Choosing a direction in life can be one of the most exciting, but also challenging things that we can do at any age! However, there is a pressure placed upon young people, throughout their Secondary education, to have an idea of where they want to go with their future based on the subject choices they make. We want to relieve some of that pressure on our students by helping them to feel empowered and informed about their options for the future.
All students at Oasis Academy Hadley receive careers information and advice. Our Oasis Life Days include dedicated sessions on careers advice and guidance that is tailored to each year group with activities that are age and stage appropriate – from understanding what “career” means to networking, building a CV, taking part in a mock interview and taking tests for career suitability.
You can see a full breakdown of this year’s Life Day Programme here.
We also hold annual careers fair where we invite a range of different professionals and businesses into the academy for the day to inform and inspire our students on career decisions.
Year 7 to 11
When students are choosing their KS4 pathways towards the end of Year 8 their Learning Guides, Head of Year and Subject teachers are there to advise them and their parents, so each student makes an informed choice about their future studies at our options evening event. We hold a series of subject choice assemblies, an open evening for students, parents and carers as well as a “taster day” to give students a flavour of the subjects they can choose.
Every year group gets at least one day of Careers Education as part of our Life Days. This is stage-specific so that it takes account of where our students are on the path to career success. Our focus throughout the academy is in giving every student the opportunity to attend a world-class university. While this is not the choice for every student, we know that this focus sets us apart as a first class provider of careers education and demonstrates our commitment to academic excellence. Students at Oasis Academy Hadley are being prepared to enter a competitive labour market with all the advantages we can give them.
KS4 students receive a ‘one-to-one’ careers interview with an experienced Careers Advisor from Enfield Careers Services, to ensure they students are fully aware of all the options open to them and then create an action plan of their next steps. Our careers advisors are also available twice a week for ‘Drop In’ careers sessions in the library 3.30pm-4.30pm.
All Year 11 students are informed of the opportunities available to them and supported in their applications to Sixth Form, College, Apprenticeships by their Learning Guides and Heads of Year. We structure our careers programme to respond to the needs of our students, for example we have additional support in place for our students in the Alternative Academy Provision (AAP) group. All our careers events are open to these students, but they often go on additional trips or have employer visits in addition to this, as a means of catering for their specific needs.
Careers guidance on offer to students is reviewed at the start of each academic year, with appropriate changes made in conjunction with DfE Guidance as well as student feedback to measure impact and usefulness. We have recently undergone an assessment provided by Compass to help us identify our compliance with the Gatsby Benchmarks in career education. We know that we score extremely highly in most areas, particularly in our programme for interaction with employers and universities. We have committed our careers team to developing our academy in its provision of detailed, personalised records accessible to students and parents/carers, so that the wide range of experiences that our students gain are recorded, managed and are accessible – so that students can, for example, access information about their own experiences that they might use when building their CV.
Year 12 and 13
At Oasis Sixth Form we ensure students are supported throughout their time at sixth form, we work with a wide range of partners to ensure students are given opportunities at universities, have experience of the world of work and meet professionals and are supported academically.
We work closely with the Access Project to provide personalised university application support as well as information sessions and personal tutoring from experts in a range of subjects. This has shown to have had a direct impact in raising student’s attainment.
We partner with Future Frontiers to offer sixth formers information, skills, and mind-set to realise their career aspirations and maintain the motivation to achieve their full potential. The aim is to create long term engagement at school by developing pupils' aspirations and build practical connections to their education. In 2018 students were mentored by employees from top law firm Ashurst.
A significant number of our students are invited to attend university Easter and Summer Schools during the holidays which provides them with a valuable university experience. A significant amount of students participate in yearlong university wider participation schemes such as SOAS Scholars, K+, Goldsmiths, LSE Pathways to Law and Queen Mary Pathways to Coding.
Our annual Higher Education Fair hosts over thirty top universities, and is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain advice and information so that they are able to make informed choices about their future.
In addition to this the Academy works with a variety of external organisations to provide specialist career and subject guidance including Medicine, Dentistry and Mathematics Summer Schools, Law workshops, Oxbridge conferences, Apprenticeship fairs, Safe Driving guidance and International Gap Year scholarships. Many of the students on these programmes go on to receive places at Russel Group and Top 40 universities.
The Academy supports students in developing their skills, knowledge and experience in preparation for their chosen career through a variety of projects.
In the summer term of Year 12 students complete a two week work placement to gain practical experience of their chosen career. Preparation for university and employment is an integral part of Oasis Sixth Form. Employability or work-readiness is becoming more and more important to universities and employers and work experience can give a valuable advantage when applying for university or work.
Support and advice will be given to students when finding a place to do their work experience, and through a visit to their workplace during this time. Previous work experience placements have included: KPMG, Barclays, ExCel Centre, London City Airport, Brunel Museum, Maritime Museum, Coffee Shops, Restaurants, EPLS Design, NHS, Vets and Hearst publications to name some.
All of our students have access to careers advice should they want additional help or time. Our Careers service provider is dedicating time to developing a new Year 9 curriculum to help develop the confidence of younger students in discussing and planning career choices. In addition, we are introducing focus groups for selected boys to help address areas of low self-esteem and aspiration, to ensure that when students face the challenging decisions they have already had substantial intervention in careers education. We are also constantly reviewing and broadening the guests that we invite to speak and run workshops to ensure that we are reflecting ethnic and social diversity, a broad range of sectors and more creative and unusual career options as a means to widen our student’s horizons as well as to enrich the flavour of their careers education experiences.
We see careers education as a key aspect of enrichment because it makes use of the talents not just of our students and staff but of the wide network of stakeholders, partners and contacts that we have, who can deliver a careers programme that meets the needs of 21st Century students.
As we regularly review and improve our careers provision, I am happy to speak to parents and carers as well as staff and students who have ideas for the future.
You can email [email protected] or call the academy on 0208 804 6946 for more information.
The contents of the careers section will be reviewed in October 2019.