The Careers Programme
Careers education at Bedford School is delivered through a variety of channels including the Citizenship programme, Sixth Form skills lessons and year group assemblies. Careers resources are stored in a dedicated section in the School Library, organised using the ‘Connexions Resource Centre’ classification system.
Information about Careers is constantly being updated and largely provided online. Boys and parents are encouraged to visit the Careers and Gap Year online pages, which can be accessed through the Library E-Portal on the school’s intranet.
The Careers Coordinator is based in B10 and is available for individual consultation by both students and parents. The School works closely with a number of professional careers organisations and local businesses to offer a range of careers services and events to students.
As part of a Citizenship morning, Fourth Form students participate in ‘The Real Game’, a 12+ careers experience software programme, which aims to engage pupils in exploring the workplace and to develop their personal skills and learning strategy. This workshop enables pupils to make more informed decisions about their GCSE options and to think more carefully about 16+ study and career interests.
As the next step on their career pathway, Remove Form students complete an online Self-Analysis Questionnaire using the ‘Fast Tomato’ 13+ software programme, which aims to increase pupils’ knowledge of their own skills and link these to an initial range of career options to research. This programme is worked through as part of a Citizenship morning.
In the Autumn Term of the Fifth Form, students then work through a more advanced online Careers Education programme called ‘Prefinio’, created by The Morrisby Organisation. Aimed to assist pupils with making post-16 learning and career choices, this software provides a ‘route map’ for pupils to consider their employability skills, find their ideal Higher Education course and career, and plan their learning pathway. The programme is launched as part of a Citizenship morning; however, students are then able to independently review and update their profile, which can be accessed by the Careers Coordinator to use as a basis for further individual consultation.
Fifth Form students are invited to attend the annual OB Careers Fair (see below) and are also advised to arrange work experience after their GCSEs and into their Lower Sixth year in a relevant career area. Potential Medics and Lawyers receive specific guidance, given the competitive and complex nature of these particular careers.
The programme in the Sixth Form focuses on decision making for Higher Education and more detailed consideration of specific career areas. During the Lower Sixth Skills lessons, students complete the ‘Centigrade Higher Education Questionnaire’, administered by Cambridge Occupational Analysts. This helps to match interests and academic ability with a range of suitable higher education courses and forms the basis for discussion with Sixth Form skills tutors.
Students are encouraged to participate in a range of 16+ career experience courses run by specialist organisations throughout the year. These are one day courses which cover the full range of career areas and give students the opportunity to experience first hand the nature of the working environment and discuss entry requirements with potential employers.
An annual Old Bedfordians Careers Fair is held each year in the Spring Term, which gives students the opportunity to meet informally with Old Bedfordians, parents and local professionals representing a range of career sectors – some students have used this to arrange work experience and internships.
For those who are considering a gap year there is a Gap Year webpage on the school intranet, accessed via the Library E-Portal, with links to a variety of Gap Year organisations and expert advice on how to arrange your Gap Year safely.
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