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Careers, Information and Advice

Careers Leader: Mrs A Copeman, Careers & Aspirations Manager, who can be contacted at AJC@sirjohnleman.co.uk or on (01502) 719956

In all years, students are given a wide range of opportunities to gain an insight into the world of work and investigate career pathways, following the key themes of our comprehensive and cohesive Careers and Skills Inpiration porgramme.

The schools career programme provides students with information, advice and guidance and the opportunity for students to develop qualities and skills required by employers and prepare them for the next step in their education or career.

The opportunities include business challenges, enterprise days, visits to businesses, speakers from the world of work, events relating to specific employment sectors, work experience placements and STEM fortnight events and activities in addition to a well-structured PSHEE programme. The school works with the Enterprise Advisor Network, a national network that connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people. The network is based on evidence that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training, and can earn up to 18% more during their career. 

Years 7 & 8

Students will take part in Skills days which focus on Reflective learning, Creative Thinking and Enterprise, Independent Enquiry, Team Working and Effective Participation, Self-management and Emotional Intelligence and Communication.  These skills prepare students for employability and support their development through self-awareness, self-determination and improvement as a learner.

Students will take part in tutor time activities and PSHEE days in which they can begin to explore, investigate and understand careers and the world of work, through inspiration and aspiration.

Year 9

We encourage students to think about their personal strengths, weaknesses and interests when considering a future career.  A programme called ‘Fast Tomato’ is used by all Year 9 pupils to assist with their career planning for KS4.  The programme can be accessed at home by parents to see the suggestions or comments made that are specific to their child.

During the year, students will have opportunities to take part in many work related activities and will explore and research careers to find out about subjects, qualifications, skills and training needed and how their curriculum learning links to different careers.

One of the key decisions in Year 9 is when the students are asked to choose their GCSE options.  Students will receive help and guidance so that they can make well informed and realistic decisions about which GCSE’s to take. This includes raising their awareness about the opportunities available and developing their key skills.

Year 10

Students take part in a process called Kudos, part of which focuses around the use of a computer programme related to career choice.   Future GCSE potential and other career routes via A’ Levels, Further Education courses, apprenticeships and work with training are looked at. 

Students will prepare a CV and take part in a variety of work related learning and enterprise activities which develop skills relevant to the world of work.  Students will take part in the work experience programme in which spend a week with an employer, learning about a particular job or area of work.   During the placement, students will be able to find out what skills, qualities and attitudes employers look for when they are recruiting staff. Work experience is a valuable learning tool as it develops the skills and qualities needed for future employment and helps students make progress towards achieving their goals for the future.

Students are provided with a wide range of opportunities to explore possible career choices and can attend local careers fairs, sector specific careers events during the spring term and attend our popular, termly Breakfast Club’s in which they can network with local employers.

Students will complete a Record of Achievement on a weekly basis during a dedicated tutor time session.  This will help them build up a portfolio of evidence to support their CV and use in sixth form/college/job interviews.

Year 11

During the autumn term, students attend information sessions, which are supported by a wide range of local employers, colleges, training providers and universities, to help them make informed decisions about how best they continue in education or training up to the age of 18.  Students also attend a ‘Workwise’ day, supported by local employers, in which they take part in sessions on CV writing, applying for jobs and interview techniques, before having a mock interview with an employer at the beginning of the Spring term.

Students are offered a personal guidance interview with Mrs Pursey, our independent, impartial Careers Advisor to help give them skills to manage their future education and career pathways. There is also the opportunity to take part in a mentoring programme.

Additional programmes are available to students who require further support in making the transition to Post 16 choices.

Students will complete a Record of Achievement on a weekly basis during a dedicated tutor time session. This will help them build up a portfolio of evidence to support their CV and use in sixth form/college/job interviews.

Sixth Form

Student’s research post 18 options which include Higher Education, Further Education, Apprenticeships and employment and are offered the opportunity to speak to local employers and alumni and attend networking events during the academic year. Work experience is also offered to 6th form students, as an enrichment activity and as part of their study programme, as an opportunity to enhance future career choices. Students can also take part in the Young Enterprise programme in which they run their own business.  Help and advice is given to students when writing personal statements and making applications to University and they are encouraged to attend University taster sessions, open days and conferences.  We provide ongoing support during the year including personal guidance interviews, help with applying for jobs and apprenticeships, updating CV’s and mock interviews.  We also advise students of labour market information and local job opportunities which are forwarded to us by employers.

Personal Guidance

Students are entitled to have a careers guidance interview with Mrs Pursey, our independent, impartial Careers Guidance Advisor.  Appointments can be arranged through Mrs Copeman or tutors.

Careers Library

The Careers Library in the Learning Resource Centre has a range of resources available including prospectuses for colleges and universities and reference books about employment, further and higher education and gap years.  We also have several software programmes to help students find out more about further education, higher education, employment, and training opportunities and these include Kudos and Fast Tomato.

Raising Participation Age

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

  • full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
  • full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training
  • an apprenticeship.


If you are ex-student, we would love to hear about the experiences you have had since leaving Sir John Leman High School. If you would like to come in and speak to our students, both formally or informally through a range of activities that we coordinate through our Careers & Skills Inspiration programme, please contact Allison Copeman, Careers & Aspirations Manager.

Employers and Training Providers

If you are an employer or training provider and would like to share information with our students on courses and job opportunities please refer to our Access policy on the schools website.

If you are an employer or alumni and would be interested in working with the school to support our careers programme, please get in touch with Mrs Copeman, Careers & Aspirations Manager at ajc@sirjohnleman.co.uk.

How Parents/Carers Can Help

Discuss with your son or daughter their plans for the future, help them to be aware of their strengths and interests, encourage them to use speak to Mrs Copeman, their tutors and teachers and use the careers resources in the LRC. 

The following website can be useful - https://www.careersadviceforparents.org/

Careers Information and Advice on the Internet

Careers & Skills Inspiration Programme


Destination measures provide clear and comparable information on the success of our school in helping all of our pupils take qualifications that offer them the best opportunity to continue in education or training. Key Stage 4 and 5 destination data is published on www.gov.uk/school-performance-tables.

The school regularly asks for feedback from students, parents, teachers and employers in the form of evaluation forms and questionnaires etc and through both verbal and written communication to help us measure the impact of our careers programme.


The school reviews our careers programme on an annual basis, and following feedback from key stakeholders, at the start of each academic year, with the next review of the information published due in September 2019.

KS3 & KS4 Careers & Skills Programme at SJL - Information for Teachers and Tutors

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