Aspire, Achieve and Thrive

Careers Guidance and Work-related Curriculum

At Downland School we are passionate about ensuring that all pupils receive good quality career advice throughout the time they are with us, starting in Year 6. The 2002 Education Act states that schools must provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum for all pupils. Pupils receive this information through well-crafted PSHEE lessons embedded in the ‘Living in the wider world’ strand. All curriculum areas promote career pathways which are viable through being successful within that area; the final element of this is exposing our pupils to inspiring individuals from the world of work and age-appropriate work-experience.

Our aim is to provide every pupil with the knowledge and awareness of what opportunities are accessible to them, both locally and nationally. Through providing a comprehensive, engaging and well-developed work-related programme we expose all of our pupils to an experience which aims to enhance their aspiration and prepare them for their transition to post-16 education. The curriculum includes aspects of learning about the world of work, enterprise education, informed career choices and development of skills in preparedness for adulthood.

CEIAG (Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance) will, therefore, contribute to raising pupils’ achievement; help pupils focus on their longer-term career ambitions and ensure an equality of opportunity for all. Additionally, the high quality Work Experience we provide in Key-stage 4 will support pupils experience and prepare for both further education and the world of work.

In line with the SEND code of practice, the school uses the Year 9 annual review to engage pupils, parents/carers and outside stakeholders in supporting pupils have initial conversations regarding their preferred Post-16 pathway.

Throughout Year 9 and Key Stage 4, pupils receive a high level of support to determine and apply for post-16 courses at college or apprenticeships. The majority of the pupils from Downland progress to main-stream colleges, public services or apprenticeships.

Key aims of CEIAG at Downland School:

  • To equip pupils with the necessary decision making skills about future progression and their destination when they leave.
  • To provide pupils with current information on courses at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.
  • To give opportunity for maximum exploration of future careers including work experience opportunities, where possible.
  • To understand how the ‘world of work’ works.
  • To keep up-to-date with new careers emerging from technological advances.
  • To ensure all Year 11 pupils have at least one post-16 pathway guaranteed when leaving.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

The DfE’s guidance states that all schools and colleges should aim to meet the Gatsby Foundation’s Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance and The Careers and Enterprise Company: Gatsby Benchmark Toolkits for Schools

The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks are designed to be linked together to help schools, special schools and colleges deliver the very best careers provision. We use the Compass assessment tool to measure our progress in meeting the Benchmarks. 

Statutory Requirements

All schools have a legal requirement to provide all pupils with guidance and reference materials relating to careers education and career opportunities (Section 45 of the 1997 Education Act).

The statutory career guidance duty (2011 Education Act) requires school to ensure that all pupils are provided with independent careers guidance from Year 8 to Year 11. The guidance should be presented in an impartial manner, provide information on the range or education and training options, including apprenticeships and other vocational pathways and always be in the best interests of each pupil.


All schools and colleges are expected to be accountable to Ofsted for their performance. In full inspections, inspectors are required to make judgements about careers. Included in the quality of education judgement on impact, e.g. they are looking for evidence that pupils are ready for the next stage of education, employment and training. Where relevant they gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests and aspirations.

The Personal Development judgement is related to personal career development. Inspectors will evaluate the school’s ability to prepare pupils for future success in their next steps.

The Leadership and Management judgement will consider how effectively leaders engage with pupils and others in their community, including where relevant parents, carers, employers and local services.

More information

Careers Leader

Pupils, parents/carers, teachers and employers can access information about our careers programme by contacting the Careers Leader at Downland School:

 Mrs Vivienne Fitton

01380 724193


Provider Access Policy

Access to Providers (2018) – All maintained school must provide opportunities for a range of education and training providers to have access to pupils from Year 8 to Year 13 (Year 11 at Downland).

This Provider Access Policy sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer.

Overview of Careers Programme

Years 6, 7 and 8  

During Year 7, pupils start to focus on their own skills, qualities and understanding of how they link to different roles within the working world. They explore current job sectors and how the job market is evolving locally, nationally and globally. Human rights within the workplace, the law and discrimination are also covered. The concept of being enterprising is touched upon.

We consider personal achievements and qualifications; pupils explore the difference between skills and qualities.

In Year 8, pupils re-visit career aspirations whilst looking at financial responsibilities as they get older and also personal financial responsibility. There is attention paid to jobs which may be held and the life chances this affords the individual.

 Year 9: Options Year

Throughout Year 9, during lessons and the Annual Review process, pupils begin to think about the next step in their education.

Pupils and their families are engaged in the process of deciding which subjects will best support the pupil in their future plans. The options are formally agreed with the school by the end of term 6; they will have been agreed by all stakeholders.

In line with the SEND code of practice, the school uses the Year 9 annual review to engage pupils, parents/carers and outside stakeholders in supporting pupils have initial conversations regarding their preferred Post-16 pathway. The outcomes from the PSHEE programme feed into the Annual review, in light of possible career options. Mrs Fitton (Careers Leader) will conduct a brief interview prior to the annual review to support the pupil express their views.

 Key Stage 4

The programme at Key stage 4 further develops the work carried out during Key Stage 3; there is a deliberate design to allow the pupils to see the progression.

During Year 10, pupils prepare for and carry out, work experience. They will then evaluate their performance in the work place and understand the value of post-16 education.

In Year 11, the culmination of all of the prior learning is consolidated through the process of choosing and applying for post-16 courses whether a college course or an apprenticeship.

Following the programme constructed, pupils will be equipped to make informed choices about courses and consider life post-16. This experience will be personalised to each cohort and individuals as appropriate.



Useful Links

Careers links for pupils and parents/carers:

National Careers Service

 Find an Apprenticeship


 Work Wiltshire – Labour Market Information

 Wiltshire College and University Centre


Useful links for parents/carers:

Careerpilot Parent Zone


Useful links for employers:

 Provider Access Policy