Careers

Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

Here at Our Lady & St John Catholic College we aim to deliver a comprehensive careers advice and guidance programme that compliments the curriculum and allows pupils to gain an insight into the many opportunities that are available to them when they leave our school.  Our programme is delivered by our own teachers and also representatives from local post 16 providers, a wide variety of representatives from industry, universities and apprenticeship providers.

The impact of our careers programme is regularly monitored and evaluated by both teachers and pupils and adjustments are made accordingly.   Our consistently low NEET (pupils Not in Employment, Education or Training) figures show that the provision we have in school is successful in helping our pupils make the relevant ‘next step’ on their career journey. 

The development of our careers programme is one of continuous improvement based on pupil feedback, the changing world of work and post 16 opportunities.  We aim to also include the creative ideas of the curriculum teachers in school in enriching their schemes of work with careers content, visits to workplaces and visiting speakers.

Year 7

During Year 7 pupils work with their form tutors to investigate the world of work and they are encouraged to start thinking about their dreams and aspirations.  All pupils complete a PSHE topic on employment, wants and needs and they are introduced to a number of career paths through webinars, video case studies and visiting speakers.  Year 7 pupils also attend the OLSJ careers fair in the summer to help them identify with various employers and post 16 options.  Form tutors review their forms’ engagement with the careers fair and pupils complete an evaluation of their visit.

Year 8

During Year 8 pupils continue to work with their form tutors in PSHE lessons, investigating various career paths through the use of case studies, visiting speakers and roadshows such as BAE Systems and ‘Science made Simple.’  Year 8 pupils also complete workshops on their careers aspirations, strengths and weaknesses and responsibilities as a member of the UK workforce.  During their ICT lessons Year 8 pupils are shown how to use START, a careers based website that allows pupils to input their profiles that then generates suitable jobs with information on qualifications required, post 16 providers and apprenticeship opportunities. 

During Year 8 pupils will also be invited to pick their GCSE options.  There is an information evening to complement those important decisions with their subject teachers to give them more detail of the requirements of the various GCSE options.

Year 8 pupils also attend the OLSJ careers fair in the summer to help them engage with various employers and post 16 options.  Form tutors review their forms’ engagement with the careers fair and pupils complete an evaluation of their visit.

Year 9

The careers provision within Year 9 focuses on the pupil’s engagement within their various GCSE subjects and through subject teachers linking their subjects with career paths.  Each subject within school complements the careers provision in this way with focused study on careers that are based on their chosen area of study.  For example in Media pupils study all the roles involved in the media industry and pupils create career films on chosen roles.   Industry visits and visiting speakers in school also complement this.  Year 9 pupils are also invited to attend enrichment days at Blackburn College that focus on various subjects such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), customer service, health & Well being and Business. 

During Year 9 some pupils are also invited to attend university open days to provide them with an insight into higher education and degree choices.  Pupils are also encouraged to continue to use the START website during form time and at home to explore careers they may be interested in.

In the summer term Year 9 pupils complete the ‘Enterprise of the Premium League’ programme at Ewood Park which involves a day spent at Ewood Park taking part in a number of enterprise and employability workshops.

Year 9 pupils also attend the OLSJ careers fair in the summer to help them engage with various employers and post 16 options.  Form tutors review their form’s engagement with the careers fair and pupils complete an evaluation of their visit.

Year 10

During Year 10 our pupils continue to explore various careers and professions within their subjects and many will benefit from visits to workplaces and visiting speakers in school.  In addition, some pupils will be invited in attend university open days, eg. at Manchester, UCLAN, Edge Hill and Oxford University.  An evening for parents is also organised in the spring term to explain labour market trends, university finances and requirements for university.

Within Year 10 pupils attend workshops in school that focus on the world of work, the labour market and employability skills.  Inspirational speakers are invited into school to pass on encouraging words to our pupils and the Army also come into school to speak with the pupils about a career within the UK’s public services and some pupils have the opportunity to attend work experience with the Army. 

In the summer term all Year 10 pupils have the opportunity to attend Blackburn College’s open day where they can experience a variety of the courses of offer.  Pupils interested in a career within the construction trade are also taken to Themis College in Burnley for a practical ‘hands on’ taster session.

Year 10 pupils also attend the OLSJ careers fair in the summer to help them engage with various employers and post 16 options.  Following this, representatives from employment and post 16 providers come into school to conduct mentoring interviews with all our Year 10 pupils. Year 10s can also request an appointment with our own careers advisor, Kathleen.  This can be done by asking Mr Larkin.

Year 11

Throughout Year 11 pupils will attend assemblies provided by local colleges and training providers, and pupils will be informed of all the open evening events taking place at all colleges in the local area.  Pupils in Year 11 are also provided with a 1:1 careers interview where pupils are encouraged to discuss options they would like to pursue after leaving OLSJ.  Our careers advisor will provide excellent help on the pathways available to pupils to help them on their career paths.

During September all our Year 11s will be taken to the Blackburn with Darwen Careers Fair where they will be able to collect information from over 100 exhibitors representing colleges, universities and a wide variety of careers.

In October Year 11 are taken off timetable to experience a day completely devoted to careers.  The day is organised so that pupils are provided with information on writing a CV, courses at local colleges, higher education, labour market trends and employability skills.

In December all Year 11 pupils receive a ‘mock interview’ to help them prepare for their college / apprenticeship interview, and each pupil will be provided with instant feedback based on their performance.

In the spring term pupils are helped with their college applications if they require it.  Representatives from local colleges will come into school during lunchtimes to assist with applications and offer advice on courses as required.

All careers activity at school is monitored and tracked for pupils and parents to see.

The careers programme at school is reviewed and improved each year.

For more information advice or guidance contact Mr Larkin alarkin@olsj.blackburn.sch.uk or 01254 588388