At Hymers College in Kingston-upon-Hull, individualised careers advice built on an understanding of strengths and interests delivers a powerful careers programme. Paul Meadway, head of careers, explains how he uses MyFutureChoice to make this happen.
Individual potential uncovered
Our view is that no student should miss the opportunity to train, study or work in a field that the excel in. That means our job is to work them to find out what that might be.
The support we have in place focuses on helping the students understand their own strengths. This starts as they move on to year 10 to 11 by using a MyAptitude, a test which allows us to understand academic potential and abilities away from normal exams and assessment and MyCareerChoices, which identifies potential career and A level choices based on their strengths.
Putting this self-analysis at the heart of decision-making is very powerful because the students feel they are driving the decisions, knowing that what is being suggested is based on what is unique about them.
Testing at the end of Year 10 is a great way to kick start of Year 11 and we go on to use what we have learnt throughout the year.
In the Sixth Form, MyUniChoices is the tool we use to help make decisions regarding Higher Education.
Again, as a test which probes interests and abilities rather than just subjects studied, it provides a rigorous way of matching students to the courses that could be right for them post-18, whether that is a foundation course, degree, or Higher/Degree Apprenticeship.
We find that this also helps challenge pre-conceptions about which university or course might be best, whilst also narrowing down the options to a manageable level.
Win-win for students and school
Our in-house specialist careers adviser takes the analysis a stage further with individual guidance appointments. We have found that by using the MyFutureChoice products, the guidance process is more effective as the student comes equipped to the first meeting with insight which can guide the conversation in an appropriate direction. Hence, the careers guidance process is more efficient and much more in-depth than it would otherwise be.
When we survey students who leave the school about careers advice, they tell us that what they value most is that the choices they have made were based on their strengths and how this has helped target work placements or engagement with professionals at careers events. We also find that the knowledge they gain makes the writing of personal statements a much less arduous task.
Perhaps the most important feedback we get overall – and one which has ensured we keep MyFutureChoice at the heart of our careers advice – is the extent we are able to give students and parents the confidence and self-belief in their own capability in whatever path they choose.