Our innovative Careers Department here at Shebbear College is run by Mrs Aliberti, preparing all of our pupils for their future beyond the school gates.
The programme starts at Form One (Year 7) and goes right through to the Upper Sixth (Year 13), guiding our students through those all important decisions for their future.
We also work with Futuresmart, who offer independent professional advice through a comprehensive, expert Careers programme, and have access to the fantastic Unifrog resource which offers comprehensive information about undergraduate university courses and apprenticeship schemes in the UK and overseas.
The many varied opportunities offered to our pupils across the school include visits from the TSB to Forms One – Five (Years 7 – 11) , Mock Trials run by local magistrates attended by Form Three (Year 9), ‘Life Beyond 18’ – a Careers Fair for Form Five (Year 11) and Lower Sixth, participation in the government backed scheme ‘National Citizens Service’, and many other speakers who visit the school to inspire and inform the pupils about the world of work and study beyond Shebbear College. During activities week Form Four pupils spend time working on how to write a CV, how to write job applications and other very useful study skills.
Form Five pupils have sessions on study skills and revision techniques and all Lower Sixth pupils visit the annual UCAS Universities Fair in Exeter. In the June activities week we also take all of the Lower Sixth on a 3 day residential where they have time to work on their personal statements and start thinking about university applications.
In terms of post 16 education, we have a thriving, well-resourced careers department for the pupils to begin to make their choices. There is a whole programme dedicated to university applications with sessions for pupils and parents on the UCAS application process. These include advice on writing personal statements, choosing courses and universities, roadshow visits from International universities, and talks from outside specialist speakers. We have talks on student finance, resilience, study skills, and how to be a successful Sixth Form student. Each student has individual guidance with their application, particularly their personal statement, from their tutor and from Mrs Aliberti who oversees each application personally before it is sent off.
There is also advice on apprenticeships and gap years for those who do not want to apply to university. Pupils who have previously left Shebbear also benefit from our advice and frequently ask for help with university applications during their gap year or even after that. We are always very happy to help.
Our fantastic careers event, ‘Life beyond 18’ takes place every year, offering our students the opportunity to find out more about all of the possibilities available to them and the careers they may be interested in. At our most recent event in 2019, 26 different speakers attended this event, all of whom represented different careers. Many of our speakers are Old Shebbearians, as well as individuals from our parent body and from local businesses, and this is a great opportunity for current pupils to make connections with people with established careers who can help and support them.
We are also keen to develop pupils’ experience of work and volunteering outside of school and all students are encouraged to arrange work experience from Form Five upwards. This year, four of our pupils did a week’s work experience or work shadowing at North Devon Hospital. We would love to hear from you if you can offer our pupils any opportunities in this area.
The following sessions are run by Futuresmart:
Form One (Year 7) – Learning Styles and Skills development workshops.
Form Two (Year 8) – Personality and Self- Awareness workshop.
Form Three (Year 9) – A more in-depth look at careers and subjects, skills and temperament needed for these. It is useful for pupils who are beginning to think about GCSE option choices. They can start to think about the world of work and are introduced to a range of different career paths. They also have a half day workshop in the Spring Term on ‘Study Skills’.
Form Four (Year 10) – A follow up workshop to the Form Three work with related activities.
Form Five (Year 11) – All pupils begin the detailed Careers Guidance programme which is a comprehensive one to one career and higher education guidance programme which lasts until the pupils are 23 years old, so takes them through A level choices or other post 16 studies, researching and selecting a university, planning a gap year and preparing for employment. The pupils do a sophisticated and in depth psychometric profile which is then followed up by a personal interview and the report and resulting action plan are available for pupils and parents to access online. They are also offered further support in the form of one to one guidance interviews in the Lower Sixth and mock university interviews in the Upper Sixth. They are able to email the Futuresmart Careers Officer directly at any time with queries and she always responds very promptly. One of the advantages of using the Futuresmart programme is that over the three years that pupils are in the Upper School they see the same Careers Officer and build up a relationship with her so that the advice she is able to offer in the Sixth Form is from a perspective of real knowledge about the pupil.