Careers and Education Guidance

St Mary's Catholic Careers School Bulletin 21 -November 9th 2018

Our Careers department aim to provide excellent Careers provision for all. Mrs Gaulton, our Futures Coordinator, is available daily for any advice and guidance, she can be found in the O’Brien Library, where there is a dedicated Careers area. Careers Education & Guidance is provided throughout the school and embedded in the curriculum.  Current Labour Market Information can be found here.  We believe it is important for all of our students to understand the Labour Market because this will help them to make realistic choices about their future. During our recent Careers Week, all the students were shown the following short video to help them understand the Hertfordshire Labour Market.

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 2018/2019 Work Experience - Monday 8th July - Friday 12th July 2019

Work Experience - A Guide for Parents

Work Experience Parental Consent Form 2019

Student Own Placement Form 2019

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 will take place on Thursday 15th November 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. 




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THURSDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2018 - "THE CAREERS & ENTERPRISE COMPANY"                                                           

Our Careers Carousel in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company took place on September 20th. It was a fantastic day, with 30 employers in attendance 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 9 student Katie said " it made me realise there are multiple jobs for things I enjoy!" 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 and get some goodies to take away with them.  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!"

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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

19 Nov

Year 7 Rugby - Hockerill (Away)

4:00pm - 5:30pm
19 Nov

Year 8 Rugby - Hockeril (Away)

4:00pm - 5:30pm
20 Nov

Year 9 Rugby away Hockerill

4:00pm - 5:30pm
22 Nov

Yr9 Rugby vs Longdean (away) 2:30 Ko

2:30pm - 5:00pm