Careers and Education Guidance

Our Careers department aim to provide excellent Careers provision for all.  Careers Education & Guidance is provided throughout the school and embedded in the curriculum. In addition we have dedicated careers guidance & information which is delivered in three categories;

Universal; all pupils develop their careers knowledge and skills through assemblies, dedicated Careers PSHEE lessons, tutorial time.  External independent speakers will be invited in to speak to students throughout the year.

Concentrated;  pupils identified by Learning Co-ordinators  with a need for advice will have an interview with either the Futures Co-ordinator or where a more intensive guidance needs are identified will be referred to our independent advisor who visits regularly throughout the academic year. Years 12 & 13 students intending to look for apprenticeships or employment are also identified and offered interviews as a priority.

Self-Referral; pupils and or their parent/carer may arrange an appointment to see the Futures Co-ordinator.

We support all pupils to consider a broad and ambitious range of careers to help our pupils’ develop high aspirations and understand where different choices can take them in the future. Our Careers Library is situated in the O’Brien library and is available to all students throughout St Mary’s. Our Futures Co-ordinator is available to discuss careers and work experience. We also offer independent Careers Education and Guidance drop-in sessions for all year groups with our external independent advisor who visits the school on set days throughout the year. 


Year 7 & 8

Pupils in Year 7 & 8 have dedicated Careers PSHEE lessons.  We focus on helping pupils identify that making good career choices means finding a job that combines their strengths, interests, preferences and personality traits. Students’ question the values of different job roles in society and we then introduce students to their career journey where they explore the decisions they need to take to help support their chosen career path.


Year 9

In Year 9 we focus on preparing students for choosing their GCSE options. In PSHEE pupils define their personal goals and identify resources to help them research their preferences. At our annual Year 9 options evening parents and pupils can receive further guidance on their choices and the process involved. At this time we issue all pupils with their Options Selection List. 


Year 10 - Academic Year 2017/2018 Work Experience - Monday 9th July - Friday 13th July 2018

Work Experience - A Guide for Parents

Work Experience Parental Consent Form 2018 -Deadline for these to be handed in 12th January 2018

Own Placement Form 2018 --Deadline for these to be handed in 12th March 2018

Link 2 is the school work experience database. Students will be able to access this from the 2nd February 2018 with an individual log-in issued to them by their Form Tutor. For information on how to access Link2 go to ; and refer to the guides below.

Link 2 Student Guide

Link 2 Quick Student Guide

Every effort will be made to allocate one of your 3 choices. Where this is not possible the careers department will work with you to find a suitable alternative. Students arranging a private placement do not need to make a selection from the work experience database.

In July all Year 10 pupils will undertake one week’s work experience.  In preparation for this our PSHEE Careers lessons introduce students to Fast Tomato, an online careers program for teenagers. Fast Tomato enables pupil’s to explore the many different career opportunities open to them and identifies careers suited to an individual based on their interests. This then gives pupils a focus when selecting work experience. Parents/Carers will be issued with a ‘Guide to Work Experience’ in the December. Students will be selecting and sourcing placements between January and March.


Year 11

Year 11 students can request to have career guidance interviews with our independent adviser who visits the school weekly throughout the year. In PSHEE all Year 11’s are given guidance and support for preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and practising interview skill techniques. We then invite friends of St Marys, from industry, to conduct Mock interviews. This is a fantastic opportunity for all students to put those skills into practice. Our interviewers’ then give pupil valuable feedback on their CV and their interview performance. 

Students attend two Futures Meetings with a senior member of staff.  In this meeting, students are given advice and talk though their options post-16.  Students progressing to GCE A levels are encouraged to think carefully about their subject choices and how this may impact their Post 18 options. The Russell Group of universities Informed Choices  provides information on facilitating subjects which are preferred by Universities.

For those considering alternative pathways to Sixth Form we provide details about apprenticeships and Open Days and can assist with applications. There are numerous Employers with options for school leavers who offer comprehensive apprenticeship programmes. For further information about apprenticeships please read   A Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships

Throughout the year, we invite speakers in to advise year 11 students about apprenticeships, university courses, volunteering and employment to develop students understanding of their options ensuring they make an informed choice at this critical stage of their education.

Mock Interviews for all Year 11 students took place on Thursday 9th November 2017.

Year 11 Mock Interview Day Evaluation 2017


Sixth Form - Work Experience 2nd -6th July 2018

6th Form Enrichment Work Experience Placement 

Sixth Form

At St Mary’s we encourage all Sixth Form students to explore their post 18 options, whether that is University, apprenticeships, employment, a Gap year or other education or training.  Opportunities for exploring future choices are available throughout the two years of Sixth Form.  Sixth Form students are able to seek permission for up to 5 absences per academic year to attend visits to explore these post 18 options.

All sixth form students have access to ‘Fast Tomato’ an online careers programme which enables pupil’s to explore the many different career opportunities open to them and the varied routes of entry. 

Students attend sessions on how to write effective personal statements for both University and Apprenticeship applications. Each person applying through The Universities and College Admission service ( UCAS ) receives individual form tutor support and a one to one meeting with the Director of Sixth Form. Students seeking an alternative route will be invited to attend an individual guidance interview with our independent advisor. Students receive regular emails of University Open days, Summer Schools and Taster days. We also send email updates about apprenticeship vacancies and Gap years for those considering alternative routes. Please see the sixth form page for more detailed information regarding post 18 options. 



year 11 DH GT

CAREERS CAROUSEL   - "THE CAREERS & ENTERPRISE COMPANY"                                                           

We hosted our first ever Careers Carousel in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company. Over 30 employers attended the careers event representing a range of sectors. Students from years 9/10 & 11 had timetabled lessons so they had the opportunity to listen to and question the employers about the world of work. Year 10 student Lola said " it was brilliant and has helped me sculpt my future!" The careers event was such a success it stayed open to the students in the younger years during lunchtime who were thrilled to see so many visitors.  Our Futures Co-ordinator said " At St Mary's we are committed to developing our young people. There is such a wealth of opportunities available to them it is vital in today's competitive environment they are given the information so they can make informed choices about their future. The employers have all been fantastic and we are so proud of how well our students engaged with them. It has been a great success!"



POLICE1 Every March St Mary’s have a dedicated careers week this provides us with an excellent opportunity to welcome speakers from across industry to share their experiences with our students.

We hosted our annual careers week in support of National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship week. Each year group had a dedicated careers activity; Year 7 students all got to take part in an online careers quiz.

From Stansted Airport Joanne Davies, Education Co-ordinator and Vesela Ivanova Employment and Skills Academy Business Manager spoke to year 8 students about the diverse roles within East of England’s largest employer.

Former student and recent graduate Ciara Judge shared her education and careers experiences with year 9 students post A Levels.  Martin Cooke from Hertfordshire County Council spoke to year 10 students about young people’s rights in employment law.

Ensuring the whole school was involved students were invited to attend a Pop Up Apprenticeship Fair with Harlow College in the school library, this fun filled interactive lunchtime activity was hugely popular with students throughout the school. Students learnt to wire a plug with the electrical installations, played a logo game with the Business Studies department and had the opportunity to make key rings with the digital innovations department all while developing their understanding of apprenticeship opportunities available to them.




We are incredibly grateful to all our guest speakers who have shared their time and experience with our students. At St Mary’s we are committed to developing pupils understanding of the options available to them when they leave school so that they understand about the world of work and are in a position to make an informed choice about their future. 






















Useful Websites for Careers Information

The following websites are recommended.  This list is not exhaustive and a more extensive list of websites for particular career sectors can be found in our Careers Library.  

St Mary’s Catholic School is not responsible for the content of external websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.  Websites are checked regularly but may be subject to change without notification. 


Upcoming Events

22 Feb

Year 9 Parents' Evening 6-9pm. Main School Hall

6:00pm - 9:00pm
26 Feb

Charity Week Years 7/8/9/10/11

26 February, 2018 – 2 March, 2018