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Careers (CEIAG) Curriculum Overview

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) provision at the Oaks Secondary School is designed to ensure pupils develop their aspirations, knowledge, skills and confidence in work-based learning which will equip pupils with the ability to make informed and impartial decisions regarding their future with appropriate support. Most pupils will develop their careers knowledge, employability and enterprise skills throughout both key stage three and four which allow pupils to ‘Prepare for Adulthood’ regardless of their starting point.

Skills Builder Programme

Pupils work to develop their knowledge and ability to apply eight core skills through the Skills Builder programme. This programme has been introduced into curriculum delivery from September 2022 and has been embedded into lessons. Pupils are given the opportunity to apply their developed knowledge of skills within work related projects which are delivered as part of ‘Preparation for Adulthood’ lessons. These are all important and integral parts of preparing pupils for adulthood, which is a central part of our key values we strive to achieve as a school.   Preparation for Adulthood includes teaching pupils about the world of work, life-long learning, independence and skills for personal health and wellbeing. When using the term ‘Careers’ we are referring to life beyond school in this wider sense.

The careers programme is designed to ensure it meets the national Gatsby Benchmarks and also meets the Careers Development Institute careers framework.

The curriculum aims to fully prepare pupils to make informed choices when they come to select their Year 10 options.  Careers lessons will supplement assemblies and option evenings in terms of providing pupils with impartial guidance; pupils will be able to make links with their future goals and their option choices. In Year 9, pupils will have the opportunity to attend New College Durham for a tour. This tour is organised solely for our pupils allowing exploration of the college and ask questions in an environment that is not over crowded / over bearing. This is an excellent opportunity that pupils really enjoy.

At KS4 learning becomes more streamlined with the aim to be fully prepared for post 16 provision. This entails development of a career personal profile which allows pupils to consider many factors which will help them on the journey to making informed decision later in the Key Stage. During KS4 pupils will complete career based modules which will go towards securing modules ‘Towards Independence’ or an Entry Level / Level 1 in Personal, Social Development. This qualification includes modules on:

  • Preparation for work
  • Making informed career choices
  • Managing Money
  • Relationships, behaviour and practices in the workplace


There is an alternative curriculum plan shaped around personal development and the world of work for pupils who work within the Semi formal (SLD/ASC) pathways. The modules described above and others will contribute to pupils completing the ASDAN ‘Towards Independence’ accreditation.


These modules allow pupils to develop their skills in a range of key areas, these include; their ability to apply for college, apply for jobs, construct CV’s and letters of applications. Pupils will have access to the latest resources and guidance, using websites such as Job Explorer. This will allow pupils to broaden their horizons and raise aspirations. At KS4 pupils will also have the opportunity to visit Post 16 providers where they will spend a day experiencing the life of a college student. This is great for the pupils to visualise and comprehend what College life is going to be life, it also allows pupils to begin to think about which education provider they may like to attend after the Oaks. In Year 10 pupils will have an opportunity to experience work related learning (work experience), this could be in a placement onsite / offsite, completing a project, business visits, or shadowing or completing job related tasks within the school environment. This allows pupils to experience the world of work first hand and apply skills and knowledge learnt through the careers programme.

KS4 pupils and Year 14 are invited to attend The Oaks’ annual careers fayre which is based in school. This is an event where pupils have the opportunity to meet a range of post school education providers and support organisations. Pupils can collect prospectus and information from the stalls. Pupils have the opportunity within careers lesson to reflect on information collected and ask questions to staff in school. Pupils then update their career personal profiles with any new information.

The curriculum meets the needs of all our pupils through differentiated programmes of study. Pupils within the semi-formal pathways receive differentiated work related tasks, as part of their programme pupils learn a lot about self-awareness, develop skills for adulthood and learn about organisations, people and professions that may support or help them in the future. Some pupils with the most complex needs do not have discrete CEIAG lessons but are taught about the world of work and skills needs for life beyond school in a more cross curricular way.

Assessment is formative throughout all Key stages; summative assessment occurs in KS4 as pupils will complete tasks and coursework in line with exam board requirements. Pupils receive regular feedback throughout their lessons which allows them to comprehend their progress and their next steps.

Careers in the Sixth Form

Sixth form pupils work with a range of external providers to facilitate smooth transition and work experience opportunities.

Students are able to access one careers lesson per week within sixth form (where appropriate). Lessons encourage students to think about what they’d like to do as a job in the future.  These class discussions give students an opportunity to discuss a range of jobs, looking at how they can achieve this. They also learn how to write applications, recognise their own ability and personal qualities, as well as practise interviews in role play. Students will also learn about having realistic goals to prepare them for the future after Sixth Form.

Students have dedicated sessions at local further education providers including Bishop Auckland College, New College Durham and East Durham Houghall College, this enable students time to learn about college life and courses available to them post 18. Students, parents and carers are invited to The Oaks annual Careers Fayre; this gives everyone the chance to talk to providers and colleges to prepare the students for the next step in their life.

Sixth Form students develop work skills through the Sixth Form curriculum in Enterprise and vocational sessions. Sixth form students (where appropriate) also take part in work experience relating to their interests in and out of the school environment.

Pupil not able or wanting to progress to further education or employment post 18, are supported with transition into Social care providers. Staff within Sixth Form work alongside staff from social care to ensure a smooth and happy transition.


The Oaks is committed to continuous evaluation of the programme to ensure the programme is fit for purpose and maximises the life chances of our young people.  This involves curriculum review, feedback from stakeholders including pupils, parents / carers, and partners from other colleges and organisations. As well as this ‘The Compass Tool’ is completed termly which helps identify strengths and areas for development within our provision. The results and evaluations then help shape the direction and content of the careers programme where an action plan is put in place.

Date of next review: 1st November 2024

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