At The Parker E-ACT Academy we have a motto, ‘Work Hard, Stay Humble, Dream Big’. Our careers programme aims to support our pupils to follow our motto from the beginning of Year 7 all the way through until Year 11.
Our programme is built in partnership with local businesses, and educational providers as we believe that only through exposure, and real experience can students gain an insight into the world beyond school
All students in Years 7 – 11 have careers sessions as part of their Personal Development Drop-down days and explore a ‘career of the week’ within their weekly tutor schedule. This is in addition to the range of careers events we run over the course of the academic year and our embedded ethos of referring to careers as part of the wider curriculum
Full details of the Careers curriculum can be found in the Personal Development Overview Document and is outlined by year group below
Should you have any further questions or comments please get in touch with The Parker’s Designated Careers Leader:
Mr Andrew Dunkley – Personal Development Lead
Overview of our careers programme
Our Careers curriculum begins in year 7 with an exploration of the student’s career now. As they enter secondary school, they are entering a professional setting and will be practicing many long-term employability skills, such as meeting deadlines, professionalism, working within a hierarchy and being able to work both independently and as part of a team. We explore the importance of setting realistic yet aspirational goals now, and how school provides an opportunity to build up a bank of transferable skills from subjects to the workplace. Students also consider the employment contract through the lens of student, and academy and the importance of effective working relationships. As part of this year 7 will get the opportunity to work with external stakeholders to build aspiration allowing them to recognise how decisions we make now, and the success and reputation we carve out in year 7 is likely to affect them in future years.
The Focus in year 8 moves onto realising the breadth of careers available. To do this our curriculum focus is on understanding the local labour market, and how it has changed and is likely to change over time. Which is an essential precursor to students making decisions about their long-term future. We also consider the range of options available, including traditional employment, agency, self-employment and running a business, and seek to challenge stereotypes surrounding suitability for jobs / careers. The theme of self-reflection also continues as students increasingly utilise our START platform to assess what they really want from a job, exposing them to careers opportunities they may not have considered previously.
The Focus in year 9 is on making choices, with the options process beginning by the end of the autumn term. Pupils are supported to make their GCSE options through a visit to World Skills Live, talks from inspirational speakers, careers links in the curriculum and an options information evening. Our curriculum emphasis here builds on the idea that career paths are rarely a straight line, so students need to get the balance of subjects they enjoy and can achieve in, whilst recognising the long-term implications of this decision. As a result, many of our case studies utilise the idea that whilst it’s important to make an informed choice, it is something that can be changed later. After all it is quantity of good GCSE’s that we are aiming for on our CV’s!
The focus in year 10 is ‘adulting’ and preparing for the wider world with a curriculum emphasis on the relationship between employment and lifestyle, levels of qualifications, transferable skills, and the practical knowledge needed to enter the workplace. For instance, deductions from pay, and the need to plan for the future. Pupils develop the skills they will need in the workplace through CV writing workshops, mock interviews, working with external stakeholders on their dedicated ‘Careers day’ before completing their work experience in July which enables them to put the skills they have developed over the course of the programme into practice They will also be encouraged to think about their post 16 options through appointments with an independent careers advisor.
In year 11 our students take part in ‘Over The Finish Line Days’ to ensure they get to where they need to go. This includes access to independent careers advice, a FE recruitment fair featuring a broad range of local providers and a range of recruitment events by specific employers offering apprenticeship opportunities.
Independent Careers guidance
Our independent careers guidance is provided through U-Explore and is available to all students. Students often request additional appointments with our careers advisor who is a familiar face around school. Furthermore we also run a ‘careers drop-in’ for any student who needs guidance, or practical assistance with any application on a weekly basis
Additionally, all students have access to START software, which allows students to complete self-reflection activities to explore which option is best for them, and explore a wealth of information on pathways, and future careers.
Equipping our pupils for their futures is central to our purpose. We can only do this with support from the local business community. We are appreciative of employers and employees who already support our careers education and would welcome additional volunteers. If you would like to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Opportunities include assembly talks, mock interviews and hosting a Year 10 pupil for work experience.
We are particularly keen to hear from employers with apprentices in their businesses that can bring to life the apprenticeship route for our pupils. Apprenticeship and technical education providers are also welcome to address our pupils either in an assembly or workshop format.
Further information can be found in our Careers Education and Guidance Policy Document