Coloma Careers Programme
Investors in Careers Award July 2010
C.E.I.A.G. (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) and CWRE (Careers and Work Related Education revised term April 2012), are the umbrella terms which describe the planned provision by schools and their partners to enable young people to learn about careers, learning and work thus enabling them to manage their own development and to make life choices and decisions that will benefit their own well being and contribute to the well being of others.
Equipping Coloma Students for The Future
At Coloma we recognise that young people in our schools and colleges today face a future that will be very different from that experienced by their parents and teachers. The statutory age for participating in education or training is raised to 17 years in 2013 and to 18 years in 2015. Opportunities in higher education and apprenticeships are changing rapidly. Working life will involve more moves from one job to another than happened in previous generations, and will extend to a later pensionable age. Careers in the 21st century will be quite different from those in the 20th century. Finding “the right job” will be replaced by the need for young people to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills and personal qualities to plan and manage their progression through learning and work. Access to expert and timely careers information , advice and guidance will be important but on its own is neither effective or efficient. Young people also need the knowledge and skills developed through CWRE to make good use of the guidance given and manage their own careers. In short, the role of CEIAG/CWRE has never been more important than now.
Coloma’s Responsibilities & Approach
Under the Education Act 2011, from September 2012 schools will take on key responsibilities in relation to careers advice and guidance for young people in Years 9 to 11, a move following the removal of the government funded Connexions services.
The Act states that careers guidance - IAG (Information, Advice & Guidance ) must be presented in “an independent and impartial manner” i.e. “guidance that shows no bias or favouritism towards a particular education or work option and guidance that the person(s) giving it considers will promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given”, namely information on the options available in respect of 16 – 18 education or training including apprenticeships.
In light of this development and the significance of ensuring a totally “independent and impartial” careers adviser, Coloma has already had in post since September 2011, a qualified careers adviser with extensive experience and knowledge in providing impartial guidance both in the independent and state education sectors. Students in Years 9 – 13 have either 1 to 1 guidance interviews, or group sessions on a variety of career and educational topics. The interview can include examining with the student, career ideas, different qualifications, learning pathways and higher education and what steps towards the students goals may be necessary.
Careers Events and Activities
In addition to the 1:1 approach provided Coloma has an extensive programme of careers input for all girls within the curriculum and at special careers events . You will find a complete list of our programme in our Careers Diary in the pop out menu on this page along with some photo galleries of careers education in action at Coloma.
Below we set out some additional notes to accompany the Careers Diary which explain the elements of our current programme in greater depth.
Make it Real ( Make it Real Game - MIRG)
A 3 day cross curricular programme of activities incorporating features of PSHEE, Citizenship, Careers, Geography, Drama & English. Pupils assume life/work roles in two equally significant scenarios during the programme. At certain points, students are in business teams where they take on occupational roles in advertising, simultaneously discovering the different qualification pathways and, put their enterprise skills to the test by promoting tourism in selected countries. At other stages, students are in community groups living and working in a simulated town where they consider the pros and cons of their lifestyle choices, the businesses and services their town needs and their actions as responsible citizens. By learning about themselves within their roles, pupils gain a realistic understanding of adult life and see for themselves the connections between education, work and lifestyle.
Yr 9 – In Business with the Games
A one day programme of activities led by Young Enterprise - a team of people employed by Young Enterprise (an educational charity) and, business volunteers. Through the activities students begin to recognise, develop and apply their skills for enterprise and employability; they work as teams in “different sectors of industry” created by hosting the Olympics e.g. construction, hospitality and catering, transport etc. The business volunteers share their experiences of the world of work and their own career profiles highlighting how economic, social and personal circumstances can impact on one’s career direction and aspirations.
Yr 10 - Learn to Earn
A one day programme of activities led by Young Enterprise - a team of people employed by Young Enterprise ( an educational charity) and, business volunteers. The team emphasise the links between Learning and Earning and share with the students their career profiles; they emphasise the importance of flexibility in a fast changing workplace and the need to continually develop and review one’s employability skills especially team work. Students reflect on, and record, their skills, qualities, experiences and qualifications and compare these to a range of careers in order to develop an understanding of the options available to them in the future. Students set and record their goals for future achievement. They consider the impact of factors such as risk, labour market and lifestyle changes on their decisions about education & employment routes to achieve success in working life.
Career matching programs: Kudos & Fast Tomato
Kudos (Yr 7/8)
A web based career matching program or tool designed to suggest careers based on: likes/dislikes/qualification aspirations and health factors. Very visual with ‘moving images’ and colour which appeals to our younger students.
Fast Tomato (Yr 8 – 13)
A sophisticated careers and educational guidance program on the web – to help young people to make informed choices at their key decision points in Year 9, Year 11 and Year 13. Fast Tomato appeals to our older students and those who are not discouraged with more in - depth questions and less colour. The end result is similar to Kudos where students’ responses are matched with potential careers. Fast Tomato furthermore provides information about Further education and Higher Education which match a students educational / qualification profile.
Both programs have the following advantages:
- highly interactive to allow individual research at a student’s own pace in the classroom
- students can up-date their ‘input’ in their own time (program networked throughout the school) and of course can be used at home
- ‘career matches’ identified quickly
- they challenge students perceptions of their likes/dislikes matched to careers
- other career areas not previously considered by the student are identified
- they provide a good starting point to a discussion with a careers adviser or teacher
- they provide a very comprehensive occupational database for careers that students might have already considered
Higher Ideas (Yr 11 – 13)
This program allows students to explore the progression between their A level subject choices and the many different single and joint honours qualifications available at colleges and university. The program is very comprehensive in that for each course, in-depth information is provided from course content and entry requirements to a map showing the location of HE providers. It moreover, provides an occupational database, search tool and an ideas generator for students who might be unsure of their direction beyond A levels.
Key Stage 5 (Year 12/13)
Centigrade (produced by COA – Cambridge Occupational Analysts)
A comprehensive questionnaire used as an assessment tool to identify a student’s highest rated qualities, skills, interests, attitudes and values and analysing the match between these and their HE courses/ career plans. On completion of the questionnaire, the student is provided with a very detailed customised report. The report identifies the top 6 – 8 ‘best matched’ degree or HND courses for the student so that she is more informed about her potential progression into further study, training or employment. For each course, Centigrade provides further information about course content, HE providers and their location, further reading resources and significantly, a customised evaluation on the supporting areas of study which underpin a successful outcome for the student reading that subject beyond Level 3. The report allows student to plan Open Day visits and Taster courses as they begin to short list their research options.
Work Place Hazard Awareness
This course leads to a qualification accredited by the British Safety Council and currently all costs (marking, moderation and certificates/awards) are met by them. It is important that our students know how to keep safe and are risk aware; this knowledge and awareness reduces the risk of accidents and potentially death both at work, at home and elsewhere. Students also learn about the control measures or safeguards that can be put in place to reduce the risk of harm. The qualification requires students to:
- Know about healthy and safety hazards in both a familiar environment e.g. their school and in a less familiar environment e.g. workplace of their choice
- Recognise the four groups of health and safety signs used in a variety of workplace & public settings
- Identify examples of protective equipment used in some workplaces e.g. construction
- Know about the potential causes of a fire and the action necessary if it occurs.
- Know about the benefits and consequences of good and bad health and safety measures and procedures
- Know that health and safety is a shared responsibility - both employer and employee have responsibilities in the workplace to reduce the risk of harm and promote health and safety.
UCAS run a number of Higher Education Conventions across the country. At such conventions over 100 exhibitors are present, the bulk representing universities and colleges across the UK with an increasing number representing EU providers. Other organisations such as the Armed Forces, African Conservation Experience, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives are also present. To reduce travelling costs and loss of curriculum time during the day, Coloma traditionally attend this event at either Sussex or Surrey in the Spring Term of Year 12. Students undertake some preparatory work prior to the visit so that their visit is both focused and purposeful.
POST 18 Conference
This is a 2 day event run in the summer term of Year 12.
1 day is devoted to an Interview Skills Workshop (run by an external education consultant) where students build on their knowledge and skills developed in Year 8 ( MIRG) and Year 10 ( Mock Interview) Students explore the “ideal language” for an interview whether it be for college, university or the workplace. In their groups comprising interviewer, interviewee and observer, students are challenged to “present” and critically assess each others performance. During another part of the same day students participate in a “Workplace Awareness” workshop. This involves problem solving and team building activities working with external speakers which draw upon their expertise and experience of working with different organisations.
The 2nd day of the Post 18 conference is the Guest Speakers’ day which hosts 48 speakers during eight, 30 minute sessions. The students have a choice between 6 speakers who offer talks at each of the eight timed sessions. There is, therefore, an opportunity for our students to meet with up to 8 different speakers during the day and find out as much as they can about their areas of interest. Our guest speakers are drawn from a number of different organisations, businesses and universities. Coloma has strong links with ex-students who are either in careers or studying at university and, also keen and loyal support from a number of academic tutors representing Queen Mary London, University College London, St Mary’s Twickenham, Heythrop London, Royal Holloway London, Kings College London, Brighton and the University of East Anglia.
This is a bi-annual event at which in previous years over 50 organisations and businesses have been represented. It is a mix of academic and vocational careers and a small number of learning and training providers such as John Ruskin, Jace and Virgo Fidelis.
This evening event is open to students in Years 9 – 13
You will find a copy of our most recent Careers Fair participants on the pop out menu on this page
Labour Market Information
This term describes any information or tool ( including the internet) that students can be directed to when investigating work available in different sectors of industry e.g. Information Technology, Financial Services, Hospitality & Catering etc at a local, national and international level. At Coloma labour market information is typically explored by careers advisers during IAG interviews. Reference is also made to sectors of work that are expanding or declining in both the Careers programme taught in Years 7 – 10 and in the activities Learn to Earn and In Business with the Games.
Year 10 Mock Interviews
This is both a unique and valuable experience co-ordinated by the local education and business partnership CapitalSouth. CapitalSouth provide the interview personnel who are drawn from a diverse group of local companies and organisations, for example, the Home Office, Alico Insurance, Mercer, Mondial Assistance Atkins Engineering and Enterprise Mouchel to name but a few. In preparation for this event, students complete a Curriculum Vitae and Covering Letter for a job of their choice. The business volunteers on interview, discuss the skills, interest and personal qualities presented by the student for the job in question. They also provide both written and verbal feedback on the content, style and structure of these documents. The student is made aware that these will be the passport for interview selection in the future so it is essential that they perfect these for the future. Body language and personal appearance are other factors discussed by the interviewer. Following this opportunity, students are better informed on how to secure a work placement in Year 11 and of course at a later point in their career progression.
This is about giving young people real experience and knowledge of the workplace.
At Coloma, students have this opportunity at the end of their public examinations which is considered the optimum time both in terms of their maturity and personal development and minimising loss of curriculum time during Key Stage 4. At Coloma, students work hard to find their own placements; they are encouraged to find contacts through family and friends. Students are on placement for 2 weeks during which time they are set a number of additional tasks to help them make the most of their time, for example, they write a report to highlight the good and challenging aspects of work, what they learnt about the organisation and the roles of employees, the employability skills they developed and their ideas for a future career.
In the most recent work experience programme (summer 2012) students have secured placements in the following professions:
- Primary and Nursery schools
- Veterinary, Law
- Government Departments
- Investment Banking
- Hospitality & Catering
- Travel & Tourism
- IT solutions
- Metropolitan Police
- Voluntary Sector
- Interior Design & Antiques
- Events Management
- Public Affairs