideration. Also consider where you are based as this could affect your living expenses.
· The qualification you will get at the end of the apprenticeship-ultimately this is a route to a qualification so it needs to be the right one for you to pursue your career.
Top tips to find an apprenticeship
1) Research the apprenticeship thoroughly. You’ll need to know the role inside-out for your application and any possible interviews. Check if there’s a number you can call for an informal chat about the role – don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
2) Make a list of your experiences, hobbies, and interests. Print it off and keep it in front of you while you apply. If you get stuck, you can refer to it throughout your application. You need to compare and match your experience with what the employer and training provider are looking for in their job specification.
3) Make sure you tailor your application to the job you’re applying for. Tie in your experiences and hobbies with what you’ll be doing in the apprenticeship. For example, if you’re applying for an apprenticeship in engineering, talk about relevant projects you’ve worked on in science or maths.
4) You’ll need to be able to write about yourself. If you’re stuck, ask teachers, friends, and family to list your three top qualities to give you a starting point.
5) Talk about your skills and qualities, not just your hobbies. For example, if you’ve been the captain of the school football team, this shows leadership and teamwork skills.
6) The application form will be similar to a job application. You’ll need to provide examples to prove what you’re talking about. For example, if you say communication is a strength of yours, have evidence – like being on the school debating team – to back this up.
7) Don’t just spellcheck your application – get someone to read through it before you send it. Good spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important.
Where can I find out about apprenticeships opportunities?
Apprenticeships are often locally advertised as well. In their current development they are relatively new but there are some places to begin your search.
Applying for university can be a daunting prospect. There is lots of information but there is also lots of choice of where to study. All students have access to a programme called unifrog (insert link). This allows the students to begin researching potential courses and start to identify possible destinations. This site allows students to filter courses by all sorts of rationales.
The decision to attend university is a big choice. It is not necessarily the right decision for every student either. The decision should take in to account many factors such as future aspirations, cost, passion for academic study and the type of experience a student wishes to have.
Once a decision has been made to apply for university, it is a case of identifying where the student wishes to study and which course. This should be a mixture of head vs heart:
The head may ask: where is the best course for what I wish to study? What opportunities will it provide? What grades am I like to achieve? What type of learning do I do well? What course content do I want? Do I want a work placement or a year abroad as part of my programme?
The heart may ask: Where do I want to live? What extra-curricular options does the university offer? Do I want a campus or a city university? Will I like the city I will be living in?
This is where research is critical. Find out as much as you can about the places you are interested in and try to visit these. Always look on the university website and use impartial websites to explore the university further.
We have tried to make this as stress free as possible by compiling some information to help with the application process. Below you will find a series of documents to help ranging from a personal statement starter pack to useful information regarding student finance. We have also provided a UCAS application guide to complete the online form once you get started that should help avoid the common errors.
Heading straight to employment
Not all students will pursue further education or look to apprenticeships so may instead head for employment as they finish Key Stage 5. If you are thinking about heading to employment then research what you want to do. Find out about the companies, the job, the hours, the pay and make sure you know plenty about the area you are to be employed in. This way there will be less surprises and you can make sure it is the right job for you and the right working environment. The best way to prepare for employment is work experience so take advantage of the schools internship and work experience placements.
Please see our guide on preparing your CV, Preparing for interviews and a small selection of interview questions you may face.