Careers and Employability
At Highgate, we want our pupils to enjoy success and happiness both at school and beyond; as such, our central vision is to enable our pupils to leave us confidently equipped for life. Whilst we hope (and expect) that our pupils will achieve ambitious academic goals, we also want them to acquire the relevant personal behaviours, values, and employability skills that will enable them to move forward with confidence into the next stage of their education, employment and future lives.
Highgate’s Deputy Head (Pupils’ Personal Development and Employability) works very closely with our full-time Careers and Employability Specialist to ensure that our pupils receive up-to-date, relevant and useful careers advice; as such, we have a specific Careers and Employability programme that provides informative, stimulating and age-appropriate advice to help our pupils to make informed and ambitious choices about their future.
Our specific careers and employability education programme has two central objectives: firstly, to help our pupils to understand themselves, their personal preferences/interests, and their strengths and attributes; secondly, to provide our pupils with tangible opportunities to explore wider external markets and to understand the huge range of career opportunities available to them.
In addition to the specialist programme, we are also aware of the importance of adopting a holistic approach: we recognise that every teacher has a role to play in helping our pupils to be ‘ready for work’ and every tutor is well-placed to monitor the personal development of their tutees. Through the PSHEE programme and pastoral systems, for example, pupils receive career-based advice when choosing GCSEs, A-level and university courses. In addition, we are also lucky enough to be able to draw on the experience and expertise of our dedicated parent body and alumni who provide significant support for our many initiatives.
Please find below a sample of some of our careers events and activities:
- Careers evenings and special events e.g. The annual Careers Fair, Careers Q&A evening discussions, and half-termly lunchtime skills sessions
- Numerous visiting speakers provide pupils with the opportunity to find out more about the different types of career and post 18 options available to them (including entrepreneurship, volunteering and degree/higher level apprenticeships).
- Bookable 1-2-1 Careers conversations with our Careers and Employability Specialist are accessible to all pupils (particularly those in yy11-13) and help pupils to gain impartial, independent guidance, to explore individual career options and to develop their CVs and digital profiles.
- All pupils in y9 take part in a 4-week employability carousel programme delivered by specialist teachers.
- Our Connect 7 employability initiative enables pupils to set specific targets, with their tutors, related to the development of Connect 7 employability capabilities (e.g. To be ‘confident’, ‘collaborative’, ‘creative’, ‘independent’, ‘receptive’, ‘reliable’, and ‘self-aware’).
- Our Annual Year 10 Employability Day includes activities such as CV/interview workshops and career carousels.
- COA (Cambridge Occupational Analysts) Career Profiling ensures that all y10 pupils complete careers aptitude tests and have individual follow-up interviews with an independent external careers advisor early in y11.
- The Employability Mentoring programme is an opportunity for pupils to have eight weeks of mentoring from a careers professional drawn from our alumni/parent population
- Work experience is widely encouraged and pupils in year 11 and above are given guidance and support about finding suitable placements
- Practice Job Interview days – All y12 pupils submit their CVs and have a formal mock interview with an external industry professional.