Useful Links

Useful Links

Part of castle school education trust

"Castle School Education Trust is committed to high quality education across the primary, secondary and sixth form key stages. Our schools cover the South Gloucestershire area. We encourage independence within each school within a strong framework of values."

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Downend

CAREERS EDUCATION, INFORMATION, ADVICE AND
GUIDANCE (CEIAG)

Useful Websites

Unifrog - Helping students find their future 

Letter to Parent regarding Unifrog dated November 2023

//www.loom.com/embed/1d856c8220f444faa653fd7f719db5c8#t=0.5

 Career Pilot - Expert careers information and tools for 11-19 year olds, all in one place

Gov.uk - Apprenticeships

National Careers Service - information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Prospects - What job would suit me?

CareersBox - Careers Films on the Web

icould - Career ideas and information for your future

UCAS - Search for courses, uni & colleges and information

UCAS - Search for apprenticeships, graduate jobs and internships

The Times Good University Guide

Studential - Provides in-depth information about choosing and going to university

The Complete University Guide - Information about studying at university in the UK and abroad

Startprofile - Explore different careers, complete your profile and search for apprenticeships and live job vacancies

South-West Apprenticeship Company -  Matches apprentices to employers and provides careers support to individuals

Do It - Find the perfect volunteering opportunity for you

National Citizenship Service - Designed especially for 16/17 year olds, the NCS experience will give you a clearer idea of what you want from your future

List of Post 16 Providers

Provider Access Policy Statement

An Overview

Castle School believes one of its fundamental purposes is to support all students in learning about, preparing for and making informed decisions about the world of work and their own career pathways. All aspects of school life should play a part in developing students’ skills, knowledge, interests and personal qualities – all of which help lead to an appropriate career pathway. But we also believe that a structured programme of learning and opportunities are needed to help students do this successfully.

The main strands of our CEIAG programme are summarised below.

  • Taught Programme. All students in Years 7-13 follow our formal Lifeskills curriculum, in which CEIAG is one of the key themes. This programme will include encounters with employers.
  • Work Experience. During Years 10/11, we aim for all students to take part in at least one formal work experience placement all during the same week (usually during Year 10).  In addition, some students complete two placements.  In our Sixth Form, all students are able to include a formal work placement in their timetabled study programme if they wish, and all students are encouraged to undertake at least one work-shadowing opportunity.
  • Individual Guidance. We engage an independent careers advice company, Compass Careers, to provide individual advice for students at key decision points. A number of key school staff are also involved in providing 1:1 guidance for students. Students in Years 11 and 13 all receive at least one 1:1 session to help focus on their progression pathways.
  • Careers Information Platform. The school provides all students with an individual log-in to a national online careers platform – Unifrog. Parents/carers are also able to have a log-in. This provides access to up-to-date information and guidance on career areas, courses in further and higher education, and current local vacancies for training and apprenticeships.
  • Careers Guidance Office. All students/parents have access to the Careers Guidance Office – which is staffed full-time by Mrs Melanie Price. This is a one-stop shop for all enquiries and requests for guidance.
  • Drop-in Clinics for students and parents. Relevant careers staff are available without appointment at most parents’ evenings.
  • Careers newsletter. Throughout the school year, a careers update newsletter is circulated by e-mail – at least once a month, and often once a fortnight. This contains information on all available opportunities for information events, courses, competitions, run by local or national providers or organisations, plus all known current job or apprenticeship vacancies. This is also shared with all parents/carers.
  • Employer and Provider Events. Each year we hold a ‘Beyond the Castle’ careers event, run a visit to a regional UCAS careers event, and hold networking breakfasts for post-16 students with employers. We have been part of the organising group for the Ambitions Careers Fair held across S Glos/Bristol (for students in Yrs 9-13) – but currently under review. Year 11 and have Year 13 have a formal programme of externally-led sessions by other Providers (see separate policy on Provider Access).
  • Within all subject lesson. Awareness of skills, knowledge, careers pathways and role-modelling should be implicit and explicit in all subjects within a student’s timetable.
  • STEM. Our students live in an area in which career opportunities in STEM areas are much higher than other areas of the country.  Thus , in line with national guidance, Castle School has taken a strong role in promoting awareness of STEM opportunities, working closely with external agencies in order to do so. Many of our older students had a fortnightly STEM Careers lesson when they were in KS3, and during Year 9 all students take part in at least 1 day’s STEM immersion – while many students have taken up a wide variety of opportunities provided by local employers. We are particularly grateful to local employers such as Renishaw, Essilor, Airbus, Rolls Royce and Hydrock, who support us so well.
  • Participation Activities for disadvantaged and SEND students . We have recognised that some of our students find it harder to engage with some aspects of the above provision, and need additional help to consider ambitious career pathways. Our SEND team runs a programme of individual and group tasters, familiarisation visits and wider experiences. In conjunction with our Enterprise Adviser. We have also begun developing a series of additional aspirational activities for some of our disadvantaged students in KS3.
  • Support for Competitive HE routes.  For students considering university courses with additional entry requirements – Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Veterinary Science plus Oxford/Cambridge undergraduate degrees – we run an additional programme of support and information. This includes visits to national information events, face-to-face events in school, visits to Oxbridge colleges, mentoring by local professionals, interview training and mock interviews.  We are particularly pleased that so many students who have taken this route themselves offer to come back and support future cohorts.

Our timetabled Lifeskills (CEIAG) Activities are detailed in the table below;

 Timetable for Lifeskills Activities for 2023/24

Key Personnel

SLT Lead : Ms Katherine Wilson.  Oversight of all aspects of CEIAG provision.  (katherine.wilson@cset.co.uk)

Work-Related Learning Manager : Mrs Melanie Price. Mrs Price works full-time in the Careers Guidance Office. Her role includes support for all Work Experience placements; production of careers newsletters; organisation of all careers interviews with careers advisor; liaison with external providers for talks, input into Lifeskills lessons; destination tracking ; 1:1 support for any mid-year leavers or students in danger of being NEET; available for drop-in enquiries from all students/parents/carers. (melanie.price@cset.co.uk)

External Careers Advisor : Our Compass Careers Advisors are qualified to level-6/7 in Careers Guidance.

Lifeskills Coordinator : Mrs Rebecca Maurice. Mrs Maurice oversees all aspects of the taught Lifeskills curriculum in Years 7-11. (rebecca.maurice@cset.co.uk)

Enterprise Coordinator : Ms Sally Larkin. Sally is employed by West of England Careers Hub, and is our link Enterprise Coordinator. She liaises with school regularly, provides additional training and guidance, but also monitors and helps to evaluate the school’s progress in CEIAG against the national Gatsby Benchmarks.  We also use the Future Skills Questionnaire to give students the opportunity to reflect on their career-related knowledge and skills.  The tool can inform continuous improvement and impact evaluation.

Enterprise Adviser : Mr Andrew Low.  The Enterprise Adviser is a volunteer whose role is to help bridge the gap between the world of work and education. They work with the Careers Leader and wider senior leaders of the school to create opportunities for young people.  They support the school strategically to develop and evaluate their careers plan, and can provide a valuable employer's perspective on how a school or college can embed current labour market information and opportunities into the careers programme.  

We are delighted to be working with Andrew Low.

The Enterprise Adviser’s Role:

  • To support Castle School in line with the Careers Hub Aims 
  • To work with Castle school to identify opportunities in our current CEIAG provision and how they can support and add value.
  • To work closely with the Careers Hub Enterprise Coordinator team to drive progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks and improve career outcomes for students

Andrew has worked at Rolls-Royce since graduating from university in 2016 and has covered a number of roles across Engineering, Planning and Operations. His current role is in the Supply Chain where he manages the delivery, quality and cost of suppliers into Rolls-Royce Bristol. Throughout different roles he has played a key part in recruiting and mentoring apprentices, and promoting the graduate programme in universities. This drives his passion to see young people more aware of the variety of opportunities available to them and the many different routes to get there. Outside of work he will watch literally any sport that is on TV and enjoys cycling and playing guitar. He is a very proud Scotsman but sees Bristol as a second home and last year began the never-ending task of home improvement with his wife in their first house.

If you have any interest in finding out more about the Enterprise Adviser role please click on the link below.https://enterpriseadviser.careersandenterprise.co.uk/becoming-an-enterprise-adviser/

Sixth Form Student Support Workers : Mrs Sarah MacIsaac and Mr Russ Summers. These two colleagues work full-time in our Sixth Form supporting students, and their role includes group and individual activities to support study, personal development and CEIAG. (sarah.macisaac@cset.co.uk; russell.summers@cset.co.uk)

ASDAN Coordinator : Mrs  Jodie Palmer. The ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness is part of the programme run by our SEND Dept to help students prepare for future pathways, and is tailored to the needs of individual students – with strong emphasis on ‘next steps’ after Year 11. (jodie.palmer@cset.co.uk)

Gatsby Benchmarks

The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance, developed to support schools in providing the best possible careers education, information, guidance and support. Each benchmark contains a range of measures of good practice. The 8 benchmarks are :

1.   A stable careers programme.
2.   Learning from careers and labour market information (LMI)
3.   Addressing the needs of each pupil
4.   Linking curriculum learning to careers
5.   Encounters with employers and employees
6.   Experiences of workplaces
7.   Encounters with Further and Higher Education
8.   Personal Guidance.

In conjunction with our Enterprise Coordinator, the school evaluates its programme against each of these benchmarks – and against the national data for each benchmark.

For information on the most recent evaluation data – please contact Mrs Katherine Wilson

Work Experience

Year 10 Work Experience for 2023/24 took place from March 11th-15th 2024.  The date of the 2025 Work Experience week will be announced by the end of Term 6. 2024.  For any queries, please contact melanie.price@cset.co.uk

Video introducing Work Experience shown to students;

 //www.youtube.com/embed/90QbIR0YWiU#t=0.5

 

Year 11 Careers summary & Evaluation for Parents/Carers

Please see below the following documents  in respect of our careers provision and support for Year 11 students:

Show list Show Grid

 Students will be given access to  the above documents via Year 11 Google Classroom, in addition to a paper copy.

If you are able to help us to help you, we would be grateful if you would complete a quick survey on our careers provision, the link to which is in the Summary Evaluation document.

Ms. Katherine Wilson - Deputy Headteacher & Mrs. Melanie Price - Work Related Learning Manager

Destinations

Each year we track the ongoing destinations of leavers from Years 11, 12 or 13 – and share this information with South Glos Council, in order to identify any students needing wider intervention or support. Please see the link below to a privacy notice from South Gloucestershire Council Education, Employment & Training Post 16, for students/parents/carers to understand that we are required to share their data with the Local Authority.    PN-Employment-Education-Training-Tracking.pdf (southglos.gov.uk)

Additional Support on offer for EAL students

We are delighted to be taking part in UWE’s pilot Mentoring Programme - Exploring Future Pathways - for selected students in Years 10 & 11. The programme is a collaborative effort between our school and the Widening Participation Team at UWE Bristol and is designed to provide valuable guidance, resources and insights to our students. The programme will continue in the future if the pilot is successful.

Additional CEIAG events that took place in previous years

Year 7 - The West in Minecraft - DETI Inspire Workshop

DETI Inspire is managed by UWE Bristol’s School of Engineering with funding from the Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation initiative (DETI).  In February, Year 7 students attended an hour-long session using ‘The West in Minecraft’ educational resources that took a digital, play-based approach to engineering using the popular game Minecraft.  Students were supported to develop their own ideas and problem solving skills, and engage with engineering as a creative and diverse subject that can impact the world around us.  The event will be repeated yearly.

Year 9 - Unlock Cyber Taster Day - UWE Bristol

Students in Years 8 & 9 attended an Unlock Cyber Taster Day at UWE in June.  The event was aimed at inspiring those who are interested in cyber and taking Computer Science at GCSE. 

This opportunity really enhanced their knowledge and understanding and was a fun day with other students, to explore the world of Computer Science.  The day consisted of hands-on cyber activities and problem-solving team challenges, i.e. a Lego challenge and a new cyber game, and was organised by leading regional employers from the cyber sector.  The event will hopefully be repeated yearly.

Provider Access Legislation (PAL) Talks

The Provider Access Legislation states that from 1 January 2023, all schools must provide at least six encounters with a provider of technical education or apprenticeships for students in Years 8 to 13. Two encounters for pupils should be during the 'first key phase'. 

In June students in Years 7, 8 & 9 (KS3) heard from SGS College and Rolls-Royce, local providers of technical education and apprenticeships, in order for Castle School to meet their legal obligation.

Interested in providing work experience or talking to our students about your job, please click on the following link: 

I would like to support Castle School's Careers Education Programme

Local Careers opportunities for students