Members of the Department
Mr J. Wilson (Head of Department)
Miss E. McCarron
Mrs M. McElroy
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) is delivered throughout all key stages and students benefit from expert guidance through the services of specialist staff. Teachers in the department adopt a pupil-centred approach, which aims to equip students with the skills and capabilities necessary to make informed decisions in key transition years.
Work-related learning and the development of Employability Skills are composite elements of the CEIAG Learning Offer. As such, students undertake relevant work experience in Years 12, 13 & 14; this provision affords young people the opportunity to view their current course of academic study in relation to the world of work and their long-term career aspirations.
Years 8, 9 & 10
Education for Employability (LLW) – One 35 minute
Period per week.
Years 11 & 12
Careers: One 35-minute period per week, organised into six groups according to Form Class.
Years 13 & 14
Careers: One 35-minute period per week, organised into groups according to AS/A2 Subject Choice.
In Year 12 students receive specialist advice by way of Careers Guidance Interviews (CGI) conducted by staff from the NI Careers Service. This arrangement is an integral part of the annual Partnership Agreement, which outlines the suite of services on offer to the Careers Department. Students at other key transition points can also request a CGI with Mr. Wilson, who fully endorses the department’s ‘Open Door’ policy.
In Years 13 & 14 all students are offered careers guidance at a much more intensive level. In Year 14 in particular the focus is very much on the completion of applications for Higher Education i.e. UCAS, CAO, St. Mary’s Teacher Training College, Belfast Metropolitan College and other regional colleges of Further Education. Post-16 students are also offered extensive Interview preparation and receive assistance when preparing to undertake third level entrance examinations.
As well as conducting one-to-one Careers Guidance Interviews, Advisors from the NI Careers Service also host introductory talks for Year 11 students and deliver presentations to students, which are specific to a particular job type or job family.
The NI Careers Service website is an excellent source of information and provides students with free access to Careers Matching Tools, CV Builder and the Careers A – Z database.
Learning for Life and Work (LLW)
The Employability strand of LFLW is timetabled as a discrete subject in Years 8 – 10 (Key Stage 3) and is delivered by a team of experienced teachers. Key concepts within this strand include:
In Years 11 – 12 (Key Stage 4 – GCSE) the Statements of Minimum Requirement for LFLW are integrated in timetabled Careers classes and provide students with the opportunity to:
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Why is STEM important? Technological developments and advances in ICT have made possible the idea of a ‘global economy’; thanks to improved infrastructures and super-fast transportation networks, the world has become a small, easily navigated marketplace. The Internet revolution means goods can be bought and sold all round the world with a few clicks of a mouse; business deals can be agreed via video-conference links and vital business documents can be transferred and exchanged instantly.
In a fast paced, dynamic business environment, employers need a workforce of problem-solvers, innovators, and inventors, who are self-reliant and able to think logically. STEM subjects infuse these attributes in young people and prepare them for the lifelong learning and the world of work. Excellence in STEM disciplines also enhances a country’s capacity to be innovative and technologically creative, thereby strengthening the ability to create employment and attract foreign direct investment.
What subjects are STEM related? The core STEM subjects are Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technology and Mathematics. Other subjects in the curriculum contribute to the STEM Agenda, such as Nutrition & Food Science and Digital Technology.
Graduates in STEM subjects are vital for the UK’s future economic prosperity; due to the gender imbalance and skills shortages that exist in many STEM employment areas, vast opportunities exist for women to join companies, who are leading the global innovation race against powerful countries such as China, the USA and India. Recent economic thinking has highlighted the need for Creativity in STEM development; subsequently there is a general acceptance among business and government leaders that greater convergence is needed between STEM and Arts based subjects e.g. Art & Design, English, Music, History & Modern Languages, in order to nurture creative thinking in future generations, hence the move from STEM to STEAM.
Links with External Agencies
Business in the Community NI www.bitcni.org.uk/
NI Careers Service www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers
School Employer Connections www.schoolemployerconnections.org
Ulster University www.ulster.ac.uk
Queen’s University Belfast www.qub.ac.uk
St Mary’s College Belfast www.stmarys-belfast.ac.uk
Belfast Met www.belfastmet.ac.uk
Stranmillis College Belfast www.stran.ac.uk
Student Finance NI www.studentfinanceni.co.uk
Career Pilot www.careerpilot.org.uk
I Could https://icould.com/
NHS Careers www.healthcareers.nhs.uk
Expression of Interest to join Post 16 at Loreto in September 2024 (For external students):