Ofsted Outstanding
Full Version
28th September 2020

Meeting The Gatsby Benchmarks

We are leading the way in the development of exciting, challenging and committed careers programme, with what has been a revolution in our whole careers provision over the past two years, here at Our Lady’s For each pupil at the school, the governors,  senior leadership team and staff share the same ambition; to deliver a fulfilling and comprehensive careers programme that is inclusive, individualised and meaningful.   They work collaboratively within the community and encompass the expertise of employers, parents/carers and further education and training providers to establish a culture of ambition. The pupils benefit by providing a platform to talk openly and receive guidance about their future, improve their labour market and career awareness,  improve their decision making, develop their employability skills, provide opportunity for them to learn from experiences of employment and employers, all whilst growing and nurturing their unique aspirations.

Their careers programme is guided by the eight Gatsby Foundation benchmarks and the school was acknowledged as meeting all of them in June, being commended for their ‘examplar’ practice by the Careers and Education Company.

We are obviously delighted that the hard work of our entire staff has been acknowledged but we are also desperate in our ambition to improve further and provide the best possible experiences for our pupils.  By interweaving careers into our entire curriculum, from Y7-Y11, our pupils are regularly exposed to conversations, experiences and activities that improve their career awareness and employability skills.  All staff in our school are responsible for careers provision and all staff take pride in rising to this challenge.

The school has forged strong, lasting relationships with numerous employers and utilise their expertise through a number of platforms including their careers café, futures days and mock interview and speed networking events.

A recent great example was when Y8 pupils, working alongside Bowmer and Kirkland and UCLAN,  focused their careers week around gender and job stereotypes.  In addition to working with leading architects, quantity surveyors and master craftsmen, the pupils wrote about their future career aspirations.  These were placed into a time capsule and buried at UCLAN, to be uncovered at a later date.

We work hard to expose all of our pupils to the multitude of options that await them when they leave our school, whether that be A Levels, T-Levels or apprenticeships, or future careers. We then use their feedback to really drill down and put the right providers and employers in front of the right pupils.