Careers Education at King Edward’s

Mission Statement: To provide the highest quality Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance that broadens the horizons of all students and ensures they reach their full potential, and respond to national and global 21st century challenges.

Careers Education at The King Edward VI School aims to be broad, balanced and personalised. Our aim is to inspire students, widen their horizons and support them to make informed decisions. The days of a Careers Adviser matching you to a particular job are long gone!

At King Edward’s Careers Education is delivered in a variety of ways across the year groups, but never as a ‘careers lesson’, it is much broader and more holistic than that.

To us Careers Education means:

Competencies The skills and dispositions beyond grades that are desirable to employers, these are employability skills and are about keeping ‘the’ job once you get it
Aspiration Students should not be told ‘no’ but asked how. The only limitations we have are the ones we impose upon ourselves


The world of work is very different to what it once was, it is very dynamic with new companies and job types constantly evolving. Competition for jobs is fierce and truly international. Understanding Labour Market Information (LMI) is vital


Essentially this is career management i.e. getting the job when you apply for it. This is about achievement and progress in subjects (the ‘golden’ ticket of 5+ grade 4s), attendance and punctuality as well as competencies


Hopefully students will be empowered to ask questions and make decisions. They will see the value of work and their place within a particular pathway


There will be setbacks, it is about having the self confidence and tenacity to deal with these. Learning from our disappointments and to keep trying. Reflection is a key skill
Success Success means different things to different people. It is about supporting students to be successful in their own right and move onto a post 16 or post 18 pathway that is right for them

Students will have access to our Student Mentor, Janet, who is a qualified careers adviser. Students can self-refer for an interview at any time they feel the need, or be referred by any staff member or parent. 

Summary policy document

Our Careers Team

Leanne Johnston Assistant Headteacher and Careers Lead

I am privileged to lead Careers Education at King Edward’s and exceptionally proud of the Careers team and all we have achieved being part of the National Pilot Programme for Good Career Guidance. It is phenomenal to think that our Northumberland school has influenced National Policy! 








Janet Schreier, Student Mentor


I love my job! Working with students to make sure they can get to their next step after school or Sixth Form is so rewarding. There are so many options available for students, my role is to help them explore what is right for them







Our Sixth Form Year Teams are hugely experienced supporting students and families in navigating options Post 18. Contact the Sixth Form team:

Fiona Long and Ms O’Neill

Jessica Mares and Ms Familton







Careers Programme

This is a sample of some of the activities. We are constantly adding activities and opportunities throughout the year as they become available. These will be advertised as and when they become available.

Provider Access Statement 

My Week of Work

The Summer Term is traditionally a time for work experience placements; this year that will not be possible. However, The Careers and Enterprise Company, along with their partners have put together a fantastic week of Careers activities that can be ‘meaningful encounters’.

Student Guide 

There will be two programmes running across the week:

Programme One is an online learning experience; 20 lessons across the week delivered via the Oak National Academy website. These will go Live on Monday, the full time table is in the student guide.

Programme Two: these are live Q&A sessions with employers hosted by Learn Live. Possibly more suited to older students, anyone interested should register for a place. These will only run at the scheduled time; full details are in the student guide.

Parent letter can be accessed here.

National Apprenticeship Week 2020

This last week saw the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) supported by Amazing Apprenticeships and a diverse range of fantastic organisations. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of and profile of apprenticeships; the breadth of opportunity but also the differing levels, starting points and progression opportunities from Level 2 through to Level 7.

This is the fifth year, that as a school, we have actively supported NAW and spoke to the students about the huge range of opportunities that are out there. However, there is still the assertion that we don’t do enough; not just from students but from public figures like Lord Agnew. It is not our role to tell students what is right for them; it is our job to inform and inspire – students can’t dream what they don’t know. However, a dream is just a goal without a deadline; we need to equip them with the right tools to be successful in whatever the right opportunity is for the individual.

As a school we want our students to be accomplished in every sense of the word; they need to adopt the right behaviour, attitude and dispositions that allows them to be their own success story. What students choose to do after school is entirely up to them (and their parents/carers); we can only advise and share information so that students can make truly informed decisions. Some of the reality, especially at 16 can be scary; as an apprentice you are employees and you are responsible for you, your learning and delivering for your employer; this includes finding and paying for your own transport. This is the glamorous reality of students assuming they are “just going to get an apprenticeship”. That said, some are ready for that responsibility, some will thrive on it; right opportunity, right person, right time – you’ve just got to know where to look.

One advantage the UCAS process has is that it is one central admissions system where one application covers up to five different applications and it runs inline with the academic year. High quality apprenticeships appear at any time, they cover a multitude of disciplines and organisations and each application and selection process is slightly different. We can’t tell students which is the best apprenticeship, no more than we can tell them which is the best college/university/course. It has to be about the right opportunity for the right person and the right time. All students are supported with high quality, impartial advice and guidance.

During the course of NAW some additional things that we have done as a Careers team are:

  • Lead assemblies for Years 9, 10 and 11
  • Invited the ASK service in to discuss Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with Years 11, 12 and 13
  • A range of tutor-led activities provided to complete in PSHE time
  • Teachers and Sixth Form students got an ’email a day’ highlighting some great facts and resources to support finding and understanding apprenticeships as a progression opportunity
  • Streamed The Big Assembly in the Advanced Study Centre for Sixth Form students
  • Displayed the latest Amazing Apprenticeships posters
  • Updated digital display screens with NAW information
  • Encouraged students to access their Unifrog accounts and/or make a one to one appointment with our Careers Advisor

In general we got people discussing apprenticeships and researching their options. Our core message when we talk to any of our students from Year 9 through to 13 is:

Right opportunity, right person, right time.

King Edward’s Inspires 2019

The third Thursday in November is consolidated in the King Edward’s calendar as King Edward’s Inspires. The event on 21 November was the sixth and biggest event that we have put together to benefit our students and help them and their families make informed and inspired decisions about life after King Edward’s.

The bumper careers event comprises a mix of Higher Education and Further Education institutions, and employers who talk about the range of opportunities available in their sector including apprenticeships and work experience opportunities. The event supports the Gatsby Education framework of Good Career Guidance, covering many for the eight benchmarks.

Early feedback from students has been incredibly positive, with one Year 11 saying:

It was so good, I am sorted now – I know what I am going to do!

The event attracted 75 different delegates from a wide geographical area; from Dundee to London. Students and families got to gather information and ask questions from exhibitors with information stalls. To support the information stalls, there was a full programme of presentations from experts in their field. The event was well attended and we attracted students from Dukes Secondary School, Berwick Academy and Newcastle High School for Girls.


Carbon Capture Talk & Eco-Gardening

Georgia and Jason talking about climate change to their audience

Saturday 19 October, in follow up to the Local Democracy Week launch of The Three Rivers Climate Change Strategy, the PTFA and associated presented a Carbon Capture talk. Two of our Year 12 Environmental team Georgia  and Jason, and Year 10 members of the Eco-gardening team, Beth, Llia and Abigail, made brilliant presentations at the Carbon Capture talk in the ASC on Saturday morning where they talked about Climate change issues and our conference.

Our guests mainly came from Hexham and they were blown away by our students speaking out so confidently about the issues. The upshot is that the guests are going back to Hexham full of enthusiasm for moving things on there too.
Our speaker, Prof. David Manning from Newcastle Uni’s Soil Science Dept. is also now considering ways of helping to bring more students together from several schools to meet up at the Uni and consider climate change and how to mitigate this through carbon capture methods.
The message about turning pledges into individual and group actions to make things happen is travelling! Our first carbon capture bed with a 50/50 mix of compost and volcanic dust capturing CO2 and changing it into calcium carbonate so it’s trapped in the ground. It’s spring bulb planting time.

Alumni Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers #STEMtastic

15 Year 10 students from King Edward’s took part in a STEMtastic event at Port of Blyth. The day was aimed at inspiring the students to consider their future – and possible careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). RTC North collected together 25 companies, many world class businesses, all of whom were local to the area. The event encompassed the following sectors Subsea, Oil and Gas, Renewables and Energy including offshore generation.

The students had the chance to participate in a range of interactive workshops,
giving them hands-on examples of working in STEM. They were given tours of
some of the facilities in the port including Catapult , Global Marine and MHI

At ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for Offshore
Renewable Energy they met an ex King Edward’s student , Johnathan Hughes. Validation
Manager for ORE Catapult, Mr Hughes, described the type of activities that
happen at the site. The students were able to see an 88.4m wind turbine blade,
currently in Blyth for the XLBlade project. The project is investigating how to reduce
the overall cost of offshore wind through development of (at the time) the World’s Longest

Our students were enthused by the career possibilities shown to them and Mr
Hughes commented:

“The students from KEVI were amongst over 200 who visited ORE Catapult’s Blyth site as part of STEMtastic at Port of Blyth, it was good to hear challenging questions from KEVI pupils, who wanted to hear about the role of engineers who work in the Renewable Energy sector, and how Blyth was shaping the future of this global technology”.

Sixth Form Enrolment 2019

Congratulations! We hope you are very pleased with your results, it was a tough exam season and you should be proud of your efforts.

If you have been offered a place to study with Sixth Form at King Edward’s please complete this online Enrolment Form to confirm your place. Here you are asked to confirm your subject choices, there is also an option to request a change of subject. Change of subjects will be done during induction on Wednesday 4 September through a one to one meeting with one of the Sixth Form team. Students who are joining Sixth Form from other schools are invited in at 9am with all other applicants invited to attend from 10:30am.

Course details and entry requirements can be found via the Sixth Form website

Students who no longer wish to take up their offer of a place with Sixth Form at King Edward’s should also formally decline their place via the  Enrolment Form If you require any further guidance and support please contact Janet who will be available Friday 23 August in school until 12 or from 2 September.

We look forward to welcoming you to the new term as a Sixth Form student. Induction will take place on 4 September and the term and lessons officially starting on Monday 9 September.


Enrolment Form

Year 10 Careers Week 2019

What a week 2019 Careers Week has been! The majority of our students have been out on work experience. Students have secured some amazing placements and we have had some fantastic feedback about their efforts and endeavours – we couldn’t be more proud. Some students have even been told to maintain contact with their placement providers over possible apprenticeship opportunities in the future.

For our students that were in school all week we have had a varied programme of activities to support employability and develop skills applicable to the workplace.

The week in school started with students researching potential career options – a scary prospect when the world is literally your oyster, Students were looking at careers in areas such as The Stock Exchange, tattoo artist, pilot, teacher and a multitude of other roles and professions. We then challenged students to reflect on their own skills, values and attitude and create their own professional CV.

In order to make effective career decisions, students first of all need to understand themselves, not just their dreams and ambitions but their own strengths and areas for development and how to strategise. We were delighted to welcome one of our former students into school to work with our current students on a team building day. This was particularly enjoyable and we were delighted the weather held!

Throughout Year 10 students have met with six different businesses from a range of economic sectors from law to health to the motor trade. This programme is put together and supported by the Esh Group who then invited students to the Eagles Community Arena for a mock interview. This was a testing day with nerves getting the better of some, but all of the students that had their interview found it a positive experience. Some students made such an impression they received offers of work experience and mentoring! As staff, what we took away from the day was the genuine smiles from students as they returned from interview. Some undoubtedly from relief, but all smiling with pride in their performance and courage they demonstrated.

Thursday was a personal finance day and with the help of Barclays Life Skills resources, the famous Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis and a representative of the Chartered Institute of Insurers we introduced the students to budgeting, student finance and savings and investments

In order to make really effective decisions about their future young people really need to know themselves; their skills, dreams and ambitions. This is the motivator for the week – a little bit of progress each day will create successful young people. We’ve finished the week with a little bit of fun, decoding the powerful messages in Rocky IV about resilience, the mantra of being a wolf not a sheep from Training Day and the exploring positive role models in As Good As It Gets. This was all wrapped up by the excellent support of the Newcastle United Foundation, where students participated in a range of enterprise activities, .

The Value of Work Experience

You might think that the only point of doing work experience is to ‘tick a box’. You probably think you’ll just sit there twiddling your thumbs, or be given a stack of 2,000 envelopes to stuff, stamp and send. Although some work experience does involve doing menial tasks, it can still be very important. Some work experience placements might even give you the opportunity to take on some really interesting and challenging responsibilities. How meaningful each placement is depends on the set up and what is agreed from the outset.

The experience of being in an environment that is not school, seeing how different organisations work and how teams operate is invaluable. Your work placement doesn’t have to be in the sector/careers/job that you expect to be doing for the rest of your life. It is about seeing the big picture and developing real work, work ready young people. This is important as there is no such thing as a career for life. Most people who leave school, will have up to 7 different careers, with up to 40 different job roles in their working life. Any experience that shows how dynamic and adaptable you are is worth it.

10 Reasons to complete work experience:

  1. Research has shown young people are more likely to be successful in their job hunt if they have done some good work experience
  2. If you haven’t got a clue what career you want to do work experience is a perfect way to sample all the career options out there. It’s a way of exploring different jobs without actually committing to anything. Finding out you don’t like or don’t suit a particular job or working environment is just as valuable as confirming your aspirations.
  3. It’s the best way to get a real sense of your chosen industry. You’ll get to speak to employees and ask them questions. You’ll then be able to make informed choices
  4. Doing work experience shows passion and interest.
  5. Work placements can increase motivation and effort, they can provide a real goal and realise ambition
  6. You can gain the skills to thrive in the work place, in a non-threatening situation, you can learn the do’s and don’ts of employment
  7. It’ll help you identify your own skills and perhaps even highlight the areas that you might want to work on
  8. You might secure your own job – part-time, or that dream apprenticeship.
  9. You will be starting to build a valuable bank of contacts for when you are ready to gain serious employment
  10. You get to enhance your CV with experiences beyond school, something that will really make you stand out among your peers

[source: adapted from]

Year 10 work experience really is the chance to put all of the learning from Build my Skills into action. It is a chance for students to start thinking about where they want to be after year 11 and further.

Details of work experience, the placement provider forms and advice on how to organise a placement can be found via the Your Future – KEVI Careers page.

North East STEM Tournament

Students were brilliant, representing King Edward’s at the North East STEM tournament on Friday 22 March. Up against schools from across the area from Hexham to Middlesborough and Durham – in total 24 teams competed.

Students were given a set of materials and had to problem solve and think on their feet to respond to the project brief. Teams designed and built a working crane, capable of picking up and moving nuclear waste. 

Both of our teams, one year 9 and and year 12, worked fantastically well and it culminated in the Year 12’s winning the “advanced” category.