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Careers guidance sessions for Year 8 GCSE options

Thursday 18th February 2016 by C. Freeman

A new initiative to help students consider the subjects they may pursue at GCSE has been rolled out to our Year 8s. The entire year group had consultations with careers adviser, Mr Primmett in groups of two and three. He asked students about their interests and talents and gave them advice about possible career pathways and options.

Although we have structured careers advice for older students this is the first time that the Year 8s have had consultations at this stage. They have had a whole term of careers information in their citizenship classes, from looking at gender stereotypes, personality profiling and working out the most compatible career. Mr Primmett said: ‘The idea for this early intervention came from Dr Rowe so this has been a very worthwhile exercise. The benefits are firstly to remind students that some GCSEs are particularly good for creating possible career pathways and it is good for them to have a balance between creative and academic subjects. One of the most useful outcomes of these meetings is that I am able to dispel some career myths.

'For example, many student aspire to careers in sport, without realising that about half of the jobs in sports tend to be done by volunteers. Paid sports jobs tend to be very limited in number so, while it is a good idea for students to have aspirations, they need to have a back-up plan as well. With the popularity of wildlife programmes zoology is another area that students are drawn to but, again, there is not the volume of job opportunities in that sector either. By learning these facts at a younger age students can formulate alternatives if their first choice of career is unattainable or unrealistic.

‘This consultation process has allowed students to reflect upon their own strengths and interests so that has been very valuable. Above all however I would advise them to keep an open mind regarding careers because they will have a great deal of information, advice and guidance over the next three years, so flexibility and adaptability are key when it comes to choosing options and career routes.’

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