Careers Curriculum Overview
Given the rapidly changing world of the local and global economy, the demands of working life are constantly changing too. Consequently, the challenges facing our young school leavers require them to be competent, skilled and effective in making decisions that enable them to take their place as confident contributors to society.
The careers curriculum is an important part of the statutory curriculum in Northern
Ireland and is aligned to the “Preparing For Success Strategy”. In St Louis, the CEIAG
department delivers an up to date and relevant careers curriculum aimed at matching
the needs of all learners which is reviewed on a yearly basis. The Acting Head of Careers is Mrs McDonnell and an independent careers adviser, Mrs Kearney, is available in the Careers Office two days a week to offer further careers information, advice, and guidance. Whilst all other staff contribute to the CEIAG programme through their roles as form tutors and subject teachers, specialist classes are delivered by the careers staff.
The Careers Department in St Louis GS is committed to providing a planned and relevant programme of CEIAG for all students in years 10-14 in order that they become effective decision makers, empowered to successfully manage their own career and employability development throughout their lives.
In Years 10-12, formal careers classes are timetabled - one period per fortnight for Year 10 and one period per fortnight for Year 11 and Year 12 (incorporating employability) as developing their own Personal Career Plan in line with the strands of the CEIAG Learning Offer. In Years 13 and 14, students have one period of careers education per fortnight.
Links with Employers and Businesses
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance are further enhanced by the involvement of employers and the business community. These partnerships bring benefits, both to the school and our partners, in the form of opportunities for work experience, work shadowing and industrial visits.
Careers Advice and Guidance
There is an ‘Open Door’ policy at the Careers Department, in St Louis GS, and any student who requires advice or assistance can access a careers teacher at any appropriate time on request.
Year 10 students have a personal interview with their careers teacher in preparation for making their subject choices for GCSE.
Students in Year 12 are offered a personal career guidance interview with the Careers Adviser, Mrs Vicky McCook, from the Careers Service for Northern Ireland.
All Year 13 and 14 students can have an interview with a Careers Teacher, Mrs McDonnell and/or Mrs Kearney on request. The careers teacher will have access to previous records and relevant information about the students, where deemed necessary, to assist the student.
In addition, all Year 13 students have guidance interviews with their careers teachers following their research and work placement to assist with Post 18 choices and pathways.
Parents are also encouraged to engage with the careers staff during Induction evenings, parent teacher meetings, as well as discussing any issues or concerns as they arise by contacting the school.
The careers teachers at St Louis GS are also available to assist students and parents post examination results in August.
Programme of Study
Key Stage 3
In Year 8 and Year 9, all pupils learn about the world of work through their taught LLW programme. Through activity and research-based lessons, pupils gain an insight into the roles and responsibilities of different jobs and the skills and qualities required for successful careers. At Year 10, all pupils undertake a programme of activity-based lessons helping them to prepare for GCSE subject choices. Pupils engage in Personal Career Planning (PCP) and explore a number of possible career choices.
Key Stage 4
The aim of year 11 Careers lessons is to help prepare pupils for the world of work. Pupils are guided on how to access accurate career information with reference to Labour Market Information and the Skills Agenda. In Year 12, the careers programme aims to support all pupils through the range of issues to be considered in making decisions about Post-16 and Post-18 options. A key focus is on preparing pupils to make their AS subject choices.
In Year 13 all pupils undertake a careers programme which combines a focus on engaging in work related learning activities, university visits and talks from visiting speakers. All pupils are guided through the UCAS online process with a particular focus on the Personal Statement. Year 13 pupils visit the UCAS Convention attended by all major UK universities.
The key focus in Year 14 is Post-18 options. Pupils complete and submit their UCAS application alongside possible additional applications to other third level institutions. Pupils are also encouraged to investigate and research Higher-Level Apprenticeship opportunities. Workshops are delivered throughout the year to help pupils prepare for interviews for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Oxford/Cambridge, the Allied Health Care Professions, Teaching and Higher-Level Apprenticeships. Alongside this, pupils can avail of one-to-one interviews to help them prepare for the next stages of their application process.
Mrs C McDonnell (Head of Department)