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The Careers Department is responsible for all aspects of careers education, information, advice and guidance the school. Our Careers programme is delivered to ensure that pupils are sufficiently informed to make confident decisions about their education and career.

Career Education comprises of a co-ordinated and progressive programme of teaching and learning activities for students in the curriculum, which will help them to develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage their own careers.  Many of these skills can be developed in subject classes and Careers classes.

Key Stage 3

Commencing in Year 10, all pupils undertake a coordinated sequence of activity-based lessons to prepare for GCSE subject choices. Pupils will learn the basic concepts of Personal Career Planning (PCP) and will explore several possible careers choices within their individual PCP. In the latter part of the year, all pupils work on basic skills for employability which compliments the Learning for Life and Work curriculum. Careers software (Xello) is used to help with career ideas and allows students to work through a programme of study.

Guidance is very important at this transition point-every pupil is interviewed by a member teaching staff when it comes to making their subject choices. 

Please see an outline of the Year 10 curriculum below:

Year 10 Curriculum:

  • Topic 1: Start thinking Careers.

  • Topic 2: Qualities and Values.

  • Topic 3: Career Language and Skills.

  • Topic 4: Careers Software.

  • Topic 5: Where will I go?

  • Topic 6: Labour Market Information.

  • Topic 7: Decision Making.

  • Topic 8: Gender inequality.

  • Topic 9: Skills in Depth- Time Management.

  • Topic 10: Skills in Depth- Communication.

  • Topic 11: Skills in Depth- Teamwork.

  • Topic 12: Skills in Depth- Problem Solving.


Key Stage 4

All pupils in Year 12 undertake an update of their Personal Career Plan and some will plan to make applications to institutes of Further Education (FE). Pupils also receive lessons on a range of important topics such as the Qualifications Framework, Interview Skills and Labour Market Information. Pupils undertake lessons on Xello, for example the Labour Market Information and the lesson on how to effectively make the transition to Further Education. 

Careers Advisors from the Careers Service within the Department of the Economy interview all students in Year 12 to prepare for A-Level subject choice or FE courses. During the year, all students visit the West Belfast Area Careers Fair which is attended by employers and FE and HE providers. 

All students will undertake Work Experience in year 12. This is such an important part of the year whereby pupils make links with industry. 

Please see an outline of the year 11 and 12 Careers curriculum below:

Year 11 Curriculum:

  • Topic 1: Year 10 Overview and Introduction

  • Topic 2:  Personal Career Planning- Review

  • Topic 3: Let’s Go Job Hunting

  • Topic 4: Applying for Jobs

  • Topic 5: CV’s and Covering Letters

  • Topic 6: Introduction to My Options: Post 16

  • Topic 7: Higher Education

  • Topic 8: My Personality Style

  • Topic 9: Study Skills and Habits

  • Topic 10: Getting Experience

  • Topic 11:  Work/life Balance

  • Topic 12: Interviews

Year 12 Curriculum:

  • Topic 1    Preparing for Careers Advisor

  • Topic 2    Revision and Recap

  • Topic 3    Labour Market Information

  • Topic 4    Where will I go After Year 12?

  • Topic 5    Will I study post 18?

  • Topic 5    Preparing for a Career Convention

  • Topic 6    Progress Files

  • Topic 7    Completing Applications

  • Topic 8    Interviews x2

Key Stage 5

In Sixth form, students study a diverse curriculum whereby students explore their options in FE, HE and the Higher Apprenticeship world. Students investigate their options and are encouraged to apply for their ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’. Careers advisors from the Careers Service within the Department of the Economy interview all students in Year 14 to prepare them for their post-18 choices. Students can refer themselves for guidance when they feel it is required. 

All Year 13 students go on Work Experience to assist them in their post-18 decision making. 

Sixth Form Curriculum:

  • Topic 1 Review of Career Pathway: Where am I now?

  • Topic 2 Labour Market Information: Recap and Extension.

  • Topic 3 Could I consider University? Level 6

  • Topic 4 Five UCAS Course Choices- Should I Apply?

  • Topic 5 Comparing my UCAS Courses.

  • Topic 6 What do Graduates do?

  • Topic 7 Student Experiences of Universities.

  • Topic 8 St. Mary’s University College, Belfast

  • Topic 9 CAO: Central Admissions Office.

  • Topic 10 Other Level 6 (Degree Level) Routes: Degree Apprenticeships

  • Topic 11 Level 4 and 5 Qualifications

  • Topic 12 Personal Statements

Pupils at all key stages can download essential resources and undertake careers research within Careers. The school Careers Room contains a wide range of printed and multimedia resources along with networked computers.

The department maintains links with numerous institutions and agencies including institutes of Higher Education, Further Education, Work+, NI Careers Service, Sentinus and employers in industry. We work closely within the West Belfast Area Learning Community to form partnerships and develop opportunities to share resources. Students are able to attend open days and the UCAS Convention. 

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