The aim of this page is to provide an overview of how you, as parents, can support your sons and daughters with their career development, especially at key decision making points such as Year 9 and Year 11.
You can also browse the extremely comprehensive careers information already provided for students.
Mr A Abdar (Careers Leader)
Mrs T Gumbs (Sixth Form Careers)
Careers Advice and Guidance at Herschel
We work with Adviza to provide independent careers advice and guidance to your son/daughter. Kulwinder Kaur is our School Careers Adviser and is in school on Thursdays in the autumn and spring terms, and can also be contacted via her email address above. Each year, Aileen meets with all of Year 9 in groups, all of Year 11 either in groups or individually (producing detailed action plans in the latter case which are sent home to you via Parentmail and to your son/daughter via email) and some of the Sixth Form, usually but not exclusively those students considering other than university.
We have been awarded Stage 1 of the Investor in Careers award.
This is what our careers programme currently looks like for our students - this is the careers page in our student planner:
Careers on Twitter
Follow Herschel Careers on Twitter @Careers_HGS - you can see the latest tweets and retweets below.
We have a range of careers software available for use by your sons and daughters, available via the 'Careers Software' page on the student careers menu. But what does this software actually do?
Unifrog - https://www.unifrog.org/sign-in
KUDOS asks a series of probing questions about interests and likes/dislikes, before suggesting some potential career areas of interest. These areas of interest are then followed up with detailed information about what is entailed with these career areas and how they can be accessed. You will need the licence code to access this software - this can be obtained from Mr Abdar and has been emailed to your son/daughter.
The Which University A Level Explorer allows potential A Level choices to be submitted and comes back with lists of degree courses that would be accessible with those choices - a great way of 'road testing' a set of choices to ensure that no mistakes are made.
eClips is the one stop shop for information on particular career areas - salaries, entry requirements, labour market information (i.e. are these career areas growing or shrinking). This is supported by similar information (although presented quite differently) on Success at School. You will need the licence code to access this eClips - this can be obtained from Mr Abdar and has been emailed to your son/daughter.
iCould provides some career inspiration by looking at what some 'real people' do and why they do it!
Key Decision Points
At Herschel, students select their GCSE options in Year 9. The latest options booklet can be downloaded as a PDF from the downloads area at the bottom of this page.
During Year 11, students make choices about what they will do post-16. These choices include A Levels (at Herschel or elsewhere), apprenticeships, or other college courses such as BTECs and NVQs. Students must stay in some kind of education or training until their 18th birthday.
More detailed information about these key routes can be found in the website links below or on the student careers pages of our website, where all the latest opportunities we receive are posted.
You can download a parents' guide to apprenticeships from the downloads list at the foot of this page, along with the latest list of local college open events (always check on these directly before making a journey, however). Previous careers adviser Helen Cole's presentation to Year 10 in July 2018 can also be found here.
The Russell Group of universities have recently updated their advice on A Level choices - you can try their new A Level choices tool by clicking on the logo below.
Year 12 and 13
In late Year 12 and duing Year 13, students consider what they will go on to do after Herschel. Most of our students go through the UCAS process and apply for university, but others also look at apprenticeships and school leaver programmes, more details of which can be found on the appropriate student careers pages and in the downloads list at the foot of this page.
If your son/daughter is applying for university, you will probably want to know more about the latest student finance arrangements. Click on the Which University link below for a handy guide.
You can also download Which University's excellent 'Parent's Guide to University' from the downloads section at the bottom of this page - a PDF guide that covers student finance but also a range of other aspects of helping your son or daughter through their university application and decision making including choosing a course, making personal statements stand out from the crowd and options for university accommodation.
UCAS has a section to support you as parents as your son/daughter moves into higher education - you can access it via the button below:
You can sign up for quarterly e-newsletters from this link to receive timely information and advice, and download a PDF copy of the latest UCAS Parent Guide (which is also available from the downloads at the bottom of this page). You can find out about finance, offers and about how you can help your son/daughter make an informed decision about their higher education future.
At the bottom of this page you can also download the presentation used by at the UCAS Information Evening held in March 2016.
A 'Must Read' for Parents
This article is reproduced from the 'Not Going to Uni' website, and is a very interesting and thought provoking read for anyone in the position of supporting a son or daughter through making careers decisions.
While you may have helped your child decide which GCSEs to study, as they get older the decisions about their education and career be tough. This is especially true if you and your teenager don’t agree on what direction they should take. Perhaps you have your own set of dreams for your teen to follow, but they don’t seem to agree and want to do something else entirely? Of course, you just want the best for your child and are trying to guide them in what you believe is the best direction. But, your way may not be the best way for them any longer and there are plenty of different routes to the same career these days.
With university fees being a concern for many families, it is of little surprise that many young people are now looking at apprenticeships as a real option. Choosing between university and an apprenticeship is something that you want to help your child do, so it is worth researching both options properly before making any decisions. Aside from money issues, there are other factors to consider, such as the chances of getting a job at the end of it all and the type of training available (on-the-job vs. academic).
If your teen has a good idea of what they would like to do as a career you may want to search for any available apprenticeships in your area. By doing some research you will be able to present an informed opinion to your teen and really help them by showing what you have found. Using this sort of information and showing the pros and cons of each option will also make it seem less like you are ‘nagging’ or pressuring them into one or another.
Some teens have no idea what they want to do, so it may even be best to let them explore the world of work to see what is out there. There are plenty of jobs available for school leavers, and they can always go back to do some more study later.
Deciding upon options, whether they are for A levels or even after can be a stressful time for both teenagers and their parents, but the more you can work through things together the better it is. Try to pay attention to what your teenager wants, listen to their ideas, and maybe you can use your own experience to help them make the right choice.
However, don’t let yourself be too swayed by what you did when you were their age. Times are constantly changing and you have to remember your son or daughter have to find a way that suits them. That said, if you do your research (you can even ask our dedicated ‘Advice Centre’ if you have questions), then you will at least know that you are making an informed choice – rather than one based on emotion or hearsay.
Helping your teen make the right choice for the future may seem like a huge moment for you both, but no decision needs to close the door on another – whether academic or vocational.
Apprenticeships have changed. It’s certainly worth finding out more when there are up to 28,000 vacancies online at any time, in sectors ranging from nuclear to fashion, and from banking to defence. Some employers even fund degrees for their apprentices.
Two of the best websites for parents wanting to find out more about apprenticeships are:
You can download a parents' guide to apprenticeships from the downloads list at the foot of this page.
Especially for Daughters.....
The government, in conjunction with the PSHE Association, has produced a guide for parents of girls entitled 'Your Daughter's Future' and we are pleased to bring this to you here.
From the introduction:
Your daughter is on the brink of adulthood, making choices that will shape her life for years to come. At times she may enjoy all the new experiences, opportunities, options that are presented to her. At other times she may find the challenge to choose the right education and career options – alongside all the other pressures of teenage years – too heavy to carry alone. You want her to make the most of her potential, to use her talents in the right way for her. You want her to have a secure future – a job, enough money to live comfortably. But most of all you want her to be happy.
Many parents of teenagers worry that they are losing their influence. They suspect that their children are guided more by peer pressure and fitting in with their friends than anything their parents might tell them. But research evidence shows that it is in fact parents who are young people’s main influence in choosing careers. During the writing of this toolkit we talked to a large number of teenage girls and they all, without exception, agreed that parents were their main role models and source of help at this time. They wanted and welcomed their parents’ advice and support so long as – and this is critical – their parents did not try to take control. More than once, they imagined themselves as driving a car, towards a destination that they had chosen, with their mum or dad sitting beside them. Whenever they were anxious about what way to go, their parent would offer to check the map and suggest routes – but no backseat driving!
Just as your daughters don’t want to be told what to do, nor do you. This pack isn’t going to tell you what your daughter should do when she leaves school, or how you should be a parent. That’s up to the both of you. What you will find here is information on qualifications, apprenticeships and careers. There’s also suggestions on how you can most effectively support
your daughter at this time, based on the research evidence and what we have been told by other parents and by teenage girls. Some of this may be useful; some of it won’t. This isn’t an instruction manual but a toolkit, for you to use in whatever way works for you. We hope you find it useful.
You can download the guide from the files at the bottom of this page.
Online Careers Guidance for Parents
The National Careers Service is the main government website for young people (and older ones too!) in the UK to access up to date careers information and guidance:
Labour Market Information
Understanding LMI is crucial when providing careers guidance and advice - which job areas are seeing an increase or decrease in employee demand, both nationally and locally?
The latest national LMI can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.
There is also some LMI specifically for Berkshire that was released in November 2016 - you can also download this as a PDF report from the downloads section below.
From time to time we run Morrisby testing in school, usually on Mentoring Day in December.
Morrisby combines objective assessments of ability with detailed questionnaire responses measuring such things as career interests, work attitudes, talents and motivations. These results are used to generate a unique profile for each candidate including suggestions for career and educational pathways. These results can:
- increase self-awareness
- recognise an individual's personal strengths and weaknesses
- uncover hidden talents
- suggest realistic and achievable goals increasing motivation and application
Click on the logo below to find out more: