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AGICE

The Careers staff at Comberton Village College and Comberton Sixth Form aim to inspire students to make wise and informed choices and plans for their future, both in Higher Education and work. The Careers Education, Guidance and Work Experience programme starts in Year 7 and continues through with support even beyond Year 13 for those who need it. A timetable of events is offered, including visits to companies and other employers, work and lab experience preparation and support, university, employer and professional visits and talks, and other opportunities. All this is can be a strong motivator for students.

The school is also helping students to pursue CV-building activities, such as student-led societies, other leadership and character development activities, and also specific career-linked activities such as film making, radio broadcasting, debating, etc. Employer-links, alumni networking and mentoring are being developed.

Our work is benchmarked against the national and international standards for school careers provision.  As far as possible we offer individual support and guidance, with the belief that every individual matters equally, and should receive equal access to provision.

Progression Beyond School

Of those who leave CVC at 16 almost, all transfer to other educational institutions, while a few take apprenticeships. Of those who leave at 18, most proceed to degree and other higher level courses, with increasing numbers gaining places at the top universities.

Career Guidance

CVC provides all pupils in Years 8-13 with access to career guidance sessions on request, and by staff and parent referral. This is all high quality, impartial and independent careers advice. Impartial advice is provided by a team of staff: our in-house Level 7 qualified careers advisor, our teaching and other staff. Independent advice is provided by external local authority and other advisors, and through use of independent guidance services such as COA Centigrade and Morrisby Profile. We apply a coaching or mentoring approach. Students make their own decisions, and are encouraged to develop personal career plans.

Our students are also encouraged to have high aspirations, to aim for excellence, and to consider the broadest range of career areas and appropriate educational and personal development routes.  For some students this will mean encouragement and mentoring for applications to the most selective universities. For others it will mean similar encouragement and mentoring for a directly career-related or talent-related path. All academic and vocational paths, ranging from university and other course options, to jobs, apprenticeships and entrepreneurship, are covered fairly and impartially.

CVC works with the local authority to identify and support vulnerable young people and facilitate optimal transitions for them. CVC’s careers staff and external advisors work to prevent all forms of stereotyping in the guidance provided, and also fully support those with special educational and behavioural needs.

Careers Information

The Library and Resource Centre has a very well-stocked Careers Library, which contains books, prospectuses, leaflets, supplements, lists, links, and other resources. A variety of online resources are made available. Books on all the main career areas, and on university and other options and applications are available. The main titles published by Prospects, Heap, COA and MPW/Trotman are held, including a set of the How2Become series.

Current Job and Apprenticeship Vacancy opportunities are available for consultation outside the Careers Office. The school’s live feed on careers, HE and employability is available on Twitter: @CVC_Careers

Both in Careers lessons and in the Library students are guided through the maze of career-related sites, and encouraged to focus on the most useful, including those of Prospects, University Which, Unistats, the National Careers Service, Plotr, iCould, Careersbox, Student Ladder and Not Going to Uni.

Careers Education

The school has a timetabled programme of Careers Education covering the full recommended range of topics, including transitions, career areas and labour market information, and employability skills and attitudes.  There is a separate Sixth Form Careers Programme. Students have encounters with providers of higher and further education. Curriculum learning is also linked to careers. The school brings in external speakers, arranges visits, and facilitates some individually-focussed opportunities and placements for Year 9-13 students, tailored to their future educational and career ideas and aspirations. CVC has strong links with employers, and is further developing its employer network, using both employers, and in coming years, alumni.

We are pleased to be working with Form the Future on a number of projects within our Careers Education programme, on CV writing, work experience, Employability Skills, employer events and mock interviews.

Work and Other Experiences and Employability

All students are encouraged to undertake a number of periods of Work Experience, between Year 10 and Year 13. Work, lab and other experience is now increasingly used as a criterion for entry both to vocational and other degree courses at university, and also for other courses, scholarships and applications (whether job, apprenticeship, Armed Forces or other).  Some courses require that students build up an extensive portfolio of work placements, requiring long term planning and commitment. Many parents help by offering work experience or shorter shadowing opportunities.

Students are also encouraged to undertake a range of CV-building activities which develop the personal qualities and skills required to have successful future working lives. They are also encouraged to apply for schemes, awards, masterclasses which develop their subject/career-linked portfolios (e.g. Arkwright Scholarships).

As part of developing our students’ employability and networking, we want to foster links with local, national and international employers, and university and other educational providers.  We would be very grateful for any contacts regarding this, which can be directed to: ltaylor@combertonvc.org

Monitoring Provision

The school’s CEIAG provision is benchmarked against current best practice and legislation, and monitored using student/parent and other feedback, along with our destinations data. We currently follow statutory guidance and use the eight benchmarks in the Gatsby Foundation Report on Good Career Guidance for our benchmarking. In future we hope, if funding permits, also to be able to validate our provision with the Cambridgeshire Quality Award - Investing in Quality, covering both the careers education and the career guidance offered by the school.

We aim to do everything we can to inspire and encourage each of our students to realise their full potential, and have happy and successful working lives.

For further information contact Ms Lizzie Taylor, Head of Careers, on 01223 262 503 ext 270 or email ltaylor@combertonvc.org

The school’s live feed on careers, HE and employability is available on Twitter: @CVC_Careers