Part one of this two part blog focussed on the major milestones that I encountered in setting up my guidance program in the previous two and half academic years. Part two is devoted to my ideas for next year.
In part one I described three aspects of guidance counseling that I felt were essential for a program to succeed. I welcome comments and discussion as much of what I write I have had to figure out in my own time. I also believe that an effective program covers the following elements:
- Careers guidance that comes prior to university guidance; I am currently trying to build this into grade 9 and 10. I believe this is essential in order to encourage meta-cognition and encourage students to reflect seriously on what their strengths are, what they enjoy and what types of work their personality traits would fit.
- University Guidance.
- Pre Application research, from the end of grade 10 onwards.
- Applications, from the end of grade 11 onwards.
- Post Application decisions.
- Post result fire fighting, if applicable.
Academic year 2017-2018
This coming year I will need to work much more closely with the G12 homeroom teachers to ensure students have time to work on their university applications and also leverage the HODs to ensure that teachers read and pay attention to the policies on predicting grades and writing comments and references. I finally have some time in August inset to take staff through our policies and approach to university applications and their role in the process.
In addition I have (finally!) been granted a budget and was able to plan more effectively for this year. Therefore I am now bringing in career profiling and assessment software for students in grade 10 but will also utilise it with grade 11 next year.
My plans for next year are as follows:
- Grade 12 will take priority in term one as per last year. I have one workshop already booked with them in focus week which will use to finalise UCAS applications and personal statements.
- Will continue to have timetabled biweekly meetings with each student and more if necessary, less if not.
- Aim to have UCAS wrapped up by end of September, so that students who are applying to NL can begin applications in October and those applying to North America can begin in October/November.
- In the absence of core lessons I will utilise one extended homeroom in September, one in October and another in November, to focus on the processes above.
- Will organise mock admissions testing service exams as well as the actual exams.
- Will organise interview practice for those going to Oxbridge interviews, but also utilise the future-you festival to provide general interview training for the grade 12s as a group (if they express a desire for it).
- Continue with ad hoc meetings as individuals require it to discuss offers and financing as necessary.
Clearly work with grade 12 goes beyond this time but I am not planning anything formal. That being said the major work load after this point, with this grade, comes during the summer “holiday” when their exam results are released.
- Grade 11 will follow a similar structure to last year: one workshop at the start of the term to onboard them on BridgeU and set goals for that term and another at the end of the term to review progress and set up meeting times from Jan onwards. In addition, this year, they will have a career profile assessment. This will take place in September.
- During the future-you festival they will have a CV and personal statement writing workshop in addition to the usual workshops we organise.
- Begin one-to-one meetings on a monthly basis to review individual goals and tie in each students CAS and EE into their uni application before beginning work on personal statements.
- Three whole group sessions on the pros and cons of different university systems (x2) and on writing personal statements (x1).
- Continue one-to-one meetings as necessary and set 1st and 2nd personal statement deadlines.
- Run three group workshops. One to get registered on UCAS and 2 more to complete as much of the application form as possible and then work on personal statement.
- Career Assessment profiling and follow up interviews.
- Future-you festival with workshops on C.V. writing alongside the usual workshops.
- DP subject choices meetings and workshops.
- Work experience week planning workshop one.
- Work experience week planning workshop two.
- Work experience week.
- DP Transition day including work experience week reflection.
- Future-you festival including workshop on the career investigator in term two.
- Grade 10 subject choices in term three.
In conclusion, I welcome any thoughts from colleagues on both sides of the desk to help me continue to improve the services I provide for my students.