The futures success of our students is important to us, as a fully inclusive Secondary College. ‘We want every student, no matter what their background to be able to build a rewarding career.’ (Dfe- Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents – December 2017)
Through our Integrated Careers programme, we seek to give young people the academic and soft workplace skills to get on in life. Careers education will seek to challenge the thinking of our students and aim to support students to look beyond their immediate environments to new and exciting possibilities within the changing world of work.
As a country, we are currently in a period of dramatic change in the workplace where technology; changing work patterns, reduced job security and innovation mean we are seeking to prepare our students for jobs which do not yet exist, and for a work landscape very different to the world of work now. To do this, we need to develop each student’s individual responsibility for their personal career journey. As a College, we will seek to deliver a range of career interventions, experiences and opportunities to engage our students with the world of work and employers. We will aim to inspire and illustrate that career success is shaped by individual choices and individual motivation. Support and guidance through the complex multiple choices and options will be available through careers educators and through independent individual careers guidance provided by Careers South West.
The path to many traditional careers has tended to be through one route and we must now recognize there are multiple career paths which could lead to the same job or role. Whether students follow the traditional A Level academic pathway; a vocational route; or look to earn and learn through Apprenticeships students must take ownership of their own futures and ultimately their own success. Our integrated careers programme will challenge students to:
Understand their options and different paths to work, to plan the steps they need to take, and to get from where they are to where they want to go.
Be inspired about new opportunities they might not have known about (or that might not yet exist),or thought they could not achieve.
Understand their own knowledge and skills and how they can be used in the workplace.
Through our Alumni programme we will aim to use successful past students to talk about their career journeys and how they have achieved their career goals since leaving Okehampton College.
Careers education is a statutory part of the school curriculum for all students in Year 8 and above. At Okehampton College, we recognise the importance of developing the whole student and thus we provide designated career lessons from Year 7 right through to Year 11. In addition to these session students in Key Stage 3 receive two enterprise lessons each year to develop their creative and business skills.
For students in Years 12 and 13 faculties take the lead in supporting applications to Russell Group Universities and other leading institutions. Options are personalised to raise aspirations and we support students to actively manage their careers as they strive for excellence.
For our less academic Post-16 students we offer a range of vocational programmes which include employability sessions and support to apply for apprenticeships and full-time employment. Provision is personalised to ensure students develop their independence and confidence.
Integrated Careers Programme To ensure we inspire and challenge our students to achieve their potential, we operate an integrated careers programme working closely with Careers South West, local businesses and a range of other Colleges and professional bodies.
As part of our partnerships, we are actively looking to create more career interventions. Career interventions are specifically targeted opportunities where key groups are exposed to targeted career experiences. In Year 10, Health and Social Care students visit the ‘Proud to Care’ event in Okehampton; in Year 12 Business students are involved with an enterprise project focusing on food.
For students in Years 10 and 11 we now provide a Careers Fair which allows us to showcase the talent of our students locally and for local employers to recruit, engage and inspire future workers. The event also challenges and encourages individuals to consider all their career options and the steps they need to take to achieve their goals.
Opportunities to visit universities participate in competitions and undertake ‘taster’ sessions in business are actively sought for our students: as we seek to challenge all to achieve their potential. In Post-16, we are now regularly taking groups of students for ‘taster’ sessions with Cambridge University as we strive to support student applications to the top Russell Group Universities.
The Sutton Trust provide other opportunities for students particularly from more vulnerable backgrounds to experience ‘taster days and courses’ at universities. Students who may be first in family to access Higher Education are actively targeted to participate in these activities.
Students in Years 11 receive targeted one to one support from Careers South West, who provide impartial career guidance on courses, apprenticeships and training programmes. Students who require additional support may be allocated additional sessions and guidance. Career guidance sessions are invaluable opportunities where students can ask questions and engage in shaping their own futures. Supporting Students
Advice help and support for students and parents is available at every stage of a student's College career in order to maximise achievement and success in whichever field or area a student may choose.
For parents, we offer a range of career surgeries to help parents support their children in making positive informed career choices. For students who are identified with SEND needs or students in authority care systems we allocate additional staff to ask key questions and to challenge individuals to achieve success.
The College prides itself on its strong pastoral support system, based upon vertical tutor groups. A House system operates whereby students are placed in one of five Houses on entry to College. Each House is overseen by a Student Progress Leader who works closely with form tutors to ensure pastoral and curriculum matters are addressed quickly. Vertical tutor groups see students from Years 7, 8 & 9 and Years 10 & 11. Interaction between the ages provides peer to peer support for students and opportunity to talk informally about next steps and career choices. Support for Parents
Careers support is available for parents with students in KS4 at parent’s evenings. This is provided by staff from Careers South West or from Julie Luckhurst our careers educator who can signpost students to resources. Additionally, one parental workshop is provided each year to support parents with the Work Experience process and the use of Veryan; and a further workshop focusing on the use of Career Pilot which has a ‘Parents Zone’ guide is also organised to guide and support career development. Careers Education – Scheme of work linked to Career Development Institute framework KS3/4 Lessons all link to three key areas;
Developing yourself, through careers, employability and enterprise education Learning about careers and the world of work Developing your career management and employability skills.
Career pilot is a designated careers website and is supported by the National Career Service. The site is used extensively in lessons and parent and students can access its resources directly via this link.