At Ark St Alban’s Academy, we are committed to preparing all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, to succeed at selective universities or apprenticeship providers. 

Intent 

Careers provision at Ark St Alban’s Academy has four central aims:  

  • All pupils will have an increasingly precise understanding of different careers and the importance of them. 
  • All pupils will know what is required in terms of the qualifications, skills and knowledge needed for specific pathways at each transition point.
  • All parents will feel confident and capable in supporting their children to make well-informed choices about their future at each transition point.
  • All pupils will be able to reflect on their own skills and passions with increasing accuracy and they will build their character.

Overall, our pupils will become knowledgeable and confident candidates for prestigious pathways and destinations.  

Implementation  

To achieve these aims, our academic curriculum seeks provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and qualifications they will need to access a wider range of further and higher education providers and employers.  

This academic curriculum is supplemented by a wide-ranging enrichment offer which allows them to develop their character and university preparatory competencies. 

Pupils are explicitly taught about careers and they are provided with careers and pathways guidance through three carefully planned approaches: 

  • An age-appropriate careers curriculum, taught within the ‘Where am I going next?’ strand of our character curriculum.
  • Individual careers counselling which provides bespoke and supportive actions for each pupil, but also for their parents and their teachers.
  • Meaningful encounters with employers which allow pupils to revisit, rehearse and reflect on the knowledge and skills that they have gained in relation to careers.

The sequencing and scheduling of the careers curriculum, alongside the careers counselling and encounters with employers is designed to allow pupils build on prior learning and to become increasingly confident learners as they know more and remember more over time.  

Impact 

Almost all pupils go to study at a Good or Outstanding provider at the end of Year 11, and many choose to remain at sixth form at Ark St Alban’s Academy. Similarly, at the end of Year 13, almost all pupils go on to study at university with the number gaining places at prestigious universities and on highly selective courses increasing over time.  

We were incredibly proud that five of the Class of 2021 gained places to study medicine at university.  

The development of our pupils’ employability skills is enhanced by our engagement with the Skills Builder Partnership and through our work with the Careers and Enterprise Company who provide a linked Enterprise Co-ordinator and Enterprise Adviser. 

Careers provision at the academy is regularly reviewed using the eight Gatsby Benchmarks

1. A stable careers programme 
2. Learning from career and labour market information 
3. Addressing the needs of each pupil 
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers 
5. Encounters with employers and employees 
6. Experiences of workplaces 
7. Encounters with further and higher education 
8. Personal guidance 

Schools across the Ark network have added a ninth benchmark against which provision is also regularly reviewed: Super and Extra-curricular enrichment.  

Pathways & Enrichment 

All of our work is informed by Ark Schools’ Pathways and Enrichment policy. 

As part of our commitment to informing our students of the full range of learning and training pathways on offer to them, we are happy to consider requests from training, apprenticeship and vocational education providers to speak to pupils. 

We are continuously seeking to build relationships with external partners to enhance our careers provision and to provide opportunities for employers and for further and higher education providers to provide pupils and parents with information about vocational, technical and apprenticeship qualifications and pathways.  

Academy staff involved in personal guidance and pastoral support are up to date on their knowledge of these post 16 and post 18 pathways, as a result of a well-planned approach to continuing professional development.  

To contact us about careers, pathways & enrichment please email careers@arkstalbans.org.