Careers at Southgate School – Meeting the Gatsby Benchmarking
Susan Coates, Assistant Head, is the careers leader at Southgate School working closely with the pathway leads to ensure a full and balanced careers curriculum is delivered to all learners at the appropriate level. The school has appointed two named governors for careers in the December 2020 Governors’ Meeting (minutes available on the website). The named governors for careers are Abigail Marsland and Cheryl Gray.
The policies that are relevant to the careers programme are:
- The Careers Policy including The Provider Access Policy
- The Work Related Learning Policy
- The Curriculum Policy
- The Outdoor Policy
At Southgate School we plan our careers programme with the Gatsby Benchmarks used as guidance. You can find this document on: www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/sites/default/files/uploaded/1051_send_gatsby_toolkit_updated.pdf
Gatsby Benchmark 1 – A stable careers programme
Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers
The whole-school careers programme involves an overarching strategy with details of how activities can help pupils make better decisions about their futures. The programme includes:
- Opportunities across the curriculum to develop transferable life and social skills that support careers, employability and enterprise;
- The development of pupils’ self-advocacy, negotiation, decision-making and transition skills;
- Purposeful interactions with a range of trusted and familiar adults including school staff and visitors;
- Partnership with parents and carers;
- Recognition of the learner voice and the active involvement of young people in decisions that affect their future, both individually and collectively;
- Information, advice and guidance.
The focus of teaching and learning at Southgate School is to develop skills and independence to enable all pupils to access the next stage of their education, training or employment and participate in society successfully. At Southgate School all pupils have an Education, Health and Care Plan that is updated annually in corroboration between all parties involved with the child, including the individual child and the parents/carers. The process ensures that school plans for and implements strategies that enable the child to progress and develop, taking into account the wishes of the child and the parent/carer. This leads to curriculum planning being individualised to meet the needs of all pupils.
The long-term plans for the school follow a three year cycle to provide a variety of contexts for learning. We are currently following Cycle 1. The planning in broken down in to parts that reflect the learning needs of our pupils – these are as follows: Semi-Formal Curriculum; Journey to Formal Curriculum; Formal Curriculum. Alongside this runs the school council that facilitates young people to begin to express themselves, develop communication skills and recognise that they can affect change. In addition to this, all pupils from Year 9 have opportunities to learn Duke of Edinburgh skills, and for those pupils for whom it is developmentally appropriate, incorporating the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver Awards. We have a range of outdoor activities that are designed to take pupils beyond their comfort zone, at appropriate levels for each individual, designed to challenge stereotypical thinking and raise aspirations. These opportunities include swimming, cycling, climbing, and walking.
Across the curriculum learning opportunities are embedded that make up the careers programme. Click on the links below to see the high-lighted elements of the curriculum that are directly linked to careers.
- Year 6 to Year 8 Semi-Formal Curriculum: Annual Plan (Cycle 1)
- Year 9 to Year 11 Semi-Formal Curriculum: Annual Plan (Cycle 1)
- Journey to Formal Curriculum: Annual Plan (Cycle 1)
- Year 6 to Year 8 Formal Curriculum 1: Annual Plan (Cycle 1)
- Year 9 to Year 11 Formal Curriculum 2: Annual Plan (Cycle 1)
- Outdoor Activities
Gatsby Benchmark 2 – Learning from career and labour market information
Gatsby Benchmark 3 – Addressing the needs of each learner
Gatsby Benchmark 5 – Encounters with employers and employees
Gatsby Benchmark 6 – Experience of workplaces
Gatsby Benchmark 7 – Encounters with further and higher education
Gatsby Benchmark 8 – Personal guidance
At Southgate School every pupil and their parents/carers have access to good quality information about future study options, labour market opportunities and the Local Offer. They receive support from our dedicated Careers Advisor, Natalie Williams from C&K Careers to make informed choices about future pathways. The school holds annual EHCP meetings and invites all stake-holders to attend. The purpose of this meeting is to plan progression for each individual across the areas of cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social and emotional development, sensory and physical development, preparation for transitions and adulthood and health and/or medical needs. The views and aspirations of the child and the parents/carers form the basis of the plan. In addition to this there are two annual parents’ meetings with the class teacher where progression towards the EHCP targets and next steps are discussed. Additional meetings can be organised with the teacher, the pathway lead or the assistant head and the parent/carer and young person in case of questions, concerns or to share progress and development.
There is a Local Offer Live event held annually that both pupils and parents are encouraged to attend. This is a central place where information and advice can be accessed relating to a range of topics including help for families, health, wellbeing and mental health, education, early years and childcare, preparing for adulthood, travel and transport, finance and benefits and information and support for specific conditions. This year, because of the situation with the current pandemic, the event was not able to proceed but all available information is accessible via the link Home | Kirklees Local Offer
The careers advisor, Natalie Williams, comes regularly into school to meet and make relationships with the pupils. She talks with each pupil individually about the aspirations for the future and the career paths and progression routes that are available and appropriate to them. Natalie also makes relationships with parents/carers and arranges visits at home to discuss their aspirations and concerns and to provide information about what is available that will support their child to realise their aspirations. As part of this service, Natalie supports parents/carers and pupils to visit potential post 16 providers and complete application forms. The Post 16 provider then arranges interviews with the pupils directly, which school support as appropriate. Interview skills are taught as part of the careers programme.
All pupils have opportunities to visit places of work and talk to employers. Work experience is organised that is accessible for each individual. This ranges from working independently of school staff with an external employer to working within school supported by staff. All pupils explore different types of employment and the skills required. Financial planning and budgeting are taught at appropriate levels for the learners.