KS4 Careers Programme

KS4 Careers Scheme

Learning Objectives

Gatsby reference

Possible Activity

Student outcomes

Students should learn to..


Developing their self through careers, employability and enterprise education

 Students will be..

(1) Recognise how students are changing, what students now have to offer, what is important to students


  • Students complete an occupational interests questionnaire and discuss the results with their teacher
  • Students describe what they like about how they have changed since Year 7


(2) Be positive about students own story and the responsibility students are taking for their own progress, achievements and wellbeing


  • Students write a chapter of their ‘career story’ about a recent success and talk to a partner about how that episode has influenced the way they think about themselves 
  • Students set personal and learning targets to build on their strengths rather than eradicate their weaknesses

Self- determined

(3) Review and reflect upon how students have benefitted as a learner from career, employability and enterprise learning activities and experiences


  • Students choose the most important aspects of an experience they have just had and reflect on what they have learned. They repeat the activity after a period of time to see if their perspective has changed
  • Students who have had placements in similar working environments compare and contrast what they learnt from their work experience

Self-improving as a learner




Learning about careers and the world of work


(4) Explain key ideas about their career and career development



  • Students weigh up the pros and cons of single-track careers, serial careers, portfolio careers and lifestyle careers
  • Students explore the dynamics of ‘occupational’ careers (e.g. teaching), ‘organisational’ careers (e.g. in the Army) and ‘boundary-less’ careers characterised by frequent job switching

Exploring careers and career development


(5) Explain how work is changing and how this impacts on people’s satisfaction with their working lives


  • Students analyse stories in the news about the factors that affect the mental health of workers


Investigating work and working life

(6) Explain 3 different types of businesses, how they operate and how they measure success


  • Students look at the pros and cons of different kinds of business entities, e.g. sole trader, partnership, company and franchise in the private sector
  • Students compare and contrast their experience of taking part in two different enterprise simulations – one based on a share-holder model and the other based on a co-operative model

Understanding business and industry


(7) Find relevant job and labour market information (LMI) and know how to use it in their career planning


  • Students analyse national and local data on the destinations of last year’s leavers and consider possible implications for their own plans


Investigating jobs and labour market information (LMI)

(8) Recognise and challenge stereotyping, discrimination and other barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion. know their rights and responsibilities in relation to these issues


  • Students discuss with employers about good practice in carrying out their duties under the Equality Act 2010 ‘to make reasonable adjustments to their workplaces to overcome barriers experienced by disabled people’
  • Students investigate progress in tackling ‘the glass ceiling’ in the leading professions, e.g. engineering, architecture, law, medicine, accountancy


Valuing equality, diversity and inclusion

(9) Be aware of their responsibilities and rights as a student, trainee or employee for following safe working practices


  • Students carry out a risk assessment of an indoor space at school, e.g. a laboratory, classroom, dining hall, cloakroom
  • Students research health and safety requirements and guidelines for tools and equipment that they use, e.g. VDU, keyboard, machine tools in the Design and Technology workshop

Learning about safe working practices and environment



Developing their career management and employability skills


(10) Build and make the most of their personal network of support including how to identify and use a wide range of careers information, advice and guidance and distinguish between objectivity and bias



  • Students discuss their options with family, friends/social network, school staff and careers specialists and carefully weigh up the advice received
  • Students examine through case studies what impartiality means when it is applied to careers guidance practice




Making the most of careers information, advice and guidance (CEIAG)


(11) Show how students have acquired and are developing qualities and skills to improve their employability


  • Students use the Centre for Education and Industry (CEI) Learning Frameworks to record key skills and plan and carry out work experience tasks
  • Students practise filling out the sections on sample application forms that ask them to provide evidence of the skills and qualities that they have demonstrated
  • Students take part in a work placement visit to a local construction company


Preparing for employment

(12) Show that students can be enterprising in the way students learn, work and manage their career


  • Local employers run a session on techniques of successful marketing and then set a marketing challenge such as how to promote healthy eating
  • Students assess themselves on the career adaptability scale and discuss with their tutor how they are going to follow up the results


Showing initiative and enterprise

(13) Show that students can manage their own money Understand personal finance documents Know how to access financial support for further study and training


  • Students calculate the cost of higher education and how the return on their investment can be managed
  • Students complete online modules explaining tax and national insurance matters (L.I.F.E qualification)

Developing personal financial capability

(14) Research their education, training, apprenticeship, employment and volunteering options including information about the best progression pathways through to specific goals



  • Students draw up a list of questions to ask stallholders that they want to meet at a forthcoming careers fair
  • Students take part in a careers event at the school and then discuss how the careers they experienced have related to their own skills and expertise

Identifying choices and opportunities

(15) Know how to make important plans and decisions

Know how to solve problems Deal appropriately with influences on students



  • Students learn how to weigh up different factors affecting their decisions by using role play and decision making techniques
  • Students take part in role plays to practise using the three main styles of communication and conflict resolution (i.e. being passive, assertive or aggressive)

Planning and deciding

(16) Know students rights and responsibilities in a selection process and the strategies to use to improve their chances of being chosen



  • Students take part in a mock interview for a suitable position (e.g. an apprenticeship, a college place or a job) and prepare a CV beforehand
  • Students receive training from HR executive with regards to their rights in the workplace
  • Students complete a ‘true’ or ‘false’ quiz about questions  relating to equality of opportunity that interviewers are not allowed to ask candidates

Handling applications and interviews

(17) Review and reflect on previous transitions to help students  improve their preparation for future moves in education, training and employment


  • Students recall the range of experiences that they and others had when making decisions at 13+ and suggest how the lessons learnt can be applied to their decisions at 16+
  • Students say what they think should be in an induction programmes for students going into the sixth form, a college, work-based learning or an apprenticeship

Managing changes and transitions