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What does a Whole-School Approach to Careers Ed Look Like?

What does a Whole-School Approach to Careers Ed Look Like?

Quick quiz! What does your school's motto or slogan say?

Got it in mind? Great.

Now here's the important bit: Does the school slogan relate to the future?

School positioning statements often focus on student futures, such as life-long learning. Or they highlight values such as belonging and community.

Development of the whole person for the future.

This is exactly what whole-school careers education is about, too.

Two students looking at tablet together year 56 
Deep investigation over time

The schools that use BECOME as a core part in their careers education across the school align the BECOME program to school strategy as a way to emphasise and develop a fulfilling future for each student as a whole person.

In a whole school approach, a school commits to provide the time and proper tools for deep investigation of self, careers and aspirations. Rather than every level in the school, this typically happens at several year levels, such as years 6, 8 and 10 (but it could be any year levels). When it is aligned to the school strategy it is cohesive.

Here's what whole-school careers education looks like:

  • Whole-school careers education means supporting each young person to explore the widest possible spectrum of the world of work, not just once, but several times.
  • A whole-school careers education program fosters long-term exploration into students' personal interests, strengths and capabilities. Through age-appropriate activities and structured reflection each time students interact with the program.
  • It allows students a safe space to explore motivations behind career ideas, such as values. A safe space to 'try on' career ideas to see how they fit with their emerging identity.
  • It helps young people develop the skills they will need in their future to see and develop a career idea or opportunity and to know what will suit them best when they make career and life decisions.
A case for agency

Whole-school careers education goes hand-in-hand with student agency.

StLukesYr6Padlet9_feelslikeLearners in schools who adopt a whole-school approach develop the skills to take charge of their own lives, their learning and direction.

Through the BECOME program, students learn and practise the skills to identify, explore, assess and decide about opportunities that may come their way now and later.

The BECOME program develops and changes as students grow and build more sophisticated insights into how their self fits into possible ideas for their future.

The BECOME tools and lessons are ready to use and curriculum-linked, integrated with the BECOME.me web app which provides a safe space in which students explore personal career scenarios and try them on for size.

Putting it into action

Here are some of the key things schools tell us make all the difference when they adopt BECOME as a whole-school careers education program:

  • When school leadership is proactively involved, BECOME can provide the key pieces for  a coordinated student futures approach that is central to the school strategy.
  • Student wellbeing and engagement gains can be astonishing, such as students seeing a real connection between what they are learning at school and their future, and having growing confidence in their ability to manage that future.
  • As they engage with BECOME over multiple years, students see and celebrate how much they have developed. BECOME lessons are suited to age and stage, so students develop crucial skills such as career exploration, research and decision-making as they mature.
  • Gains in student wellbeing and engagement can offset time invested at lower year levels (years 5 and up) by coaching students to see themselves as the active drivers of a life-long learning path.
  • Flexible lesson delivery helps scheduling, and the lessons (particularly at the lower year levels) offer authentic learning outcomes in multiple curriculum areas such as English, pastoral care or student wellbeing.

A whole-school approach in your school

jo-szczepanska-5aiRb5f464A-unsplashDoes your strategy blend wellbeing, personal fulfillment and learning values into your students' future?

Let us help you design a whole-school careers education approach that is contextual, age-relevant and fits with your strategic aims.

We've helped many schools harness the power of futures thinking. Book an informal chat about careers education in your context, for the benefit of your students.

 

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