At Ormiston Victory Academy were are committed to ensuring that our Careers provision meets all the current guidelines for good practice, in order to prepare and equip our students for their future careers.
We measure and evaluate our programme in a number of ways including the Quality in Careers Standard and the GATSBY Benchmarks.
Quality in Careers Standard – ‘Gold’ Award
As of January 2019, we have been awarded the national Quality in Careers Gold Standard, by Prospects. The national Quality in Careers Standard is awarded to schools who can demonstrate the importance they place on careers and how they support students to make decisions about their futures.
There is a statutory duty to ‘secure independent careers guidance’ for all students from Year 8 onwards and the Government also recommends that all schools should be required to work towards the national Quality in Careers Standard. Achieving the national Quality in Careers Standard shows the Principal, Governors and Leadership Team at Ormiston Victory Academy embrace, promote and endorse quality careers education and recognise the part it plays in the overall success of the school and its students.
The school offers a range of activities to introduce students to the work of work and help them make decisions about life after school. The academy works very closely with a number of different providers to ensure every opportunity is given to our students and to make them aware of all that is available to them.
Meeting the GATSBY Benchmarks
1. A stable careers programme
At Ormiston Victory Academy, we have a programme of careers education and guidance embedded into our form programme for all years and contained in SMSC lessons for Year 10 and 11.
Information about future study options and the labour market is available to students at Open Evenings, through taster sessions that we hold for students, through the National Careers Services and through the Independent Careers Adviser that we employ to give impartial advice on careers and future opportunities.
To identify students’ guidance needs, we ask them to complete information sheets at the beginning of the Academic Year, with their interests and future career path ideas on. This information is then collated onto a Google Document and shared with specific staff members – this means that we can target particular students for specific events that may be of interest to them and their future career path.
We provide students with opportunities within the Academy to have direct contact with employers by hosting Working Lunches – we have representatives from a variety of sectors visit the Academy and speak with students about their experiences or their career.
Students also attend a variety of careers fayres and forums – both held externally and on the Academy site. These events allow our students to meet employers as well as people from colleges and universities.
In addition to those already mentioned; a number of students from the local university are involved in mentoring some of our students and are part of the UEA Outreach programme.
2. Learning from career and labour market information
To identify the needs of our students in regards to careers guidance, we encourage and document attendance to appointments with our external careers adviser.
If individual students speak with staff in regards to their future aspirations, staff members can use these conversations to identify any further guidance and support the Academy can give to the student.
Students can access the Careers Adviser by using a number of methods – students can request appointments, teachers can refer them or if they have previously completed paperwork marking that they are unsure about future career options, they can be referred to our Careers Adviser. To remain impartial, we ensure that our External Careers Advisor arranges appointments with all of the Year 7– 13 students who are unsure of their future path.
However, we make this service available to students in all years, who can either attend our ‘drop in’ service or request their own appointments. We hold a live working document to keep logs of the appointments and any important notes made during these, which are then shared with staff members to act upon.
3. Addressing the needs of each student
To address the needs of our students, we complete our Academy careers tracker. This tracker is completed by form tutors or other members of staff, following conversations with the students. From the information on the tracker, we organise trips and working lunches based on the data that has been returned. The information that we receive includes their intended job role, their top three industry sectors they are interested in holding a future career in, the subjects that they are interested in, they skills that they believe they hold or would like to develop, whether they would like to go to University and, if they have been seen by the Independent Careers Adviser. If a student has a future aspiration of becoming a chef or aiming for another role in the catering sector, using this information, we can investigate into Catering based careers open days and fayres. These events will be organised and then advertised to those who may be interested in the event.
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
To ensure that careers are incorporated into the curriculum learning of students, we follow the career development plan, once curriculum information has been input by Curriculum Leaders. The information displays the links of the student learning to any careers possibilities or opportunities covered within. This information has been mapped out by Curriculum Leaders and there is a centralised document containing this. Curriculum Leaders review and evaluate this in Heartbeat meetings, as a result of this, an Action Plan has been written by each curriculum area for how they wish to develop this further. Please refer to the document titled ‘Unit B.2.1 Careers Cross Curricular Map 2017-18’.
5. Encounters with employers and employees
Our students can potentially have a vast amount of encounters with employers and employees. We document all of the encounters that the students have, so that we can target students who may not have engaged in any activities and events. The students have encounters with employers and employees through working lunches that students can attend if appealing to them. The trips we run and careers fayres that we attend – these fayres often have a large number of representatives from a vast range of industries. All Year 10 students will participate in a week’s work experience towards the end of the year – this will provide them with a variety of encounters with employers, employees and other members of society.
6. Experiences of workplaces
To ensure that our students experience the workplace whilst they are still school age, as all Year 10 students participate in work experience at the end of the Academic year. This provides them with experiences of the workplace and insights into the career path that they may have an interest going into. All of the sixth form students carry out an hour of voluntary work per week, which provides the sixth formers with a level of responsibility and insight into a workplace. As part of the Level 3 Beauty course, students are booked onto and attend placements for a two week period. As with the Beauty course, Level 3 Childcare sees that the students are in the Academy for 3 days a week and on placement for the remaining 2 days of the week; providing them with a practical insight into the career path related to their chosen educational course.
7. Encounters with further and higher education
The Academy invites apprenticeship providers into the Academy to talk to students about apprenticeships, including how to find and apply for apprenticeships through their website. The providers will discuss with students a number of apprenticeships in a vast amount of sectors and industries.
The Academy holds a 6th Form Open Evening, at which future career paths can be discussed. Annually, during June, we hold a 6th Form day of taster sessions, where students can explore the subjects they may wish to expand on during sixth form. Students have the opportunity to attend career fayres, at many of these are representatives from local businesses and apprenticeship providers. The Academy has contact with colleges; including Easton College who visit the Academy to speak with targeted students.
8. Personal guidance from an appropriately trained careers adviser
Our external careers adviser visits the Academy once a month. She is commissioned to provide advice and guidance on careers independently. The careers adviser works with a number of other colleges and other advisers, holding a qualification in Careers Guidance, and being able to assess other careers advisers and train them to a high standard.