Information Advice Support and Guidance

Careers Department 

  • Ms. M Keogh - Careers Leader, Assistant Head . Departmental Link
  • Mrs V Connell - Careers Adviser
  • Miss F Arnott - LA Careers Advisor [SEND]
  • Nicola Bryant - Post 16 Engagement
  • Ms C Alsbury - Partnership Director MHSC Academy

Contact details:

Mrs V Connell       Tel (01482) 851136


Careers Programme

St Mary’s College is committed to providing all students in Years 7-13 with a programme of careers events and supporting activities. This is be guided by the Gatsby Benchmarks for ensuring best practice.

The current careers programme is delivered through a combination of approaches and methods, including PSCHE in Years 7 to 11 and through assemblies, presentations, employer visits, work experience, seminars, work-related and university workshops and 1:1 meetings from Year 8 to 13. 
Additionally, several special events are organised such as:

Annual Careers Fair

Work Experience –Year 10

Reflection Days

STEM sessions

Work Experience –Year 12/3

Women into Engineering and Science Workshop

Year 9 University Ace Day

KS4 to 5 Progression Evenings

Yr 12/13 Enrichment programme through the MHSCA

Year 8 Enterprise/Team Challenge Day

Steps to Success Evening

Options Evening

UCAS information evening and Student Finance presentations

BBC Media Industry Presentation and workshop Event

Y 8 Challenge, Enterprise and Team Work day

Apprenticeship Information Eve HCC-support and signpost to

Visiting Speakers- subject specific

Mock Interviews

Volunteering and Duke of Edinburgh Award

Logon-move-on application support sessions

H+S in the workplace talks

Y7 induction and orientation week

Fast Tomato –online careers support available to all for independent research-see footnote

Individual Career Plans following 1-2-1 careers interviews

Enterprise Challenge-an award winning school

Awards Evening-recognising talent

Assemblies- employability skills

Student Journal- personal planning and supports Employability Skills

Mental Health and Well-being Support and Training

Student Reps and Ambassadors- encouraging leadership

Performing Arts and Sports involvement encourages self-confidence and supports Health and Well-being



The Programme




Meeting the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks [GB]


Key Stage 3

1. The College has a Transition Week in July for year 6-7 transfer. The aim is to ensure that each new student is fully aware and prepared for learning in KS3.


2. The pastoral curriculum in Year 7-9 covers economic wellbeing, active citizenship and develops enterprise and entrepreneurship. A particular example of this is through mini-enterprise in Year 8.



3. The PSCHE and extended Pastoral programme for Year 8 is designed to support them in making informed GCSE option choices and develop employability skills.


4. Programmes such as Fast Tomato support students and parents in independent research into job roles and profiles and the academic requirement for those roles.

GB1. A stable careers programme

Our *PSCHE programme contributes to a stable careers programme by providing a range of lesson plans and resources on work-life, opportunities and skill development.

GB2. Learning from career and labour market information

Lessons on labour market opportunities:

Year 7 *Dreams & Goals, lessons 2 and 4

Year 8 *Dreams & Goals, lessons 3 and 4

Year 9 *Dreams & Goals, lesson 4

GB 3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

From Year 8 to 11, each PSCHE Puzzle (unit) includes a lesson where the activities lend themselves to providing students with evidence of their personal development, which is denoted by a CV development opportunity.

The outcome or product from these lessons can be transposed to one or more of the sections of the CV template, thus providing a record of progress, as well as an opportunity to build a CV with real learning experiences.

This is pertinent to each student and can help to form a bespoke approach for each individual.


GB 7. Encounters with further and higher education

ACE Day-usually in June. A full day off site engaging in workshops re Higher Ed, Personal Finance etc.




GB 8. Personal guidance

1-2-1 Careers interview prior to options choices available based on need.

The PSCHE CV development units (for Years 8 to 11) can be an invaluable resource for the Careers Adviser, who can examine what the student has studied in PSCHE (and other subjects too) and help the student piece together their goals, while looking at how to fill any skill and experience gaps.

Key Stage 4

1. One-to-one careers interviews and discussions with the school Careers Advisor in Years 10 and 11 informs individual Careers Plans. Each student, their tutor, parents and their Head of Year have access to the plan.

2. Extra-curricular clubs and trips support students in developing their understanding of a range of subjects. Students are given advice and guidance about what to participate in e.g. ‘The Enterprise Challenge’.

3. A number of students every year will take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

4. Students in Year 10 undertake Work Experience. This involves work experience preparation and Health and Safety workshops.

5. The options programme for Year 11 supports their post-16 choices.

6. The pastoral curriculum in Year 10-11 covers economic wellbeing, active citizenship and charity fundraising, employability skills alongside personal wellbeing and mental health support.

7. Potential NEETS are given additional support and a bespoke intervention plan in order to ensure that they progress onto a suitable and purposeful route post 16

8. There is a series of open evening throughout the year to help students to explore, choose and focus on the next stage in their learning pathway.

9. Logonmoveon is a local independent online directory which allows students to research and apply for courses available in their selected subject area.

GB2. Learning from career and labour market information

Lessons on future study options:

Year 11 Being Me In My World, lessons 3-6

Year 11 Dreams & Goals, lessons 3 and 6

Year 10 Dreams & Goals, lesson 3

There are numerous PSCHE lessons that focus on the skills needed in the workplace or in further education environments that feature across the units in the programme 11-16.


GB 4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

Encounters with employers and employees resources are designed to be taught by teachers from across different subjects and disciplines. There are numerous opportunities for teachers from STEM subjects to contribute to the breadth and depth of lessons and bring their knowledge and experience to PSHE, to create richer learning experiences for students.


GB5. Encounters with employers and employees

There are clear overlaps with the PSHE curriculum here. For example, in Year 10 Dreams & Goals lesson 3, students learn about work/life balance and watch videos about different work styles (TED talks), employment types and skill development. This could easily be adapted if a local employer or similar were to visit the school and participate in the structure of the PSCHE lesson.




GB 6. Experiences of workplaces

Whilst the resources in PSCHE 11-16 cannot facilitate work visits, etc., they can add to the experience of the job world, through lessons on the job market, skills needed in the workplace, and coping with challenges, as well as lessons on situations that may occur at work, taught through scenarios. Lessons across the programme contribute by teaching students about themselves, their behaviour, their expectations, and how other people may be different/the same as them.




GB 7. Encounters with further and higher education

There are several ways that students can acquire information about the range of learning opportunities available to them, from a vocational as well as an academic perspective. In particular, Year 11 lessons across two Puzzles can be of support:

· Year 11 Being Me In My World, lessons 3-6

· Year 11 Dreams & Goals, lessons 3 and 6


GB 8. Personal guidance

Each student from years y10 and 11 are offered a 1:1 careers interview with our fully qualified Careers Officer. Students with an EHCP receive additional support from a Careers Officer from the LA.




*Jigsaw programme


Key Stage 5

There is a range of support for university applicants:

  1. Year 12 and 13 students are encouraged to visit university open days, masterclasses, taster courses and summer schools at a variety of universities, to develop their application profile.
  2. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) helps develop invaluable research and independent learning skills which are central to higher education.
  3. Year 12 students participate in the ‘Progression Module’ preparing them for further education
  4. There is a dedicated team to support students with the UCAS process. Each student will have support tailored to their application from a subject advisor, their form tutor and the Sixth Form team.
  5. Interview preparation, practice and workshops are offered by the Sixth Form Team and Careers Team
  6. There is preparation for and support with aptitude and pre-admissions test.
  7. The pastoral curriculum for Years 12-13 includes lessons on life at university, including on finances.
  8. Charity fundraising and enterprise activities are encouraged that develop student’s entrepreneurial skills.
  9. Sixth Form students are encouraged to undertake volunteering and work experience to support their university applications.
  10. A range of opportunities are advertised throughout the academic year, as appropriate to specific students.
  11. A number of students every year will take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. At Sixth Form, this will usually mean Gold or Silver.

12. For those not going to university, we will:

  1. Interview students and put together a support package of employer links, advertisements, current information and application writing
  2. Provide students with the means to attend external careers fairs, job fairs and other college courses.


Useful Websites

Below is a sample list of websites where you will find useful information.

Careers Information.


Further and Higher Education

Year 11-13 Apprenticeship Links.





Labour Market Information