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Careers Programme

Woodlands offers an effective Careers programme which includes:  

  • 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's voice and the active involvement of young people in decisions that affect their future, both individually and collectively  
  • Information, advice and guidance  


The aims of careers provision are the same for all young people:  

  • Independent living and working 
  • Choice 
  • Hope and optimism 
  • Adaptability and resilience 
  • Access to and engagement in decent work in all its forms
  • Opportunities to learn and make progress 
  • The pursuit of wellbeing and happiness 

Our Careers Team

Careers Leader

Elly Downing, Director of Personal Development

01939 232372

Independent SEND Careers Adviser

Siobhan Williams (Level 6 IAG, Level 7 Careers)

Link Governor

Richard Cooke

Enterprise Co-ordinator

Camille Mortimer

Enterprise Adviser

Woodlands currently does not have an Enterprise Adviser. If you would be interesting in supporting us to connect with local employers, please contact our Enterprise Co-ordinator, Camille Mortimer.

Careers Policy

To read the full Careers Policy, please click on the following link:

Further Education and Training Provider Access

Woodlands School believes in giving Further Education, Higher Education and training providers the opportunity to talk to pupils at the school.

Please see our Provider Access Statement and Policy by clicking on the below link;

Careers Programme

  • Pupils at Woodlands are offered a variety of careers activities in PSHE lessons and tutor time.


  • Assemblies and information on various careers options relevant to our pupils are offered throughout the year. 
  • All pupils in Years 9-11 have regular individual and/or group careers meetings with our Careers Lead. 


  • All pupils in Year 9-11 are offered one-to-one careers advice from an Independent Specialist Careers Adviser. 
  • Pupils in Year 10 and 11 are offered employability and CV writing workshops with Claire Gilkes from DWP Jobcentre Plus. 

"The learners were respectful and focused, having fun learning about writing CVs. They interacted well, demonstrating good listening skills and understanding of the content."

Claire Gilkes, Schools Adviser 

DWP Job Centre Plus 

Our Careers Programme offers a variety of interactions with role models, inspiring speakers, employers and further education providers, including College Taster Sessions, work-related courses and work experience activities. Click on the link below to see dates of upcoming events.

Careers Education - see links below


At Woodlands, we use Jigsaw PSHE lessons, which also help support our learners to develop their Social and Emotional Learning. The Jigsaw PSHE lessons that help deliver careers education are identified within our Careers Programmes for Key stages 3 and 4. See the link below for the Jigsaw website.

Tutor activities

During tutor sessions, our learners take part in discussions and debates, watch or read news reports and have one-to-one and group meetings to discuss their personal progress, using their Person-Centred Plans (PCPs). Learners also take part in House reward activities after collecting reward tokens for pro-social behaviour, uniform, attendance and outstanding work.




Subject specific careers information

Around the school, subject areas display and refer to information about careers related to that subject, as well as labour market information. Many thanks to the Marches Careers Hub for supporting our learners and staff with up-to-date, relevant information resources. Please see the link below.

Careers Discovery Day

As part of our Enrichment Programme, we hold a whole-school Careers Discovery Day. This year, learners took part in:

  • An exciting interactive workshop with the Animal man and some special guests
  • A catering practical with entrepreneur Greg from Press de Cuba
  • A CV writing workshop with Claire from DWP Jobcentre Plus
  • Careers sessions with their tutors – tailored to the individual needs of learners, including videos about careers and exploring careers resources

Please see the two links below for advice and support.


icould - Career ideas and information for your future


Careers Showcase

In February, we will be holding a Careers Showcase where our Year 11 learners demonstrate their skills and achievements to visiting employers and Post 16 Providers.


Measuring Impact

Woodlands assesses the impact of its careers programmes on students by completing an annual student survey and analysing destinations data in line with activities that they have taken part in at school. In addition, the views of students and parents will be surveyed after key events, such as tasters, work experience and guidance meetings.

Gatsby Benchmarks

‚ÄčThe Gatsby career benchmarks are predominantly used as a robust framework for developing career guidance in schools that is world-class.

We recognise that effective careers guidance is the driving force to securing futures. We want young people to fully understand the world of possibilities out there and make the most of their talents and create lasting careers.

We use the Compass tool to help us to audit our progress in meeting the Gatsby benchmarks. This is reviewed termly. Please click on the links below for the Gatsby Benchmarks.


If you are an employer and would like to help us to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for our learners, we’d love to hear from you. Although Woodlands is based in Wem, our learners come from all over Shropshire. Data shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education and training and can go on to earn 18% more during their career.

What could you do?

  • Support us to provide at least four employer and workplace encounters for our students, starting from Year 7 or earlier by:
  • Visiting our school to deliver work-related learning, or just talk about your work
  • Mentoring our learners
  • Supporting our learners to experience a real working environment away from school
  • Providing work experience placements and/or work shadowing
  • Supporting our events

We would love to hear from you.

Please contact: Elly Downing, Director of Personal Development


Year 9 Options

During Year 9, learners decide which options they would like to study at Key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11). These courses supplement the core subjects (English, Maths, Science, PSHE, RE, PE) and lead to GCSE or vocational qualifications.  

Learners complete a ‘straw poll’ indicating which of the subjects offered they are interested in and then learn more about the course requirements from subject teachers.

Once the options form is completed, a careers meeting, with parents/carers if desired, takes place. This is to ensure that option choices support learners’ current Post-16 plans.

Post 16 Transition

Young people are expected to remain in education until the age of 18 to be supported to achieve their best possible educational outcomes with the resources available, in preparation for their adult life.

During Years 10 and 11, our learners will be offered a variety of activities, advice and guidance to help support a successful transition to Post 16 Education or Training. Please click on the link below for the Career of the Week, which can also be found in the weekly newsletter. 

We have produced an information booklet for Year 11 and their parents/carers to support the transition to Post 16 education or training. Please click on the link below for the Woodlands Post 16 booklet.

Please click on the link below to complete the Parent Survey.

Preparing for Adulthood

The Preparing for Adulthood programme was designed to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities into adulthood with paid employment, good health, independent living and friends, relationships and community inclusion. It is still used to support EHCP outcomes for young people from Year 9 to gain the skills and experience they will need to become as independent as possible.

Please click on the link below to the NDTi website.


Subject specific skills posters (provided by Marches Careers Hub) are displayed in the relevant subject rooms. They include relevant information about careers related to each subject, as well as up-to-date labour market information.



Careers education and information should be embedded in the curriculum, with staff identifying knowledge and skills that will be used in the world of work. Social and Emotional Learning within the curriculum also supports our young people to develop the behaviours that are expected in the workplace.

Curriculum visits and enrichment activities can also help develop young people’s experience in preparation for employment.




Work experience

Work experience helps you to:

  • Understand the world of work
  • Increase your knowledge of particular careers
  • Improve your skills and talents
  • Gain confidence and maturity
  • Appreciate the importance of knowledge, skills and qualifications gained in school
  • Develop appropriate behaviours

Work experience is offered to Year 10 and 11 learners as an extended work placement, a three-day experience or supported visits, depending on individual needs. A step-by-step introduction to the workplace is supported by school staff, and placements are usually based in familiar surroundings to begin with. Woodlands staff can support learners with all stages of the work experience process as needed. Please see link below for Work Experience Diary.

Careers Guidance interviews

All learners have the opportunity for independent careers guidance meetings with Siobhan Williams, our Careers Adviser in Years 9, 10 and 11, in addition to one-to-one careers and Post 16 planning meetings with our own Careers Lead.

Click on the link below to complete the student survey.


Please click on the link below 

Writing your CV

Please click on the links below

Skills examples

Interview tips

Please click on the link below for advice during an interview.

Please click on the link below to see the Top 10 questions in an interview.

Useful Websites

Links for useful websites are included under relevant subject headings.

Other useful websites are included here:

            - a comprehensive careers website with job profiles, outlining the skills required, main tasks, pay levels and career                  prospects for hundreds of different jobs. In addition, valuable guidance on the different stages involved in getting                a job.

            - structured and progressive activities to help students make more informed decisions about future study and                           career options.