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Being proactive with virtual and physical careers experiences

This week, our Bethany School blog has been written by Mr Duff, Head of Sixth Form. He writes about encouraging a proactive approach to careers for Bethany pupils as well as the many opportunities that come their way.

In the Sixth Form, pupils have a weekly careers lesson entitled ‘Project Horizon’ where guest speakers from all walks of life present to try to inspire pupils in their career choices. In the past academic year we have had Exeter University, a Level 4 ‘Solicitor’ apprenticeship, BIMM and Gap 360 to name but a few. During the forthcoming Summer term the sessions will be based on the following:

The ‘Year 12 Team channel’ has also been populated with remote work experience opportunities, virtual careers fairs, virtual UCAS university fairs and virtual apprenticeship Q and A sessions. Therefore it is clear that although lockdown and Covid has made attaining work experiences a little bit more difficult, the provision has evolved the nature of careers support to one of a virtual nature. Indeed conducting apprenticeship/university fairs virtually certainly makes a lot of sense on many levels, so I have no doubt that this is an evolution that is here to stay.

On April 26th all of Year 12 will be off site. Myself and Mrs Wareham (Head of Careers) will be taking one third of the year to an Apprenticeship and Employment fair at Gillingham Football Club. Miss Shaw (UCAS co-ordinator) will be taking the other two thirds to the University of Kent “UK University Search fair”. Thus, although opportunities are out there digitally, there are still physical events. My advice to pupils is to make the best of both worlds!

A platform we use to support all pupils in regards to careers is ‘Unifrog’. All pupils from Years 7 to 13 have an account which they can access through its website via their school email address as a username – https://www.unifrog.org/sign-in. The name of this careers platform is slightly misleading as it covers so much more than universities as the screen shot above demonstrates. As a school, we have incorporated ‘Unifrog’ into the PSHCE curriculum from Years 7 to 11, and subject staff/tutors are encouraged to utilise it at every opportunity be it via the ‘CV building tool’ or simply to demonstrate what careers are available in the world of ‘Geography’ for example. We also thoroughly encourage parents to log-in and explore!

It is a tough job preparing pupils for an ever changing workplace, and arguably jobs that don’t exist at the minute. However if teachers, tutors and parents are all encouraging a proactive approach – pupils can take these ‘virtual’ as well as ‘physical’ opportunities in both hands and continue with researching and fulfilling their career ambitions.

Mr Duff
Head of Sixth Form