Career Education

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.

People who help us

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.

Work Experience

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

At Woodlands, we are supported by the 'Careers and Enterprise Company' and use their Compass Tool to track our provision against the Gatsby Benchmarks.  We were delighted to win 'Careers Hub of the Year in 2019' last year.

 

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

  • Personal guidance.

 

Future Plans

Going forward we will be creating a 'Start Profile' for our students to explore their interests, what they are good at and jobs that they would like to learn more about (https://www.startprofile.com/).  This will help them to create their own profile which can then be shared with employers (work experience context, either internal or external) as appropriate. 

We also have a 'Wow (World of Work) discovery day' arranged where local employers from around Blackpool have been invited to give our students an exciting taste of a range of different meaningful workplace encounters in our area.

 

Careers Leader: Hannah Macleod     Tel: 01253 316722.    Email: admin@woodlands.blackpool.sch.uk

See our policies page for our Provider Access Policy:

https://www.woodlands.blackpool.sch.uk/leadership-management/school-policies

We pride ourselves on the way we deliver our work related learning in a 'real life' and 'hands on' way.  We make our learning accessible within meaningful contexts and link it with real life as much as possible, as we feel this is the best way for our students to learn.

To be reviewed: September 2020.