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Careers, Enterprise and Work Related Skills

Careers Logo JPEGCropped Header 2019 1ThamesValleyBerkshire 

At Waingels we seek to improve the life chances of students through the development of employability skills as well as to increase motivation, raise aspirations and achievement, equip students with the knowledge and skills to make effective decisions, and help with developing career management and employability skills. Specifically:  

  • We will provide opportunities for students to develop enterprise skills 
  • We will provide independent information on the options available for 16-19 education and training including apprenticeships
  • We will be impartial and show no bias towards a particular option or institution
  • We will promote the best interests of the student to whom CIAG is given
  • Those students identified as vulnerable or with specific needs will receive targeted support 
  • The school will refer to national quality standards when making decisions about CIAG providers.

Our careers lead is Mrs Laura Chislett, Assistant Principal

Careers Policy

Waingels Careers Curriculum

Waingels vision is to be an exceptional school, striving for excellence, at the heart of our community where Better Never Stops.

Our careers education programme provides our students with the opportunity to plan and manage their careers effectively, ensuring progression which is ambitious and aspirational. It promotes equality of opportunity, celebrates diversity and challenges stereotypes. It is designed to meet the Gatsby benchmarks and conforms to statutory requirements.

Waingels is committed to providing all students in Years 7-13 with a careers programme which is embedded into the curriculum and includes a variety of enrichment activities. The programme has been developed in line with the eight Gatsby benchmarks for ensuring best practice and to meet the requirements of the Department for Education’s statutory guidance 2018. 

The Gatsby Benchmarks 

  1. A stable careers programme 
  2. Learning from career and labour market information 
  3. Addressing the needs of each student 
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers 
  5. Encounters with employers and employees 
  6. Experience of work places 
  7. Encounters with further and higher education 
  8. Personal guidance

Our careers programme is embedded in our curriculum and forms part of each subject. In addition to this, we offer the below opportunities to spend time out of the curriculum to take advantage of local opportunities including working with global company, Microsoft; and number 1 ranked company in the Thames Valley 250 (a list of top performing companies ranked by turnover), Westcoast.  

ALL Student profiles can be set up and used to audit skills and interests and explore different careers. Employability skills and strengths analysis can help students decide on the best options for their next steps.  

Enterprise transition event:

Students have an issue in the school and have to research and develop a campaign to resolve the issue. School focused project looking at communication skills. [November 2019]

Careers talks

Skills builder passport- students to work on the key skills and to demonstrate their skills in these areas across the curriculum.

PSHE- Personal finance (budgeting, tax, earnings)


Tutor program

Enterprise day:

Westcoast Bright Sparks- Students develop an idea for a product and put together a pitch for it.  Westcoast Den” learning about the skills and roles within a logistics company and the future of IT software. Communications skills. [July 2019]

PSHE – Living in the wider world (Personal attributes, goals, job interviews, apprenticeship activities)

Tutor program

Work shadowing:

Students organise to spend a day with a parent/carer or family friend and spend a day experiencing the world of work. [July 2019]

Virgin money enterprise challenge- Start a business with £5

PSHE- Living in the wider world (Money, Young Apprentice, Careers on line.)

OPTIONS - Options booklet gives details of post-16/18 and careers related to different qualifications.

STEM careers- Engineers presentations in Science lessons.

Short 1:1 Careers guidance meetings to support options choices.


Step up day:

A day when students think about their options after their mocks. Looking at skills, college courses, apprenticeships and A levels.

Westcoast Bright Sparks: Communication challenge - Marketing, communication and presentation skills. [July 2019]

Assemblies on apprenticeships, college courses and A-level options and an A-level options evening for parents and students.

CV, letter writing, presentations and interviews.

1:1 Careers guidance with disadvantaged, SEND and vulnerable students.


Microsoft Interview Day:

Students apply for jobs, write covering letters and CVs and then have an interview from someone at Microsoft. [January 2019]

Assemblies and applications support from Waingels 6th form team and alternative post-16 providers.

Assemblies on apprenticeships, college courses and A-level options and an A-level options evening for parents and students.

CV, letter writing, presentations and interviews.

College application support.

College visits.
1:1 Careers guidance with all students

Assessment centre day:

Students spend a day learning about how different universities and employers assess potential candidates. For university degrees, apprenticeships and jobs. [July 2019]

Self-organised work experience

Talks and workshops on Apprenticeships, UCAS, careers and in class from different subject related speakers.

1:1 Careers guidance arranged as required.
13 University and college visits. All students continue to benefit from tutor support such as individual progress reviews, discussion of career options and how their progress relates to these  Follow up 1:1 Careers guidance


Careers Guidance

To help our students to plan and manage their careers effectively we have a part-time careers adviser at Waingels. All students in Year 11 will be offered an opportunity to have a 1:1 meeting with the careers adviser. They will be offered impartial advice and guidance on their next steps and helped with applications for sixth form, college and apprenticeships. Our aim is to ensure that our students are supported in achieving their aspirations and find courses that lead them to have fulfilling and successful careers and lives.

A summary of the 1:1 conversation will be recorded on the students' Start careers profile and the students will bring an action plan home to parents.

Heads of Year and tutors will also be able to recommend any students in other year groups that may benefit from seeing the careers adviser.

Younger year groups will also have groups sessions on options and thinking about their futures.

Careers Adviser: Rosie Wallis

Start Careers

Start LogoStart is an online careers platform designed to connect 11-18-year olds with their future career potential. It combines the most comprehensive source of information with a personalised experience and career planning tools, helping students to make more informed decisions about their future study and career options, as well as developing their employability.

Start careers software

All students can login with their email address as their username and can reset their password using this.

Start includes:

A student profile: students build their profile and access personalised study and career information.

Modules: activities to guide students through the information on Start at the right time.

Up to date information: engaging content on what to study, where to learn and the world of work.

Locker: an online record of achievement to evidence skills for future applications and CVs.

Employability action plan: Students can set goals and stay in control of their career planning.

  • Students can complete modules to develop their employability skills and tools and prepare for work.
  • Research where to study
  • Research what to study

Getting started:

#1 My Activities- Getting started

#2 Profile- complete each section

#3 Set some goals

Start Overview Video Bring Start to life using this Start Overview Film.


Useful activities on Start:

Setting up your profile- Each section has an activity designed to help you identify you skills, interests and qualities and then help you to consider what opportunities are available for you. 

World of work- Allows you to search by employer or industry. It then includes information about job roles and qualifications needed and useful links to more specific information.

What to study- gives you information on different courses and includes activities that help you understand if it would suit you better to stay on at Sixth Form or go to college; apprenticeship or degree and other guidance about different qualifications.

Where to learn- Helps you search for different educational institutes using a range of filters.

University Applications

Choosing the right University and the right course can be a daunting. It is also important that once you have decided what you want to do then your application represent the best you!

Choosing the right course.

Start career profile will help you research different courses and the qualifications needed

There are also many websites that help you research different courses:


Writing your UCAS statement

Your UCAS statement is a really important part of your application. It is how you show the university that you are ambitious, motivated, passionate and that you will be a good student. Try to avoid generic statements, use examples, remember skills that you have and ensure that they get a statement that show the best of you.

You have a maximum of 4,000 characters and 47 lines to write your personal statement. It will be cut-off if you exceed this. There are lots of websites that will give you tips and guidance or show you examples:

Apprenticeships Post-16/Post-18

Student Apprenticeship Guide

An Apprenticeship is a paid job with training so you can earn while you learn, gaining a variety of skills while working towards nationally recognised qualifications. If you live in England, are over 16 and not in full time education, you can apply for an apprenticeship.   

Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training. There are more than 250 different types of Apprenticeships available for over 1,500 job roles, in hundreds of industry sectors, from marketing to accountancy, veterinary nursing and engineering to IT.  Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, and the industry sector. 

When you join an organisation then you will be working with other apprentices and in the bigger companies apprentices often end up house sharing and socialising together similar to university students.

There are three levels of Apprenticeship: 

Intermediate Level Apprenticeships Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 2 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.   

Advanced Level Apprenticeships Apprentices work towards work-based learning such as a Level 3 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification.   

Higher Apprenticeships Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree. 

  • Apply for as many apprenticeships as possible. Some of them are very competitive.
  • Make sure you check spellings, punctuation and grammar.
  • Think about location- if you are earning money whilst you learn you may be able to relocate.
  • See the module on applications on Start
  • Always have a back up plan!
  • This is the first stage of the interview process. You may have a phone or video interview.
  • Dress smartly, speak clearly, make sure you are prepared.
  • Ask the careers team for help!
  • You are likely to have to take several assessments. These are not knowledge based but skills based. You may have to go to an assessment centre to do these assessements. Ask what they are going to be so you can prepare. They may include:
  • Problem solving computer games
  • Written tasks
  • Group work
  • This is likely to be a traditional interview with a few senior members of the company. Dress smartly and remeber the assessment starts the minute you arrive.
  • Well done! If you get an offer that is great.
  • If you are not succesful then ask for feedback why you weren't succesful. Some people apply for 30-40 apprenticeships before they are succesful.

Applications, interviews and assessment centres.

Application forms are really important as this is the first contact that you have with your prospective employer. It is important that you put some time and effort into getting it right. has a guidance section on this:

  • Employability
  • Work Preparation
  • Information and Activities on Applications

Business Links

Cropped Header 2019 1We are delighted to have been selected as one of four local schools to share excellence and disseminate information across Wokingham Borough to improve outcomes for all local young people. For more information please see here.


Labour Market Information

Careermap Magazine

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Careermap is an online career resource that provides live post-16 opportunities, such as apprenticeship vacancies, college courses, university and graduate options. We also offer career advice and guidance so young people can make well-informed decisions to enhance their futures! Check out 1000’s of live opportunities here


Work Experience 2020