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
From Year 7 our students are introduced to software called Unifrog. Unifrog is a program that adapts over the different school years at the academy and develops students self-awareness, employment skills, subject knowledge, progression route knowledge and application skills at an age appropriate level. Students can access this software within the academy or from home as they receive their own login details to establish their own accounts. During academy time all students In Key stage 3 and 4 will take part in Future Fridays during tutor time. During this time we will use multiple resources including Unifrog looking at current employment trends, different jobs available around the world, developing skills and much much more.
Year 8 Students participate in a WOW day, a world of work day, supported by Inspira and students spend time with a range of employers, interviewing them about experiences, qualifications and training route. Students also 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 and providers support our careers education programme and ambassadors deliver assemblies to all year groups 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 the IDEA Award, 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”
At the start of Year 10 our students develop their own CV’s in preparation for mock interviews with volunteers from local businesses and education providers, this year these are being held virtually, equipping our students for the current employment environment. Following mock interviews students arrange a week of work experience in a setting that challenges and stretches their ambitions and future goals.
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 independent 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 and education providers.
Students are also guided and supported with the completion of application forms, personal statements and CV’s in tutor and personal development time.
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
Support the Academy’s Career Provision
Throughout the year we run a number of events that require the support of local employers and employees these include –
Year 8 World of Work day (March 2022) – companies being interviewed by our year 8 students to find out about your company, the opportunities available within your company and the skills required.
Year 10 Mock interviews (January 2022) – employers and employees to run through a mock interview with a year 10 student, provide feedback and next steps for students to develop their interview skills in the future.
Careers assemblies/videos – employers and employees to inspire aspirations in our students, share their career path, current role, skills required for their role application processes etc.
If you are a local employer or educational provider and you would like to support the academy with our careers provision please contact Siobhain Walter on firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 10 Work Experience Placements
Calling all parents/carers and community members, do you own a business or work for a business that could support our Year 10 students in accessing work experience placement on the week beginning 5thJuly 2021?
It has been a challenging 18 months and we would love for our students to get out into the world of work to gain some experience of the working environment. If you think you can help or would like any further information please contact Siobhain Walter at email@example.com or call 01946 820356.
At West Lakes Academy we want all of our students to learn from the community around them, about the different careers that surround them. Do you have a spare 30 minutes in which you could share your career journey, the role which you have now, your experience of a work or learning environment? If so please contact Siobhain Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01946 820356.
Parents support and guidance
The world of careers, training options and Universities is forever changing. These websites and links have specific parental support areas which will help you support your child in their next steps towards a career of their choice –
Barclays Life Skills – https://barclayslifeskills.com/families/
Amazing apprenticeships – https://amazingapprenticeships.com/parents-resources/
An apprenticeship is an amazing option for your child as they think about leaving full-time education. It’s the only route after school that allows them to earn while they learn, get invaluable on-the-job-experience, and gain a nationally recognised qualification.
The world of apprenticeships is flourishing and changing fast. With so much information on offer it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we set up this page of informative resources designed to give the parents of current apprentices and the apprentices of tomorrow the information they need.
Inspira – https://www.inspira.org.uk/
Inspira empowers young people and adults to reach their potential in work, life and society; offering a wide range of services and delivering programmes across the North West.
Parents support for Year 10 Work Experience
In March every year our Year 10 students access a work experience opportunity. Here are all of the resources to support your child in accessing a suitable work experience opportunity –
Cumbria WEX – work experience data base
This data base provides the contact details of companies who have previously supported young people in accessing work experience opportunities. Your child will have had a lesson on accessing and using the database including the password.
Cumbria Intelligence Observatory