At Stourport High School and VIth Form College, we provide a comprehensive Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme for every year group.
Most people spend many years of their life in a working environment and it is, therefore, important to equip our students with the necessary skills for them to make decisions about their future, to know how and where to access information and to link subject areas and qualifications with possible careers.
Good quality Careers Education will raise the aspirations of and help our students to become effective career planners and managers of their own progression through learning and work. It will increase motivation by linking activities in school with preparation for life Post 16 and Post 18. By providing quality impartial information, advice and guidance, our aim is to raise students’ aspirations and ambitions for their futures and increase confidence, whilst offering equality of opportunity for all.
As written in the DfE statutory guidance 2014, impartial “is defined as showing no bias or favouritism towards a particular education or work option”. This approach is taken throughout the information, advice and guidance programme and by the delivery of one-to-one careers guidance interviews by our Level 6 CEG qualified and experienced school careers adviser.
The Process & the Purpose
Work experience is an opportunity for Year 10 and 12 students to get out into the local and wider community to learn, understand and appreciate how a workplace that is of interest to them operates successfully.
It is important pupils made a purposeful choice about their work experience. They should consider:
- How the work placement will give them insight into a career them may be considering
- How the work experience will stand them in good stead when making post-16 applications should they be considering certain apprenticeships or college courses
- Daily transport to and from the work placement
Pupils have the opportunity to arrange their own work experience placement that works for them. We encourage students to leave their comfort zone. A placement should not be the most convenient, but it should be the most worthwhile for the individual.
We use the Unifrog placement tool to add and track all of our work experience placements.
You can also access our pre-recorded work experience webinar here. The webinar contains lots of useful information for both parents and students who will be undertaking work experience this academic year.
- Year 10 work experience commences week beginning 8 July 2024 (for 5 days)
- Year 12 work experience commences week beginning 24 June 2024 (for 5 days)
Advice for Parents
To help arrange a truly worthwhile placement, organisation is highly important. A lot of workplaces will take a single student per week on a placement, so getting placed early is a key component to a successful placement that is of real value to our students.
We encourage all students to organise their own placements in preparation for the work experience week at the end of July. The most competitive placements that are filled early tend to be in hospitals, vets, lawyers and accountants.
Should your son/daughter not be placed by Easter we will try to direct them to possible potential employers that may be willing to take them on.
- Groundwork - An article which gives advice about finding your own work experience placement.
- All About Careers - Explains why work experience is a vital step when entering the world of work and how you can find suitable placements.
- National Careers Service - Offers online support for young people aged 11-19 via text/email, a free phone telephone advice line, web chat and on their website.
We are happy to be able to offer businesses and organisations access to pupils at the school for the purposes of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer.
Please click here to view the policy statement on provider access.
Please ensure this policy statement is read prior to contacting the school’s Careers Lead Helen Harrod –email@example.com or 01299 872950, to identify the most suitable opportunity for you and your organisation.
As a pupil of The Stourport High School and VIth Form College you are entitled to receive a programme of careers education, advice, information and guidance.
Your CEG programme will help you to:
- Understand yourself, your interests, likes and dislikes, what you are good at and how this affects the choices you make
- Find out about different courses, what qualifications you might need and what opportunities there might be
- Develop the skills you may need for working life
- Make realistic, but ambitious, choices about courses and jobs
- Develop a plan of action for the future
- Understand the different routes after Year 11 including training, further and higher education and jobs
- Be able to make effective applications for jobs, training and further and higher education
- Develop your interview skills
- Improve your confidence
You will receive:
- Careers lessons
- Guided activities in ACTU
- Access to the careers library – information is available in books, videos, leaflets, school website and on computer – ask for help
- Interviews with the schools Careers Advisors
- Work experience in Years 10 and 12
- Other subject lessons linked to careers
You can expect to be:
- Treated equally with others
- Given careers information and advice that is up to date and impartial
- Treated with respect by visitors to the school who are part of the careers programme
- Given extra help if you have special needs
The Stourport High School & VIth Form College has an experienced advisor, who meets with students both in groups and one to one, offering advice and guidance. As a school we offer impartial (independent) information, advice and guidance for 12-19 years olds with regards to education, employment and training opportunities. Career Guidance is targeted at ‘key transition’ points with learners on a one to one basis helping to raise aspirations, build confidence and enhance decision making skills concerning future options.
Our Careers Lead and Work Experience Coordinator Helen Harrods is located in the Sixth Form Study Room and is contactable by students and parents at firstname.lastname@example.org
Appointments for careers & guidance meetings, or to request information on subjects/courses/careers, can be made by visiting the Sixth Form Study Room. Contact via emailing email@example.com
Education or training providers who wish to gain access to pupils at the school for the purposes of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer should contact the school Careers Lead Helen Harrod – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01299 872950.
Interviews can be something that can cause panic for people of all ages, let alone for a young person making their way in the world. Therefore the mind-set you have before an interview is crucial. The people interviewing you want to know about your personal qualities, experiences and characteristics. When they know this information they will decide if you are suitable for a position in a college, university, apprenticeship or job. Therefore interviews should be viewed as an opportunity to impress rather than something to be feared.
Some useful tips:
- Dress smartly and appropriately
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early
- Try to prepare some answers before hand
- Be polite and courteous
- Maintain eye contact
- Always seem keen and enthusiastic
- Research the company or post-16 provider
- Think of some questions to find out more about the course
- Take with you, your CV or portfolio and reference
- Watch this video to help you to prepare here
- Find 100 possible interview questions here
More information can be found here.
- Career Pilot - Expert careers information and tools for 11-19 year olds, all in one place
- icould Careers - Providing an excellent introduction to career pathways. Do the icould buzz quiz which is a fun way to, in under five minutes, discover your strengths and get an idea of a few job areas that might suit you.
- Careersbox - Careersbox is the national careers film library, a free careers resource showing hundreds of real people doing real jobs.
- The Uni Guide - Advice on the A Levels needed, personal statements, open day questions and admission tests.
- Futuremorph - Articles, case studies and information for prospective science students.
- How 2 Become
- Skills 4 Worcestershire
As you are aware students were unfortunately unable to take part in work experience last year due to Covid19 restrictions. However, if you would still like your son/daughter to take part in work experience, there are a number of virtual work experiences listed below that you may want to direct them to during this time, that would look fantastic on CVs;
- Barclays Life Skills: https://barclayslifeskills.com/
- PWC - Finance: https://www.pwc.co.uk/careers/student-careers/school-careers/virtual-classroom.html
- Springpod: https://www.springpod.co.uk/virtual-work-experience-programmes
- Speakers for Schools: https://www.speakersforschools.org/experience-2/
- Brighton and Sussex Medical School BSMS Virtual Work Experience (thinkific.com)
- Nursery Vue (childcare) NurseryVue (cache.org.uk)
- NHS Sheffield Teaching Hospital Virtual Resources (sth.nhs.uk)
- Halliday Fraser Munro Architecture Halliday Fraser Munro - Work Experience Zone (hfm.co.uk)
- University of Nottingham Vet School Introduction to Studying Veterinary Medicine - Course - FutureLearn
- KPMG (data analytics) KPMG Virtual Internship - Forage (theforage.com)
- iDEA (Digital enterprise) iDEA: Develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Win career-enhancing badges and gain internationally recognised awards.
- IGD (food and grocery industry set weeks work experience in May and July) Virtual work experience programme (igd.com)
- White and Case (Legal) White & Case UK Virtual Learning Programme - Forage (theforage.com)
- Linklaters Law Firm Linklaters UK Commercial Law Virtual Programme - Forage (theforage.com)
- Hunter Bevan (design and marketing) Do you know a young person missing out on work experience this year? - Hunter Bevan
In KS3 it is really important that students start to explore, investigate and understand the opportunities and experiences that the world of work has to offer. Developing an awareness and understanding of what options are available enables students to explore the range of careers available and identify possible future options for themselves. A key part of these investigations is for students to consider the future of certain jobs and the rapidly changing labour market.
Students are encouraged to research careers using the following websites:
Careers opportunities available to students in KS3 include:
- Careers exploration workshops – Careers workshop using our careers platform, Unifrog. Students use the platform to explore their interests, skills and the range opportunities available to them. They are then encouraged to consider how these are relevant to their options.
- Subject visits and events – We encourage any student to reflect on trips and visits thinking about what they saw and experienced and how this may have improved employability skills as well as knowledge and understanding about possible careers choices (all year round)
- Careers Assemblies – Assemblies regarding Careers will be timetabled in to cover concepts such as; breaking stereotypes, LMI and raising aspirations.
- AcTU/SMSC programme – Tutor time within KS3 will have dedicated sessions regarding Careers, including transferable skills, thinking ahead, career pathways.
- Opening Doors to Business – In Y9 all students will take part in the Opening Doors to Business Program, which links local businesses to schools and allows students the opportunity to visit local businesses to see what the world of work is really like.
At the end of Y9 students make some choices about what they are going to study for the Level 2 qualifications – BTEC/GCSEs. Some important considerations that young people need to make are:
- What subjects do you enjoy?
- What kinds of qualifications will you get once you complete the course?
- What are your career aspirations and what subjects may link to this?
If you need help with the last question in particular, please contact us in Careers.
When students are in KS4, it is then that they particularly start to think about what their next steps might be after completing their GCSEs.
We would strongly encourage students in KS4 to take part in an extra-curricular activity or a volunteering placement to help develop their transferable skills and gain work-related experience. This helps students build their CV and gain confidence and skills beneficial to their post 16 plans. A great resource to read is the Choices magazine; please click here to view.
Careers Opportunities available to students in KS4 include:
- Subject visits and events – Students in year 10 have the opportunity to experience a wide range of visits to Colleges, Universities and careers events. We encourage students to reflect on what they have gained from these visits such as improved employability skills, course knowledge and understanding about possible careers choices and options.
- Y10 Work Experience – All Y10 students take part in one weeks work experience at a local employer, this enables them to get a real insight into the world of work.
- Y10 Creativity Week – The last week of the Summer Term, we hold Creativity Week which includes a number of opportunities including visiting local Universities, attending a P16 Taster session at both our own VIth Form or Kidderminster College and mock interviews with local employers.
- Y11 Sixth Form Open Evenings – Students are given opportunity to hear about what our Sixth Form can offer and external applicants have the chance to talk to subject teachers about the course they offer and what is required. Students are also informed about open evenings for a wide range of other local post 16 options.
- AcTu/SMSC programme- Tutor time within KS4 will have dedicated sessions regarding Careers, including CV building, interview skills, employability skills etc.
- Careers Assemblies -Assemblies regarding Careers will be timetabled in to cover concepts such as; why HE, VIth Form, why FE and raising aspirations etc.
- Y11 One to One career guidance interview with Mrs Harrod – Our qualified careers adviser will meet with students, to provide independent advice and guidance to assist students in making decisions about their future education, training and jobs. This personal guidance provides an opportunity for all students to discuss their career ideas, plans, identify the support they may need and what they need to do to progress.
- ‘The places you will go’ Careers Resource Kit – All Y11 tutor groups will have a Careers Resource Kit which includes a wide range of resources to assist students investigation into Post 16 options.
When students are deciding on their options it is important they consider the entry requirements for various courses.
We appreciate that post-16 choices are a big decision. What is important is that students take their time and carry out plenty of research to allow them to decide on the best route for them. We are always happy to discuss options with students and parents in Careers. Speak to any of the team if you want to find out more.
In order to help manage you or your son/daughter through this process we suggest you use the following checklist:
- Researched the differences between Sixth Form, Sixth Form College, Further Education College and Apprenticeships
- Attended Sixth Form and College Open Days
- Considered a wide variety of apprenticeships
- Discussed options/plans with parents/carers
- Considered where you want your post-16 choice to lead to
- Considered entry requirements for first choice and your backup choice
- Met with a Careers Advisor
- Considered your own specific learning style
One last key aspect which we want you to consider is what your course is going to offer you in the future. Think about the following questions:
- What qualification will this course give me?
- What future courses and/or jobs will the course allow me to continue on to?
- How will my choices restrict me in terms of what I can do after completion?
- What opportunities will this course provide for me following completion?
- What skills will I develop whilst studying this course?
There are specific considerations you should bear in mind if you have certain intended pathways. For example, if you are looking to do an apprenticeship – research the qualification on offer and ensure it gives you as many options as possible, or if you are looking at sixth form courses research what degree courses require what A-levels.
Post 16 Qualifications and Pathways
You can also choose to train while you work by taking on an apprenticeship traineeship.
- Apprenticeship: You work for an employer and train to do a specific job at the same time. There are over 280 types of apprenticeship for over 1,500 job roles – anything from engineering to boat-building, or veterinary nursing to accountancy.
- Traineeship: Gets you ready for work or for doing an apprenticeship. They last from six weeks to six months and provide essential work preparation training, literacy and numeracy skills and work experience to get an apprenticeship or other job.
Work and job-related courses
NVQs, BTECs, TechBacs and Cambridge Technicals are good qualifications to take if you want to combine hands on, practical learning with studying subjects and technical skills. They are specialist courses which relate to particular jobs, sectors, or subject areas. Depending on what qualifications you take, you can go on to further education, training, or employment, or you can go to university.
A-levels and other subject-based qualifications like International Baccalaureate (IB).
These are good if there are subjects you like and want to study further, or if you are planning to go to university. You normally need to have at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C 5 to 9 (or an equivalent qualification) and may need at least a grade B or 6 in any specific subjects you want to study.
T Levels are coming to a small number of Schools and Colleges from 2020, currently their are no plans for The Stourport High School and VIth Form College to offer T-Levels, however we want to inform parents and students of these changes to Post 16 courses, as students may chose to take a T Level at another Post 16 establishment.
What is a T-Level?
- T-Levels are new, two-year, technical study programmes, designed with employers to give young people the skills that industry needs. They are equivalent to 3 A Levels and will carry the equivalent number of UCAS points.
- T Level study programmes will include the following mandatory elements:
- a ‘core’ set of underpinning knowledge, concepts and skills, tailored for their chosen industry and occupation: ‘core content’
- specialist training covering occupational or industry-specific skills: ‘occupational specialist content’
- an industry placement with an employer, which will last for a minimum of 45 working days
Specific Entry Requirements
- Grade 4 in GCSE Maths and GCSE English Language
- The core content focuses on students’ knowledge and understanding of contexts, concepts, theories, principles and core skills relevant to the Digital T Level. This will include, where appropriate, assessment of knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the route and the pathway. This breadth of content will help to ensure students are able to apply their skills in a variety of contexts and for a variety of different purposes.
- The core content is assessed through an examination and a practical employer-set project.
- The employer-set project ensures students have the opportunity to combine core knowledge and skills to develop a substantial piece of work in response to an employer-set brief.
Post 16 Pathways – Academic Route – A Level
Reasons to take A-Levels
- Study subjects you enjoy or are interested in much greater depth
- Allow you to have a great base in a subject prior to studying at university
- They are a must if you are going into certain professions such as law, medicine, dentistry and vetrinary science
- University graduates tend to have better earning potential especially graduates from Russell Group Universities
- Gives a chance to develop as an independent learner
- Allow you to try new subjects that you may not have studied previously at school
- Can take subjects that are well linked and complement each other
- Lots of opportunities to study A-levels are available locally
A-level courses last two years and tend to be subjects that you have achieved well in at GCSE level. Different sixth forms and colleges have different entry requirements depending upon the subject and college you apply for. You normally need to have at least five GCSEs at grades 5 to 9 (or an equivalent qualification). Most A Level providers require at least a grade 6 in any specific subjects you want to study. Although some will accept Grade 5s.
Details about VIth Form and College can be found below:
Local A-Level Providers:
Post 16 Pathways – Work & Job Related Courses
Reasons to take college courses
- Intensively learn skills and knowledge in a particular subject or work related area
- Gain qualifications that can lead to employment or university courses
- Specialist equipment to help your learn work related skills
- Have opportunities to get into apprenticeship schemes and become well trained for future employment
- Enter at a level to suit you and your qualifications from GCSE
- There are lots of post-16 providers in the local area
- Incredibly wide ranging types of work related and academic courses available
College courses allow you to study subjects that you have achieved well in at GCSE level or to embark on a course that you have a really keen interest in. Different colleges have different entry requirements depending upon the subject, course level and college you apply for.
Local college links:
In KS5 students build on the careers exploration that they have carried out in lower school and consider options such as University, Apprenticeships and Employment. Any questions about careers, university or generally about your future don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Harrod, Careers Advisor or Mrs Millington, Assistant Principal for Post 16. A great resource to read is the Choice magazine; please click here to view.
Thinking of going to university?
There are many universities with a wide variety of courses, the best solution to help you to decided is to look at the UCAS Website or Unifrog which contains a list of all universities and courses to fit your needs.
To assist with University Applications, students will get ongoing support from the end of Year 12 and throughout their time in Year 13. Annually we start this focus during our Post-18 Options Week, which includes a number of workshops and activities on UCAS and applying for university. In light of the current circumstances, we shall be providing lots of online resources and support to ensure students can make a proactive start to their applications for university.
Important dates for your diary:
- 15 October 2022 – Deadline for UCAS applications for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and other early-entry courses
- 25 January 2023 – Deadline for all other UCAS applications
- If you receive your last decision on or before 18 May 2023, your reply date is 8 June 2023 (except if you're using Extra to find a place).
- If you receive your last decision on or before 12 July 2023, your reply date is 17 July 2023 (including Extra choices).
- 17 August 2023 – A-level results day
Want to go abroad to University?
Some students today go to study abroad rather than staying in England. For more information on this visit the Study Overseas website or the International Education for studying abroad website.
What other options do I have?
It can feel daunting having to make decisions about the future whether this is applying to university, applying for apprenticeships, taking a gap year or volunteering. You may find that you chance you mind about what you want to do and this is perfectly ok! One of the best ways to prepare yourself will be to research all of your options and to then start to work out what is really important to you.
University isn’t for everyone and many students go on to apprenticeships or into full time employment. For information on getting into full time employment visit our links page.
We were due to work with students on a range of skills and knowledge for apprenticeships and employment during Post-18 Options Week. In light of the current circumstances, we shall be providing lots of online resources and support to ensure students can start to think proactively about their next steps after Sixth Form.
You could also take a rest from school work and take a year out, for more information on this then visit the Year out guide website.
A number of companies contact the School to offer career opportunities for our Sixth Forms leavers. See a member of the careers team for more information.
Careers Opportunities available to students in KS5 include:
- Subject visits and events – Students have the opportunity to experience a range of events to explore options such as University and apprenticeships. We encourage students to reflect on what they have gained from these visits such as improved employability skills, course knowledge and understanding about possible careers choices and options.
- Y12 Work Experience – All Y12 students take part in one weeks work experience at a local employer, this enables them to get a real insight into the world of work.
- Post 18 options week – A week within the Summer term is dedicated to Post 18 options, including; University visits, guest speakers from Universities and Apprenticeships, mock interviews etc. This week helps to prepare our students for their next steps by developing the transferable skills that they need.
- University Open Days – Students are able to attend any University open days they wish to visit, we understand that many of these will occur during the school day and we are happy to allow students to attend. However, whenever possible we would encourage students to attend outside of the school day.
- AcTu/SMSC programme – Tutor time within KS5 will have dedicated sessions regarding Careers, including personal statement workshops, interview skills, employability skills etc.
- Careers Assemblies – Assemblies regarding Careers will be timetabled in to cover concepts such as; why HE, Apprenticeships, Gap years and raising aspirations etc.
- Y13 One to One career guidance interviews with Mrs Harrod – Our qualified careers adviser will meet with students, to provide independent advice and guidance to assist students in making decisions about their future education, training and jobs. This personal guidance provides an opportunity for all students to discuss their career ideas, plans, identify the support they may need and what they need to do to progress.
In keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step after school, we have reregistered with Unifrog; an award-winning, online careers platform. All students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 now have access to this excellent website. Here are some guides to support students and parents with using this platform.
Judy speaks with local Colleges, Sixth forms, the University, Worcestershire Apprenticeships Hub and Worcestershire Business Central.
Each one of these partner organisations share details about what their option covers, what it entails and the support available to help young people.
Click here to watch.
SEND –A Life Beyond School
Hosted by the Worcestershire LEP’s Careers Hub Manager Matt Tope, this episode is aimed at our SEND students, the parents and carers who support these students attending schools across Worcestershire and local employers.
This session highlights some of the options available to our SEND students as they prepare to enter a life beyond school.
Matt discusses this topic with one of our local careers leaders, hears why this support is being focused on nationally, how and why employers can support this agenda as well as listening to the thoughts of one of our amazing SEND students.
Click here to watch.
Top Careers Tips
Hosted by the Worcestershire LEP’s Careers Hub Intern Joe French, this episode is aimed at students. This video will focus on careers related Top Tips for young people from an employer’s perspective.
Business leaders from across Worcestershire responded to a recent LEP survey and have shared with us their careers related “Top Tips” for young people to consider. Joe speaks to four local business professionals who will share their thoughts on these important top tips and how young people can get ahead in their academic and working careers.
Click here to watch.