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Careers Provision For Years 7 - 13

Our Careers Programme works towards satisfying the government's devised standards of a good careers strategy​

  1. Learning from career and labour market information

  2. Addressing the needs of each pupil

  3. Linking curriculum learning to careers

  4. Encounters with employers and employees

  5. Experiences of workplaces

  6. Encounters with further and higher education

  7. Personal guidance

Careers Programme

Throughout the academic year, all classes from years 7-13 receive a careers education alongside the PSHE Curriculum. The learning aims are taken from the Careers Development Institute’s spiral curriculum, Gatsby benchmarks  and the Jigsaw PSHE programme. In addition Ripplevale School hold three stand-alone careers days for years 7-13 to support the teaching of careers across the curriculum. Careers days give the students opportunities to engage in workshops, attend visits and invite various individuals in to speak and answer questions. Dressing up as your chosen career for the day can also add a more fun element.


In keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step after school, we will now be using Unifrog; an award-winning, online careers platform. All students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 now have access to this excellent website.

Unifrog brings into one place every undergraduate university course, apprenticeship, and college course in the UK, as well as other opportunities, such as School Leaver Programmes, MOOCs and every college at Oxford and Cambridge. This makes it easy for students to compare and choose the best university courses, apprenticeships or further education courses for them. They can also explore exciting opportunities further afield by looking at English-taught undergraduate programmes available in Europe and the USA.

Additionally, the platform helps students successfully apply for these opportunities by using Unifrog to write their personal statement, applications and CVs and guiding them through the process, allowing teachers to give live feedback.

Students access the platform by logging into Unifrog using their school secure email address and password and they can do so from any computer, tablet or smartphone. We would encourage you to use the platform with your child so you can support them through the process of deciding their next step.

We have also set up a parent login so that you can use Unifrog as if you were a student yourself, allowing you to truly support your child. You can sign up here: For more information, go to or contact the school.​

Independent Advice and Guidance

The school utilise the expertise of CXK to provide independent advice and guidance to our students through one to one sessions scheduled throughout the year with their special educational needs trained careers advisors.

CXK is an organisation dedicated to transforming the lives of young people and adults across the South; providing support, advice and guidance to help them find work, or move into learning or training, and in doing so improving their life chances. ​


Individual action plans are produced for each student following their 1:1 meeting with the career’s counsellor. These are collated by the careers teacher and made available to parents/carers so they can discuss options with their child at home.

Skills Builder

The school also utilises the tools provided in the Skills Builder framework and has worked as part of the accelerator programme to integrate the programme into the school, achieving the silver award. To see how we use Skills Builder follow 


Skills Builder provides research-based resources to build essential skills such as, problem solving, teamwork, perseverance, creativity, speaking, listening, staying positive, aiming high and leadership.


Essential skills unlock learning in the classroom, boosting academic outcomes, perseverance and self belief. They halve the likelihood of being out of work, and increase earnings across a lifetime. They even boost wellbeing and life satisfaction.

But access to these skills isn’t fair. And where they are missed, it undermines social mobility, productivity and wellbeing.

We think everyone, at every stage of their lives, should have the opportunities to build them.”

Skills Builder


Our Key stage 3 curriculum introduces careers and aims to support pupils in their planning and choices of GCSE subjects. This includes:


  • Increasing pupils’ awareness of career/work opportunities

  • Increasing pupils’ understanding of the link between education, qualifications and work opportunities

  • Complete a session of impartial advice and guidance

  • Have access to two providers of vocational and technical qualifications

  • Have meaningful employer encounters

  • Reduce gender specific career/role stereotypes

  • Engage parents/carers in the process


These objectives are met through a combination of dedicated lessons, Enrichment Days, our whole school focussed Enterprise and Careers days, and access to visiting professionals.



Our Key Stage 4 careers programme aims to help pupils research and understand their choices and routes into education and training. This includes:


  • Developing employability skills

  • Experiencing the world of work through work placement

  • Being aware of and effectively apply for options post 16

  • Being given direct access to employers and training providers Complete a session of impartial advice and guidance

  • Having access to two providers of vocational and technical qualifications

  • Having meaningful employer encounters




Our Key Stage 5 careers programme supports pupils in planning for their future, including university and alternative pathways. This includes:

  • Making informed choices about the full range of options available

  • Experiencing the world of work through work placement

  • Completing a session of impartial advice and guidance

  • Having access to two providers of vocational and technical qualifications

  • Having meaningful employer encounters

  • Developing their future career ideas and plans

  • Making a successful transition to adult life


Measuring success


Our career programme is designed so pupils can give feedback, and their progress measured as they move through the Key Stages. We measure and assess the impact of the programme’s initiatives whereby;

  • Pupils complete annual surveys to feedback the impact of the careers programme has had on them

  • School leavers are contacted for destination updated each year for three years after leaving.

  • School governors’ report is completed three points per year and updates them on the action plan to meet the Gatsby benchmarks.

  • Parents and employers are welcome to feedback or comment to

  • The school is using the ‘Compass evaluation tool’ to assess ongoing progress in relation to the eight Gatsby Benchmarks

  • The school has a ‘Careers Programme’ in place to outline the events and activities being planned in relation to this year's priorities and the eight Gatsby Benchmarks.

  • Review of the objectives of the programme with a focus on outcomes for learners & assessing if the objectives have been met

  • Review of the delivery of the programme and evidence of impact on pupils through pupil questionnaires and lesson observations.

  • Adapting the programme based on student feedback to continuously improve it.

  • Monitoring and using information from: attainment, progress, options pathways, Student destinations post 16 e.g. Sixth form, College or apprenticeship.

  • Feedback from other stakeholders such as; parents/carers, teachers, governors, employers

  • Are we making the best use of the resources we have allocated for careers work? (Termly)

  • Are the timings of interventions, events and activities appropriate and effective?

  • Review impacts of different guidance interventions, e.g. one-to one CXK interviews, informal career chats, small group work, drop-in sessions.

  • Evaluation of FE provider talks and encounters with technical qualification providers.

  • Year 9 options process- students making choices related to career aspirations.

  • The learning outcomes and grades achieved at the end of KS3 & KS4

  • Are students succeeding in their next steps in their education, training or employment.


The date when the next review will take place is July 2024.



Useful Resources for Post 16-18​

There are many options available for students at Post 16 and Post 18, the following links can help you when exploring your options:

Options with your subject

Prospects Website

Target Careers Website


The Complete University Guide
The Complete University Guide Website


Alternatives to University
Not going to Uni Website


Money isn’t everyone’s priority, but maybe a factor for you when choosing a degree.  Use this link to help you understand your choices in greater depth:  BBC News website (our Higher Education handout at can also help you further).

Websites That May Help with Applications


Applying for Post 16 options
Kent Choices 4 U Website

Applying for Higher Education
Ucas Website

Applying for Apprenticeships
Amazing Apprenticeship Website

At Ripplevale School we would like to make a commitment to create, maintain and nurture links with business, training and education providers. If you would like to engage with the school to develop skills and opportunities for our students please contact:


Jamie Lovett - Careers Leader   or telephone 01304 373866


Please also refer to our provider access policy statement.

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