Notre Dame Plymouth provides a wide range of advice and support for students at each stage of their school life.  We review our programme every year so that students are offered the most up to date package of information and support.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

A variety of advice and guidance days and evenings are available throughout the year, enabling parents to discuss the progress of their children.  Progress Reviews, outlining students’ current progress against targets and their attitude to learning, are sent home three times a year.

Work Related Learning

“Careers education helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed to make successful choices, manage transitions in learning and move into work. Careers guidance enables young people to use the knowledge and skills developed to make decisions about learning and work that are right for them.”  (Careers Education and Guidance in England, DfES 2003).

Careers Education and Guidance is delivered by form tutors and teachers of PSHE within the ethos and mission statement of Notre Dame Plymouth.  Its three strands enable students to:

  • understand themselves and the influences on them (self-development)
  • investigate opportunities in learning and work (career exploration)
  • make and adjust plans to manage change and transition (career management).

These three strands are developed from Year 7 through to Year 13.  In particular:

In Year 8 students apply knowledge and skills gained in choosing appropriate KS4 courses.

In Y10/11 all students are offered a 1:1 meeting with a Personal Careers Advisor from Careers South West (CSW).

In Year 11 all students experience a one-week work placement, giving them a valuable insight into the wider world of work.

In Year 11 students prepare job applications and curriculum vitae, which form the basis for a mock interview with a local employer.  A careers guidance interview with a Careers South West adviser is available for Year 11 and Sixth Form students requiring one.  Work experience is an integral part of Sixth Form, NVQ and AVCE courses.

In addition:

  • Appropriate ICT software (e.g. Kudos, Career Pilot) is used at each key stage as part of the investigative and decision making process.
  • Students are given the opportunity to attend career events such as the Skills South West Show, University Open Days and The UCAS HE Fair in Exeter.

Options

In the autumn term Y11 have a continuing education morning to launch the start of their Post-16 option applications.  ND Sixth has its Open Evening shortly after this to which all Y11 students are invited.  The range of opportunities is explained and students can discuss their options with teachers and those currently studying in the Sixth Form

In the spring term of each year, Y8 students make decisions about the courses and subjects they wish to study at Key Stage 4.  The school offers a number of personalised pathways for students to choose from, including GCSEs, BTECs and ASDAN.

Choices Guides are produced each year to support students in their decision making.  The 2017-18 version is attached below and was distributed to parents and students during our Options Evening in January 2018.

Evaluating our Programme

We take the need to evaluate our programme seriously and listen to what our students say.  The PSHE programme is evaluated at the end of each academic year.  Individual students give feedback on their Work Experience (WEX) and 1:1 career interviews.  This information is used to make improvements for the following year.

Our Programme

Here is a snap shot of our current IAG programme (2018-19).  It shows a brief outline of what we offer in each year group.

Year 7

  • Exploring ‘Who am I’
  • Starting to meet with employers

Year 8

  • Employability Passport in PSHE
  • GCSE option decisions including evening for parents and students
  • Health Careers Dimension Day
  • Introduction of a ‘take your child to work day’ (2019)
  • Reception Duty

Year 9

  • Introduction to Career Pilot
  • Support in embarking on GCSEs
  • Option to attend the Skills South West Road Show
  • Attend Plymouth University Open day in the summer term

Year 10

  • WEX launch
  • Additional WEX in specialist areas e.g. TR2, Armed forces
  • 1:1 careers interviews begin
  • Option to attend the Skills South West Road Show

Year 11

  • One week WEX
  • ND Sixth Open Evening for parents and students
  • 1:1 careers interviews continue
  • Attend UCAS HE Fair in Exeter
  • Interviews by Head of Sixth Form about   Post-16 subjects

 KS5

  • Attend UCAS HE Fair in Exeter
  • Learn for Life programme on Friday mornings e.g. Apprenticeships and Foundation Degree input from City College Plymouth
  • E time subjects enhance academic curriculum
  • Personal Statement Day at Plymouth University Personal support for UCAS and other applications
  • 1:1 careers interviews available

Advice for Parents

Further Information

If you have any questions at all regarding IAG and Notre Dame please do contact the following members of staff: by using the school’s telephone number or email info@ndonline.org

IAG Manager:  Miss C Darragh

PSHE Subject Leader:  Miss T Byng

Work Experience:  Miss C Darragh or Miss E Jensen