Hamilton College recognises the value of careers education from an early stage. Most of the learning is presented within the Lifeskills lessons and is progressive. As well as using our Guidance Staff in-house we also utilise our links with ISCO, the Independent Schools Careers Organisation and Skills Development Scotland.
S1 pupils are encouraged to begin researching different careers and are introduced to our school’s careers library.
As pupils move into S2 and begin to look at option choices for S3/4 we aim to provide them with the skills required to make an informed choice. As part of this we encourage pupils to look at their own strengths, abilities, and personal qualities as we believe a greater self-awareness will help them to work through the decision-making process. Each year we are visited by The Royal Navy who challenge our S2 pupils with teamwork exercises and this has been a hugely popular and successful event. An Information/Options Evening is also held for pupils and parents in the second term.
We build on our careers provision in S3 by introducing pupils to the concept of work experience and begin the initial stages of applying for a work experience placement for S4.
In S4 most of Lifeskills in term 1 is occupied with preparation for the work experience week in November. Pupils study a range of jobs and are encouraged to find placements with some career interest. All pupils are subscribed to ‘Futurewise’, the ISCO careers scheme, which entitles them to a psychometric test, debrief and careers interview, with support available until the age of 23. In addition pupils can consult with Skills Development Scotland during their visits in term 2. In Term 2, Lifeskills revolves around subject choice and entrance requirements for Higher/Further Education. Pupils are given the opportunity to do further research on their psychometric profile and various post-school courses. An Information/Options Evening is also held for pupils and parents in the second term.
Pupils in S5 and S6 are offered interviews on careers, encouraged to research courses of interest and go to University Open Days. Pupils can request interviews with ISCO (if they enrolled in ‘Futurewise’ as an S4 pupil), Skills Development Scotland or indeed with their own Guidance teacher. Related work experience is also encouraged, particularly in the more competitive vocations.