Colleges and Careers
Work Experience is an integral part of our school careers programme and usually takes place during the first two weeks of Year 11. Students are encouraged to take full responsibility for their placement, although support is available, contacting potential employers, writing personal statements and application letters during Year 10.
Work Experience is well received by the vast majority of our students and there have been some outstanding placements over the years. This usually helps our students to be informed about possible future careers, although in some cases this has had the opposite effect!
All of our placements receive a full risk assessment through our Education Business Partners and we have been supported by a wide variety of local and national companies in providing this opportunity.
In Year 8 students are introduced to the world of work and careers via KUDOS. This careers software allows students to investigate different employability options that they find interesting, in addition to analysing their own strengths, abilities and interests, and how these compliment certain career options.
In Year 9, students revisit the careers software for a more focussed examination of preferred career interests, which are linked to the qualification and work experience criteria that is needed to be successful in those areas.
Thornden School invites employees and employers from a vast range of careers in to give small presentations to students on career opportunities. These are advertised to all students, but attended by those interested in those areas. Students are consulted in the areas that they would like talks on, and leave presentations with specific advice on achieving work experience and necessary qualifications in that areas.
All of Year 9 are introduced to apprenticeships with a presentation from Eastleigh College on what is means to undertaken an apprenticeship, the pay and qualifications and the different career possibilities.
A major focus for Year 10 students is their application for Work Experience (completed in September of Year 11). Our school programme offers support in finding an appropriate placement, with advice and guidance on how to apply, and get through a potential interview process. Thornden offer extra support to those who struggle to find their own placement opportunities.
In preparation for future college applications, a personal statements is drafted with help and support from the student’s tutor.
In July, students participate in a school Enterprise Day where Thornden runs activities and competitions to allow them to understand how a large multinational organisation works, how the various departmental functions contribute to the success of the business and about the range of careers opportunities offered in the world of enterprise.
Students are kept regularly informed about college events and open days. Thornden offers tailored trips for students considering attending Eastleigh College and Sparsholt College.
We continue to offer students access to presentations from a variety of job roles. Students are encouraged to explore these areas after the careers talk with tailored suggestions of work shadowing visits (organised through parents, family and friends), and/or through volunteering with local charities after school or at weekends.
During the autumn term in Year 11, every student has a careers guidance interview with an external careers adviser from Solent EBP, where they can discuss their ideas for the future. Students receive a personalised action plan by email soon afterwards, which summarises the key points of the interview and signposts them towards relevant websites and other sources of information. Parents can attend if wished.
Thornden supports all pupils with their application to their chosen college or training centre, advice is given on how to apply and how to cope with a potential interview. Interviews for Peter Symonds are taken at Thornden in the Spring term.
For those students strongly considering undertaking an apprenticeship we run a support session on how to apply, and what to expect in the application process.
When available, we also arrange small groups of students to be taken to our local Higher Education Fair, these provide an excellent opportunity for prospective students to meet university representatives, discuss issues about higher education. Alternatively we offer this in school by inviting former pupils to come and discuss their experiences of university. Former students attending Oxbridge are also invited in to Thornden.