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St Mary's Catholic High School

Careers Education

St Mary’s Catholic High School is committed to providing all our students with a comprehensive programme of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) and work-related learning (WRL). We believe that giving students the best careers education and guidance is vital to improving their motivation to learn and helps them to achieve.

We are committed to ensuring that students have high quality advice on career opportunities and that they progress onto appropriate courses or employment on leaving the school. It is very important to us to know that all leavers have a plan for their next step.

Student destinations

St Mary's Catholic High School is an 11-16 school. Students are prepared for the next stage of their educational/career journey, with most continuing to local sixth form colleges, school sixth forms or colleges of further education. 

One of Government's measures for assessing the effectiveness of a school is Year 11 leavers who are considered to be NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training).

At our school, we are pleased to report that the number of year 11 leavers who are considered to be NEET students is:

2020 - 1.8%;    2019 - 5%;    2018 - 5%

2021 - 0% (currently)

The 2020 national average is 6.8%


Through our Careers programme we aim to provide all students with:

  • a stable careers education programme
  • the ability to learning from career and labour market information
  • support which addresses the needs of each pupil
  • the opportunity to meet employers and for work experience
  • experiences of workplaces
  • curriculum links to real-world careers
  • information on all post-16 options (apprenticeships as well as further education)
  • encounters with further and higher education
  • support in CV writing, interview preparation, public speaking and financial awareness.

Our school is committed to achieving  The Gatsby Benchmarks through a well-planned careers programme for all students.

SMHS - Provider Access Policy

Curriculum Overview

The Careers Education programme is delivered both in and outside the classroom environment. The school's PSHE curriculum includes units of work for ll students in Years 7 to 11 which are age-specific and appropriate to the educational stage of students development.

In addition to the PSHE curriculum students will have access to a wide range of experiences which will enhance their understanding of further education and the world of work. These include:

  • Work Experience for all students in Year 10
  • Mock interviews with local employers e.g. Mott McDonald, Croydon
  • St Mary's annual Careers Fair
  • STEM enrichment activities
  • Jack Petchey's SPEAKOUT! Challenge
  • Mock Bar Competition
  • Visits to post-16 providers - e.g. Christ the King Sixth Form College
  • Visits to Higher Education - e.g. St Mary's University, Twickenham
  • Engagement with the National Citizenship Service

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Developing skills and aspirations - careers, teamwork and enterprise skills, and raising aspirations

Students Learn:

  • how to be enterprising, including skills of problem-solving, communication, teamwork, leadership, risk-management, and creativity
  • about a broad range of careers and the abilities and qualities required for different careers about equality of opportunity
  • how to challenge stereotypes, broaden their horizons and how to identify future career aspirations
  • about the link between values and career choices

Year 8

Community and careers - equality of opportunity in careers and life choices, and different types and patterns of work

Students learn:

  • about equality of opportunity in life and work
  • how to challenge stereotypes and discrimination in relation to work and pay
  • about employment, self-employment and voluntary work how to set aspirational goals for future careers and challenge expectations that limit choices

Year 9

Setting goals - learning strengths, career options and goal setting as part of the GCSE options process

Students learn:

  • about transferable skills, abilities and interests how to demonstrate strengths
  • about different types of employment and career pathways how to manage feelings relating to future employment how to work towards aspirations and set meaningful, realistic goals for the future
  • about GCSE and post-16 options skills for decision making
  • about young people’s employment rights and responsibilities skills for enterprise and employability
  • how to give and act upon constructive feedback

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Work experience - preparation for and evaluation of work experience and readiness for work

Students learn:

  • how to evaluate strengths and interests in relation to career development
  • about opportunities in learning and work strategies for overcoming challenges or adversity about responsibilities in the workplace
  • how to manage practical problems and health and safety
  • how to maintain a positive personal presence online
  • how to evaluate and build on the learning from work experience

Year 11

Next steps - application processes, and skills for further education, employment and career progression (Living in the wider world)

Students learn:

  • how to use feedback constructively when planning for the future
  • how to set and achieve SMART targets
  • effective revision techniques and strategies about options post-16 and career pathways
  • about application processes, including writing CVs, personal statements and interview technique how to maximise employability, including managing online presence and taking opportunities to broaden experience
  • about rights, responsibilities and challenges in relation to working part time whilst studying how to manage work/life balance.

Careers Education - Latest News from St Mary's

National Careers Week 2022 at St Mary's - Mar 2022

Jordanne Returns - Feb 2022

Year 11 Careers Event - Nov 2021

Former Head Girl Breea returns to inspire Year 10 students - Oct 2021

Year 11 Summer Term Careers Activities Success - July 2021

Useful Links

National Career Service

i could - careers videos, job information and ideas for your future

Success at School - choose your next steps

SACU - careers information for students, parents and teachers

Careers Companion - careers advice

Find an Apprenticeship - search and apply for an apprenticeship

How 2 Become - careers and educational information

UCAS - Careers Advice

All About Careers - wide ranging careers information and advice

Study & Careers Magazine

First Careers - preparing young people for the world of work

Start - information on careers (guest user)

Please note: St Mary's Catholic High School  is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Labour Market Information

Skills Match - London Labour Market Information

London Datastore - Labour Market Information

Nomis - Croydon Labour Market Information

 London Labour Market Information