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Careers programme information

Careers Contacts 

Careers Lead:  

Judith Bubb

Furze Platt Senior School, Furze Platt Road, Maidenhead, SL6 7NQ

01628 625308

SLT member with responsibility for careers: 

Andrew Morbey, Assistant Headteacher

Careers Governor

Katie Donnison 

Enterprise Adviser

Catherine Grey, Resourcing Partner, Balfour Beatty                                         


Furze Platt Senior School aims to ensure that when young people complete their school education, whether at 16 or 18, they are ready for life. As a result, preparing our young people for their future, both for the next steps after Furze Platt Senior School and for the longer term, is at the heart of everything we do. The school provides a range of opportunities and experiences designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully make informed decisions about their next steps and future careers, and then to take their place in the world of work. 


Gatsby Benchmarks

The school embraces the Gatsby Benchmarks - eight benchmarks that are considered to be the core dimensions of good careers and enterprise provision in schools:


  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  


The Careers Education Lessons at Furze Platt Senior School

Careers education lessons are delivered through PSHE (Years 7-11) and the Sixth Form tutorial programme (Years 12-13). These lessons cover many of the building blocks of careers education, including why it is important to think about future careers and aspirations, how this links to curriculum subjects, how to find out information about jobs and careers, what qualifications are needed, and how to develop and market employability skills.

Year 7

  • What careers education is and why it is important in Year 7
  • Looking back, looking forward. Achievements so far
  • Personal skills and qualities
  • Skills and qualities important in the world of work
  • How to find information, introduction to the Jobs Explored Database (JED)

Year 8

  • Employability skills
  • School subjects and employability skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Choosing GCSE options
  • Using JED for careers research

Year 9

  • Identifying employability skills
  • LMI Berkshire – what work local people do, what skills local employers are looking for
  • Researching careers using JED, Fast Tomato, National Careers Service
  • Detailed research into one career

Years 10 and 11

  • Options available after Year 11
  • Individual research into courses at school and local colleges and apprenticeships
  • Applications for post-16 options
  • University research
  • Careers research
  • The changing world of work, skills and qualities needed
  • Labour Market Information (LMI) Berkshire
  • Financial aspects – salaries, deductions, budgeting
  • CVs and personal statements  

Years 12 and 13

  • Labour Market Information (LMI)
  • Alumni careers talks
  • Graduate employment opportunities
  • Personalised careers research
  • ASK apprenticeships
  • Skills deficit auditing
  • Creating an evidence portfolio
  • Interview techniques


Further careers education provision at Furze Platt Senior School

Impartial careers advice and guidance

Students’ career aspirations and journeys towards them are tracked by the careers leader, form tutors and heads of house. All students in Years 8 to 13 have the opportunity for a one-to-one careers interview or take part in a group session; many students, including those in receipt of pupil premium and those leaving school at 16, have several careers interviews.   

Careers and Higher Education Fair (CHEF)

CHEF is open to all students from Years 9-13 and their parents, and regularly sees 30 universities attending along with over 60 businesses, social enterprises and companies. Located in the Main School Hall, Gym, Geography classrooms and Library, the event is attended by around 500 students and parents each year.

The school held its sixth annual Careers and Higher Education Fair (CHEF) in November 2018. There will be no CHEF in 2019 because of the building work being undertaken in the school and the fair will return in 2020. The most recent CHEF programme can be found here: link to CHEF programme

Key Stage 4 university and college visits Year 9 Visit to Oxford University

Each year thirty of the most able students visit a variety of Oxford colleges. They witness the college system first hand and learn the key differences between Oxford, Cambridge and other universities. The visit is successful in raising aspirations and increasing the number of students applying to Oxbridge and to Russell Group universities.

Year 10 visit to a university

All Year 10 students visit a university to see first-hand the benefits of higher education and to raise aspirations.  The universities students have visited in recent years include Bucks New University, Oxford Brookes University, Reading University, Royal Holloway, Sussex University and Surrey University.

Taster days at local colleges

Students in Years 10 or 11 have the opportunity to visit one of our local FE Colleges to take part in a taster day. Colleges include BCA, East Berkshire College, Henley College. Those who decide to apply to college are given specialist support with choosing courses, applying to college and considering logistical issues including transportation.

Work Experience and Apprenticeships 

Work experience is a vital component of many Key Stage 4 courses, including Construction, Child Development; Travel and Tourism. Some students do work experience once a week over an extended period of time; others do a more concentrated period of work experience.

All Year 12 students undertake a one week work experience placement in July.

All students are encouraged to consider apprenticeships. Students in Years 9 to 13 have the opportunity to attend a talk by ASK apprenticeships at the Careers and Higher Education Fair and this is followed up workshops about apprenticeships run by the school’s external careers adviser. As specific apprenticeship opportunities become available they are advertised via PSHE lessons. All Year 12 students then attend a further talk about apprenticeships, given by ASK Apprenticeships. Further details can be found here:     

Employer engagement opportunities

In addition to attending the Careers and Higher Education Fair, and the work experience opportunities listed above, students have several opportunities to hear from or work with local businesses and employers. Recent opportunities include:

Microsoft – Computing department

Merlin Entertainments – Computing and Business Departments

Glaxo Smith Kline – Science department

SATRO – Construction department

Prime Minister’s Office – Politics department

St Mark's Care Home - Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Furze Platt Junior School - Construction, Travel and Childcare departments

We hope to be able to expand our employer engagement opportunities now the school has been linked with our Enterprise Adviser, Catherine Grey, Resourcing Partner at Balfour Beatty.


Other opportunities for students to gain key employability skills

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

This award is offered at Bronze (Year 9), Silver (Year 10) and Gold (Year 12) levels. There are four aspects: developing a skill, a physical activity, volunteering, and organising, taking part in and leading an expedition. At Gold level students also have to take a substantial residential project. Students develop their confidence, teamwork, resourcefulness, resilience and communication skills. The award is highly valued by employers. Further details can be found here:

National Citizen Service (NCS)

All Year 11 students are encouraged to take part in the National Citizen Service– a challenge designed to help young people develop skills for employment and for life. The programme runs in the summer holiday after students have completed their GCSE, or when students are in Year 12. Like the Duke of Edinburgh Award referred to above, taking part in NCS enhances students’ CVs, university applications and employability skills. Further details can be found here:  


Evaluation and Review of Careers Programme   

The careers programme is evaluated in several ways:

  1. Analysis of school’s destinations data for Year 11 and Year 13 students, with focus on ensuring the fewest number of students possible are NEET (not in education, employment or training).
  2. Governor evaluation of careers provision, including focus group meetings with students.
  3. Regular self-evaluation against the Gatsby Benchmark as part of internal reviews of PSHE and careers provision.
  4. Feedback from students and teachers about careers education lessons via questionnaires and written comments.


In addition, various aspects of the careers programme are evaluated separately. For example, students provide feedback on their careers education lessons, careers interviews and university visits, and students, parents and visiting employers and university representatives all provide feedback on the Careers and Higher Education Fair (CHEF).


Date of next review: September 2020


Labour Market Information for Berkshire

Every year the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) carries out research into labour market information for Berkshire. This includes information about Berkshire’s largest employers, the sort of jobs likely to be available, employability skills needed, particular skills shortages, qualifications needed, etc. Click here for the latest version.


Useful Websites  Job Explorer Database (JED), lots of accessible information about over 850 different jobs and a career-matching quiz . To use all features of JED requires the school access code; students will be shown how to access in Careers Education lessons.    Career guidance, includes questionnaires leading to personalised education and career suggestions. Requires school access code; students will be shown how to access in Careers Education lessons.   Online careers platform, designed to connect 11-18 year olds with their future career potential. Requires school access code; students will be shown how to access in Careers Education lessons. Information, advice and guidance to help make decisions on learning, training and work. Duke of Edinburgh Award. Highly valued by employers, this award develops confidence, teamwork, resourcefulness, resilience and communication skills. Real stories and videos to inspire. Gives a first-hand view of jobs and ideas from accountants to zookeepers. Live apprenticeship opportunities and information on how to register and apply. Information about alternatives to going to university Information about all the university courses on offer in the UK. Information about the 24 Russell Group universities Suggestions for jobs for graduates Information about working for some of the top UK companies, including details of how to find and apply for jobs in these companies.