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Supporting the Gatsby Benchmarks in the classroom


In 2013, Gatsby commissioned Sir John Holman to set out what career guidance in England would be like if it were good by international standards, resulting in the Good Career Guidance report. The eight Gatsby Benchmarks defined in the report serve as a framework for world-class careers provision and have a key role in raising young people's aspirations, promoting access to all career pathways and developing the skills and outlook out student's need to forge sucessful and resilient professional lives.

At Gordon's we are committed to meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks which are embedded within the Gordon's School Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Policy.


Gordon's Careers Programme

The Gordon's Careers Learning Journey illustrates the provision every student and their parents can expect at Gordon's. This includes access to careers information, advice and guidance through a planned programme of education in PSHE, and activities and events including the school Careers Fair, Speed Networking events, National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week, 1:1 interviews, work experience and regular careers bulletins.

You can view the Careers Learning Journey map here.

It is important to recognise the reach and impact of subject teachers in terms of supporting careers in school and adopt a whole school approach to building our student's understanding of the skills and knowledge they are developing and the impact this will have on their futures.

What do teachers need to know?

The focus for teachers is around Gatsby Benchmark 4 - Linking curriculum learning to careers.

According to Gatsby, Careers in the Curriculum has twin purposes:

• to promote students’ career learning, development and wellbeing

• to enhance students’ subject learning and attainment and their overall personal and social development.

Studies have shown that good career guidance in school supports attainment in and engagement with the curriculum. At Gordon's the Careers programme is designed to support and inspire our students with the intention of preparing them not just for the world of work, but their lifelong learning journey aligned with the school's Better me, Better World ethos.

Why this matters

• Subject teachers are highly influential – students are 18 times more likely to be motivated to learn if their teachers know their hopes and dreams.

• Students feel more engaged in their learning when they perceive the relevance of what they are studying to their own and other people’s lives.

• Students are given the opportunity to develop their career thinking and to acquire important career management and employability skills.

• Students become more aspirational, understanding that perceived barriers can be overcome and that there are numerous pathways to success.

• Employer engagement during school years reduces the likelihood of a young person becoming NEET and increases the amount young adults earn once in full-time employment.

(source: Careers and Enterprise Company)

Careers in the curriculum - what can teachers do?

If you are looking for inspiration please consider the following ideas or contact Head of Careers Augusta Kennedy for support.

  1. Develop careers displays in your classrooms. Ensure they remain up to date with relevant data and opportunities. Reference them in your lessons so students know to refer to them for information. The careers department can help you with resources.
  2. Plan specific careers lessons into your schemes of work.
  3. Organise an outside speaker from industry to link your subject to real world opportunities.
  4. Introduce an alumni to illustrate qualification pathways within your subject.
  5. Make explicit links to employability skills being developed in lessons i.e communication, problem-solving.
  6. Find opportunities to reference careers related to lesson content and factor in a 5minute discussion around expectations in that career pathway. Use the Unifrog Subjects and Careers Libraries to support you. 
  7. Challenge stereotypes surrounding your subject, e.g. gender, age, class, etc.
  8. Set careers research as homework.
  9. Refer to careers videos. Unifrog offers a vast resource of short, inspiring video content.
  10. Introduce a case study of a successful person who has studied the subject.
  11. At the start of a topic, link the theme to the wider world to include career roles.
  12. Talk to each KS about the benefit of your subject in the next KS.
  13. Build careers into trips and visits. Every trip can be considered an experience of the workplace and an encounter with employers/employees meeting Gatsby Benchmarks 5 and 6 but should be signposted to the students as such.
  14. Hold a careers day or week focus week. These can be linked to national awareness campaigns.
  15. Plan to use Unifrog within a lesson, all students Year 7-13 have access to this.
  16. Use an external employer to set a project and provide feedback.
  17. Promote relevant careers opportunities being organised in school within your lessons. 
  18. Refer students to the school website and the Gordon's Padlet.

Please remember to submit details of the events and activities you undertake on the Careers Events Logging Form which can be accessed via the 3pm bulletin.

Useful links and resources:

All staff and students have access to Unifrog. If you need help logging on, please contact Augusta Kennedy.

Please also refer to the Teacher Resources file available on Sharepoint for a range of resources to support Careers in the Curriculum.