At Meadowside School we recognise the importance that a solid grounding in Careers will make to the future of all our pupils. Young people with learning difficulties need a co-ordinated and supported approach to following their ‘golden thread’. Unlike most schools we have dedicated careers lessons delivered to all pupils once a week from Y7 to Y14; these help our learners understand their place in the world of work. Careers is supported by Senior Leaders and has a named Governor and a Careers Lead.
Our strategy for Careers is to prove a personalised service which meets all the criteria for the Gatsby Benchmark by offering:
1. A stable careers programme
2. Learning from career and labour market information
3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
5. Encounters with employers and employees
6. Experiences of workplaces
7. Encounters with further and higher education
8. Personal guidance
At all levels we ensure that pupils can access a greater understanding about employment. For our pupils with very complex needs, that might mean recognising uniform and understanding that some people have a job; for more able pupils it might mean developing a Curriculum Vitae and personalised career plan. In KS3 we learn through role play and reflection, looking at wider areas such as our community and being safe at work. In Key Stages 4 and 5 the focus is on learning what skills are needed for specific jobs, how to create your own careers pathway and planning for adulthood. Each lesson is differentiated by outcome so that pupils maximise their learning.
All Subject leaders embed careers into their medium and short term planning. What this means for pupils is that they learn how different subject areas may lead to different careers which helps them contextualise the world of work. For example, in RE they may learn how to become a religious leader. Pupils learn traditionally British careers as well new careers paths linked to technology and ‘future’ jobs that do not yet exist.
Qualifications and Accreditation
Pupils in KS4 and KS5 are taught together and work towards a qualification – click here for information about the AQA PSE qualification
which combines Careers, Citizenship and PSHE. This qualification is available from Entry Level 1 up to Level 2 so pupils can make progress between the Key Stages. For those pupils working below entry level we offer accreditation in a range of areas linked to careers through the AQA Unit Award Scheme.
Work related Learning
Where appropriate, most pupils will take part in at least one extended period of work experience during their time at Meadowside. We offer a range of different experiences and these include working at Best Bites or Dale Farm, Wirral Car Hospital and placements in partner schools. We always welcome support from new employers, please contact the school if you are able to offer our pupils work experience in your setting.
Each academic year we hold a ‘skills week’ for KS4 and KS5. This is topic based and led by pupil voice to meet the interests of most pupils. During skills week pupils may visit colleges of further education, work places, places of interest, and have on site ‘speakers’. The aim of the week is to broaden pupil horizons and give them a wider bank of information so that when they come to making choices about their lives after Meadowside they have a better understanding of where their skills would be best used.
Independent Careers Advice
All our pupils have EHC plans and as such have an annual review supported by school, parents and the Local Authority. Independent advice is sought at review meetings through our independent Advisor Katherine Magnall. Katherine is well known to pupils through review, skills week and work experience, as such she is able to offer independent guidance to all our pupils.
We have a programme with Wirral Metropolitan College to deliver advice on further education.
Each year we take part in a ‘Careers Fair’ held at Clare Mount School which offers pupils and parents access to a wide range of educational and alternative providers.
Other educational institutions are always welcome to visit the school and meet our pupils aged 13-19 in order to give in depth information regarding appropriate courses and qualifications. If you would like to do so, please contact the school and ask to speak to the Careers Lead.
Pupils in KS4 and KS5 complete a ‘passport to adulthood’ which helps them structure a careers path and choose the right advice and guidance from internal and external staff.
When pupils leave Meadowside they may choose to continue their education, move into an apprenticeship or employment. Please see the links below to access support and information.
Please click on the links below for specific advice.