Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

CIAG at Abbeyfield School

At Abbeyfield School, we take the provision of Career Information and Guidance seriously and believe that it is never too early to start students thinking about their future career and education pathways. There are a range of informal and formal opportunities for students to receive advice about their future and this is adapted to suit the changing needs of the students from Year 7 to Year 13.

To contact us regarding anything CIAG orientated please email Mr J Stewart on (lead Careers co-ordinator)

Key Stage 3

Years 7 & 8

In Year 7 and 8 students gain most of their careers advice and guidance through the PSHE programme. They play a ‘Life’ game which gets them thinking about the reality of employment and making difficult life choices in quite a light-hearted and fun way.

Students in Year 7 and 8 are also invited to the ‘Careers’ Fair’ to give them a taste of possible future career paths. They are given question frames to ensure they find out information from the stands, and this is then followed up by discussions with their tutor as part of the tutor morning programme.

As well as this, the students are exposed to ideas about careers and educational routes through the assembly programme and through the different curriculum areas.

Year 9

In Year 9, as part of the Options process, students are given a one to one interview with a member of staff designed to discover their strengths and goals. This is followed up with an assembly, a special Options Evening for students and parents and then detailed guidance via the Options Booklet.

Students in Year 9 are invited to the ‘Careers’ Fair’ as part of the process in encouraging them to consider their future career path. CIAG also forms part of the PSHE programme and subject areas continue to expose students to career paths within their specialisms.

In addition, students in Years 8 and 9 also have the opportunity to watch a performance from the ‘Solomon Theatre Group’ about subject choices and career pathways.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Year 10 students are the main beneficiaries of the ‘Careers’ Fair’ and receive the greatest access to the stalls and experts on hand during the day allowing them to discuss career paths and ask questions of professionals in many different employment sectors. To further support their understanding of the world of work, Year 10 students are also given the opportunity to organise a Work Experience placement. In addition, the whole of Year 10 are taken off timetable for a day towards the end of the academic year for a Career Preparation Day where they take part in a range of activities such as CV building, job interview practice and letter writing. This day is supported by employees from local businesses who are involved in the delivery of the sessions.

In addition to the activities above Year 10 also have a number of assemblies designed to give them varied information on a range of pathways available to them after completing their GCSEs.

Year 11

Early in Year 11 students will receive impartial careers guidance during a one to one meeting with a member of the CIAG team to discuss their future plans and aspirations and to receive specific support and guidance in the next steps to achieving their plans. Students at risk of being NEET or those identified by their Head of Year as requiring additional support in identifying a suitable pathway are given priority for these meetings. Some students will then have follow-up meetings to support them further. This may include additional guidance or support with the options process and applications.

Tutors and the Head of Year then work closely with the students throughout Year 11 to offer ongoing support with options and applications and also general support with the demands of Year 11 and the potential stresses students will face throughout the year.

In addition, where suitable, students in Year 11 are offered access to some of the CIAG available to KS5. We also organise career specific CIAG if necessary for students interested in a particular career and the Year 11 students have access to the ‘Careers’ Fair’.

6th Form

Preparation for life beyond Abbeyfield begins as soon as students enter the sixth form with next steps forming part of the course decision process when choosing A Levels. All students have mentoring booklets and use these to plan regular conversations with their tutor about the future. Students have the opportunity to apply to Access to Bristol if they had good GCSE grades to experience teaching and learning at Bristol University. Students on our Oxbridge pathway have the opportunity to visit Oxford University.

In Term 4, Y12 students have the opportunity to visit Cardiff University and a HE fair to begin to make decisions about whether or not they are applying to university. PSHEE in terms 5 and 6 is devoted to either UCAS preparation (using the UWE Heading Higher passport framework) or learning about the Apprenticeship programme. Students who are planning to apply to university are guided through the process of choosing courses, visiting open days and writing a personal statement. Students with high GCSE grades are encouraged to apply for a Sutton Trust summer school. Students planning to enter the military have visiting speakers to talk through the process. Those intending to apply for an apprenticeship are given help writing CV’s, letters of application and using the national apprenticeship website. Students finish Y12 with an Employability Day at the end of term 6. This day includes workshops run by members of the business community, a mock interview and a CV writing session. Students are also encouraged to complete a work experience placement to enhance their CV or UCAS application.

Y13 students continue with UCAS preparation. Students applying to Oxbridge, Medicine or Veterinary courses are offered a mock interview at St Mary’s as part of the ‘Oxfizz’ program.

These students are also offered a mock interview in school with a member of SLT. Students applying for nursing courses are offered a mock interview at UWE as part of our Heading Higher partnership. In early October the school offers a parent’s session for UCAS information and applying for student finance. The school’s internal UCAS deadline is the beginning of term two.

Students not applying to university all have a practice interview with a member of the local business community and receive ongoing help with their applications. Mentoring with tutors continues to be regular and aimed at avoiding NEET students. Students unsure about their next steps will be offered a career’s interview or a mentor from the business community.