We enjoy a very successful relationship with SGS College Schools' Careers Service to provide independent and unbiased Careers Guidance and Inspiration across all years from Year 8 to Year 13. The Careers programme underpins The Gatsby Benchmarks.
All students years 7-13 receive weekly careers newsletters with key information relating to university opportunities and open days , information from careers providers, apprenticeships, labour market information as well as our job of the week.
Students also have access to our interactive careers display where a scan of a QR code will take them to live volunteering and work shadowing opportunities as well as links to a range of careers advice.
Click below to see the SHS Careers Roadmap.
In May, the students spend half a day with a careers advisor thinking about the kind of lifestyle they would like in the future, researching a job of interest and learning about the different types and levels of qualifications and training routes, for example study at university and apprenticeships. In preparation for this day, the year 8s complete an activity at home creating their own town to help them think about the different jobs that would be needed in their town and to consider the wide range of different careers that exist, and about what might interest them in the future.
Where possible, we arrange for employers to come into the school to work with the students. For example, previously, two female civil engineers from Tony Gee LLP came to Stroud High School during year 8 science lessons. The civil engineers explained about the work that they do and how to become a civil engineer. The students were then given the task of building a bridge using the materials and the instructions provided.
Towards the end of Year 8, the students spend one lesson learning about Labour Market Information (LMI), what it means, where they can find LMI information and why it is important. The students research a range of different career sectors and jobs within these sectors. This activity is led by a careers advisor.
To support the students leading up to their GCSE option choices, they take part in and have access to a variety of resources and activities.
In small groups during January, the students take part in a how to choose your options 30-minute session with the careers advisor, this is a good opportunity for the students to fully consider their options and to ask questions.
In January, all Year 9 students receive an options booklet which contains information about the subject options available to them to study at KS4, the topics covered, how the students will be assessed and the careers that can lead from each subject.
Options evening is held at the school in January for the students, parents and carers, this is a good opportunity to speak to subject teachers and to see the careers advisor.
At the discretion of the Head of Year 9, a small number of careers interview appointments are available with a careers advisor for those students who need further support with their options choices.
At the start of the year, the students are asked to find a work shadowing placement/s before the end of term 5 for up to one week during the holidays or inset days. This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about a career/working environment and to gain experience in the work place. Information about how to find a placement with contacts for local companies and organisations within in the Stroud, Gloucestershire and Bristol area along with virtual work experience opportunities nationally and a work shadowing journal is available in the Year 10 careers folder.
In June, the year 10s take part in a careers day aimed to inspire and help them to explore different opportunities. The day includes preparing for and interviewing 15 professions from a broad range of different careers about their job and the pathways available into their careers. This activity is completed in a “speed networking” style format. The students spend time reviewing and reflecting on the work experience they have completed and share what they have learned with the class. The students learn about Post 18 options, in small groups, learn, research and present to the rest of the class their findings for one of the Post 18 options e.g. Apprenticeships, study abroad, GAP years etc.
As part of the Personal Development curriculum, the Year 11 students take part in a how to choose your A Levels options lesson in term 2, during the lesson the students discuss and learn about the factors they should consider when choosing their options and complete personal research using the tools and websites provided. Students are encouraged to consider a range of Post 16 options, including alternative qualifications, and there is the opportunity to take part in subject taster days.
In term 2, the students receive a 20 minute Information, advice and guidance (IAG) meeting with a senior member of staff to discuss their plans for year 12 and 13.
The students have the chance of a 30 minute guidance interview with a careers advisor during term 2. This is an opportunity to discuss personal plans and options, to help with choosing pathways, receive reliable and useful information and websites to complete further research. Letters are sent home early in November via email, and to the students via their school email address.
During Terms 2 and 3, a number of different professional guest speakers from universities, businesses and societies come to Stroud High School. These talks have been recorded and distributed online this year.
At the start of Year 12, students are asked to arrange a work experience placement for the last week of term 6. Information on how to find a placement with contacts for local companies and organisations within the Stroud, Gloucestershire and Bristol area along with virtual work experience opportunities nationally and a work shadowing journal is available in the year 12 careers folder.
In Term 3, all Year 12 students attend talks organised by the sixth form about post 18 opportunities. The talks include an introduction to universities and how to research courses, information about degree and higher apprenticeship opportunities and for those considering a gap year, advice on how to plan constructive, gap year opportunities.
Year 12 students considering applying to highly competitive universities such as Oxbridge and Russell Group universities, begin to meet regularly from term 3 onwards in preparation for the application process. The sixth form organises a visit to Oxford University as well as the annual Oxbridge Conference and the group has access to various booklets and guides with key information to help them through the application and selection process. Wherever possible, students are also given the opportunity to practice their interview skills with a subject specialist. Mock interviews are usually arranged with professionals and experts from outside of the school to make the mock interview experience as realistic as possible.
For students considering competitive courses such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary careers, we have two teacher-mentors dedicated to advising on and coordinating activities in support of applications. The advice and guidance given includes bringing in professionals to talk about the applications process, advising on work experience opportunities and introducing students to undergraduates currently studying their chosen subjects to obtain an insight into their intended course and profession.
In Term 6, Year 12 students are encouraged to attend University Open Days. All students receive information about the UCAS application process from the head of sixth form begin to start the process. Those students who are not considering university are provided with information on Post-18 apprenticeships and attend a workshop with a careers advisor to help them consider their options. Information, useful websites and an action plan template is provided to help.
Year 12 and 13 students are offered a 45 minute guidance interview with a careers advisor during term 4. This is an opportunity to discuss personal plans and options, receive reliable and useful information and websites to complete further research. Letters are sent home early in February via email and to the students via their school email address. Careers meetings can be arranged at other times of the year where students need support.
A Next Steps evening is held in June for parents and carers of students in year 12 (students receive this information during tutor period). This information evening is delivered by the Head of Sixth Form, Head of Year 13 and the careers advisor and explains the options and opportunities available after year 13 along with information about the UCAS process, student finance and apprenticeship opportunities.
In year 13, students continue to receive support from the sixth form team preparing their UCAS application and preparing for interviews at both university and with apprenticeships.
Students are made aware of opportunities, vacancies and events throughout year 12 and 13, including summer school, work experience, careers events and apprenticeships. As well as the Careers and Futures page useful websites and links, there is also a Next Steps section on the school website with additional resources.
Students can also attend talks from a range of professionals, these talks have been recorded and distributed online this year.