As pupils progress through the school, we aim to ensure that careers advice and guidance enable pupils to make sensible and informed decisions regarding subject options and career and higher education choices. We aim to help students discover their passion for their future career. Advice is offered on a variety of career-related issues, including university and other higher education courses, apprenticeships and school-leaver schemes, subject and option choices, gap years, and placements in industry.
The Careers Department is located on the lower floor of the library building. The fully-resourced careers library is open throughout the school day and, as we have the benefit of a qualified Head of Careers, pupils are welcome to drop in for an informal discussion at any time between 8.00am to 4.00pm, Mondays to Thursdays. Activities embedded within the PSHE/Key Skills curriculum and academic curriculum alongside a series of co-curricular careers talks, workshops and conferences form the basis of the school’s careers education, information, advice, and guidance (CEIAG) programme. This aims to help pupils know and understand:
- Their abilities, strengths, and preferences
- What the world of work is like and what employers want
- What employability skills are and how they can develop them
- How the world of work is changing
- Different routes into learning, training, and development
Fourth Forms (Years 7 and 8)
In the Fourth Forms (Years 7 and 8) careers activities, delivered within the PSHE programme and wider curriculum, ensure pupils develop an understanding of their personality and characteristics identifying key employability skills and qualities.
Outside of the classroom they have the opportunity to start exploring a variety of career paths, utilising a comprehensive range of resources on the school intranet and during numerous curriculum-based visits and activities. During the summer term in Year 8, they take part in the ‘Chocolate Challenge’ workshop, a chance to gain an initial insight into business and enterprise.
Removes (Years 9 and 10)
In the Lower Remove and Upper Remove (Years 9 and 10) we use a series of further initiatives to encourage careers exploration. Lower Remove pupils look towards choosing their GCSE options they are offered the opportunity to sign up to Morrisby Online early in the new year and to undertake further workshop activities, supported by employers, exploring future career options.
To inspire them further, Upper Remove pupils have the opportunity to take part in a careers speed-dating event. Working in small groups, pupils find out about varied and interesting careers from a range of employers whilst also developing their networking skills.Many of the lunch time careers talks are also open to the Removes students.
Fifth Form (Year 11)
During the Fifth Form (Year 11) the Morrisby Online Service enables pupils to take control of their own career-planning choices. A series of online psychometric assessments, completed in September, results in a detailed profile that pupils, staff, and parents are encouraged to review thoroughly before a one-to-one guidance interview with an independent career professional. This approach ensures pupils and parents are provided with the advice and guidance they need to make informed subject and career choices.
In the Sixth Form the emphasis is on exploring the range of pathways available after A-levels and building an awareness of those relevant to career goals. With 90% of pupils moving on to university, there is a strong Higher Education component within the programme but pupils are also encouraged to explore the increasing range of Post-18 apprenticeship and school-leaver opportunities.
A full programme of workshops, talks and discussions is organised by the Head of Careers and the Head of Sixth Form, relating to the different aspects of the application procedure to universities in the UK and abroad. This includes the use of the Unifrog platform, plenary sessions focusing on the applications procedure to university and the financial awareness required, an Open Day visit for all Lower Sixth pupils, and a presentation to parents about all aspects of Higher Education and other Post 18 Options.
Pupils have access to the Unifrog support website which is an excellent portal and resource which seamlessly links with UCAS and other provider application services. It enables analysis and completion of the following areas:
Explore how interests lead to different education and training pathways. Recognise the steps required for the best chance of application success. Draw upon a database of knowledge explaining how to navigate each step in the application process.
Compare and contrast not only universities courses in the UK but also those in the US and the numerous courses taught in English throughout Europe.
Explore post 18 apprenticeship opportunities. Unifrog provides access to search and filter one of the most comprehensive apprenticeship vacancy databases available.
Unifrog provides a single platform on which to collaboratively draft all the materials needed for applications – from UK Personal Statements to the Common App Essay, from UK Subject References to US Counsellor Letters of Recommendation.
Oxbridge Universities Preparation
Making an application to the universities of Oxford or Cambridge involves a number of additional stages when compared to applications for most other UK institutions. To support King’s pupils through this process, we run a dedicated programme of activities and guidance which begins in the Lower Sixth.
The King’s programme includes:
- Introductory talk with feedback from successful applicants in the year above
- Departmental support and guidance, e.g. on wider reading, mock interviews, and guidance on how to prepare for entrance tests
- Wider reading presentations are given by students to their peers to help them develop their interest in their chosen subject areas
- A visit to the Oxford and Cambridge conference held in Edgbaston towards the end of the spring term
- A talk on personal statements for Oxford and Cambridge applications
- A dedicated Oxford and Cambridge preparation day in the summer term including a one-to-one meeting with a member of staff to help provide focus for preparation over the summer holidays
- Visits to both Oxford and Cambridge university open days
- Support in completing additional forms, e.g. the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)
- Additional mock interview practice at the Interview Evening in November
- A series of final preparation sessions in the four weeks prior to interviews
- King’s pupils have had considerable success in gaining offers for places in recent years for a range of different courses including; Medicine, Natural Sciences, History and Politics, Classics, Modern Languages, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, and Theology.
All Lower Sixth pupils are encouraged to undertake a week of work experience. The range of placements which students have secured has recently included Morgan Cars, Houses of Parliament, Southco, GKN Aerospace, Qinetiq Group and Sanctuary. Other pupils have helped in local primary and special-needs schools and shadowed in law firms, hospitals, and veterinary practices.
Pupils are encouraged to find work experience out of the Worcester area and placements have been arranged by the MFL Department in France and Germany.
Conferences and Careers Talks
In recent years we have arranged our own Healthcare Conference, Law Day, Media Day, Engineering Conference, Modern Language Conference, English Conference, Finance Day, Women in Leadership Conference, and Property Conference. These conferences are always popular and draw pupils from a range of years.
A Lower Sixth Business Skills Workshop is held at the end of the year. Pupils are taken through a series of challenges and workshops led by representatives from local businesses and companies. A Careers Networking event happens in the summer term to provide the opportunity to practise essential networking skills while learning about a wide range of careers.
The Department also arranges a number of before-school and lunchtime careers talks given by people working in various professions. Recent talks have included forensic science, accountancy, finance, medical research, architecture, law, journalism, as well as Headstart, the Year in Industry scheme and other Gap Year programmes. Pupils in the Removes, Fifth and Sixth Forms are invited to attend
One regular feature is an evening in November when members of the Upper Sixth have the opportunity to experience a mock one-to-one interview with employers, parents, or friends of the school with expertise in particular areas.
Parent, Employer and OV Support
Parents and OVs provide a wonderful resource and we are always excited to hear from anyone who would like to participate in one of the different careers events and share their expertise. Similarly, the careers department is always keen to develop links with local employers. Please contact Mrs H Airdrie, Head of Careers, if you feel you would like to support any of the events mentioned above or for more information about our work experience programme.