Every week is Careers Week!

By Fiona Wilkins - March 6th, 2024 | Posted in Article

This National Careers Week, we are reflecting on the number of careers opportunities that we offer to our pupils, throughout the year, not just for this week.

Lara Birkett, Careers Lead, says “I believe passionately about giving young people the tools and experiences to succeed, both in the workplace and in life.”

In Key Stage 3 we work with pupils on identifying their transferrable skills and interests, as well as beginning to develop a C.V. In the second half of the summer term, their English curriculum focus is careers and the future, this helps to begin the spark of curiosity around the world of employment and further education. This involves various off-site visits to local businesses, as well as workshops in school.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum includes a Steps to Transition programme – this involves one and half hours each week, completing accredited modules looking at different careers, developing personal and transferable skills as well as behaviours for the work place. Year 10 have been taking part in a 10-week programme, run by a company called ‘LifeLab’, during their Spring 2024 Steps to Transition lessons. External trainers have come in to school every week to teach the pupils about all aspects of business – from pricing and marketing, to product development and profit. They have worked in groups to create their own business, developing products which will culminate in a market day, whereby each ‘company’ can sell their products to staff and students at St Philip’s.

Students at St Philip’s are generally an enterprising bunch! Year 11 have set up a Tuck Shop on a Wednesday break time, open to both staff and students to raise money for their prom – and their opening week at the start of March was a resounding success. St Philip’s also run an annual Christmas enterprise fair, where each form group is given a £10 investment, with the challenge of designing, creating and marketing products to sell to their peers.

We also run special interest careers trips for pupils to find out more about careers that they are interested in pursuing; in the past, this has included trips to a local construction site, a musical theatre group and other arts venues such as the Curzon cinema in Kingston. We have also had visitors come into our school to talk to students about careers of interest. These have included the Fire Brigade, the Police Dog handling unit and a self-employed photographer who spoke to students about how to set up your own business, using social media as an online portfolio. This inspired so many of our gifted Y11 art students, who have now begun their own journey to showcase their work.

Every year we take KS4 students to the World of Work roadshow and the National Apprenticeship Show, so that they are well-informed about all of the different further education pathways that are available to them. All of our Y11 pupils complete a week of work experience with a local company or business in their field of interest, with the exception of students in KS4M, who complete work experience one morning every week at a local café.

We are pleased to report that all of this hard work with our pupils, over many years, pays off! Our destination data shows that 100% of our students continue on to Further Education when they leave St Philip’s. A statistic we are pleased to celebrate this National Careers Week!