Barbara Orr, our Independent Careers Advisor


Over the fortnight, every child at Saint Cecilia’s has two PSHE lessons covering a breadth of various topics, including Careers. To supplement the work with our Independent Careers Advisor, Mrs Barbara Orr, talks in assemblies, options for GCSE and UCAS guidance in the Sixth Form, the PSHE curriculum covers many aspects of Careers and additional life skills.

Careers overview 2018 – 2019

KS3: Years 7-9

Over the three years in Key Stage 3, pupils take stock of where they are now in relation to their achievements, success, academic progress, skills and interests. We ask pupils to look at their dreams and aspirations, the reality of pursuing these dreams and what is needed to allow for a broad and positive careers outlook. This includes learning what a CV looks like and how to write one, researching areas of interests, and looking at personal, family, social and cultural expectations.

Other opportunities for pupils include:

KS4: Years 10-11

Life skills in PSHE lessons include how to get a part time job, how to handle finances and open a bank account, and how to budget appropriately.

One to one interviews with our Independent Careers Advisor, Barbara Orr, are also arranged in Year 10 and 11. Vulnerable pupils have small group intervention sessions with the local authority adviser on NEETs. The Learning Broker from Wandsworth Local Authority attends the Sixth Form Open Evening. A small group of pupils is selected to take part in the MOSAIC careers intervention programme.

Pupils have assemblies regarding Sixth Form applications. Pupils who have applied for our Sixth Form spend a day at University as part of preparation for Sixth Form life. Selected pupils take part in the ‘Your Future, Your Choice’ programme.

KS5: Years 12-13

Students are given lessons on university, college, apprenticeships and other further education and job guidance. Preparation includes how to complete a UCAS application form, how to write a personal statement, and researching opportunities for the future.

As students’ offers come in, we also prepare them for the realities of university life: getting there, renting and finances, how to budget, how to cook, clean and live independently away from home whilst keeping on top of academic success, work and social life.

Other opportunities for our students include:

What are their options?

Choices will be affected by their results. If pupils achieve 5 GCSEs at grades A* – C, including a grade 4+ in English and Maths, they can progress to study A-levels (Level 3 courses). If they get fewer/lower grades, they may progress on to a Level 1 or to a Level 2 course. If they have not passed their Maths and/or English GCSEs, they will need to take these subjects during their further courses, grade 4 or above. GCSE English and Maths at least grade 4 are usually required for entry to any degree course. A GCSE in Science is also required for Primary Teacher Training. A few universities require a modern foreign language for entry to all of their degree courses. It is now very difficult to resit GCSE courses, except at the fee-paying crammer institutions.

Careers information for parents

Below you will find a link to the National Careers Service website:

How parents can help?


Raising the Participation Age

(RPA), did you know that young people are now required to participate in education or training past 16 years old?

The Government is raising the age at which young people are required to participate in education or training. More information on the link below:

Raising the participation age

You can also contact Barbara Orr, our careers adviser via email on

Ms Orr is in school once a week, mostly on Mondays. She has a vast amount of knowledge about universities, colleges, sixth form and careers.