Westhaven School Subject Strategy
Pathway to Employment
Our main intent in delivering the Pathway to Employment programme at Westhaven is to provide our learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to live independently in adult life.
We want our learners to have a broad range of encounters with employers and employees to enable and support them in deciding which career areas interest them. We want them to recognise their own value to the world of work and to understand that all jobs have an important place in society. We want to inspire our more academic learners to continue their education to university level and we want all learners to understand and embrace the concept of enterprise.
Our Pathway to Employment programme begins informally in Lower School and continues until learners leave in year 11. Our intent throughout the programme is to build confidence, skills and knowledge and to help our learners understand their own strengths and interests to enable them to recognise potential future areas of work.
In Lower School, the Pathways to Employment programme is delivered through employer and employee visits linked to topic lessons. The content at this stage is broad, often linked to parents’ and familiar jobs with the aim of introducing learners to the concept of work.
In Middle School, all learners study Enterprise and Working Skills for one term per year, taught in mixed ability tutor groups. They have the opportunity to take part in ongoing internal work experience placements and meet employers and employees during in-school visits and on external trips. They complete psychometric tests as a starting point for identifying strengths and interests and to identify potential future careers / KS4 options. Teachers begin to talk to learners and parents about how their subject(s) link to careers and this further informs choices for KS4 subject options. Some learners start to consider post 16 and higher education placements through our Aspire programme.
In Upper School, learners continue to study Enterprise and Working Skills where they build on the knowledge learnt at KS3. They continue to have the opportunity to take part in ongoing internal work experience placements and also have the chance to take part in external work experience placements (one week in year 10, one week in year 11). They meet our careers advisor to consider post 16 options and begin working on application forms, their CV and taking part in mock interviews. Aspire Programme learners have the opportunity to visit local university campuses and to meet undergraduate and lecturers. In year 11, all learners attend weekly link programme sessions at Weston College to prepare them for post-16 education.
All staff have access to our internal Pathways to Employment monitoring programme where all employer / employee encounters, work experience placements (internal and external), careers advisor meetings and post-16 visits are recorded. This enables us to track their experience of a wide range of work related experiences to ensure that they are able, along with their parents / carers to make informed choices for KS4 and post 16 options.
During Working Skills and Enterprise lessons, learners are assessed continually and informally using the Working Skills for Life learning ladders.
Work Experience and Careers at Westhaven
At Westhaven School we pride ourselves in the range of work experience opportunities we provide for our learners. Through continuous work forging strong relationships with employers and volunteer groups we are able to offer work experience placements to all learners in both year 10 and year 11.
We recognise the importance of parental views in placement suitability and because of this, we work in collaboration with all families when researching, finding and securing placements.
Work experience at Westhaven is just one piece of the puzzle that makes up our “Pathways to Employment” careers programme and we are continually striving to improve the way we provide career opportunities throughout the school.
To meet our growing learner numbers, we need you!
The employer, the parent, the learner, the care provider, our aim is to work in collaboration with you to find suitable placements for your child. We are open to suggestions and strongly advise you look into placement opportunities with your child from the end of year 9. This year, our 10s learners secured placements in prominent and inspiring companies such as Western Power Distribution, Avon Wildlife Trust, Weston Museum, Banwell Pottery, and Batello Garden Design. Your contacts at home could enable us to work constructively with more of these large, respectable companies to secure placements for future learners. Equally, if you are reading this as an employer and would like to build your portfolio to include becoming a secondary work experience provider, we would like to hear from you. There is a lot of pride and knowledge to be gained as an employer when taking on a work experience learner and as a school we would like to support you in achieving this.
If you work in an organisation that would like to be involved in our new and exciting careers programme, whether by offering work experience placements, learner visits or by coming into school to give a talk to learners, please have a look at our Careers Provider Access Policy and get in touch. Our learners would really benefit from meeting employees from all sectors of industry and for employers, this is an opportunity to build community ties and take a look at the workforce to come.