Introduction to Careers
Good careers guidance widens pupils’ horizons, challenges stereotypes and raises aspirations. It provides pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to make successful transitions to the next stage of their life.
Department for Education Statutory Guidance October 2018
We take real pride in the fact that we have had a Careers Department at Hammersmith Academy since we opened. Ms Sophie Harrowes has been our dedicated Head of Careers since 2013 and is now supported by Ms Izzy Sempill as full time Careers Coordinator.
A successful careers programme does more than prepare students for the future, it helps you make the right choices in school and encourages engagement with your studies in order to reach career goals. Good careers guidance should ensure that our students leave HA well-prepared for the outside world, with the employability skills that you need to find success, to realise your potential and to lead a happy life.
Best Practice & Gatsby Benchmarks
Our careers programme is modelled around current best-practice for careers guidance and the Gatsby Benchmarks developed by the Gatsby Foundation have been embedded into our careers work (see our Entitlement Statement for further information). We were a pilot UK school for the Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser network and are a Careers Development Institute Affiliate School. Above all we value strong partnerships to improve our consistent programme of careers education, including working with independent schools such as St Paul’s and St Paul’s Girls’ School. At the heart of our careers programme is opportunity to engage regularly with employers to learn from them about careers, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace.
Our Careers Entitlement Statement and planned Careers Programme for each year group and Careers Calendar can be found here. The Work Experience Policy and User Access Policy are here
Our online Careers Resources for students and parents can be accessed via your Firefly account. It’s an absolute treasure trove of information with guidance on apprenticeships, university, labour market information sources to help you decide which career to follow, and lots more careers material and websites, including how to write a great CV and cover letter.
You can find our useful Careers Library within the school library and up-to-date university prospectus resources in the Sixth Form Centre. Please check the school’s Twitter accounts @HammersmithAcad (Year 7 – 11) and @HA_6thForm for regular news updates on careers opportunities such as summer schools or taster events. There are also lots of useful noticeboards around the academy for ideas and guidance, and a Careers Drop-In on the Mezzanine at 3.30pm every Wednesday.
Tailored Advice & Feedback
From the moment you walk through the gate at Hammersmith Academy, you should have a very real sense that we have high ambitions for all our students. Whether you choose to follow an academic, vocational or technical route, we are here to prepare you for future success in the world of work.
Measuring impact and assessing what is working well for our young people helps us continuously improve our careers programme. Feedback from students and parents after events and small group discussion sessions help us understand what’s working, whilst destination data for Year 11 and Year 13 gives us an excellent year group review of outcomes. We even follow up on students after they’ve left if we hear that something’s changed. Best of all, although somewhat less scientific, is the anecdotal evidence when ex-students write to tell us how they’re doing and to let us know what we did to help them get there. It happens surprisingly often, and our alumni regularly return to share their stories and inspire younger students.
Students and parents are always welcome to ask for an appointment to discuss careers, either via your Student Achievement Manager or direct to the Careers team. We welcome feedback, ideas and offers of support from parents and employers.
Ms Sophie Harrowes, Head of Careers
020 8222 6000