Brentwood School aims to ensure that all students have outstanding career guidance, which will enable them to make informed decisions regarding options that are open to them. Our guidance is embedded within and supports our whole school values.
Through experiencing real-world employment, we aim to ensure that our students are sufficiently informed about the world of work to know what skills they need to succeed. We are committed to preparing our students for the fast-changing world of work by encouraging them to think about careers they had not previously considered.
Through a dedicated Careers Programme, we aim to prepare all students for life beyond Brentwood School. We want our students to enter the next stage of their life with the appropriate qualifications to enable them to become responsible, qualified and participative members of society. Each and every student should leave Brentwood School with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage their future career path having gained an understanding of the career options available to enable them to succeed in adult life. By helping students to recognise their own strengths, we hope to support and empower them to make informed decisions.
Under the guidance of our Head of Careers, we provide a planned programme of activities, including regular careers seminars, access to online resources and one-to-one advice, extending from Year 7 through to Upper Sixth, which provides students with a wide range of experiences that will enable them to plan for, and progress onto, a successful career. A summary of the provision that students have received this year can be found here .
We are committed to ensuring that our students are fully aware of the wide range of options and opportunities available to them. Our access statement is available here.
Due to small class sizes, teachers know their students and can plan lessons accordingly, giving us access to data and information that enables us to track their progress and guide their decisions, through one-to-one meetings, at all transition points in their time at Brentwood School.
We work in partnership with universities, employers, apprenticeship providers, alumni, local authorities and the Prospects Service in order to ensure that our students access the most appropriate education, training or employment for their needs at every stage of their education at Brentwood School.
We are very proud that every year the majority of our students are accepted to their first choice of university, however, we recognise that university is not for everyone and we are equally proud of our students who pursue different routes, whether these be apprenticeships or directly into the workplace. The success of our Careers Programme is measured by student feedback and destination data, which enables us to update the programme annually to reflect this.
Quality in Careers Standard
Brentwood School has been awarded the prestigious Quality in Careers Standard (QiCS), one of only 719 English Secondary Schools that have achieved the award.
The Standard is the national quality award for careers, education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in secondary education and is fully aligned with the Gatsby Benchmarks. The Standard is ‘strongly recommended’ by, and fully complies with, the Department of Education’s statutory guidance.
This nationally recognised award is one of the highest a school can receive for excellence in careers provision and demonstrates Brentwood School’s commitment to providing outstanding impartial, independent CEIAG for all of our students.
Our determination to continue to provide this level of provision is demonstrated by unceasingly working towards the revalidation of the award in two years.
Management and Staffing
Brentwood School Careers Programme is planned, coordinated and evaluated by our Head of Careers, Mrs Charlotte Monk who can be contacted on [email protected] or 01277 243257. The Programme is overseen by the Governors’ Education Committee.
Mrs Monk is supported by the school’s Senior Leadership Team, Heads of Year, Subject Leaders, Form Tutors and Administration staff.
Senior Leadership and Heads of Year participate in one-to-one sessions with all Year 9 and Year 11 students prior to GCSE and Sixth Form options. Heads of Year also offer input into the most appropriate coverage of careers themes for their cohort. These careers sessions are provided by experienced external speakers and companies and are overseen by subject and form teachers.
All Year 11 students receive individual careers interviews designed to address the needs of each student. These interviews are provided by trained Careers Advisors from Prospects and both students and parents are provided with a full action plan following the interviews.
Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 attend talks by at least two different universities to encourage them to begin to think about their future beyond Brentwood School.
We also provide an annual Careers Fair offering students the opportunity to listen and speak to a wide range of professionals.
Students in Year 11 are introduced to the Unifrog platform, which they continue to use in Sixth Form. Brentwood School provides an enhanced version of Unifrog for students, which contains both a Subject and a Careers Library. Unifrog will be made available to younger years as soon as possible.
Students can seek individual careers advice and guidance from Mrs Monk via email.
Support at Key Transitional Stages
Options at 14+
In Year 9, students choose their future study options. Brentwood School invites all students and parents to participate in a GCSE Options evening. Students are then seen individually by a member of the Leadership team to ensure that they have the opportunity to ask any questions that may have arisen from the Options evening.
- GCSE Options Booklet 2021-23 | PDF (1.09MB)
- Useful Careers Advice Websites for GCSE 14+ Options | PDF (74.1KB)
Options at 16+
In Year 11, students choose their future pathway and study options. Students remaining at Brentwood School to study in the Sixth Form may opt for one of the following routes:
- A Level Students will study three A-Level subjects of their choice and undertake an Extended Project Qualification. Students wishing to study Maths and Further Maths may study four A Levels and undertake an EPQ
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Students study three subjects at Higher Level and three subjects at Standard Level as well as the diploma core, which comprises of the theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay
- BTEC (Business or Sport) BTECs are high-quality, career-focused qualifications grounded in the real world of work. BTEC courses focus on skills-based learning and are designed around themed units. This practical approach allows BTEC learners to develop and apply the knowledge and skills that employers, colleges and universities are looking for. 74% of employers want new hires with a combination of practical knowledge and skills. 90% of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating and approximately 25% of students entering university have a BTEC. Most university courses now accept BTEC with the exception of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science
Options at 18+
Sixth Form students at Brentwood School have a range of societies open to them, which enrich their learning and engage them beyond the curriculum. Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge will be allocated a subject-specific mentor who will work with them in the build-up to their application and interview. Similarly, students applying for very competitive courses such as Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science have the opportunity to participate in our very successful MDV Programme. Other competitive courses such as Law have similar opportunities.
Students who do not want to go to university but would like to undertake a degree apprenticeship or an apprenticeship are supported by Mr Ollie Prior who can be contacted on [email protected]. Students who wish to apply to study abroad are supported by Mr Tim Sellers, Director of Sixth Form, who can be contacted at [email protected].
Students undertake a UCAS day in the Summer Term of Lower Sixth and are fully supported by the Sixth Form Team, their Form Tutors and other specialist teachers.
Students are encouraged to use Unifrog to help them make decisions regarding their future either at university or in the world of work.
Mrs Monk, our Head of Careers, is available to speak to students and parents individually if further support is required.