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Chesham Grammar School - Committed to maintaining the Quality in Careers standard and proud holders of the full Investor in Careers Award
CGS Careers Office: helping to inspire, educate, inform, advise and guide our students into success after CGS.
Careers Leader: Cait Beck
Direct Tel: 01494 781212
Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG)
Chesham Grammar School is committed to providing high quality impartial careers education, information, advice and guidance support to all students and holds the Investor in Careers Quality Award, for which it is re-assessed every three years.
Our Careers programme takes the form of a structured programme of learning which is integrated into the school curriculum through subject lessons, Life skills lessons, and during off-timetable careers events. The overall aim of the programme is to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of adult life by:
- Helping them understand their own strengths and aspirations.
- Preparing them for the choices to be made at the ages of 13, 16 and 18.
- Ensuring they leave school prepared for employment, further education or training.
What is in the Careers Education Programme?
All students in Years 7-11 have dedicated careers lessons as part of the Life Skills programme. Student feedback helps inform the content of lessons which are also designed to address the learning outcomes of the CDi (Career Development Institute) Framework for careers education.
In the Sixth Form, students attend a carefully planned series of lectures and workshops which are tailored to the needs and interest of our students and also address the learning outcomes of the KS5 CDi Framework for careers education.
Where can you find support in school?
General Careers Support:
Cait Beck, the CGS Careers Leader, manages the school careers programme which is intended to help to inspire, educate, inform, advise and guide all students into success after CGS. All students are welcome to visit the Careers Office at any time to speak to her about any aspect of careers or transition support (e.g. choosing options subjects, apprenticeships etc.) or for support with work experience or work shadowing.
Cait also manages the Careers Library, next to the Careers Office. Students will find up to date college and university prospectuses, apprenticeship information, gap year and volunteering opportunities along with many different career books and periodicals and other general careers information. The Careers Library is open to all students for careers-related research at break and lunchtimes and to Sixth Form students for private study at other times.
Cait has a twitter account, @CGSInspiration, where she posts careers related information and opportunities.
For specific questions about UCAS or university applications, Sixth Form students should first speak to Mr Wescomb (Director of Sixth Form) or Mrs Jeffery (Sixth Form Learning Mentor) in the Sixth Form Office.
All CGS staff are committed to supporting students to achieve their full potential and realise their aspirations. Tutors know their tutees well and support university applications by reviewing personal statements and writing student references. They are also able to provide references for other applications such as work experience, apprenticeships etc.
What about independent advice and guidance?
Chesham Grammar School is committed to providing impartial information and advice at all times. CGS retains the services of an independent careers advisor who gives regular advice and guidance to students.
The Careers Adviser is in school on a regular basis. All Year 9 students will meet the adviser in groups as part of their Y9 GCSE Options Programme and all Year 11 students will have group interviews with the adviser as part of the Post-16 Options process. One to one interviews are also available on request to students – please see Cait Beck in the Careers Office.
What support is provided for transition?
The careers programme includes a number of focussed events to support transition.
Year 9 – GCSE Options/KS4 Preparation Programme: Students undertake self-awareness and career investigation activities in Life Skills lessons. They get to meet Sixth Form students to find out about their GCSE experiences, which will help them to make informed choices about their own GCSE options. There is also a focussed Parent Information Evening to support this transition stage.
Year 11 – Post 16 Options Day: Students take part in a series of activities which explain the full range of post-16 options available to them, what CGS has to offer in the Sixth Form and to understand what new subject options involve. There is a Parent Information Evening and a Sixth Form Open Evening where students and parents may also speak to the external Careers Adviser for independent advice on options. All students meet in small groups with the external careers adviser around this time.
Year 11 – Results Day support: The vast majority of students achieve the requirements for their preferred post-16 pathway. Should this not be the case on results day, support including independent careers advice & guidance, is provided to students and parents.
Year 12 –A Parent Information Evening and Sixth Form lectures introduce students to the Sixth Form. All students complete a transition questionnaire to enable the Careers Leader to target specific support, including independent careers guidance for students who have not had this prior to joining. All students meet individually with the Director of Sixth Form or Sixth Form Learning Mentor.
Year 13 – Preparing to move on from school: A series of lectures, workshops and information evenings form the back bone of post-18 transition information support. Staff provide support for all students individually regardless of their chosen pathway throughout their final year at CGS, and independent careers guidance is available to students who request it. There are several opportunities for parents to be involved including a “Preparing for results day” lecture that students and parents attend together.
Year 13 – Results Day support: The vast majority of students achieve the requirements for their preferred post-18 pathway. Should this not be the case on results day, support including independent careers advice & guidance, is provided to students and parents.
Work shadowing: Parents of Year 8 students are encouraged to participate in a “take your child to work day.”
Work experience: Year 11 students are encouraged to undertake work experience after GCSE exams. Work experience is also an integral part of the Sixth Form programme in Year 12 or Year 13.
What other support is provided?
All students are strongly encouraged to engage with as many opportunities as possible to broaden their knowledge of the world of work and careers during their time at CGS. The Careers Leader provides access to a very wide variety of opportunities for students via internal school communications, parent mail and on twitter @CGSInspiration.
Every two years there is a Careers Convention which is open to all students and typically has over 100 FE, HE, apprenticeship and career-specific exhibitors.
Please see the ‘CGS Careers Programme’ and below for full details about our Careers programme. The Careers Programme is reviewed annually in the Summer Term by the Careers Leader. The COMPASS self-evaluation tool along with student and parental questionnaires are used to evaluate the programme.