Notre Dame recognises the importance of a sound careers education in equipping girls to meet the challenges of the job market in the modern world.
Careers education is provided in partnership with ISCO (Independent Schools Careers Organisation) who have created a bespoke service for Notre Dame that provides personalised career guidance and advice. We regularly host speakers from a variety of employment backgrounds and many of them are young women to whom our girls can aspire. One of our recent guest speakers was a business woman from eBay who delivered a talk on careers for women in computer technology related industries. Our biannual careers fair is hugely popular and features speakers and stalls from a wide variety of career fields. The girls are further supported through a well-resourced careers section within the library.
We start Careers Investigator with Year 8 to start them thinking about their interests and skills. The assessment gives them some career ideas which they save and work on in PHSE.
Developing an understanding of careers is an integral part of the Year 9 PHSE programme. Year 9 is a key year because pupils make their subject selections for GCSE. A careers advisor from ISCO attends school to speak to the girls and is also on hand at options evening in order to further advise parents and their daughters. The girls carry on with the online Careers Investigator which encourages them to think about possible careers and explore the options online. An annual enterprise challenge day helps deepen our pupils’ knowledge of the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
At the end of Year 10 girls take several online assessments that have been developed in conjunction with a team of leading psychologists. They use the latest psychometric tests to measure aptitudes, skills, learning styles and evaluate personality traits and values. The results from these online assessments empower students to explore their career options with confidence. This is followed at the start of Year 11 by individual interviews with career guidance specialists who ensure that the girls are prepared for the next steps. Importantly, students and their parents can access the report online and make the most of the career resources available to them. After completing their GCSE examinations Notre Dame supports any girl who wishes to complete work experience. In 6th Form our girls get the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice by running their own Young Enterprise Company.
Choosing a career path is a complex and potentially daunting task, but at Notre Dame we accompany the girls and their parents in this process.
Further online information can be found at:
www.futurewise.org.uk/infomation - ISCO for members only
http://icould.com – Hundreds of first-hand accounts (2-4 minute films) of what it is like to work in a wired variety of job and sectors
https://www.ted.com - TED talks – women in careers/ inspirational women
http://www.top100graduateemployers.com – UK’s best known and most successful graduate employers
6th form: ND6 runs the Young Enterprise Company Programme during Year 12 and all girls are encouraged to join. The girls learn team building, organisational, communication and presentation skills. They form a company and bring a product to market. This year, one team, Ignite competed at the Surrey Young Enterprise finals. They set up an excellent trade stand, presented their pitch superbly and were very passionate about the product. Overall, Ignite won the trophy for the Best Presentation of the night. The other team, Bank. It were also prize winners – they won the Best e-advert. Both beat many teams; over 70 Young Enterprise teams competed in Surrey!