Future Pathways


Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

St Peter’s Catholic School is dedicated to ensuring that all of our students are fully prepared their Future Pathway, whether that is towards further or higher education, apprenticeships, jobs or gap years. We make it our responsibility to ensure that students are prepared for their next step and work hard in inspiring our students to strive for their best for their own futures.

Life Ready

This Year St Peter’s has collaborated in the design of the Life Ready Programme (Solihull) which provides a framework designed to develop independent, life ready young adults. The programme is based on evidence from the Gatsby Foundation and the Confederation of British Industry

The shared vision of the Life Ready Solihull Programme is that ‘students leaving St Peter’s will have the skills, knowledge and dynamism to reach their full career potential, to meet the needs of employers and to contribute to the economic growth of the borough’. The Life Ready model helps us give our pupils access to all of the CEIAG you will find on this page. See the Life Ready website for more information www.solihullforsuccess.com/life-ready-home.

IAG’s

During their time at St Peter’s, all of our pupils will receive information, advice and guidance around their Future Pathways at various Key Stages. The first IAG meetings start in Year 9 and take place annually through to Year 12:

  • Year 9 – focused around GCSE options
  • Year 10 – focused around Work Experience
  • Year 11 – focused around Post-16 options
  • Year 12 – focused around Work Experience and life after Year 13

All of the IAGs are personal, one-to-one meetings conducted by Form Tutors, Lead Tutors, Pastoral Assistants, Senior Leadership and the Careers Team. IAG data and information is carefully monitored from year to year to ensure that every pupil is given the necessary guidance towards their chosen pathway.

Work Experience

Pupils from St Peter’s are given two opportunities to go out on Work Experience placements: once in Year 10 and again in Year 12. All students in Year 10 and 12 are encouraged to take up a placement during term time and are given information, advice and guidance towards which placement would be best for them. Year 12 students are also allowed to undertake work experience on one or two days/half-days throughout the year, giving them the opportunity to build up a wealth of experience and learn more about the world of work.

Internal Careers Events

There are two major events that take place at St Peter’s each year; the Year 11 Careers Event and the Year 12 Future Pathways Day. On these days Year 11 and 12 are taken off-timetable for a day to give them the chance to focus on their big decisions for their futures. During these days the pupils get to work on key careers areas including: employability skills, CVs, personal statements, UCAS, application forms, university research and interview preparation. We also invite employers from the local areas to conduct mock interviews with our students, giving them the chance to practise their interview skills and learn what it takes to land their dream job or university course. We also invite all parents and guardians to attend a Year 12 Future Pathways Parents’ Evening, where we share information regarding UCAS, Student Finance, Apprenticeships and Jobs.

Careers Convention

Each year St Peter’s holds its annual Careers Convention for students in Year 9 up to Year 13. We invite over 50 employers, universities, further education and apprenticeship providers to our school to advertise their organisations to our pupils. Here the pupils have a fantastic opportunity to learn a great deal about what’s available to them, and start making critical decisions about their future pathways.

Trips & Visits

At St Peter’s we aim to ensure that all pupils are given the opportunity to see first-hand what the world of work and higher education looks like. Throughout the year we run trips and visits to universities, fairs, conventions, businesses and other organisations with different year groups. See below for an outline of some of the trips we ran in the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Civil Service – Sixth Form students travelled to London to learn about the apprenticeship and graduate opportunities within the Civil Service
  • Coventry University – Social Work Taster Day – Year 12 students visited the higher education provider to learn about education and a career in Social Work

Pathway CTM

New for the 2017-18 academic year, we are excited to be in partnership with Pathway CTM, a social enterprise with a mission to improve the employability, career prospects and lives of school leavers. Pathway will work with our sixth form students to give them access to employer taster days, insight days, careers fairs and assessment days. In addition to this, Pathway will provide employability skills development and labour market insights for pupils, parents and staff. This partnership will start in September for current Year 12 and 13 students. Check out their website for more information www.pathwayctm.com.

Diana Award Mentoring Scheme

Starting in September 2017, St Peter’s Catholic School is fortunate to be involved with the Diana Award Mentoring Scheme, a career skills mentoring programme aimed at young people in Years 8, 9 and 10. The scheme is part of the Diana Award. The Diana Award was founded in 1999 as a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world and inspire those around them. Since their formation, 45,000 young people have been celebrated with a Diana Award for the positive contribution they have made to their communities. During the sessions a Diana Award Youth Facilitator will lead the Mentors and Mentees through a 6 month course which gives students career skills and an insight into the world of work. It also engages them in a social action project around a cause they feel passionate about. Through doing this, the programme aims:

  • To instill active citizenship through youth led social action and community volunteering
  • To improve post-secondary work-place readiness through life and career skills training
  • To build character, resilience and determination

Further information can be found on the Diana Award website diana-award.org.uk.

Form Time Activities and Assemblies

At St Peter’s we pride ourselves in our pastoral care. CEIAG forms an important part of our pastoral life and is featured weekly through form-time activities and termly through careers themed assemblies. Each week pupils across all year groups spend one form session working on a variety of careers-based resources. This includes: work skills, personal skills, job aspirations, CVs, application forms, universities, apprenticeships, jobs and many more. Throughout the year we aim to give each year-group a career-themed assembly. Whether that’s an external speaker talking about their job or a member of staff talking about careers, the CEIAG remains an important part of the pastoral system.

Challenge Days

We have a partnership with Enabling Enterprise who specialise in delivering skill workshops and careers challenge days within a school environment. They work with young people in various age groups to help develop the key employability skills that our young people need to be equipped with in order to prepare them for their future. Enabling Enterprise are an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise, set up by a team of teachers in 2009. Their goal is to equip young people with the skills, experiences and aspirations they need to succeed in life. Visit their website for more information enablingenterprise.org. This year we ran a Challenge Day with Year 9, focussing on their confidence and employability skills. We are excited to run a similar event with Year 8 in the 2017-18 academic year.

At the end of Year 11 the main options available to you are:

  • Study A Levels or BTECs at St Peter’s
  • Go to a local alternative college to study A Levels or BTECs
  • Find an apprenticeship or a job with training

Whatever you choose to do the government requires you to stay in some sort of education or training until you are 18. Your choice for post 16 may be influenced by a number of factors: your grades at GCSE, the subjects you want to study, or whether or not you want a more hands-on education.

St Peter’s Sixth Form

If you decide you would like to study at sixth form, you can choose to study at St Peter’s or another sixth form. Sixth forms tend to mainly offer A Levels, although some also offer BTECs too. You may choose to stay at St Peter’s because you know the school and the teachers and it will be a familiar environment, as well as probably being easy to get to. However, you might choose another Sixth form if we don’t offer the courses you are looking for, or if you would prefer to go somewhere else. Visit our Sixth Form Page to read more about staying on at St Peter’s.

College

It’s likely that you’ll find the atmosphere at a further education college different from that of school. It will probably be more laid back, you’ll be able to wear your own clothes, be in charge of your own time when you’re not in lessons, and maybe even call your tutors by their first names.

You’ll still be expected to stick to a timetable and attend lessons, but you might not have to stay in college during your free periods. You’ll be given a lot of independence and expected to manage your own time. Everyone is different – would this way of working suit you? Think about that when you decide what kind of environment will inspire you.

Colleges tend to specialise more in vocational and practical courses and not all colleges offer A Levels. They also have a much more varied body of students that can include full and part time students, day release students as well as school leavers and adults. There are a number of colleges around Solihull and Birmingham and you can find out more about them by looking at their websites:

Sixth Form College

Sixth form colleges fall half way between sixth forms and colleges. They tend to be bigger than sixth forms but smaller than colleges, but will offer both BTECs and A levels. Their students are all aged 16 – 19. The nearest sixth form college is Solihull Sixth Form College. You can find information on the sixth form college at:

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a form of work based learning and is very practical. You will spend three or four days a week with an employer and one or two days a week at a training provider. You will also receive a training allowance while you train. Apprenticeships are very good for people who are not keen on classroom study and like to learn by doing. The best way to look for and apply for apprenticeships is to use the below apprenticeship websites:

Getting a Job

Fewer and fewer school leavers take this option up straight from school, but if you decide you would like this, any job you apply for will need to include training and qualifications – any young person must be in education or training up to the age of 18. Often this will include day release. The best way to go about finding a job is:

  • To approach employers direct to ask if they have any vacancies.
  • Use local papers to look for job adverts
  • Use internet job sites to search for vacancies
  • Register with employment agencies who can help you find a job (could be good for finding a short term job, but not so great for long term jobs and careers)
  • Visit local job centres or use their website (often these jobs are for 18 year olds though)

At the end of Year 13 the main options available to you are:

  • Go to University to study towards a degree
  • Get an Apprenticeship to further your studies whilst earning
  • Go to another Further Education provider
  • Get a Job
  • Take a Gap Year

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that you will enjoy and that will benefit you in the future. Your choice for beyond Year 13 may be influenced by a number of factors: your grades at A Levels, the subjects you want to study, your career aspirations or whether or not you want a more hands-on education.

University

If you want to get a degree there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Go to university to do a full-time degree
  • Go to university part-time. This will free up your time to work or volunteer
  • Do an Open University degree course. You study online in your own time
  • Many further education colleges also offer degrees and other higher education courses
  • Go to university abroad

The following websites are great places to start:

Apprenticeship

The last few years has seen a lot of interest in these opportunities and many companies have developed new and updated entry programmes for students with A Levels, or equivalent, qualifications. Many companies offer Higher Apprenticeships or School Leaver Programmes which enable you to get qualified whilst earning a wage; or Sponsored Degrees where you work and get paid while working towards a degree which the company pays for. If you don’t get the grades to get onto an Advanced Apprenticeship or Sponsored Degree you can still do an Apprenticeship – you normally need a few GCSEs (usually English and Mathematics) depending on the subject/company. The best way to look for and apply for apprenticeships is to use the following apprenticeship websites:

Further Education

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree). Courses range from basic English and Maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs). FE also includes 3 types of technical and applied qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds:

  • Level 3 tech levels to specialise in a specific technical job
  • Level 2 technical certificates help get employment or progress to another tech level
  • •Applied general qualifications to continue general education at advanced level through applied learning

There are a lot of FE providers in the Solihull and Birmingham area. Have a look at some of their websites to view courses and find out more information:

Getting a Job

At the end of Year 13 you may want to leave education and start your journey in the world of work. This can be daunting at first, with a competitive market and current high demand for jobs, but you can find plenty of help and advice on the websites below. There are a lot of jobs that do not involve training but remember, you will be going for these jobs up against a variety of competition – graduates, apprentices and professionals looking to change roles. Think carefully about the type of job you want to do and what the company’s careers development/job prospects are. You will have to go through a full application and interview process for most jobs so get preparing your CV, covering letter, and application form writing skills soon!
The following career websites are good for helping you decide on a career, researching jobs, producing a CV and covering letter and much more.

Taking a Gap Year

Whether you want to learn a new skill, raise your cultural awareness or buy yourself some thinking time before making the move into work or further study, a gap year could be the answer. Traditionally, the phrase ‘gap year’ meant a period of time taken out by students after leaving college and before starting university. Now, gap years can happen at any stage, by anyone, and for varying amounts of time. You can fly off to sunnier climates and experience different cultures or stay closer to home and sample what the UK has to offer. Whatever your destination some examples of gap year activities include:

  • Conservation work
  • Adventure travel programs
  • Summer schools
  • Internships

Visit these websites for more information or to get more ideas: