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Careers

At Francis Holland, through a planned programme of Careers Education, Information and Guidance, the Careers Department aims to help every girl to develop skills and abilities which will enable her to realise her full potential and fulfil an effective, rewarding role along her future career path. 

Important component parts of the Careers programme are:

  • Helping students to develop knowledge of themselves; an understanding of their individual strengths and limitations, their skills, personal qualities, attitudes and values;
  • Helping students to develop knowledge and understanding of the opportunities that are open to them, both in school and the world outside, including trends in employment and higher education and training;  and to handle careers information effectively;
  • Helping students to make considered choices in relation to courses of study at school and beyond, making clear the implications of choice on career aspirations, and relating students’ individual development to this process.

The school, as a whole, aims to provide high quality education for girls within a happy, challenging, supportive and caring environment. The Careers Department aims to reinforce this view by giving impartial careers advice to every girl in Year 7 and above; by providing links with the world of work through work experience, careers evenings, visits and guest speakers; enabling each girl to recognise her own strengths, weaknesses and interests and encouraging the individual to fulfil her potential. Girls are urged to recognise the importance of the acquisition of transferable skills as well as academic subjects and to realise the adaptability that an open minded approach to lifelong learning can bring. The Careers Department is run by Mrs D Streatfield.

Curriculum

Year 7

Girls take part in a Careers workshop introducing Careers Education to Year 7 during the Spring term.

Year 8

Girls take part in a Careers workshop continuing introduction of Careers Education to Year 8 during the Spring term.

Year 9 

Girls are given advice on options and there is an options morning with pupils and parents run by Head of Lower School. Girls are introduced to Careers software to better inform them of how their GCSE options will impact on their future educational and career choices.

All Year 9 girls take part in Take your Daughter to Work day in February.

Year 10

During Year 10 girls have the opportunity to create their CVs in preparation for work experience applications in Year 11. At the end of Year 10, girls are invited to take an aptitude test which is designed to continue the exploration of their strengths, talents, preferences and abilities which began in Year 9. Although this test is not prescriptive, almost all our students choose to participate. At the end of the summer term, experienced interviewers from Cambridge Occupational Analysts visit our school to give each girl her individual results report and to talk her through the findings. They are also more than happy to discuss any careers questions the girls might have at this point. The girls tend to find this interview enjoyable and reassuring.

Year 11

Choosing AS-Level subjects can be daunting especially with regard to the new subjects which are not part of the GCSE range. To help the girls with their decision we offer plenty of information on the subjects available and lots of opportunities to discuss their choices throughout the autumn and spring term. At various points of the year the Head, the Head of Sixth Form, Sixth Form students and the Head of Careers will talk to the girls and answer their questions. In September they are given a booklet with detailed information on all the subjects taught at our school. At the beginning of the spring term, all the subject teachers offer talks about their subject at A-Level. The final choice has to be made in the spring term and every effort is made to ensure each girl can study her combination of subjects.

Every pupil in Year 11 undertakes work experience as an integral part of our Careers Programme. Students gain invaluable insights into the world of work, build their CV and skills and develop their confidence.  Evidence of work experience and engagement in employment is highly valued by employers and girls. With the jobs market becoming increasingly competitive, this is an essential way of learning about the world of work and the demands of particular careers.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form girls are given one-to-one support with applying for Higher Education or alternative courses and career paths. Additionally, some PSHE sessions are an important part of the preparation for university. For example, there are sessions on university interview practice. In addition to group sessions, one-to-one practice interviews are organised as required, both at school and externally. Other sessions are devoted to providing information about financing university, gap year opportunities, making a decision on Firm and Insurance acceptances for UCAS and advice for Results Day (mid-August). More details of the support provided in the Sixth Form are in the Sixth Form Careers information booklet.

Beyond the Classroom

What else does the Careers Department offer?

Work Experience

We strongly recommend girls do some sort of work experience and although this is not obligatory we find that those students who follow our advice find this experience extremely rewarding. Most girls find suitable placements with the help of their parents, family and neighbours, for instance. Some industries are more difficult to find placements in than others and it is a very good idea to start looking as early as September.

The best time for work experience is immediately after the GCSE examinations, that is in the summer months before the start of the AS-Level courses. Ideally, girls should sample 2 different working environments, each for a week. If they already have some idea which career path they wish to follow in future then it might be a good idea to seek placements in related professional fields. However, at that point many girls are still quite undecided as regards a future career and any experience will be useful as it will open their eyes to the demands, challenges and also rewards of working world.

Building up a portfolio of work experience will not only be invaluable for their personal development but will also help them later with their university and job applications.

Visits to companies

Throughout the year, we run careers trips for interested or selected girls to various companies. In recent years we have visited the BBC, the Ritz Hotel, Inner Temple and Middle Temple, Morgan Stanley and the Museum of the Bank of England to give the girls the opportunity to look behind the scenes of important companies and get a taste of the working world. In the autumn term 2015, we ran a trip to Softwire with Stemettes to promote STEM subjects. 

Careers Evenings

The Department organises two careers evenings each year, in November and March.  The US University Information Evening open to girls in year 10 and above and the Higher Education Evening for LVI girls and parents. 

Take your daughter to work day

All girls in Year 9 are encouraged to take part in this day, which is normally held in February each year and is part of their work related learning. It is a day’s work experience for Year 9 pupils as part of their Careers Education and Guidance. In line with the National Programme ‘Take Your Children to Work Day’, the aim is to enable them to experience some of the realities of work and the workplace.

Your daughter may be considering future roles and responsibilities. This includes thinking about working lives and considering personal goals and ambitions for the future. The experience may also help them appreciate the relevance of the subjects they choose to study within the school curriculum. 

Career Conversations

The Careers Conversations programme aims to inform and broaden the minds of our pupils. Once a month, students of all ages are offered the opportunity to learn more about a particular sector or industry from a guest speaker.

Speakers share their experience of education, their career and the day to day workings in the workplace. These are well attended and very popular with the students. During the autumn term 2015, we have welcomed speakers from Vogue, Morgan Stanley, Google and Vodafone. 

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it, keep looking. Don't settle.

Steve Jobs

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