At Woodlands we want to ensure that our students are provided with high quality learning experiences throughout their school life. Embedded into these learning opportunities is a programme of career education. As always, our teaching and learning is adapted to best suit the needs of our students, whether they are learning about careers through sensory activities or regularly accessing a work experience placement at a local organisation.
One of the first stages of career education sees pupils learn about the people who help us including visits from the School Nurse, Dental Team, Sports Coaches, Fire Brigade and Police. These visits not only enhance curriculum learning and give our students a wide range of experience, but also exposes them to the 'world of work' in different ways.
Sessions can be varied depending on the students understanding and abilities and many will learn mostly through play. We have job related dressing up clothes, props for sensory activities and visual aids in each classroom along with associated communication boards.
Pupils continue their learning journey by going out into the community and visiting local businesses such as shops and cafes. Maths lessons based on money, learning about appropriate behaviour and enterprise activities all contribute to the preparation for work placements.
Careers and Enterprise
The aim of the Careers offer at Woodlands School is to provide students and their families with the information they require to enable them to make informed decisions about their future learning and career.
We acknowledge that our students will need support to experience different career options in order to make informed choices and to be able to manage transitions. We recognise the importance of Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) to ensure all of students have access to supported and independent careers opportunities and acknowledge that research indicates that high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance (IAG) can assist in increasing social mobility. We want to embed aspirational outcomes for our students and ensure that we find creative approaches to meet them. We therefore provide a curriculum that offers accreditation (ASDAN / Pegasus / Duke of Edinburgh Courses) that provide skills for the workplace.
We strive to offer a wide range of regular ‘meaningful workplace encounters’. For us at Woodlands, these may include regular trips to local shops or cafes as well as volunteering opportunities such as gardening at the Grange alongside ‘Groundwork’ and helping care for the reptiles at the Grinning Gecko.
We have a range of internal experiences of work which include working alongside the site supervisor and in our school office. These provide real life work experience and help develop and embed work skills.
We have recently been liaising with the ‘Education Business Partnership' to develop some future placements suitable for our students.
Groups of our students have been able to access careers fairs and recently had a fantastic visit to the 'Creative Careers' event in Blackpool where they got first hand experience about what creative jobs are on offer in Blackpool and spent some time at The Sea Life Centre as part of the day.
Students leave school with a Learning Journal that includes details of work placements / experiences of work, to ensure they are supported to discuss their next steps. We also arrange college visits and taster course days to aid a positive transition to further placements.
Gatsby Foundation / Benchmarks
The Good Career Guidance Report identifies a set of eight benchmarks that schools can use as a framework for improving their careers provision to ensure that every young person will receive high quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future. Within our schools we aim to achieve (where deemed appropriate) all eight Benchmarks recommended by the Gatsby Foundation, establishing (through a baseline) where each school is in relation to providing:
A stable careers plan
Learning from careers 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