Careers Education and Guidance

The Gatsby Benchmarks underpin all of our careers learning at Saxon Hill Academy

Click here to read an information poster about Gatsby Benchmarks.


Careers Programme Information

Who to Contact

If you would like to discuss careers, post-19 provisions or next steps for your child please contact one of our 'Careers Leaders' via the school reception on 01543 414892.

Wendy Arnfield - Vocational Lead - 

Suzanne Walters - SENCo -


Careers Programme 

Our Teachers plan a bespoke, exciting and innovative programme of careers for our learners, ensuring students have the opportunities to experience, participate and learn about the opportunities available to them when they leave school.

Finding their Motivation

From Year 8 upwards, young people are involved in discussions about their individual aspirations for after they leave school. These are updated with the young person and documented annually during our person centered planning sessions and are referred to as their 'North Star'. This provides teachers with a young person's guiding light and we do all we can to provide opportunities and teach them to prepare for following this path. Each year young people will revise this North Star and as they mature, they gain greater experience and their aspirations become more sensible and realisable. Sometimes it is not the career itself that excites them, but some aspect of it that becomes realistically accessible to them. By experiencing these career related opportunities, their aspirations refine into realistic career expectations.

The Careers Curriculum

In the Adventurers Department and the Towards Independence Department, secondary students learn about the jobs that people do in school and in the wider community and gain a wealth of experience to help them decide which path they wish to choose when they leave school. All young people need to know they can contribute to their community in some way whether it be in paid employment or by a regular voluntary placement in their locale.

Adventurers Department Students KS3/4

Adventurers students experience jobs through enterprise activities within school such as cake sales, making and selling crafts and organising a weekly 'tuck shop'. Many students are involved in work for many charities e.g. Blankets for Babies appeal, Dun Roamin dog rehoming charity, Water Aid and they join Rotakids and Rotaract to actively support the local community and raise money for a whole range of local charities.

The work based learning opportunities are wide ranging and teachers select the most appropriate access points to these vocations for each of their pupils to devise a bespoke programme of careers education.

All progress in these areas is recorded on their Evidence for Learning profile at Rainbow or Jewels level depending on the level of their achievement.

Towards Independence Students KS4/5

Towards Independence students build on this excellent foundation and in addition, compile evidence files to contribute towards their final accreditation in these work related skills.

Study Programmes designed and delivered to be a relevant, pathways specific, life skills and work-related learning for every student, all abilities. 

Bespoke programmes are designed for specific needs e.g. 1 student too ill to attend school has a programme delivered at home, another student of Level 2 ability is working on units at Level 3 in Mentoring to support her chosen career path.

Every student is accruing progressively higher level accreditation towards Diploma qualifications at pre-Entry Level through to Level 3, dependent upon ability. Qualifications include the following suites of relevant units: Personal Progress; Living Independently and Skills for Life and Work. 

Vocational education resources at Saxon Hill are outstanding and include a Community Café, a Foodbank Collection Centre, a local Garden Centre and the Lichfield Craft Barn shop and workshop. All are used to provide excellent accredited, work based learning opportunities for all 14 – 19 students. 

Topics span a range of levels from pre Entry Level through the Entry levels 1, 2 and 3 to Level 1,2 and 3 where students are able to achieve at those levels. This way we retain the flexibility to enter students work for a higher level where we can, raising attainment where possible. 

Students experience many facets of jobs and voluntary roles in the community through our links with a local Dobbies Garden Centre, Saxon Hill Craft Barn at Chasewater Lake, The Lichfield Foodbank and the Saxon Hill Community Café. The skill set able to be developed at each work experience opportunity has been analysed to create a comprehensive bank of Task Analyses for each venue, ensuring the learning experiences at each one are maximised.

If you would like to find out more about our vocational work experiences please click here. 

Measuring Impact

School Progress

We use the SEND Gatsby benchmarks for guidance and to measure the progress students make in their careers education. We have evaluated our own progress on these benchmarks and set ourselves subsequent targets. To see our areas of strength and for development see our progress on the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Student Progress

Obviously this was a difficult year for finalising accreditation but here are our KS5 results for end of 2019/20: 

Of our three KS5 leavers:  

One student achieved a Level 3 Certificate in Mentoring Skills. She came to us in Yr 7 a school phobic working at NC Level 3.  She began a L1 Diploma in Health and Social Care at Stafford mainstream College and has aspirations to become a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant.

Another achieved an Entry 1 Diploma in Skills for Living & Work. At the end of KS2 she was working at P5. She has now taken a place at Burton SEN College.

Another achieved an Entry 1 Award in Personal Progress. At the end of KS2 she was working at P2. She has taken a Social Care placement with Voyage Care, catering for adults with more complex care needs. 

Other KS5 year groups: Over the year the 19 students studying Living Independently Diploma have accrued 159 units at Entry 1, 9 units at Entry 2 and 37 units at Entry 3.  

The 12 students studying Personal Progress have deferred assessment until this academic year. 

(Resultant Qualifications are finalised in a students’ Y14.)

Data for pupils meeting and exceeding their core subjects and EHC targets:

End of 2019/20 Year  

Eng 95% (95% disad),  

Maths 96% (97% disad),  

Science 96%(97% disad),  

EHC Cognition 95%(95% disad),  

EHC Communication 95%(92% disad),  

EHC Physical & Sensory 95%(95% disad),  

EHC Social, Emotional & Mental Health 95%(95% disad). 

Help Develop our Range of Career Opportunities

We are always looking for employers who could offer us work experience opportunities, so if you have any links please get in touch. Due to Coronavirus restrictions we are now having to think about our in-house careers, so opportunities to establish other employment links would be welcomed.

Our younger pupils also need to learn about different jobs and the skills needed to do them. If you have a job that you think that would be of interest to us, we challenge you to create us a 'Virtual Assembly' where you can share this information with us, it would be really beneficial. 

Parents, students and teachers all have access to our Careers Information. Parents can discuss careers with their child’s class teacher at any time.

Preparing for Adulthood after Saxon Hill Academy

At Saxon Hill Academy, we are committed to supporting all our pupils to successfully transition from school which for most will be when they have completed Year 14. We also usually provide a highly informative and personalised annual Transition Fayre with representation from local and regional colleges, workplace and social care providers. 

A prospectus has been compiled (see link below), of local and other suitable post-19 providers in order to better inform young people, parents and carers about what is on offer once they leave Saxon Hill. This may support you to make an informed choice about what would be the best, appropriate option for your child post Saxon Hill.

Preparing for Adulthood Next Steps - Parent / Carer Guide


Further Information:

Queen Alexandra College Open Days 2021