Brighouse High School (BHS) is a larger than average, popular and successful mixed 11-18 Academy in the heart of Calderdale, West Yorkshire. The school values academic success alongside developing the whole child and works hard to balance a positive experience of school and nurturing ethos with the challenge to secure high academic outcomes.
The school is split between two sites with KS3 and KS4 and has around 1400 students in total. There are approximately 330 students in the Sixth Form College. BHS has approximately 100 teaching staff and a similar number of associate staff. The school is proud of its traditional values and the support given to enable high academic achievement and success for its students. Its learners benefit from a wide range of extracurricular activities, enrichment and extended learning opportunities. Staff and student relationships are strong and play a large part in building the positive ethos of BHS. Students are encouraged to become confident individuals succeeding on appropriate courses who are well prepared for the next stages in life.
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) at the school
CEIAG is given a high profile in the school and there is a clear structure in place for the management of CEIAG. The school has a proactive, dedicated and enthusiastic Careers Leader who works closely with the Senior Leadership Team and the Learning for Life Coordinator(L4L). In addition, CEIAG is supported by a clerical assistant. The school has a long standing but close link with C&K Careers (the matrix Standard accredited specialist careers company), based in Huddersfield. C&K Careers provides the school with access to many careers resources and a highly qualified and impartial Careers Adviser. There is a Service Delivery Agreement process with C&K Careers which enables systems and processes to be reviewed.
The school has Careers Resource Centres at each site, as well as a Careers website and VLE where students and parents can access a range of Careers programmes and links. The school also carries a wide database of employers and contacts to support CEIAG throughout the school for such events as Year 12 Work Experience, Super Learning Days (three times a year), Higher Education Events and an Annual Joint Careers Fair with The Brooksbank School.
Both schools are part of the Valley Learning Partnership, created to formalise collaboration between groups of schools in Calderdale and neighbouring areas. The two founding schools are Brighouse High School and The Brooksbank School in Elland. The SLP was incorporated as a trust with charitable status on 1st July 2019.
Close links are maintained with local employers (see more below under ‘Employer Engagement’), other schools, training providers, further education colleges and higher education institutions.
Brighouse High School recognises the benefits of outstanding CEIAG as being:
• High expectations, achievement and outcomes across all key stages
• Improved motivation and aspiration
• Informed choices and decision-making in students
• Improved teamwork amongst students
• Strong and effective curriculum links with businesses through their Industry Ambassador Initiative
• Acceptance of students into apprenticeships/college/university
• Development of learning skills, knowledge and attributes
• Understanding of work based issues such as prejudice, stereo-typing, discrimination and equal-opportunities
• Support with transition between Key Stages and Options Choices
• Improved links to employers, occupational research and work shadowing within the world of work
• Career exploration for students including Work Experience for all Year 12
• Improved organisational skills, time management and self-management
• Presentation skills and information handling
• Target setting, action planning and self-reviewing skills. Employer Engagement within CEIAG Activities CEIAG is a process that permeates the whole school and is incorporated into the weekly L4L (Learning for Life) Sessions and termly SLDs (Super Learning Days) at each Key Stage.
• Year 7 – What is work?
• Year 8 – Latitude7 organises a day around breaking down barriers of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and equal opportunities through engaging and active activities
• Year 9 – Developing skills to enable students to make informed Option choices for GCSE using ‘Directions’ and JED (Job Explorer Database)
• Year 10 – Preparation for the World of Work & Health and Safety
• Year 11 – STAR activities and Achievement File
• Year 12 – Preparation for UCAS, Apprenticeships and Work Experience
• Employers and Careers Advisers support preparation for work experience, interviewing and health and safety
• Employers / Training providers provide mentoring for students
• Local employers offer presentations and assemblies operating through the year as part of the L4L programme and SLDs to KS4 students
• Years 7-13 attend the annual joint Careers Fair with The Brooksbank School bringing together 70+ external institutions including local & national employers, FE/HE, Training Providers, Armed Forces, Work Based Learning Providers and Apprenticeships
Brighouse High School holds the Quality in Careers Standard for providing excellent careers support to its learners. Achieving the award is not an easy process and the school’s provision was rigorously assessed to demonstrate that the school provides its learners with a programme of careers education information advice and guidance that is in line with national standards. The Standard involves proving that the careers programme in school includes effective work related learning, engages parents/carers in careers, has good resources and information, strong leadership, effective training for staff and that the careers programme is inclusive for all learners. All activities are mapped out against the Gatsby Benchmarks.
Lorna Aitken, Careers Leader, Brighouse High School