Subjects


Careers Department

Aims

Careers Education prepares every St Mary’s student for the ever changing labour market. As the demands of working life are changing, at St Mary’s we aim to equip every student with the skills and know how to make effective choices about their courses and future career path. At St Mary’s College we strive to provide high quality Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance, (CEIAG), in every facet of our curriculum. Students have the opportunity to plan their own career aspirations beginning in Year 8 to Year 14 through Learning for Life and Work & Careers lessons. We aim to empower each girl with the ability to manage their own career development successfully. We aim to meet the needs of the student and the needs of the wider community.

Staff

  • Miss M Curran (Head of Department)
  • Mrs C Rogan
  • Mr S McBride

KS3

The Key Stage 3 programme of Learning for Life & Work provides students with the opportunity to study the strand of ‘Employability’. Students are assisted in identifying their strengths and skills, and they begin the process of career exploration and planning. Students are supported as they develop their research skills and investigate enterprise and entrepreneurship. As Year 10 is an important year for students making choices for their GCSEs, the employability strand provides students with a pathway to support and encourage their choices. Students will build a personal journal that focuses on target setting and goals. They will revisit the journal throughout the year to evaluate and set further goals for both their learning and career planning. Student research jobs and identify the skills required. They investigate learning styles and match their style to a range of jobs and subjects. Employment trends and types of jobs in the local area are studied as well as the global job market and employability skills. Throughout Year 8, 9 and 10 the Employability and Learning for Life and Work programme supports the revised curriculum and provides opportunities for each student to be creative, work collaboratively, manage their own work, manage information, develop their thinking skills, decision making, and problem solving skills.

GCSE

In Year 11 and Year 12 students have dedicated lessons for the study of Learning for Life & Work which covers the strand of Employability. Some students will complete the GCSE in Learning for Life and Work while other students will study for a vocational qualification. All students have the opportunity to develop their employability skills; they will continue their careers education and in Year 12 will meet individually with the Careers Service NI to receive advice and recommendations for their future careers. Some students have the chance to complete work experience in year 12. At St Mary’s all Year 12 students and their parents will be invited to an ‘Options Evening’ where we will outline the subject choices for Post -16 study and recommend a path of study suited to every individual girl.

Post 16

Careers education plays an important role in both Year 13 and Year 14. Each student has one dedicated lesson each week for careers. They follow a programme of work that continues their career planning, target setting and careers research continues. In Year 13 all students will get the opportunity to experience a work placement in industry. This is an excellent opportunity to experience of the world of work in their chosen area and gives the student a real insight into to their potential careers. In Year 14, students are guided through the range of opportunities available to them in their chosen career path. Students apply for Universities and Higher Education Colleges as well as further education colleges and apprenticeships. Students are guided through the application process and provided with advice and assistance. A number of guest speakers are invited to talk to the Year 13 and 14 students to provide them with information about choices and courses. These include University of Ulster, Queens University Belfast, NWRC, Liverpool John Moores University and WELB - Student Finance.

Extra Curricular

A commitment to lifelong learning and knowing where work is available are now essential requirements for all students entering the world of work in the 21st century. At St Mary’s we work closely with the Careers Service NI to deliver personal careers interviews and deliver impartial advice at GCSE and A-Level. At A-level each student has the opportunity to take work experience in an area of their choice. This allows students to form close links with an employer and experience the world of work. Students can work-shadow in a wide range of careers and this work is supported by SEC. St Mary’s also provides an extensive programme of guest speakers, industrial visits and careers events throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to engage in events such as University talks and taster days, STEM careers events, UCAS support and information sessions.