At the core of KAA’s philosophy is the pursuit of the very highest standards in education, both inside the classroom and beyond. We believe all children can exceed their expectations, no matter what their prior attainment and experiences.
Our careers programme is modelled around current best practice for careers guidance and the eight Gatsby Benchmarks by the Gatsby Foundation. All students are able to access individualised careers advice throughout the year with our Careers Advisor, Miss Weaver. In addition, all Year 11 students have a progression meeting with a member of SLT during the autumn term. This is then followed up in 30% of cases by at least one further meeting with the Careers Advisor.
Our careers policy aims to:
- Ensure students have the knowledge, skills, and self-awareness to successfully transition into future education, training or employment and to fulfil their career ambitions.
- Foster independence and resilience, in-keeping with our core values.
- Promote entrepreneurial attitudes and skills.
- Challenge stereotypes and broaden aspirations in relation to career choices.
- Develop the careers education we offer to students by working with parents and guardians, as well as education, community and business partners.
To give just one example of how our students are concretely guided professionally on a day-to-day basis, students in our sixth form have a dedicated Sixth Form Portal through which they can access a wide range of information (including tips and ideas on how to apply for work experience; understand what apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships are; what they could do during a potential gap year; and how to supplement their CV at every stage of their career reflections). In the classroom, they participate in a weekly Careers Spotlight task which challenges them to discover different careers (with a new sector encountered every week) They discuss with their form tutor the specific responsibilities of such a job and try to decipher what both the current average salary is in a given job, and imagine what the earning potential is. Our students are exposed to jobs, sectors and labour market information that reaches beyond the subject matters in which they are gaining expertise. Our students at KAA learn from a young age that career paths in the 21st century are anything but linear; they develop a unique curiosity that is continually nurtured through their time with us. Our students receive a Weekly Careers and opportunities bulletin giving them access to relevant opportunities they can apply for. These opportunities range from part-time jobs with local employers to weekend trips with universities and even winter, Easter and summer placements with large recruiters. More often than not, opportunities solely open to KAA and/or Aldridge students are advertised through this medium. Students are encouraged to apply and request support from the Careers Advisor.
At KAA, we are committed to garnering feedback on our Careers programme not only from our partners, but from the pupils themselves and their parents. An anonymous feedback form is available here and is reviewed on a weekly basis by the Careers Coordinator. The full careers policy can be downloaded here:
Year 11 Destinations Data
Under the Gatsby Benchmarks for excellent Careers Education in schools, it is our duty as a school to maintain records on the destinations (where and what students have gone on to do) of our pupils for three years after they finish Year 11 and Year 13. The purpose of collecting this data is to ensure our students are provided with the best possible careers information, advice and guidance; and to inform our planning and evaluation of our careers provision.
The following documents set out the procedure for the tracking and maintaining of accurate destination data:
Labour Market Information
A key component of our careers programme is learning from Labour Market Information (LMI). If students and their parents know how to find job vacancies and understand the salaries for different jobs, they are in a better position to make informed choices about future study and training. Students already have access to this in lessons (see Careers Insights, explained above)
CareerSmart is a valuable tool which allows you to access LMI. Use CareerSmart to search a particular occupation or industry and find out information such as pay, hours, future employment projections and unemployment rates. For guidance on how to use and understand the information on CareerSmart, please see the document below.
Work Experience is a key component of our curriculum at Kensington Aldridge Academy. Our goal is that as many of our students as possible obtain work experience placements which will help them to develop a more realistic view of adult working life and its responsibilities. In researching and seeking out a placement for themselves, we aim to enhance their maturity, communication and levels of independence, better enabling them to seek further study or employment upon leaving KAA. For further information about work experience through the KAA careers department, please visit our Work Experience page. We are always looking for new community partners. If you might be interested, please get in touch with Ellen Weaver, our Careers Coordinator, to discuss ideas (details below).
How2Become Career Guides
KAA has been lucky enough to have career guides from the career and guidance specialist, How2Become. These will be available in the careers sections of all KAA’s libraries. Ranging from How2Become a solicitor to How2Become a social worker, plus various CV and interview guides, these resources provide students with key information on different career paths and how to access them. For more information, please visit their website: https://www.how2become.com/
Building a network of people who could help you
The Aldridge Foundation has launched Aldridge Connect, a free site on the social media platform LinkedIn, which has over 27 million users in the UK and focuses on jobs and careers. Joining can help students grow professional connections in industries that interest them; gives immediate access to a network of all Aldridge students AND professional companies; and provides help with CVs.