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Careers Education

Careers Education

Vision and Aims

At Barrs Court our overall aim is that all our students will be empowered and benefit from a meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling adulthood. As a specialist provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities it is essential that our focus and priority is to prepare our students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life and enable full participation in todays’ modern society.


Our vision is to increase the possibility and opportunities for our young people to be in paid employment.  To enable and achieve this outcome we ensure that our careers curriculum is both relevant and engaging and that it meets the differing needs, requirements and interests of our students. Throughout their time at Barrs Court students take part in a range of focused activities to ensure that they are well informed and able to play an active part in aspiring to achieve their full potential and determine their future pathways post-school. Besides knowledge, our curriculum supports and positively challenges our students to have the aptitude and interpersonal skills to effectively communicate and add value within the workplace.


Our curriculum helps students achieve the following broad aims;

  • To understand themselves and the influences on them (SELF DEVELOPMENT)
  • To investigate opportunities in learning and work (CAREER EXPLORATION)
  • To make and adjust plans to manage change and transition (CAREER MANAGEMENT)


Through the school’s Person Centred approach to planning, provision and delivery, students are able to communicate their dreams and aspirations for their futures. The school also aims to deliver impartial careers guidance to help students make informed choices about their own future, in a timely manner that takes account of their abilities, needs and interests.


Preparing for Adulthood


Our provision to preparation for adulthood and employment consists of distinct but related strands:


  • Careers Education (Stable Curriculum)
  • Work Related Learning
  • Enterprise programmes
  • Life Skills
  • Transition into Adulthood


Careers Education: A Stable Curriculum

Careers Education is both a distinct module of the PSHE curriculum that is taught to all students as they move through the school and also through self-development an integral element of P.S.H.E. Themes can be delivered through assemblies and links within English, Maths and Science with discrete lessons focussing on such elements as personal targets, CV writing and interview techniques.



Careers Curriculum Overview

Work Related Learning

The formal definition of work-related learning is:


‘A planned activity that uses the context or work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work, including learning through the experience or work, learning about work and working practices, and learning the skills for work.’


At Barrs Court, students are supported to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding useful for both enterprise and employability. For example students throughout the school have the opportunity to develop their enterprise skills by undertaking specific projects. To date these have included coffee mornings and the production, marketing and sales of items such as greeting cards, calendars, costume jewellery and items to be used for storage.


The development of employability skills is essential in preparing our students for the world of work and the transition into adulthood. Via classroom based learning, work place visits, work placements, development of skills for independence and visits to the school by local employers students are able to develop their knowledge and understanding of employers and employment. Hands on and practical skills such as role play and mock interviews are organised and where appropriate students are supported to produce a CV in preparation for the responsibilities associated with finding and securing employment.


As the students move through the school, where appropriate and relevant, students will have the chance to develop an awareness of the work place while for others it will be a chance to improve skills that may help them to enter the job market at some point in their lives. Our students have opportunities to participate in a wide range of work placements which include visits to off-site venues and guided tours of establishments.


Work experience can be undertaken and as with all areas of learning within the school these activities are presented to students on an individual basis, in a timely fashion, that takes account of their age, abilities, needs and prior knowledge and experience including work related activities. If appropriate to their interests, aspirations and needs, students at Key Stage 3 will have a taster of work experience within school working with members of the staff team in administration, site management or the library.


Some students however will have more formal work placements with or without the support of a member of school staff, and this will typically be one half day a week for a period of 6-8 weeks.


Students have been placed locally for work experience placements. These include;

  • Local Primary schools,
  • Nursery school,
  • Community garden centre
  • Charity shops
  • The Courtyard Theatre
  • Pack-It


This is in addition to our links with international companies such as Costa Coffee, Marks and Spencer, Premier Inn and J.D. Wetherspoons

Comments from Employers

We really value the feedback from  employers and use this opportunity to help our young people reflect about their placement and practise within a working environment. Learning to accept praise is an important part of developing our emotional wellbeing and can help further develop confidence and self esteem which is a vital component necessary for equipping our young people make a valuable contribution  to the world of work.


“A is a quiet worker but he is a friendly young man. He works hard in our garden and we are very grateful for all the effort he has put in. He has made a big difference to our environment and always seems happy to work”


 “B arrives on time, always looks happy and completes all tasks to a high standard. She has a positive attitude and will do anything asked of her. She uses her initiative well, even better than some of our full time staff. B has fitted in really well and we are very happy with her progress”


 “C is a great asset to the setting. The children love him and whilst he plays lovely with the children. He is able to be independent with his jobs and self manages himself whilst also being confident to ask for help”.


  “D is a very hardworking member of the team. He interacts very well with staff and customers. He is always willing to help and always wanting to keep busy. It’s been a pleasure to have him as part of the team, he’s fab!”


 “E is always prepared to assist with activities, run warm ups and help out where necessary. He is a great team member and works well with the students and staff. He has built a great rapport with the students who have responded very positively to him. E has been excellent in observing exercises within the sessions and using this knowledge to implement his own delivery. He is very good at addressing the whole class but also working one to one work; for example, he has assisted students with achieving their arts award. E is a joy to have in the sessions and he is always enthusiastic and willing to learn.


“H is a pleasure to have on our team. He has a good sense of humour and is able to have fun as well as work hard and get all his jobs done. He is always smiling and is always enthusiastic about any job we give him”.


“J always works to a good standard. I would like to thank him for his help as the store always looks well-presented once he has finished”. 


K has been a star! She is so hard working and is always smiling.  She doesn’t get stressed if we are really busy, she just takes it in her stride and cracks on. We are sad to see her go but grateful for all the hard work and effort she has put in”.


Further Information

If you would like to find out more about our Careers Education please contact Rebecca Roberts, Careers Education Lead on 01432 265035

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