The SEND code of practice 2015 states that from year 8, pupils should be receiving help to start planning for a successful transition to adulthood. This includes setting stretching and ambitious outcomes, exploring further education or training that will enable young people to secure paid work, and other opportunities focused on leading a positive adult life.
The Gatsby Benchmarks define key elements of an excellent careers programme based on national and international research. They consist of 8 benchmarks which can be found below and there is an expectation that schools work towards every pupil successfully meeting all 8 benchmarks.
A stable careers programme
Learning from career and labour market information
Addressing the needs of each student
Linking curriculum learning to careers
Encounters with employers and employees
Experiences of workplaces
Encounters with further and higher education
As part of the Black Country Careers and Enterprise Hub, Mary Elliot works closely with our dedicated Enterprise Co-Ordinator and Enterprise Advisor to ensure that students have access to a broad and robust Careers strategy and frequent opportunities to explore and plan their future pathways. A system called Compass + is used to track each pupil’s progress toward the 8 Gatsby benchmarks and record key events which are catered to the needs of each pupil. In addition, we are also currently working alongside ‘Talentino’ who are leaders in careers development and SEND champions. The school also has networking links with the local authority including the support of a qualified Careers Advisor who is able to offer support to pupils and their families
Careers Lead – Rebecca Davies (Assistant Headteacher)
Transition Lead – Jenny Turner (Assistant Headteacher)
Enterprise Co-Ordinator - Vicky O’Connor (Black Country Hub)
Enterprise Advisor – Liza Jo Guyatt (Black Country Hub)
Careers Advisor – Rachael Maybank (Walsall Local Authority)
6th Form Virtual Work Experience
Students from 6F1 worked with a company called Independent and Work Ready on a project to design a product to sell in their online shop. This involved online 'Teams' meetings to find out what they had to do, as well as completing a log book to work through the design process. Students watched lots of instructional videos for ideas and experimented with lots of different design methods, including painting, doodling, photography, paint drop, digital art and sensory art. Each student chose their favourite design and IWR printed this on to their product. It was very exciting to receive the actual bags and wallets in school and to see the designs come to life! As a reward for their hard work, each student got to keep their item. Each student also received a certificate from IWR with individual feedback on their design. We made a display of our products to explain the project and lots of people asked where they could get a bag or wallet from as they were so unique. Products will be on sale soon in the IWR online shop - it will be interesting to see how popular our designs are when they go on sale.
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