"This whole programme has got me really excited about my future."
- A pupil at Kings Lynn Academy -
Our Careers Programme is a series of online workshops devised specifically for girls in Years 8 & 9, to help develop the crucial personal skills needed to succeed in finding their dream job. As a charity, with a background of working successfully with schools since our inception in 2013, we believe it is important to offer such an initiative at a time when the challenges before young women have never seemed so great. Equally important, this is a foundation programme to help prepare for careers progression through the Gatsby Benchmarks; through it we intend to make girls “Gatsby- ready”.
The Foundation Programme offers five one-hour online classes - running for five consecutive weeks - and an online summer school at the end of the year – tailor made to suit each class.
Our programme is led by professional trainers with a wealth of experience and real-life role-models from a wide range of careers and backgrounds.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville’s foreword to the Gatsby report begins with:
“Very few people would disagree that good career guidance is critical if young people are to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them.”
And yes, very few people would disagree.
However, not all pupils are able to embrace good career guidance if they are not in the frame of mind to do so. The unconfident pupil whose self-esteem is low and finds it difficult to communicate effectively with others will be much less likely to reap the benefits from a careers programme such as Gatsby. And it can be argued that many pupils are not ready to undertake the Gatsby programme because of the communication difficulties holding them back, especially now when the challenges before girls have never seemed so great.
This is where our programme is able to help. It focusses on developing Resilience and those underpinning skills of Confidence and Assertiveness. Over the five classes, girls from Years 8 and 9 participate in interactive, fun and thought provoking lessons to provide them with a greater insight into how they communicate and how to develop their communication skills further and land their dream job. The girls will have the opportunity to work in groups and to self-evaluate their skills.
At the end of the, programme we envisage that each girl will have grown in confidence leading to higher or more achievable career aspirations. They will better benefit from their schools’ own Gatsby driven careers initiatives.
Benefits of the Programme
This is a preparation for the school’s own Gatsby driven careers initiatives. It is designed to help delegates who have clear aptitudes, but who are not currently achieving their potential due to barriers arising from low Confidence, Assertiveness and Resilience.
It consists of 5 x 1 hour online classes, ending with an online summer school.
We start with a concept which students will recognise: Confidence (being secure in yourself and your abilities). We then consider a second skill, Assertiveness (being self-assured, without being aggressive).
Finally, we help participants focus on Resilience:
the skills of learning from failure or setbacks and finding new ways to solve problems;
the need to feel good about yourself in order to be resilient; and,
the ability to bound back up when facing a setback.
We encourage delegates to add their own definitions and then discuss how Resilience is underpinned by the twin skills of Confidence and Assertiveness. We embed these ideas through lively and compelling exercises, allowing students to practise these in a supportive and enjoyable environment.
Participants are then encouraged to analyse what went on during the tasks and recognise confident and assertive behaviours.
We illustrate how confident people behave calmly because they have no doubts about their ability or knowledge. Assertive people stand up for their own and others’ rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passive towards others’ behaviours.
At the virtual conference, delegates will be able to practise their enhanced skills when they meet programme participants from other schools and benefit from contact with guest speakers who will talk about career decisions and opportunities.
This will enable students to fully engage later in their own school’s Gatsby programme now with the benefits of improved personal skills, increased information and having started to plan their own career development.
The Gatsby Benchmarks
The Gatsby Career Benchmarks are the result of an international study to find the best practice in Career Guidance worldwide.
Working with experts from the University of Derby, the Gatsby team visited six places, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Hong Kong and Ontario – where career guidance is known to be good.
The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice and guidance.
A stable careers programme
Learning from career and labour market information
Addressing the needs of each pupil
Linking curriculum learning to careers
Encounters with employers and employees
Experiences of work places
Encounters with Further and Higher education
Read more here:
Careers guidance and access for education and training providers. Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff:
Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents:
The Quality in Careers Standard:
Career Development Institute. Framework for careers, employability and enterprise education 7-19:
"Exceptional. I keep bringing new
pupils back to see it."
- John Asgian, teacher at St George's, Maida Vale, London -
"The exposure to ICC and taking part in the workshops has most definitely given students an insight into the world of work, careers, the type of person they are and the numerous routes into a variety of work roles...
Excellent practitioners, interesting and relevant content, exciting delivery. Thank you so much!"
- Townley Grammar School -