Throughout the school, we encourage students to develop an understanding of themselves, their strengths and their skills in order to assist them in their future choices on leaving school. This is developed across all aspects of the school in line with the Careers guidance and inspiration in schools, statutory guidelines from the Department of Education. In addition the school was awarded Careermark in 2014 for excellence in careers. All academic departments have excellent relationships with employers and their professional bodies to assist students with their investigations and offering inspiration for their futures. Students are also encouraged to take part in voluntary activities in and out of school to give back to the community whilst developing their employability skills. Mrs Jane Mackay, our Careers and Personal Development Officer, offers specialist careers and higher education support and guidance within school as well as assisting with the PSHE programme. Mrs Mackay is available for interviews with students from all years Monday to Thursday. In addition to Mrs Mackay and PSHE lessons, we welcome independent external sources of careers guidance and inspiration through a range of speakers, activities such as Science and Modern Foreign Language Days, external business mentor, visits to and from employers and universities and alumni. These enrich our programme and present students with ideas to investigate for their own futures. Our ethos is to enable students to make the right decisions for themselves at key points of their education based on investigation, information and inspiration.
Within PSHE, students from all year’s access careers related activities developed against the Association for Careers Education and Guidance framework with particular focus on the needs of our students. Details and learning outcomes for Key Stage 3 and 4 can be found at CLICK HERE and Key Stage 5 CLICK HERE. Year 7 students take part in the Real Game to consider all aspects of employment from the start of their senior school career journey. Our Year 8 students take part in Take your daughter to work day. We consider this is an excellent way of helping students to find out more about the world of work, share those experiences and use them to consider different organisations, structures, breaking down potential stereotyping within employment. Our Year 9 pupils enjoy taking part in an Industry Day project where they are given the opportunity to solve a problem for a local company on a ‘consultancy’ basis. Several companies have used some of the ideas that students have developed. In February, students investigate their GSCE and post 14 options through a range of PSD lessons and meetings with Mrs Mackay or other members of pastoral staff as required.
Whilst the majority of our Year 11 students move into the 6th Form, we ensure that we help them explore all the different Post 16 opportunities through PSHE, Open Days, meetings with their tutors and at least one interview with Mrs Mackay. Year 11 students also have a mock interview with a representative from a company so that the student has an opportunity to write a CV and receive feedback on their CV and interview skills. This is an important part of Year 11, giving them insight into what might happen when they apply for employment.
Year 12 and 13 students follow a two year tailor made programme specialising in their needs for post 18 choices. Whether a student chooses to go onto Higher Education, Apprenticeship or employment they are supported throughout that decision. We cover employability skills with all students so that they leave South Wilts with a deep understanding of employability competencies and how they can illustrate and develop them. Alongside this programme, we offer a personal development programme to include study skills, well-being and healthy living, employment opportunities and visits from a variety of speakers from Gap Year opportunities, universities, local employers and ex- students. Specialist programmes include those for Oxbridge students and Medics, Vets and Dentists. Our students excel at a wide range of Post 18 careers and to that end we work with students whatever their needs from completing their university application process (through UCAS), completing an application for employment or training, having a gap year or something completely different. In recent years our students who have chosen not to attend university have gained excellent positions with KPMG, IBM, Smith and Williamson, our local MP and other local employers, whereas our students who opt for university have taken a huge range of courses at a wide range of universities – CLICK HERE for destinations. We aim to ensure that whatever they choose to do, they have firm plans for their future and the skills to excel at whatever they take on.
6th Form students are advised to have at least one interview with Mrs Mackay per year to help them explore their options and choose the right course of action, alongside their regular discussions with their tutors. Many students happily opt for more. Students can either email Mrs Mackay with a question or sign up outside the office (S4). Students are also encouraged to ‘drop in' whenever the door is open. All students of any year, are also welcome to see Mrs Mackay regarding any aspect of career choice, subject choice, work related questions or Higher Education. Parents are also welcome to contact Mrs Mackay. In addition to the opportunity for one to one discussions, the PSHE programme includes a range of careers and HE elements, briefings for parents, internal and external speakers, and a very comprehensive set of related resources be they written, verbal or particular websites.
Specific career calendars and programmes for your daughter's year can be found at:
We find that parents can play a pivotal role in the careers education of their daughters. In order to help, we have listed below a number of websites that parents may find useful. We use resourcecomp@nion careers resource which is updated with local and national information. Here you will find many useful links to all career matters. It is available to students via the VLE and to parents via Parent Portal.
Sixth Form Booklets
Good information on graduate career destinations
Government portal to apprenticeships packed with apprenticeship opportunities and information, advice and guidance.
Excellent information covering alternatives to university
National Careers Service – 0800 100 900
The official information on undergraduate courses. The UCAS website also has a section for parents and guardians where you can get a variety of information and can sign up for a newsletter. It is worth registering.
An online questionnaire linking students interest to degree subject areas.
Compare different universities and courses using latest National Student Survey.
Independent guide to university
Compare different universities using university league tables.
The Which guide to university with the ability to filter by expected grades, location, subject interests etc.
Information on all careers in the NHS
Information on applying for medicine
Information on studying in the USA
Gives information on spending a year in Europe as part of a UK degree
Websites for universities worldwide
Information on course taught in English but taken in Europe
Subject taster days at London universities
Taster courses in science and engineering
Summer Schools at Oxford University
Summer Schools at Cambridge University
Detailed careers information can be found on the Careers Department on the school VLE which students can access from home or school.
If you have any questions please either email Mrs Mackay on email@example.com or call her. Please be prepared to leave a message as she is often with a student.