Careers / KS4 Options

Summary of Careers Education and Guidance at Hele’s

Careers Education and Guidance is delivered to all students in Year 7, 8, 9,10,11 and Years 12 & 13. The programmes for delivery to Years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 are separately organised from the Year 12 & 13 programmes, where the responsibility for their management rests with the Head of Sixth Form, deputy head of Sixth Form and the senior tutor.

The delivery of the educational packages is carried-out by the Tutors, along with input from Heads of House and Head of Year as well as the Careers Support Manager. Materials for the educational packages are developed and collated by the Careers Support Manager who ensures that sufficient provision for the successful execution of lessons, according to a pre-determined scheme of work, is possible.

The new QCA framework, ‘Economic wellbeing 11-19: career, work-related learning and enterprise’ replaces the nine element framework. It complements the programme by including three focus strands on learning through work, about work, for work.

The programme for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 serves to enable young people to make informed decisions about their options (and ultimately their futures). In order to do this the following objectives are set out and the depth of study increases as students’ progress throughout the school:-

• Understand themselves and the influences on them
• Investigate opportunities in learning and work
• Make and adjust plans to manage change and transition

In addition, the programme for Years 10 & 11 can become more specific as the school aims to support students through the transition of Post 16 careers and in doing so the following objectives are set out :-

• Raising students’ self-awareness
• Identifying strengths and weaknesses
• Increasing occupational opportunities awareness. developing planning skills
• Facilitating work experience. preparing for 16+ options
• Investigating 16+ study skills & promoting the notion of lifelong learning

Raising The Participation Age: New Choices for 16 to 18 Year Olds

New government legislation means that students due to finish Year 11 in or after 2014 must stay in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. More details of the changes and options available to students are available here.

CEIAG Policy 2015

Careers FAQ

Q. When is the Careers Library open?

Monday – Thursday: 08:00 – 16:00, Friday: 08:00 – 15:30.

You can find the Careers Library and Office at the back of the main library. Please call in if you want to ask any questions about careers and your future choices, to look at the resources held or to use the computers to view all the careers websites available to you.

Q. Where can I find out about Options in Years 9 and 11, courses available, Apprenticeships, degrees and jobs?

  • Look in the Careers Library
  • Use the Internet
  • Access the following links through the school website. Some you will need to log on to the school site to be able to access the passwords.


And there ones require no log in passwords:
Best Course For Me:
Careers South West:
Career Pilot:

Q. How can I find out about colleges of further education?

Go to the Careers Library where you will find current college handbooks and prospectuses for City College Plymouth, Duchy College, PCAD and others.  Also look at the colleges’ own websites.

Q. Can I find out about universities?

Yes – current prospectuses are held in the Careers Library and in Post 16. You can also log onto the relevant university web site, view their prospectus or request one to be sent out to you. You can also use UCAS, Best Course For Me or E CLIPS (see above) to find a course or university of your choice.

Q. Can I get information on apprenticeships?

Yes, you can register on the National Apprenticeship website or come to the Careers Library where you will find lots of information.

Careers Resources

There are lots of careers resources available to you from various sources.

Some of these are:

New Kudos website

The programme contains information on more than 1700 career titles. It will ask you questions about your likes and dislikes, your qualification aspirations and any health factors that may affect you. It will then match you to careers and provide information for you to find out more about them. If you like the aspects that make up a career then it is more likely to be suitable. If there are things you don’t like in the career then it is less likely to be suggested to you. Kudos is not designed to assess whether your personality is suitable for a particular career, or whether you are able to do a particular career, just to give you ideas.

E Clips website

This is very similar to Kudos but, as well as looking at various jobs and careers you can also look at the choices available to you, education and questions you may have, work and training and skills you may need, how to write a CV and much much more.

NOTE: all of the above websites require log in codes. You will need to log into the school website and then click on: Students > Careers Resources and then select the website from the list and then follow the instructions

Other websites that are extremely useful are:

Apprenticeships give you lots of information about all the Apprenticeships available and also all the current vacancies throughout the country.  gives access to loads of useful information about apprenticeships, general careers advice, direct links to employers and training providers that offer apprenticeships, real life stories and much more.

UCAS – everything you need to know about going to University can be found on this website

Not going to University and want help – gives you lots of information of other routes available

Bestcourse4me – Is a free website that helps you explore different careers by career title or subject, explore University choices or, if you are not sure what career is good for you, can give you lots of ideas and information

Careers South West (was Connexions) On-line Resources

Careers South West Direct is a new service for young people age 13-19 that offers quick access to information and advice on a wide range of topics through one easy to use website .
You can also speak to a Careers South West Direct advisor by telephone, webchat, email or text message. They are there to listen to you, but can offer confidential advice and practical help too. And if you need even more specialist help they know all the right people.

CSW Direct advisors are available to take your call from 8.00 am to 2.00 am seven days a week.

Call them on 080 800 13-2-19

Text us on 07766 4 13-2-19

Or visit

All Advice is confidential and you don’t have to give a name and address if you don’t want to.

Sample CVs and Application Letters

Example Blank CV with Guidance Notes
Example Completed CV
Example Generic Application Letter
Example Specific Application Letter
Example Work Experience Application Letter


There are notice boards around the school that will show the latest information on careers events, careers clubs, meetings etc.  Also look in the school library which provides the latest news and careers information to students and information on various careers clubs.  Also check your e mails.

Careers South West

Careers South West (CSW) delivers information advice and guidance services to adults and young people throughout the South West. This service has replaced the Connexions service in supporting people into education, employment and training.

The link CSW adviser for Heles school is Fred Jenkins, he can be contacted on 07977250163 or via email at

The Careers South West website has comprehensive information about all the services that are available as well as details of new vacancies, up to date labour market information, advice on looking for a job or an apprenticeship, parents newsletter and much more. Please follow the link to the right to access the CSW website;

Year 9 Careers Day

Year 9 students had a real treat with everyone participating in the annual Careers Day. The aim of the day was to show students different aspects of the “World of Work” and to learn and develop a variety of employability skills. Volunteers from a variety of working backgrounds came into the school to deliver workshops, which included team building, problem solving, skills needed for employment, as well as giving information about the banking world and money matters. The day went really well with all students showing great enthusiasm, especially in the ‘hands on’ activities! Babcock delivered a session on employability skills, which involved short, practical activities connected with some of the essential skills that are necessary in the workplace. Babcock also led a session where students worked in groups and had the task of building a nuclear crane to extract fuel rods from a submarine within a time limit, and whilst wearing protective clothing and hard hats Alex, from Devon Education Business Partnership, led a session looking at critical skills for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The session looked at investigation and communication and how important they are in so many STEM roles. Staff from Natwest Bank spoke to the students about the use of money, the role of banks and bank accounts. They gave some background of why money is important to them, why it is important to understand it, why we need banks and how bank accounts work. They also spoke about budgeting and involved the students in various money related activities. Staff from Sainsbury’s also attended and ran a session called Ready for Retail, where students explored the skills needed for retail, the range of jobs available and how they can progress within the field of retail. One of the highlights of the day involved the students designing and constructing fan powered cars, which tested their ability to communicate and think clearly under time pressure. The day was a huge success and Jenny Moffit, Careers Support Manager at Hele’s School said, “The students really enjoyed the wide variety of workshops, that were well planned and expertly presented. A huge thank you to the representatives from Natwest Bank, Babcock, Sainsbury’s, Wonderstruck and Education Business Partnership South West for helping to make this day so meaningful for our young people.”

KS4 Options Timeline 2017-2018

Term Date Year 8
Term 2 Oct 30th – Dec 19th Careers in PD – personal strengths and weaknesses; making choices
Term 3 Jan 9th Careers Fayre 4-6pm
Jan 26th Options Assembly for all Year 8 students - Assembly presentation for Y8 2018
w/b Jan 29th Options Booklets to students - Curriculum Booklet 2017-18
Feb 6th Options Fayre and parents’ information meetings 4-7pm
Term 4 Feb 19th – March 9th Y8 1:1 tutor interviews
March 7th Subject teachers/ Parents’ evening
March 12th Option Forms issued
March 16th Deadline for return of Options Forms
Term 5 April 16th – May 4th 1:1 meetings with Mrs Ayres as necessary
by May 25th subject choices confirmed in writing

KS4 Options Fair and Interviews

The Options Fair is held in February and is in preparation for students in year 8 making their choices for subjects to be studied at GCSE.  After the Options Fair all students will have Tutor interviews.

All students are issued with an options booklet and attend an assembly given by the Assistant Principal (Curriculum),  where they are given information on how the options process works, what options are available and guidance on how to make their choices.

The Options Fair this year is being held on 6th February 2018. There is a presentation for parents in the The Studio at 4.30pm, which will be repeated at 5.30pm.  At the presentation the Principal and Assistant Principal (Curriculum) will explain the options process as a whole.

Between 4.00pm and 7.00pm parents/guardians and students are invited to visit the subject areas in school, where teaching staff will be available to speak to students and their parents/guardians.  We encourage questions about the subject and examples of GSCE work done by previous GCSE students will be on display to give learners a valuable insight into what will be required of them at Key Stage 4.

1:1 interviews for all students take place in the term after the Options Fair. The interview is to ensure that all students are happy about the options process, have received all the help and guidance they need and know what subject choices they are going to make.  For students who still have concerns, further support and advice will be given, to ensure that by the end of the process they have made the correct choices.

Year 8 Parents’ evening take place in March and we would expect parents to make appointments to see teachers of subjects which have been selected as part of the options process, so that this choice can be discussed in detail.

The final part of the process is completing the options form.  Forms are collected in and processed, with all students being informed of their GCSE subjects in Term 5.

Year 10 and 12 Work Experience

Work experience at Hele’s aims to develop personal key skills by pupils experiencing the world of work.

The Careers Support Manager is responsible for the coordination and organisation of work experience in conjunction with a placing agency. The role of the group tutor is a key factor in the success of the work experience system and the educational programmes support and develop relevant skills and capabilities in the young people to enable them to meet the challenges of work experience. The students are responsible for finding a placement, contacting providers and arranging to meet and complete necessary forms. This is a vital part of the work experience programme as it gives them an insight into what it would be like applying for a placement in 6th form or at college, an apprenticeship or jobs in the future. Indeed work experience provides a powerful tool for the development of young people, providing many students with the opportunity to excel in different and demanding circumstances doing much for many individuals’ self esteem. Work experience also feeds further school learning opportunities in terms of debriefing and feedback sessions.

Previous Work Experience Placements

Hele’s pupils have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of career options through work experience. In previous years, student placements have included:

  • Music Assistant at the Sound House
  • Mechanic Assistant at Station View Garage
  • Stable Assistant at Fitzworthy Riding School
  • Civil Engineer at Plymouth City Council
  • Golfing Assistant at Elfordleigh Hotel, Golf and Leisure
  • Gas Engineer at A D Electrical and Mechanical
  • PT Assistant at HMS Drake
  • Retail Assistant for Quiksilver
  • Legal Clerk at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court
  • General Assistant for Plymouth Argyle
  • Fashion Design Assistant for The Wedding Company

Read more

At the end of Year 9 each student is asked to write a letter to the Deputy Principal explaining why they should be considered for a place and the opportunity to do a week’s Work Experience, at the end of Year 10.  Once the letters have been read and agreed the students are then issued with an own placement form and asked, over the summer holiday to find a placement.  Some students choose not to do Work Experience as they attend the CCF camp held during the same week and some students, who may not be ready for Work Experience stay in school during that week and partake in various “Ready for the World of Work” workshops which is still a valuable experience and aims at helping them to develop their skills in CV writing, interview techniques, letter writing to name but a few.

Upon their return in September the forms are collated, placements contacted and the external agency that we work with then arrange Health and Safety visits and ensure all insurances are in place and write relevant job descriptions for every child and placement. The emphasis is very much on students finding a placement themselves as it has been proven that those students that do have a more rounded, enjoyable and relevant experience.

When all placements are cleared and everything has been verified the students are issued a pack and are asked to arrange a meeting with their respective employers, some for the first time, which can be quite daunting and get all contracts signed before the placement begins in July.

Finally the week is upon them and they are then in the “working world”, experiencing what it is like to have a full time job, what comes with it and, on many occasions how tiring it is, which again can be quite a shock.  During the week a member of staff will visit the student in their place of work to ensure all is going well and the student is having an enjoyable experience.  The students are also issued a booklet which forms part of their PD programme prior to work experience as well as being a diary and record of their week and can be used as part of their CV.

Get the most from Work Experience

  • Get involved
  • Ask questions
  • Volunteer for help
  • Keep a diary
  • Record events and useful facts
  • Keep an eye on Key Skills development

Find out more about what Hele’s students recently got up to on work experience by clicking on the links below.

Work experience 2018 launch Letter to parents May 2017
Work Experience Parent Information
Work Experience Student Information

Year 11 1:1 Interviews

On the 15th and 16th October all Year 11 students had their 1:1 interviews with employers from various industries and employment sectors and, as always, this proved to be an amazing two days and a very valuable experience for all involved.

It started with the entire year group highlighting the area of interest they had with regard to their future careers and completing a CV. This was then sent off to the relevant interviewers in readiness for the actual day.

The students were given the times and day that had been allocated to them to attend their interview and were also encouraged to wear their own clothes to the event, to help try and make it as real as possible. They were also asked to bring a copy of their CV and any other evidence that they felt would be relevant.

As we did last year, the event was held over two days, meaning we could have more interviewers attend, from more employment sectors making it a far more valuable and relevant experience for the students. It also meant that each child had a longer interview, which enabled the interviewer to give constructive criticism, time to discuss improvements and to give advice and guidance.

On the day the students arrived at “Reception”, registered and then went through to their interview. The interviewers then went through the CVs with a fine tooth comb, which was really helpful as the students now understand the importance of having a good CV and how important it is to check spelling, content and writing skills. They also gave feedback on interview techniques and gave them great advice on how they could be improve, highlighted areas where the students excelled and gave some great advice regarding researching chosen career paths and qualifications needed, all of which will be invaluable to the students in the future. The students felt that this was a very positive experience and was really helpful to them, as not many had had an interview before so didn’t know what to do or how it felt, and to get expert advice from employers was really fantastic.

Everyone was nervous because they didn’t know what to expect. It was wonderful to see them after their interviews and hear all the positive feedback. So many of the students “got the job” but more importantly gained experience and received positive feedback. The interviewers were amazed at the thought that the students had put in and how engaged they were in the process and what a credit they were to themselves and the school. They presented themselves well and acted in a professional manner before, during and after the interview. The two days were a great success. Well done Year 11.

A very big thank you to Nicky Puckey for helping to organised the event and to the representatives from the Army, RAF, Babcock, Bond Dickerson, Marjon, the NHS, Devon and Cornwall Police, Bailey Partnership, Vospers, Francis Clark, Duchy College, Interserve, Plymouth Veterinary Hospital, DHSG, Saltash College and Penninsula Medical School for giving up their time and making it such an amazing and invaluable experience for the students
Mrs Moffitt
Careers Support Manager

This morning I had my 1:1 interview. I walked into the library ten minutes before my interview just to make sure I wouldn’t be late because that would be a bad start. I was sat in the library thinking of all the bad things that could happen, as nervous as I have ever been. My time came for my interview with Babcock and as I was walking over I was trembling with fear. I shook the woman’s hand to introduce myself and took a seat. They made me feel very welcome and comfortable, not once did I feel pressured like I thought I was going to feel. Throughout the interview I felt proud of what I was doing and didn’t feel nervous anymore, hearing them give you their feedback and all the positive things and for me it was that, at the end they would have given me the job, felt amazing. When my interview was complete I felt proud to stand with joy and firmly shake the interviewers hand and thank them for their time.

I walked away from my interview feeling very positive and felt that the nervousness at the beginning wasn’t needed at all.
Grace Hooper C6

I had my one-on-one interview with Babcock. I found the feedback given to me invaluable and I feel the interview went really well.
Rhys Butterfill C8

Today I attended my first interview. I was nervous and scared but felt prepared. When I walked up the stairs I was nervous but as I shook Gill’s hand and took a seat I felt comfortable and ready. I was later surprised with a numeracy and literacy test which I wasn’t expecting and had got 10/10 for numeracy and 7/10 for literacy. I received good feedback and was proud with how it went and now I know what to do and expect. With this experience I have found it useful, because now I feel ready for my next interview.
Emma Ruffles C1

Bearing in mind I found out I was having my interview 5 minutes before it happened, I felt it went fantastically. My interviewer was very nice and I performed really well during the interview. He said my confidence, personality and keenness to join the armed forces was excellent. He said I was the right person the Royal Navy would employ and he would definitely give me the job.
Matthew Maunder

I was very nervous about going into my interview, however, when I came out it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had my interview with Laura Crossfield from the NHS. She could tell I was nervous, however, she could see I was a confident person and she said she would definitely recommend going for a job with children. She said I was a ‘very very lovely and dedicated young lady. However she also said I slightly undersold myself and that my personal statement needs plumping out a bit more. She said I was a confident, caring and a dedicated person and I got the job! I was given her details and told to give her a call to arrange getting more experience, if I would like to, in the hospital.

I thought it was a really good experience. Thank you.
Emma Jameson C4

My interview was with Bond Dickinson and I felt it went really well. It was a useful experience mainly because I have learnt the kind of questions an interviewer asks. It was not as frightening as I expected and the man interviewing me, Darryl Webb, was really nice and gave me really positive feedback. He has given me his business card and said to call him and arrange some work experience with the firm. The experience was useful and has boosted my confidence and I will now be less fearful and will know what to expect when I go to a real interview.
Harriet Marks W3

Today I had an interview with Laura Crossfield from the NHS. I was a little nervous before I went in, but as I started talking to her the nerves went and it was a really good experience. She talked me through the best way of getting into the nursing industry and explained to me that I needed to talk slower and sell myself more in my CV. I would definitely recommend this to younger students, as I feel it was a great experience to have.
Amy Evens S8

I just had my 1:1 with PC Hocking of Devon & Cornwall Police. I was very nervous, however, during my feedback he informed me that I gave very detailed and complex answers, which were excellent and succinct. He gave me very difficult questions, for example, if I was off duty and found someone unconscious on the floor what would I do? To be told that my answers to questions like that were good felt absolutely brilliant. He also said that my structure and content was very good. I am very thankful for this experience, as it has aided me in understanding what to expect in the future.
Zac Wood R3

Accreditations Copyright © 2012 - Heles School. All rights reserved. Hele's School is part of Westcountry Schools Trust. Registered address: Harford Road, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0AJ. A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07398467.
Site by Matrix Ltd, Website Design Plymouth