Abingdon School’s Career Guidance Programme takes pupils aged 12-18 (Year 8 to Year 13) on a journey of self-discovery, helping them to identify potential careers to which they are well suited, understand and experience the world of work, make educational choices informed by careers planning, and learn key skills needed to gain future employment.

In short, our goal is to help every pupil think carefully about, and take practical steps towards realising, his future career.

The Career Guidance Programme combines online career information resources with career thinking/planning lessons; employability skills workshops; CV, cover letter and interview training; one-to-one guidance meetings, and a wide range of events and activities, including talks by working professionals, an annual careers fair, several career advice evenings, two work experience schemes, and meetings with British Armed Forces careers advisers.

The career guidance section of the student intranet (Firefly) is a ‘one-stop-shop’ of links to recommended websites for researching educational and career choices and finding work experience schemes, enrichment programmes, and traineeships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning options for school leavers.

Every year group enjoys a set of bespoke activities designed for its step in this journey, with one year’s activities smoothly transitioning into that of the next year. This design ensures coherence from year to year and puts pupils in the best position possible to make informed educational choices at the end of each key stage in their education: GSCE, A-Level, and all post-18 options, including Higher Education.

Supporting the delivery of the Career Guidance Programme are teachers, tutors, and selected suppliers of career education, information, advice, and guidance as well as parents and Old Abingdonians. If you are a parent or Old Abingdonian (or both!) and would like to volunteer your time to support an activity or event in the Programme, get in touch!

Michael Triff serves as Head of Career Guidance, responsible for designing, delivering and evaluating the Career Guidance Programme. He is always interested to hear your views.

Read his blog entitled ‘Do Secondary School Pupils Need Career Guidance?’
Read his article entitled ‘The Career Maze: How Parents Can Help’

Email: careerguidance@abingdon.org.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1235 849129

Morrisby Aspirations Programme

Background

Some 5th Year pupils will have a very good idea of what occupation they might like to pursue after completing their education. Other 5th Year pupils will be considering a range of occupations but as yet not have a strong leaning towards any one or another. And other 5th Year pupils – perhaps most of the year group – will not have any idea of what occupations might be in their future.

Regardless of which situation a pupil finds himself in, 5th Year is an important time to be looking ahead and thinking about one’s future career. Why? Because tentative A-Level subject choices are made in late November and confirmed in very early February, and the choices made can both open and close doors to educational pathways that lead to particular occupations.

One of the goals of Abingdon’s Career Guidance Programme is to help 5th Year pupils think about possible occupations they might pursue in the future and research what the entry requirements are to those occupations so that they make A-Level subject choices that are informed, at least in part, by career planning considerations.

To help your son with his career thinking and research, 5th Year pupils have access to a range of career information resources in the School library and online linked to from the pupil intranet (Firefly).

In addition, Abingdon School offers all 5th Year pupils the opportunity to participate in the Morrisby Aspirations career profiling programme designed and delivered by the Morrisby Organisation.

About the Morrisby Aspirations Programme

During the first half of Michaelmas Term, participating 5th Year pupils will be scheduled to complete at school a brief online questionnaire designed to pin-point their key skills, interests and motivations and identify potential careers that would appear to be well matched to them (based on their answers to the questionnaire). Upon completing the questionnaire, they can see immediately an online report of the findings from their questionnaire. Then, after the October half-term break, participating students will receive a 30-minute, one-to-one career guidance interview with an independent and experienced career adviser from the Morrisby Organisation. The adviser will discuss with the pupil the findings in his report and implications for A-Level subject choices as well as post-18 education, training, and work options. Students can give parents access to read their online report using a function in their Morrisby online account.

Responses to Common Pupil Objections

If you plan to discuss participation in this Programme with your son, and would like to be prepared with answers to common pupil objections, you may find this document useful.

Costs and Opt-Out

This programme is operated by Abingdon at a cost to parents and on an opt-out basis. The cost for a 5th Year pupil to participate is £80 (including VAT), which is charged to parents via their school bill. Parents who do not wish for their son to participate in this Programme may opt-out.

To opt-out, a parent or guardian must email Michael Triff at michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk no later than midnight on Friday 13 September 2019; otherwise, their son will be enrolled in the Programme and the £80 charge will be made. We regret that refunds will not be possible after this date.

Making the Most of the Aspirations Programme

For those 5th Year pupils who participate in this Programme, here are some ways they can make the most of it:

  • Pupils are strongly encouraged to participate in the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme and can use a work experience placement to gain real-world insights into an occupation identified in their online report.
  • Pupils who attend one of the many career fairs offered throughout the year in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other cities around the UK can seek out exhibitors in occupations that have been identified in their online report.
  • While at the Abingdon Careers Convention on Friday evening 13 March 2020, seek out representatives from occupations identified in their online report. Ask questions to gain further information about their occupation.
  • Meet with the Head of Career Guidance, Mr Triff, to discuss further the findings in their online report and additional ways they might advance their career thinking and research.
  • Pupils interested in a military career should ask Mr Triff to arrange a meeting at Abingdon with a career adviser from the Armed Forces Careers Office in Oxford.