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Careers and opportunities policy

The Careers and Opportunities Programme has been developed to help our students aim for the best that they can be.  It provides opportunities within school and beyond for students to experience university life at the highest level, academic excellence, degree level apprenticeships and life beyond work and study.  Below is a summary of how this has developed. It is regularly reviewed using Compass to ensure that it meets all 8 Gatsby Benchmarks.

In addition to an extensive list of guest speakers, work experience and research placements we provide tailored one-to-one careers guidance and small group employability workshops. 

Summer schools provided by the Sutton Trust, UNIQ at Oxford University, engineering at Southampton University, The Norwich School and the University of East Anglia.  These are in addition to other residentials earlier in the year such including Loughborough University. In 2019 we have added Keele University to this.  

Our focus is not just on the university route and we have been successful in work based placements and degree level apprenticeships with Overy and Allen law firm, PWC accountants, Marsh Insurance.  We are proud to have supported successful Nuffield Research Placements at UEA and other institutions and to have students actively involved in public engagement at the Norwich Science Festival.

We work with various external agencies as part of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership including the Norfolk Opportunity Area, NEACO and the Norfolk County Council HE Scheme has helped our students visit universities and provided advice and mock interviews for applicants to elite careers and universities. Our programme has led to a year on increase in applications for Oxford and Cambridge and other elite institutions with some 60% going on to top 20 universities. We also encourage students to contemplate applications abroad and provide information and guidance via the Fulbright Commission. The number of medic and vet students has steadily increased and support is provided for both groups via electives held on a fortnightly basis.  We are actively pursuing an increased collaboration with local universities and will be starting projects with Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) in September of 2019.

Volunteering opportunities are increasing from work in other Trust Schools to now involving Villiers Trust,  YOPEY befriending scheme, Wherry School, Health Ambassadors and NNUH. All are encouraged to develop the skills base of our students.  This offer will expand further next year.

We communicate opportunities through the form programme, a weekly careers bulletin and a self referral careers meeting system and students record their experiences and encounters using the Unifrog platform.

We provide a programme to encourage our students to consider everything from knitting, enhancing manual dexterity for medics, and dog training to space exploration and working at the pinnacle  of academia.

Careers and opportunities policy

Adopted: Autumn 2018

All students have the opportunity to engage with careers education whilst at Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form. There is an identified Careers Leader who oversees the provision and delivery of the program. The program is based upon the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks. It is reviewed and developed using Compass and Tracker tools provided by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Context

Sir Isaac Newton lies in the heart of Norwich yet we draw students from over 58 schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. Traditionally this region, New Anglia, has significantly higher than average proportions of its workforce employed in sectors such as agriculture; hospitality and tourism; manufacturing, transport and logistics; while there are lower than average proportions in some higher value service industries such as law, consultancy, ICT and scientific and technical professions. In addition, Norwich falls 323rd of 324 in the Government’s Social Mobility Index with schools  performing poorly compared to others in the index used for understanding educational performance. The Sir Isaac careers and guidance programme recognises the eight benchmarks recommended by the Gatsby Foundation and delivers exceptional experiences and opportunities for all students. 

Aspire

Students, staff, governor’s and the parents can access and track careers advice and opportunities via the  ‘Aspire program’. This consists of a number of differing elements and reflects the aspirations and skills of our students, matching them to relevant and renowned providers across the area, thus ensuring our young people are able to make informed choices for their future brilliant careers.  

These elements include:

1. A stable careers programme
A published and resourced weekly form time program for all students including:

  • University course research using Unifrog and UCAS
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship research using Unifrog, UCAS, National Careers Service and Apprenticeships Norfolk
  • “Ready for work” program of skills evaluation, CV and application letter support and individual guidance 

2. Learning from career and labour market information
Use of local LMI data via the New Anglia LEP and national data to identify and advertise labour market trends and career opportunities based upon these

3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
Individual student needs are are met by self referral system for careers advice meetings both with a member of staff from the school and external advisers where required:

  • Meetings tracked via central referral database, student profiles and Aspire Grids.
  • POLAR data and postcode data to identify students from areas where additional support has been identified
  • Financial support via the NAECO participation fund
  • Destinations data is gathered, analysed and shared on an annual basis
  • The needs of SEND students are met in liaison with Norfolk County Council careers team

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
All students will get meaningful careers learning.  This is delivered via:

  • Subject teacher during lessons highlighting careers, qualifications and skills as they occur within the lesson
  • Subject specific guest speakers
  • Form tutors guiding students towards relevant courses and apprenticeships based upon subjects studied and highlighting skills gained from these courses

5. Encounters with employers and employees
A well-developed program of employer encounters is advertised and tracked:

  • Guest speakers from across relevant industries
  • “Futures” days in a range of industries
  • Research placements 

6. Experiences of workplaces

  • Visits to local employers
  • Self generated work experience opportunities
  • School supported work experience opportunities
  • Subject specific visits 

7. Encounters with further and higher education

  • Guest speakers from Oxford and Cambridge universities
  • Guest speakers from UCAS and Student Loans Company
  • Visits to local providers in collaboration with NCC HE Scheme
  • University summer schools and masterclasses
  • Participation in the Norfolk Summer School
  • Support and guidance on open days
  • Interview support for identified students applying to competitive courses and institutions

8. Personal guidance
Students have access to bespoke guidance on careers, university courses, apprenticeships and traineeships. This includes opportunities for work experience, research placements and summer schools and also covers advice regarding the preparation for life at university or in work and the skills sets needed for life as a young adult:

  • Form program
  • Topic specific elective groups
  • Careers meetings
  • Software packages such as Unifrog and Plotr
  • Guidance regarding hours of work in part-time employment
  • Workers rights
  • University funding, bursaries and scholarships

There is an active alumni association from which individuals offer their expertise to our current students.  It is our intention that this expands and the offer to our students will continue to improve and become more bespoke.