At Whitecross we do not just prepare students for exams, we prepare them for life. Careers Education at Whitecross is consistently rated as one of the best features of school provision in student and parent surveys (Kirkland Rowell). Year after year we help guide students onto a successful future post Whitecross.

Our Careers programme is mapped against the Gatsby Benchmarks. We review our programme on an annual basis to ensure it still meets the needs of our students.

The Careers Team enables students to make important decisions concerning their future. Careers Leader, Mrs Marriner, works in conjunction with our Learning Advisors, Mrs Boucher, Mrs Davis, Mrs Smith and Mrs Honnor (High Starters Coordinator) in guiding and enabling students to make informed choices about their future. Learning Advisors meet with students during each year to support their life at school and provide reports for parents as well as action plans for students. Careers planning is a key aspect of this work. Our High Starters programme provides another opportunity to inspire and raise aspirations working in conjunction with Hereford Sixth Form College, Lady Margaret Hall Oxford and Christ’s College Cambridge.

Year 7 students meet employers and link curriculum learning to careers through the Shakespeare Literacy Challenge and by attending the Big Bang Festival (STEM).

Year 8 students research potential career paths and consider their own skills and interests. They have a day working with apprentices and employers developing key skills and they learn about financial information from bank employees.

Year 9 students are supported with their options choices through a structured programme of lessons delivered through PSHE. This explains the options process and students consider their next step. They have taster sessions of new subjects and are encouraged to use the National Careers Service and specialist software. At Options Evening, students and parents meet with Subject Teachers to help steer them in their choices. Some students will opt for a package which includes experience in the workplace alongside more traditional qualifications. We offer a trip to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford to raise aspirations for students at this influential age. Herefordshire Skills Show enables students to learn about apprenticeships and meet employers and employees. The BBC School Report Day and the STEM trip to CERN provide opportunities to link curriculum learning to careers.

Year 10 students have 2 days devoted to careers planning together with visits to local colleges, training associations and Universities to get a taste of life post 16 including summer school opportunities at the University of Birmingham.

Year 11 students write their CVs, complete application forms and attend mock interviews in school with a range of local employers. Several local colleges and training associations attend regular assemblies and are available to answer student’s queries. Students are encouraged to attend taster events at colleges. We organise visits from professionals to meet with students discussing careers within their field.

Our Careers Convention in February is a fantastic opportunity for Years 9, 10 and 11 to meet employers, representatives from the Armed Forces, Training Associations, Colleges of Further and Higher Education and Universities. Our strong links with local businesses and other organisations mean that students have a clear idea of the range of possibilities for them when they leave compulsory full time education and get the best possible advice and guidance. Local employers regularly comment on the quality of communication and clarity of purpose of our students as they prepare to leave us.

Provider Access

We provide many opportunities for providers of education and/or training to have contact with our students. We have a number of events, integrated into the school careers programme throughout the academic year, which offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak with students and/or their parents and guardians. We will make the hall, meeting rooms or classrooms available as appropriate to the activity in addition to equipment to support provider presentations. For more information please contact Mrs Marriner, at jmarriner@whitecross.hereford.sch.uk.

Useful links for independent careers advice

Useful links for post 16 opportunities