Mrs L Dundas - Head of Department
Mrs J O’Neill
The pupil experience of Careers Education benefits from a whole school approach where every teacher and department provide a wealth of experience and opportunities to connect pupil learning to the world of work. At the heart of the school’s vision for Careers Education is the hope that pupils will identify their interests, skills and aptitudes to open opportunities for their future studies and possible career pathways.
Key Attainment Targets
Self-Awareness & Development – identifying, assessing and developing the skills and qualities necessary to choose and implement an appropriate career plan.
Career Exploration – acquiring and evaluating information and reviewing experiences to identify and investigate appropriate career pathways and learning opportunities in education, training and employment, locally, nationally and internationally.
Careers Management – developing skills in career planning and employing effective career decision-making strategies to manage transition and make suitable career development choices, with the appropriate support, advice and guidance.
Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) is delivered through Learning for Life and Work in Year 8 & Year 10 and timetabled Careers Classes in Year 9, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13 & Year 14. Throughout all key stages students benefit from expert guidance through the services of specialist staff. Teachers in the department adopt a pupil-centred approach, which aims to equip students with the skills and capabilities necessary to make informed decisions in key transition years.
Careers education and guidance plays a vital role in the preparation of our students for life after school. All students will follow a structured careers programme through their weekly Careers classes where they will be carefully guided through the UCAS, CAO, further education and apprenticeship process. This begins with students learning more about their own skills and qualities and matching these with possible career opportunities.
The main learning outcome is to ensure students can investigate fully the options available to them and acquire the necessary skills to make informed, supported and independent career choices.
Great emphasis is also placed on personal career planning and extensive research is carried out on suitable courses and institutions before completing the UCAS or further education forms. Students will also use specialist careers software to help focus their own personal career planning. Taught classes, individual Careers Guidance interviews will guide future choices and help students prepare, in an informed manner, for lifelong learning and the world of work.
To further prepare students for the important decisions they will have to make in Sixth Form, a range of career activities are organised throughout Years 13 and 14, including lectures by Admissions Tutors from various universities throughout the UK and Ireland and attendance at focussed career workshops. Mock interviews are arranged to help the students develop the necessary skills and confidence to gain a place in their chosen degree course and in the world of work.
We have built strong links with local businesses and outside agencies that provide us with ongoing assistance in facilitating the development of our students. Students are offered the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars in a range of career areas and every student will undertake at least one work experience in Year 13. Students are carefully prepared for work experience and employers provide a report to the school on the student’s progress. Since universities place a lot of emphasis on the value of relevant work experience, it forms an important part of our Careers programme.
Students in Year 13 & 14 are also afforded the opportunity to attend Allied Health Profession workshops and seminars, organised by both the Belfast and Western Health & Social Care Trusts.
The careers department utilises important links with external agencies, such as the Northern Ireland Careers Service, UCAS, CEO, SENTINUS, NISCA, work inspiration, Queen’s University Belfast, University Ulster and many other institutes of Further and Higher Education, who regularly visit the school to host talks, presentations and careers workshops.
Useful Careers Sites
All St Michael’s students and parents are registered on to the Unifrog platform giving them access to a range of careers and progression information. Students are encouraged to utilise their online accounts to research their progression options and make use of the exploring pathway interactive tools.
Students can record details of their work experience, employer and university engagements, and shortlist their research and intended destinations on the Unifrog system. This enables students to develop their ideas and plan their next steps appropriately.