Careers and Transition Planning
We measure the impact of our careers programme on pupils through regular meetings with the school’s careers adviser. These meetings give students a chance to talk about their developing understanding of their own skills and qualities and how they might relate to future jobs, as well as increased knowledge of post-16 options, and their own preferences. These are recorded on careers action plans from Year 8/9 through to Year 11. Ultimately we aim for all students to be able to state a preference and rationale for what they feel is a suitable post-16 pathway by the Easter of Year 11, and all students leave our school with an appropriate placement to move onto. Annual Reviews and IEP meetings give us a chance to touch base with families and pupils and check on how transition plans are evolving, and whether there are any gaps in information or advice that we can support with. Ex-students come back to school to tell us about what worked well for them, and to tell current students what life is like at college or in work.
We welcome input and advice from Education and Apprenticeship providers from Year 8-11 through a number of ways. Students have the opportunity to go on external work experience in Year 10, and in some cases more bespoke off-site experiences in Year 11. Classes visit college providers during Year 10, and in Year 10/11 individual visits are arranged to apprenticeship/training providers and education providers as appropriate – we want our students to see as many different learning settings as possible, to help their decision making.
Employers, training provides and colleges are invited in for a Careers Evening in September which parents/carers and young people are encouraged to attend. We also have a range of employers, voluntary and training organisations that come into the school from Year 7-11 to talk to students.
All students, parents and carers have access to impartial careers advice and guidance from year 7. This becomes more specific during transition planning from Year 9 through to the end of Year 11.
Support and advice regarding post 16 options and information about the local and national labour market is open to all young people and their families at Culverhill, through conversations with Jon Troy our careers advisor. Jon is able to meet young people and their parents/carers in school and can also offer home visits.
Learning about careers is embedded throughout our school curriculum. Lessons have a career focus and are specific to learning functional life and work skills.
Year 7 & 8
Students continue to develop social skills, learning about social cues and interactions, learning through play, meeting new people, answering questions, managing adulthood conversations, and basic career conversations. Using role-play students learn about different job roles and responsibilities. Classes undergo trips to the local labour market and investigate different vocations. Jon meets with Year 8 classes and talks about thinking about the future, options, and what ideas the students might have. Jon also attends EHCP meetings to provide information, advice and support to parents and carers.
During Year 9 Jon continues to meet with class groups and students individually to help them start to think about what they would like to do when they are older, and to help students begin to gain an understanding of what happens once they reach the end of Year 11. Year 9 represents the start of the ‘transitions phase.’ – at a speed and level appropriate to the students we start to talk in more detail about preparing form adulthood. EHCP meetings focus on where students see themselves as they get older, work, college, and about becoming more independent. All discussions are focused on the individual needs of each student. We work with parents and carers to identify what post 16 pathway might be appropriate, what on-going support is needed and what steps need to be undertaken to work through the transition in a way that feels appropriate for the student. Work continues on CV’s, interview skills, personal presentation, health and hygiene. Students can sample a range of vocations through internal Work experience. Our work experience co-ordinator works closely with Jon to identify, review and discuss potential placements.
Throughout Year 10 students continue to visit colleges and other providers. This can be as part of a class group or more individually, for those students who may require more bespoke placements. During the EHCP Annual Review process we continue to discuss the options for students, what support is available and timescales. There is also a Careers Evening at school, usually held in September, where colleges, 6th forms and work based providers are available along with support agencies to provide information to parents and young people. Students have formal work experience placements externally. Classes continue to work on Interview preparation, talking about skills and qualities, and reflecting on their work experience. We encourage former students to return and speak to classes about their college courses or work placements, and organisations such as Mencap come in to talk to our students about the world of work.
In Year 11 students and their parents/carers have support to identify the appropriate course and placement. Help is available with completing application forms and attending interviews, and students can undertake further individual exploratory visits to potential providers, as required. Once post-16 placements are confirmed transition visits and link/taster sessions can be arranged. Parents and carers are closely involved throughout this decision-making process and Jon is available to talk to families at any point during the transition stage. We pride ourselves on ensuring that every student has a clear post-16 plan for when they leave school.
The majority of our young people will move on to supportive preparatory education courses, either at college or in a 6th form. Colleges such as SGS Filton/Stroud, City of Bath College, City of Bristol College and Wiltshire College all have courses aimed at students with high support needs. These will often be foundation/entry-level courses where class sizes remain small and support is available both in class and during unstructured times.
Some students are able to progress on to mainstream courses with appropriate support, either once they have settled at college or completed one of the entry courses, or directly from school.
Alternatively some students will continue onto a 6th form or post-16 placement at schools like Warmley Park or New Siblands. There are also a small number of students who can access a more work-based option such as an apprenticeship or traineeship. Other young people will require a more specialist or bespoke individual package. The journey for every young person is different and there is support available throughout to guide young people and their parents/carers through the process.
Careers Leadership Structure
Head Teacher/Careers Leader – Sue Hewitt
Careers Advisor – Jon Troy
Work experience Coordinator – Sue Davis