Throughout their time at County Upper all students are offered impartial advice and have access to an annual careers fair held in the school. This is attended by a huge number of STEM employers offering not only careers involving STEM and general advice. Throughout their time with us, students also have access to a Higher Education Champion from Anglia Ruskin University. This includes whole year assemblies, small group work and individual advice.
The student entitlement within year groups are as follows:
In year 9, our intake year, all students receive advice at the time of choosing their GCSE options. In addition to talks for the whole year group and an evening for parents, students have access to independent advice from our careers provider and every student has an individual discussion with a parent and the personal tutor. During our curriculum enrichment week, external providers contribute to the impartial advice students receive. Our Oxbridge programme, which starts in the middle phase, continues. During year 9, students and parents are informed of the UTC in Cambridge.
In year 10, students continue to receive advice from school staff, employers and independent companies like ‘Bright Futures’ who contribute to the curriculum enrichment week. Students receive considerable guidance as they set up their fortnight’s work experience for year 11. This can be a single two-week placement or two placements, each for a week’s duration. Visits to businesses and talks from employers are an integral part of the curriculum in many areas. An extensive extracurricular programme enhances this provision and the Oxbridge programme continues.
Early in year 11, students have a series of assemblies led by representatives from local FE colleges, apprenticeship providers and the school’s Director of Sixth form. There is close co-operation with the local student support provider to ensure students do not become NEET and they work with us with specific students who are considered to be at risk of this. Every year 11 student has a fortnight’s work experience in November. This is followed by an individual discussion with every student, a parent and a member of the County Upper Senior Leadership Team to look at post-16 plans and put in any support required. Throughout the year, dates of open events at local colleges and apprenticeship opportunities are notified to students. The Oxbridge programme continues. Post-results advice is available in August.
All of the access to advice, to contact with employers, to work experience and other opportunities to enhance students’ knowledge of their options continues throughout the sixth form. This includes visits from companies and universities; seminars on gap years, on ‘how to get hired’ and other presentations from visiting speakers. Former students run ‘speed dating afternoons’ where current students can ask them for advice. The Oxbridge programme continues. All students visit a higher education convention and attend talks about apprenticeships. Information evenings are provided to both year groups and parents, including from Student Finance. Every student deciding to apply to university receives individual guidance on the UCAS process and the personal statement. Students offered interviews for university and/or employment have practice interviews with school staff, relevant employers and/or governors. Postresults advice is available in August.
Students with Special Needs are given additional support and guidance throughout and transition reviews are completed in years 9,11 and, if applicable, year 12/13.
Please read the attached policy for further information about Careers Guidance, including Provider Access, at County Upper School.