Careers work forms an integral part of both the school curriculum and the pastoral system. Time is allocated in all Key Stages within the curriculum. Although the careers work is co-ordinated by the Careers department, teaching staff and tutors are actively involved.
The school introduces Careers Education in Year 7, though pupils in the Prep School also enjoy time to explore different skills, opportunities and professions.
Year 8 pupils undertake the Morrisby Aspirations questionnaire which forms the basis of a lifelong profile which they can develop throughout their time at Abbot’s Hill and beyond. They also participate in the national ‘Take your Daughter to Work Day’ scheme to gain their first insights into professional environments.
In Year 9, when GCSE subjects and courses are discussed, care is exercised to ensure that the selection of subjects retain an open career choice. Pupils and parents are regularly guided to places where they can find information about the qualities and qualifications required in a broad range of careers, including recognised websites and the well-stocked Careers Room.
In Year 10, we begin to prepare for post GCSE opportunities. We host a Sixth Form Forum, where a wide range of schools and colleges are invited to come and give information to prospective pupils. This is an invaluable event where pupils and parents have the chance to speak directly with representatives of the different organisations. The Post-16 Information Evening also provides an opportunity for parents and pupils to discover more about options after GCSEs, including A levels, the local consortium, ‘new’ subjects, alternative qualifications and apprenticeships.
Year 10 pupils are encouraged to explore a wide-range of career possibilities through career clinics and talks held within PSHCEE lesson and also at lunchtimes or after school; they have regular visits from working people talking about their careers and giving independent and impartial information and advice. This includes parents, alumni and industry representatives. Year 10 gain skills in writing applications and CVs. Every student has the opportunity of at least one interview with an external career professional and the Head of Careers. Full Morrisby profiling also takes place in Year 10.
Important decisions concerning future careers are made in Year 11; the transition from school to further education can be a daunting prospect but our pupils are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to feel confident in their choices. A work experience scheme for all Year 11 pupils is in operation. The school runs various events throughout the year providing parents and pupils with the opportunity to get more post-16 information from external as well as internal speakers. In addition, Year 11 also enjoy a series of careers clinics and talks with education and industry representatives.
The Careers Fair is a highlight in the school calendar with a wide range of professionals in attendance to discuss their careers and educational pathways. Workshops and talks run alongside a bustling exhibition hall.
The school has a fully equipped Careers Room which is updated regularly. This includes prospectuses for popular maintained and independent schools, colleges and universities. Books about job applications, CVs and letters of application are provided, as well as extensive resources to give information on a vast range of careers. The school also has several careers computer packages and Apps which can be accessed by all pupils.