At Joseph Clarke School, we have high aspirations for our pupils and believe many will go on to achieve employment. Through specialist career guidance, work experience opportunities, and employability skills training, we are committed to doing whatever we can to help our pupils follow their chosen path.
Throughout the curriculum and specifically in PSHE lessons, we seek to introduce pupils to a wide range of careers and encourage them to think about their career ambitions as early as possible. As well as helping pupils develop key transferrable employability skills such as teamwork, decision-making and communication, and interaction skills, we arrange a number of talks and visits designed to give pupils an excellent understanding of the world of work.
Through one-to-one meetings and personalised plans, we give our pupils tailored career advice and guidance so that they know what skills, experience, and qualifications they need to gain in order to follow their chosen career paths.
For some of our pupils, this preparation for adulthood involves gaining experience of the wider community and enhancing their decision-making skills ready for supported living in the future.
As part of Whitefield Academy Trust, Joseph Clarke School pupils have the opportunity to participate in Project SEARCH - a supported internship program for young people with sensory impairments, learning disabilities, and/or those on the autistic spectrum.
As part of the project, young people aged 16-24 undertake three work placements at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London working in a range of clinical and non-clinical departments as porters, receptionists, and assistants.
Throughout the year-long program, interns receive intensive, personalised support from exceptional mentors who ensure they feel secure and comfortable every step of the way. Support might include helping interns travel independently to work, giving them the confidence to speak to new people, or identifying ways to work through a list of tasks. This support enables our interns to excel in their placements and become highly-valued team members making a meaningful contribution to their department.
With an employment success rate of over 70%, Project SEARCH has a proven track record of helping young people with SEND secure fulfilling and meaningful jobs. Some graduates of the programme go on to gain full-time, paid employment which they have secured through competitive application processes.
Careers Programme at Joseph Clarke School
The Department for Education SEND Code of Practice 2015 states it is important that young people start to think about their aspirations as early as possible and that from year 9 at the latest, there is help to start planning for a successful transition to adulthood.
Students participate in a programme of Careers Education and Preparing for Adulthood, complementing and supporting the Careers Information, Advice and Guidance provision within school. The Careers Programme is tailored to each curriculum pathway and then personalised where appropriate. Our Careers Programme has been designed to link to the SEND Gatsby Benchmarks. It is delivered explicitly through PSHE lessons, National Careers Week (where we will be inviting along adults with a vision impairment to talk about their careers in March 2022) and is embedded through the wider curriculum, for example, through:
- opportunities across the curriculum to develop transferable life and social skills that support careers, employability and enterprise
- the development of students’ self-advocacy, negotiation, decision-making and transition skills
- purposeful interactions with a range of trusted and familiar adults including school staff and visitors
- recognition of the learner voice and the active involvement of young people in decisions that affect their future, both individually and collectively
- developing the skills for independent travelling
Careers advice and guidance take many forms and is personalised to each individual student, depending on the students’ needs. This also forms part of the annual Person-Centred Review meetings and personalised outcomes are written accordingly.
Reaching Out Curriculum (KS1 – KS5)
For those students working at the earliest developmental levels, this means engaging in meaningful occupation that allows them to experience the world through their senses. Learning is based on developing skills in sensory exploration, information gathering, communication, interaction and physical control. Teachers are encouraged to look at the sensory aspects of all activities as a vehicle through which the student can develop and consolidate skills. For example, a student may learn to collect and dry lavender to make lavender bags or use a range of mixed media to produce art work for display or sale.
Stepping On Curriculum (Up to KS4), Taking Off Curriculum (KS5)
In the Stepping On Curriculum students develop an awareness of jobs and careers requirements. They are supported to:
- develop skills to make transitions between situations, e.g. activities, rooms, key stages, school to college
- develop social skills needed for interaction with peers and with people, both inside and outside of school
- develop skills to undertake mini enterprise activities in class and across the school
- experience social situations related to work skills and job applications
- investigate potential careers, future jobs, college experience
- attend Waltham Forest SEND Careers Event
The Taking Off Curriculum has been designed for post-16 students working at a wide range of developmental levels. The World of Work and Preparing for Adulthood Programme of Study (PoS) aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for adult life, whether this is employment, further education or social care setting. Learning experiences are facilitated to meet the needs of and to challenge the abilities of all post-16 students at Joseph Clarke School. The ability for our students to work and/or contribute to society helps to raise expectations and to challenge misconceptions of disability.
A key focus within this Programme of Study is the development of communication and interaction skills. Therefore, all students are encouraged to develop positive working relationships with adults and their peers, to be active participants in activities within the school environment and local community. This includes opportunities for students to complete tasks as a group, to interact with people within the school and community settings, to understand the roles of people at work and the expectations of the workplace. Students have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement.
Branching Out Curriculum (KS1 – 5)
Students following the National Curriculum with adaptations for students with a vision impairment. In Key Stages 1 and 2, students:
- explore jobs through role-plays
- have access to careers specific story books
- celebrate their learning with links made to transferable skills
- discuss jobs that family members have
- develop leadership skills within the classroom and around the school
- learn the value of different coins and notes
In Key Stage 3, students:
- learn the value of money, earning/spending/saving money
- explore a range of jobs
- learn about qualification routes, vocational courses, apprenticeships
- have a personal guidance meeting with the Careers Advisor
In Key Stage 4, students:
- learn about how to create and promote a positive self-image
- learn about and practise the skills required in the workplace
- explore the National Careers Service
- explore post-16 options
- learn how to write a CV and complete an application form
- have an interview workshop
- have personal guidance meetings with the Careers Advisor
- attend Waltham Forest SEND Careers Event
In Key Stage 5, students have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement, as well as accessing personal guidance meetings with the Careers Advisor and receiving support when exploring post 18/19 options.
Project Search – Supported Internship Programme
Project SEARCH is a supported internship programme for young people with learning disabilities and/or those on the autistic spectrum. It is a unique business-led, one-year education to work programme that takes place entirely in the workplace. Our Project SEARCH programme is a partnership between a host employer (Barts Health NHS Trust), education establishments (Whitefield Academy Trust and local schools/colleges) and supported employment services (Kaleidoscope Sabre Associates). It offers total workplace immersion, facilitates a seamless combination of employability skills introduction, career exploration and hands-on training through a series of job rotations within the host business.