Careers Programme Outline:
Careers education forms an integral part of our wider enrichment curriculum: a comprehensive suite of learning pathways, each geared towards provisioning our students with the skills needed to take their next steps in life. All OASB students benefit from 6 hours of enrichment a week at KS3 and 8 hours a week at KS4.
Across Years 7 & 8, students each complete a total of 12 extended, six week-long units of work, in collaboration with a range of external business partners. These projects encourage independent thought, as well as providing sector-specific acumen to help students begin to shape their careers path. Our list of KS3 external partners is outlined below:
Y7: EY, The Conrad Hotel, Build Studios, PwC
Y8: Globe BMG, Wahaca, Facebook, PwC
External provision varies between organisations. However, each six lesson unit guarantees at least a third of all content to be delivered by our external partners. We believe this approach provides our students with the broadest possible survey of career opportunities, giving them the chance to interact directly with professionals, while fulfilling a range of sector-relevant project briefs. Across all units of work, sessions are supervised and co-facilitated by a member of our permanent teaching staff, with all regular external trainers undergoing appropriate background checks.
At KS4, students begin to specialise their careers education, selecting a generalised field for more in-depth investigation. As with previous years, our young people’s development is strongly supported by a combination of permanent teaching staff and external sector expertise. Moving into Y11, students are given the autonomy to select and commit to a long-term project, developed and delivered by a wide range of professional associates. Throughout these mentoring experiences, students benefit from tailored 1-to-1 advice, as well as gaining a professional reference from their supervisor, upon completion. At all times, communication between external mentors and students is carried out through approved and comprehensively-monitored channels.
In addition to these transparently sector-linked units of work, we also develop students’ broader employability, through the explicit teaching of ‘soft skills’ during enrichment time. Students benefit from units linked to public speaking (working in partnership with Debate Mate), vocal projection and using persuasive language. Finally, we work to ensure that all students across KS3&4 benefit from 6 hours of tuition (as a minimum), linked to personal finance. These schemes, covering topics as diverse as budgeting, credit vs. debit and emerging financial technologies, form a cornerstone of our ongoing partnership with Young Money, as we work towards accreditation as a Centre of Excellence for Financial Education (more info available at: https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/teachers-hub/financial-education/financial-education-programmes/centres-of-excellence/)
As an organisation, we first opened our doors to students in 2013. As such, our ever-developing careers programme has yet to return its first cohort of graduates. That said, we believe that our robust commitment to internal evaluation, in addition to our pooled experience of delivering high-quality careers education in previous organisations has helped us to forge a data-informed careers network which adequately supports all students. By applying the same models and metrics to our careers curricula as those that guide our core subject teaching, we’ve developed a programme which delivers profound impact.
We aim to more definitely review the effectiveness of our careers teaching upon the graduation of our founding cohort, in July 2020.