Careers at Shebbear College is run by Mrs Aliberti. We also employ a company called Inspiring Futures, who offer activities for pupils starting in Form One and then join us to do workshops and more detailed Careers Guidance with a Careers Officer throughout pupils’ time at school and beyond. Our membership of ISCO, the Independent Schools Careers Organisation, gives us access to many resources some of which are detailed below. It offers independent professional advice through a comprehensive, expert Careers programme with access at different levels for all pupils at the school.
Here is a brief overview of the sessions run by Inspiring Futures that are offered to all pupils:
Form 1 – Learning Styles and Skills development Workshops
Form 2 – Personality and Self- Awareness Workshop
Form 3 – A computer based programme called ‘Careers Investigator’ where pupils who are beginning to think about GCSE option choices, also start to think about the world of work and are introduced to a range of different career paths. They will also have a half day workshop in the Spring Term on ‘Study Skills’.
Form 4 – A follow up workshop to ‘Careers Investigator’ with related activities.
Form 5 – All pupils begin the ‘Futurewise New Generation’ 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 6th and mock university interviews in the Upper 6th. They are able to email the Futurewise Careers Officer directly at any time with queries and she always responds very promptly. One of the advantages of using the Futurewise 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 over the years so that the advice she is able to offer in the 6th Form is from a perspective of real knowledge about the pupil.
As well as the work with Inspiring Futures, there are other events that go on throughout the pupil’s time here at Shebbear which include visits from the TSB to Forms 1-5 , Mock Trials run by local magistrates attended by Form 3, a Careers Fair for Form 5 and Lower 6th called ‘Life Beyond 18’, 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 4 pupils spend time working on how to write a CV, how to write job applications and other very useful study skills.
Recently Form 3 and 4 pupils took part in an exciting event, ‘The Ryman Enterprise Challenge’which involved creating a product design and marketing event for a new stationery product of their choice. The winners from that event went to the final in London which was hosted by entrepreneur and businessman Theo Paphitis who owns Ryman.
Form 5 pupils have sessions on study skills and revision techniques with Mrs Aliberti. All Lower 6th pupils visit the UCAS Universities Fair in Exeter with her. There are also residential trips for Lower 6th Formers where they are able 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 whole 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, one of which was on student finance which was extremely informative. Each student has individual guidance with their application, particularly their personal statement, from their tutor and from Mrs Aliberti and the Head 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. One of the events we are particularly proud of is the careers morning called ‘Life beyond 18’. Mrs Aliberti has run the event for the last three years and it has grown in size and scope each year. Being a small school in rural Devon, some of the pupils here can be quite narrow minded about the possibilities available to them in the big wide world and the idea is to open their eyes to a wider environment. It is also a chance for them to find out about careers they may be interested in but not know much about. Finally, it is really useful for them to understand that often as adults we go in all sorts of different directions sometimes before arriving at our long term career choice and that all these experiences can be positive. We regularly have around 24 different speakers and careers represented at the ‘Life Beyond 18’ event, including all of the Armed Forces. Many of the speakers are parents of pupils and Old Shebbearians who are always very generous with their time. It is a great chance for ex-pupils to give back to the school and for current pupils to make links with people with established careers who are willing to help and support them.