Backwell School has established a reputation as one of Britain’s best performing state schools at GCSE and A Level. Throughout their time with us, we ensure that each student receives the very best support and guidance for the future via a comprehensive and varied Careers Programme. Working towards specific learning outcomes by the end of each Key Stage, our students develop their knowledge and skills as they progress through the school.
Endorsed by Senior Leaders and Governors, our Careers Programme has been developed using the framework of the eight ‘Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance‘, adopted as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy, and is constantly evaluated and improved. Please contact the Careers Team (contact details below) if you have any feedback or suggestions regarding our Programme.
At Backwell we work with students to ensure that they leave us as well-rounded individuals with many skills and strengths to offer employers. Our work to prepare our young people for success in the future is supported by our Business Partnership, this being over 100 local and national employers who work closely with us to provide work shadowing, practice interviews and information about their businesses to our students. Please go to our Partners pages to find out more.
We evaluate our Careers Programme against the Gatsby Benchmarks three times a year, using the Compass tool developed by the Careers and Enterprise Company. We are proud to announce that as of Nov 2023 Backwell School has met the 100% rating on all the Gatsby Benchmarks.
The Gatsby Benchmarks are:
Click Compass Update Nov 2023 to view our latest Compass Evaluation.
A comprehensive and evolving programme of careers education forms part of PSHE provision from Year 7 right up to Year 13. Years 7-9 cover ‘Aspirations and Expectations’, ‘Introduction to Business Sectors’, and ‘Decision Making’, whilst Years 10-11 move on to ‘Applications and Interviews’, ‘Work Experience’ and ‘Post-16 Options’. Our sixth form build on these skills to learn about ‘Career Management’, ‘Workplace Skills’ and ‘Coping with Transition’. Future Plans is also an element of academic subjects, where the relevance of each subject to the world of work is emphasised.
Each Year 10 student is supported to find a week’s work experience placement. As well as gaining skills in job searching and applications, this experience also assists with social development, occupational awareness and provides evidence of transferable skills for future CVs, personal statements and interviews. Students complete a log book of their experiences which they reflect on and discuss during PSHE. Students in Years 11-13 are also encouraged to gain work experience and are supported in finding and securing these opportunities.
Backwell School are very proud to have a varied range of options at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, enabling our students to follow courses best suited to them and their future plans. Students are fully supported in making these choices via the tutor system and many aspects within the careers programme. All Year 11 students will have a careers guidance interview with our qualified and impartial adviser, in order to discuss their post-16 choices and future plans. All other Years can also able to book an appointment if they wish.
Each year we hold a Mock Interview Day for all Year 10 students. Students will prepare a covering letter and CV, experience a formal interview from an employer and receive feedback. We also offer mock interviews as and when needed for students in Years 11-13, including those applying for competitive and highly selective degree courses.
Open to all students and running through every term, our weekly careers talks provide advice and information in a wide variety of job sectors including Psychology, Finance, Sport, Performing Arts, Health Professions, Teaching, Criminology, Creative Industries, Journalism, Law and Engineering, amongst many others. These are led by employers, training providers and other professionals many of whom are our own Backwell School parents.
Employer engagement is a key aspect of our Business Partnership and can include: mentoring activities, work experience, guest speakers, links to alumni, careers fairs and networking events.