Pathway to Employment

Westhaven School is a unique learning environment with high expectations for learners who experience barriers to learning for a range of reasons. We promote a calm environment which enables everyone to learn. The golden thread that permeates our curriculum and our conduct through every school day are the core values which shape our learners to be:

  • safely independent                           
  • confident communicators               
  • respectful citizens                             
  • resilient learners                               
  • inquisitive thinkers

The Westhaven Way is our ethos and it underpins our daily approach to behaviour and learning.

Careers Programme Lead: Mr Darren Burgess (

All information on this page is reviewed by the Careers lead at the beginning of each academic year. The date of the next review is 1/9/2025.

Our main intent in delivering the Pathway to Employment (P2E) programme at Westhaven is to provide our learners with a range of working experiences and inspire them and prepare them for future independent life choices.  We base our curriculum on the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks and we track and evaluate our progress against these benchmarks with guidance from the Careers and Enterprise Company.
We meet these benchmarks by providing a curriculum with Employee Encounters, Work Experience, 1-1 careers advice, a college link transition programme and work experience.  

Our curriculum links to the 5 Westhaven values in the following ways:


Safely Independent 
Promote safely independent learners by providing students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to navigate their career paths confidently and responsibly. We aim to do this by:
– Self-exploration by encouraging learners to explore their interests, strengths, and values.
– Encourage our learners to set realistic and achievable goals
– Opportunities to practise decision-making skills, such as weighing pros and cons and considering the potential consequences of their choices.
– Equip learners with the skills needed for job searching, resume writing, and job applications.
Offer learners guidance on interview techniques and preparation.
– Introduce learners to elements of entrepreneurship education.
– Emphasising the importance of time management.
– Provide learners with information on workplace safety and well-being, including mental health awareness.
With this in our P2E curriculum, we intend our learners to become safely independent learners, capable of making thoughtful, informed decisions about their career paths while prioritising their well-being and safety.
Confident Communicators 
Promotes confident communicators by incorporating activities and sessions that develop both written and verbal communication skills. We intend to do this by:
– Sessions on interview techniques and etiquette.
– Topics related to professional etiquette, such as email communication, phone etiquette, and interpersonal skills.
– Integrating activities that involve public speaking such as our Employee encounters.
– Emphasising the importance of active listening.
– Incorporating opportunities for students to give and receive constructive feedback.
These aspects in our P2E curriculum intend to encourage learners to become confident communicators, equipped with the skills needed to express themselves effectively in various professional contexts. Developing these communication skills is essential for success in the workplace and in building positive professional relationships.
Respectful Citizen
A careers curriculum can contribute to the development of respectful citizens by incorporating principles of ethics, diversity, and social responsibility. Here are ways in which our P2E curriculum can encourage respectful citizens:
– Professionalism and integrity by emphasising the importance of these qualities in the workplace.
– Diversity and Inclusion by promoting the value of a diverse workforce, something which is vital in our learners.
– Community engagement by connecting with our school and local community
– Civic Engagement by discussing with learners the roles of individuals in the community and the impacts of their choices in society.
– Role models and Inspirational figures by showcasing those who have shown success, commitment to social responsibilities and conduct.
By incorporating these elements into our P2E curriculum, we intend to shape our learners into respectful citizens and are committed to contributing positively to society.

Inquisitive Thinker
Stimulate inquisitive thinking by encouraging students to explore, question, and critically analyse various aspects of the working world. Here are ways in which we can produce inquisitive thinking:
– Exploration of Diverse Careers by showing students a wide range of jobs that they may not be familiar with.
– Inviting Guest Speakers and Industry Experts to share their experiences and insights sparking curiosity and prompting questioning.
– Critical Evaluation of Information particularly in the context of career choices.
– Reflection and Self-Assessment that prompt students to assess their interests, values and goals.
– Providing field trips to those who have specific career ambitions to wider thinking and encourage that career path.
With this in mind, our P2E curriculum intends to create an environment that nurtures inquisitive thinkers, encouraging students to ask questions, seek answers, and explore the complexities of the professional world with curiosity and enthusiasm. 

Resilient Learners
The P2E curriculum can contribute to the development of a resilient learner by fostering skills, attitudes, and knowledge that are essential for navigating the complexities of the working world and overcoming challenges. Ways that this can be produced are:
– Self-awareness encourages learners to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values.
– Encourage realistic goal setting
– Adaptability by helping students understand that their career path may evolve over time
– Resilience when things go wrong, reflecting and learning from them
– Emotional intelligence such as empathy to navigate working relationships.
– Resume building and interview skills
By incorporating these elements into the P2E curriculum, we hope to empower learners not only with the knowledge needed for career success but also with the skills and mindset required to adapt, persevere, and thrive in the face of challenges.

At Westhaven, with support from our West of England Combined Authority Enterprise Coordinator, we strive to meet the requirements of the Gatsby Benchmarks in full. We track progress against these benchmarks on a bi-termly basis using the Compass Plus programme.

The Pathway to Employment curriculum comprises of:

  • Employee Encounters
  • Working Skills
  • Enterprise
  • Work Experience
  • Careers advisor meetings
  • College link transition programmes
  • Encounters with further education providers

In EYFS and 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 and Upper school, learners will have the opportunity to take part in bi-termly Employee Encounters. We have used data from the national census, and have determined 6 key job sectors that are prominent in our area. These are Retail, Care, Manual, Leisure and Public Service. Therefore we aim to focus our employee encounters on these job sectors and differentiate them with Preparing to Learn and Ready to Learn groupings.
Following our timetable of encounters, job sectors stated will be visited at least three times during a student’s time at Westhaven. 

We will also implement careers-based days where employees will come in and have break-out days. These break-out days involve activities based on the business and will provide hands-on experience for our learners.

Working in conjunction with the working skills curriculum, P2E will implement a careers week in term 6. The week will incorporate activities for the next steps after Westhaven. These activities will include Guest speakers, Skills development workshops, CV and portfolio clinics, mock interviews and Alumni Engagement.  This gives learners an opportunity to enhance their ‘real life’ skills so they are more prepared for the future.

Students in year 11, 12 and 13 (if they attend W6) also have the opportunity to take part in work experience placements. These may be independent placements or supported group placements.

Upper school learners will be running the school merchandise shop. This is an in-house points-based system to buy and sell merchandise. This will give learners an insight into the world of working life by introducing them to rotas, time management, using currency and customer service. At the end of year 11, learners after completing their IT qualification, are given an enterprise task to do using additive manufacturing. Using CAD, learners design and 3D print design of their making to sell. This can range from bird houses to fidget toys and trinkets.

Starting in Year 9 learners start their next steps journey by meeting our Careers Advisor to consider Year 10 options and how these decisions could impact choices at college/approved apprenticeships or future job opportunities.
This continues with higher frequency when learners go into Year 10, year 11, and W6. This is to get learners to confirm what they may want to do post-Westhaven and how they can achieve that. We also plan trips this way to get full benefits from individual learners who are interested in specific businesses.

When the next steps are confirmed, students going to Weston College will take part in our Weston College link programme.  Students will start to transition to their college of choice taking part in activities of their choosing, becoming accustomed to their new surroundings, and interacting with new staff and old Westhaven peers.

Our P2E curriculum has a significant and positive impact on students, preparing them for success in the ever-evolving world of work.

Our P2E curriculum:

  • Provides learners with information about various career paths, industries, and educational options. Learners can therefore make informed decisions about their future based on their interests, skills, and values.
  • Encourages self-reflection and self-assessment, helping learners develop a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and preferences which is crucial for making the correct career choice.
  • Exposes our learners to a diverse range of careers, allowing them to explore different industries and professions. This exposure broadens their perspectives and helps them discover potential career paths they may not have considered before.
  • Develops essential workplace skills, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking which are valuable in any career.
  • Teaches learners practical skills such as resume writing, interview preparation, and job search strategies, preparing them to enter the world of work confidently and effectively.
  • Will encourage Learners to learn about the dynamic nature of the job market and the importance of adaptability and how to cope with setbacks and challenges.
  • Develops a mindset of lifelong learning by acquiring new skills and adapting to changes in their chosen field.
  • Will provide a smoother transition for learners from education to the workforce or further education. Thus meaning learners are well prepared to navigate their next educational or working stage.
  • Learners will be able to acquire knowledge, skills, and a clearer understanding of their career paths, and their confidence in making decisions and pursuing their goals will increase.
  • Will address not only professional aspects but also personal well-being, including stress management, work-life balance, and mental health awareness.

In summary, our P2E curriculum equips students with the tools and knowledge they need to make thoughtful, informed decisions about their careers, creating personal and professional development that extends well beyond their time at Westhaven School.

Self evaluation 2023-24
March 2024
December 2023

Year 11 and year 13 destinations

All the above sessions are recorded and monitored using the careers and enterprise company’s Compass+ platform. This gives us a clear timeline and overview of a learner’s P2E journey at Westhaven. Following this curriculum and recording it correctly will mean that all our learners will meet the 8 Gatsby benchmarks.

Careers Access Provider Policy – An explanation of the Gatsby Benchmarks. – Our improvement partners with our P2E curriculum – Statutory guidance for schools and guidance for further education colleges and sixth form colleges January 2023