At Thirsk the Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme starts in Year 7 and continues through with support up to and even beyond Year 13 for those who need it. An annual programme of careers-related events is offered. This includes opportunities to engage with a variety of employers and apprenticeship providers, work experience, university and college talks, careers and apprenticeship fairs, mock interviews, and other opportunities. The programme aims to motivate students by encouraging them to think carefully about their strengths, ambitions and aptitudes and to plan for appropriate progression pathways. The CEIAG programme is intended to be flexible and adaptable as further opportunities become available.
Our CEIAG programme is supported by all the provision, both within the curriculum and also our strong extra-curricular programme which help students to pursue ‘CV-building’ activities, such as student leadership, participation in ensembles, productions and teams as well as school service and other character development activities. There are also specific career-linked activities within subject areas. We are also working to embed work-related skills within the formal subject curriculum through offering students opportunities to develop “21st century learning skills”.
The CEIAG programme is viewed as an entitlement for all students. As far as possible we offer individual support and guidance firmly believing that every individual matters equally, and should receive equal access to provision, advice and guidance. Our students are encouraged to have high aspirations, to aim for excellence, and to consider the broadest range of career areas and appropriate educational and personal development routes. For some students this will mean encouragement and mentoring for applications to the most selective universities. For others it will mean similar encouragement and mentoring for a directly career-related or talent-related path. In line with government policy, our work is now benchmarked against the new national standards for school careers provision.
Ann Richie and Louise Howard are our Career’s Advisers who work closely with Chris Mark, our Head of Careers. Guidance is high quality, impartial and independent.
Students can visit Ann or Louise in the Career’s Library based on the Sixth Form corridor, and they are available for any queries or information that students may need. If you want to book an appointment, or attend a booked appointment that your child has with Ann or Louise, please contact Mrs Barr at firstname.lastname@example.org marking your email for the attention of Mr Mark or telephone 01845 522024.
The school Careers Library has well-stocked careers information libraries, which contains books, prospectuses, leaflets, supplements, lists, links, and other resources. A variety of online resources are made available. Books on all the main career areas, and on university and other options and applications are available.
Current Job and Apprenticeship Vacancy opportunities are increasingly made available electronically to parents/carers.
Main School Guidance Programme:
The school continues to develop a programme of Careers Education covering the full recommended range of topics, including transitions, career areas and labour market information, and employability skills and attitudes. Curriculum learning is also increasingly linked to careers through the provision of structured opportunities for students to develop “21st century” work-related skills. The school brings in external speakers, arranges visits, and facilitates some individually-focussed opportunities and placements for Year 10-13 students, tailored to their future educational and career ideas and aspirations. Thirsk School has some very well established links to local business networks, including our own “Business Friends of Thirsk School” and we continue to look to develop stronger links with a wide range of employers, and our alumni.
As well as employer events we work closely with many local organisations to support the preparation of CVs, mock interviews and other more personalised support.
Work and Other Experiences and Employability
All students are required to undertake work experience placements in Years 10 and 12. We are blessed by the quality of placements available and the excellent support given to the programme by the North Yorkshire Business Education Partnership. Our students almost always earn glowing testimonials and many find the have built relationships with employers that can lead to real opportunities later on
Sixth Form Guidance Programme
Career support is embedded across both years of the Sixth Form experience but is chiefly delivered in the specialised Guidance Programme. This builds a range of experiences that inspire and support the students into a wide range of career opportunities which includes UCAS advice (please see that section of the website). We have close links to local employers through the “Business Friends of Thirsk School” which enable many of our work placements to become job opportunities or apprenticeships. Our regular monitoring of the apprenticeship website enables students to select a career path that suits them.
Our Guidance Programme doesn’t just cover careers but also involves information on all aspects of health which includes talks from local nurses and sexual health experts. Our driving safety is supported by both the local fire service and drama productions to educate our students on careful driving and the risks associated with alcohol and drugs. When not led by external presenters, our tutors and pastoral team deliver a range of lessons aimed at reducing stress, managing work load and at becoming more effective learners. This is supported throughout the year with the study skill sessions that can become part of the EPQ qualification.
Parents Evenings support this process with a Year 12 Welcome Evening, a Year 13 University Application Evening, and a Post-18 Careers Evening in addition to the subject based Parents Evening. Our team of careers advisors and experienced tutors continue to interview, challenge and support all individuals into the next stage. Career aspirations are tracked from application to the college until the students make the transition to the next step of their career.
Following publication of the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools in January, 2018 the school’s CEIAG provision is now benchmarked against current best practice and legislation. We are using eight ‘benchmarks’ in the Gatsby Foundation Report on Good Career Guidance for our benchmarking. We aim to do everything we can to inspire and encourage each of our students to realise their full potential, and have happy and successful working lives.
One of the areas that we are still improving is how we measure the impact of our careers provision on our students. Currently, we use the Growing Up in North Yorkshire annual survey to harvest the views of our students and we also track and review destinations data for students leaving us aged 16 and aged 18. We also monitor access to our provision – reviewing data on the number of students accessing university visits, careers interviews, attending employers fairs, completing work experience etc.