Careers Education in the Curriculum

At West Lakes Academy we are committed to delivering high quality careers, information, advice and guidance (CIAG) for all of our students. We understand that all young students need to prepare themselves for progression through learning and education into adulthood. Our aim is to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to make effective choices, understand their career and progression routes, and enable them to manage smooth transitions on to the next stage of either learning or employment.  At key milestones throughout the students’ education we will provide support, advice and guidance to ensure realistic and informed decisions are made to help them to progress to higher education, apprenticeships, and the world of work. We provide impartial advice and ensure the advice given is in the best interest of the student.

Careers education has never been more important for young people. They are bombarded with complex choices which need considering and planning such as; What KS4 subjects do I take? Do I choose vocational or academic subjects or a mixture of both? Which extracurricular activities would enhance my CV? And, of course, which career would I find interesting, is achievable and would suit my lifestyle?

Each year group follows a careers education program which aims to raise aspirations and provide students with a better understanding of the pathways they need to follow to help them to achieve their goals. Students will investigate careers during curriculum time within PD and spend time on this in tutor time, with a whole school initiative known as Future Fridays. Throughout the year speakers and local employers from different organisations will come in to provide the students with inspiration, advice and inform them of professions and careers that they might not have considered previously.

Students take part in a wide range of careers activities such as, enterprise events, industry days, STEM activities and university visits for firsthand experience of further and higher education.

In addition to these activities there are a wide range of free resources available in school that students can take advantage of. These can be found in a number of different formats, e.g. DVDs and CDs as well as booklets, in the careers section of the library. University prospectuses are available in the sixth form area.   

West Lakes Academy is committed to providing a planned programme of activities, careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for all students in years 7-13, regardless of students’ culture and ethnicity, background or ability. All students will benefit from the planned events and activities to help them make informed decisions in preparation for life, work and as responsible adults, making a valuable contribution to society and their communities.

These activities and events will be unbiased, impartial and based on the individual needs of each student.

Key Stage 3

In Year 8, students are introduced to software called Kudos Inspire and Launchpad to help them learn about the variety of careers available and routes into those careers.  Students can access this software within the academy or from home as they receive their own login details to establish their own accounts.  Students also participate in a WOW day, a world of work day, supported by Inspira and students spend time with a range of employers, this supports them with their option choices.

This is developed further in Year 9 when students are introduced to other careers software including Kudos Inspire and Launchpad to support their research into Y10 option choices and future career paths.  Students complete a careers unit in their PD lessons prior to choosing their options in year 8 where they reflect on their skills and interests as well as hopes and aspirations.

Local businesses also support our careers education programme and ambassadors deliver assemblies to year 7, 8 and 9 students about progression routes and options for the future.

Key Stage 4

Students continue to access the careers software which is also accessible from home, to broaden their knowledge about potential careers and opportunities. Students also participate in enterprise events and giving nation, where they develop key skills needed for the world of work and gain a greater understanding of, budgeting, enterprise, exploration and decision making. Students will also be advised and encouraged to undertake an element of independent research into all aspects of “looking ahead”

Towards the end of Year 10, students complete a questionnaire about their plans and aspirations and this helps to provide them with comprehensive and impartial advice.  In Year 11 all students benefit from careers interviews and all students are introduced to apprenticeships and all available options post 16. Students and their parents are invited to West Lakes Academy’s own post 16 Open Evening as well as a county-wide Post-16 Opportunities Evening where there is the opportunity to speak to a large number of local colleges and training providers about alternatives such as apprenticeships and vocational courses. Students are also made aware of open evenings for other 6th Forms.  

Students are guided and supported with the completion of application forms, personal statements and CVS.

Post 16

At 6th Form, the academy supports students with their higher education or post 16 journey and tutors and the heads of Sixth Form hold regular sessions with students. Students are introduced to the UCAS application process and they are greatly supported with this process.  Visitors speak to students in assemblies and information about student finance is shared with students and staff.

Careers guidance interviews for students in Years 12 and 13 are available by request and university open day visits can be arranged.

West Lakes Academy Careers Development Plan

Please click here to read the academy’s career development plan.

Support the academy’s career provision

If you are a local employer or educational provider and you would like to support the academy with our careers provision please click here to see what opportunities are available or contact Siobhain Walter on

LMI Information

Cumbria Intelligence Observatory – latest LMI report

Apprenticeships Explained

Parent’s Pack