'Inspire, Challenge, Believe'

The Gatsby Benchmarks

A stable careers programme. Highfurlong has an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers.

Students engage in careers based opportunities by learning about work and learning through work. This begins in Early Years and is accessed by pupils at all stages in their development. In Key Stage 5 students access an employability programme of study and the Asdan PSD module Preparation for Work. We plan for and provide a wide range of differentiated opportunities in preparation for work, skills including CV building, interview techniques, form filling and mock interviews.

Students across the school access  Business Enterprise through collapsing the timetable for one week in November and one week in June, in addition to Key Stage 5 students having a focus on Enterprise every Wednesday, when they run business groups. Enterprise visits including a wide range of employers. Work related learning opportunities begin in KS3 with class visits and tasters to employers, individual tasters  to enable access to employers and placements attended to complement personalised learning pathways.

Independence and life skills are a focus within Key Stage 5, residential visits are offered and external accreditation is completed to support and extend such activities. A Short Course in Employability Skills is offered and employability days may be accessed through a variety of events. Internships may be accessed through local college provision and Project Search. Visits are arranged to local and specialist colleges, post 19 providers and universities to raise awareness in order for students to make informed choices for their future.

Learning from career and labour market information. Every student and their parents / carers, are able to access personalised  good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. The learner and their  family have access to support of an informed adviser in order to make best use of available information.

Addressing the needs of each student. Students have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support are tailored to the needs of each student. Highfurlong’s careers programme embeds equality and diversity considerations throughout.

Information included in each individual students One Page Profiles include “Important For” and Important To”, Annual Reviews, target setting and the monitoring and assessment of learning is constant. 1:1 support for young people and their families is provided through the staff team and also with the Family Support and Transition Coordinator. Students from Key Stage 3 onwards create personalised Pathways each September where the learners consider their next stage in education and life.

Linking curriculum learning to careers.

External Accreditation Qualifications and Awards

From Early Years up to Key Stage 5 pupils learn about jobs and people who help them, with the younger learners this is delivered in a topic based format and through play. We have a range of job related dressing up clothes and props in each of the classrooms to support awareness.

Highfurlong School has high aspirations and expectations for all our learners and within KS 4 and 5 all students access external accreditation, Highfurlong’s offer changes in order to meet the personalised learning pathways of our students and may include;

  • Entry Level qualifications;
  • Personal Development opportunities
  • ASDAN - Short courses
  • Asdan Awards and Certificates
  • PSD at E1, E2 and E3 and L1
  • Asdan Transition Challenge
  • Towards Independence modules
  • Functional skills English, Maths and ICT
  • Personalised Pathway opportunities
  • Work Related Learning opportunities and Information Advice and Guidance
  • Enterprise
  • Student Voice opportunities
  • Student Council
  • Projects -working together with a wide range of community and collaborative partners


Provision at Highfurlong is designed to meet the needs of the young people and their pathway, we offer a bespoke package based on needs and interests.

Encounters with employers and employees. Every student has multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This is achieved through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, work place visits (group) work experience placements (individual), mentoring and enterprise programmes of study. We have a wide network of collaborative partners who support our Disability Awareness Training and for example by working closely with our local hospital and medical centres and also working with Blackpool Transport we have an arena to share ideas and have our voices heard.

*see link to work placement rolling programme

Experiences of workplaces. Every student has first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities.We provide a comprehensive offer to all our students in order to enable access to work experience placements - *link to SLA from Carers Centre.

All key stage 5 students have one individual placement each year during Y12, Y13 and Y14. In addition students from KS3 onwards access one workplace visit per term with their own class group to raise awareness of work locally.

Links with Farm to Fork run by Tesco, means awareness is raised for pupils in  KS2, 3, 4 and 5. A further link for our KS2 group is with Penny Farm as they adopted a horse and visit on a regular basis, learning about the tasks involved in looking after horses in a stable.

Community involvement includes volunteering opportunities for example litter picking, beach cleaning, raising money for local and national charities, visits to care homes, work at allotments and the local cemetery, painting and also attending community events.

Encounters with further and higher education. All students have access to raising awareness of  the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both the more academic and the vocational routes on offer in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

College link courses are in place to enable a taster of college life.

Visits are organised  to;

  • Myerscough College
  • Blackpool and the Fylde; Gateway and Bispham Campus
  • Project Search
  • Beaumont in Blackpool

Previously we organised visits to Specialist Colleges (day place and residential) this could be offered if appropriate to the individual learner.

  • Lancaster University workshops
  • UCLAN research project (2018)

Personal guidance. Every student has opportunities for guidance interviews with a number of personnel including the Transition and Family Support Worker (a trained Careers Advisor) based in school, the work experience coordinator, Helen Hay, who is based at The Carers Centre but is a regular visitor to school, conducts Interviews prior to work placements and attends the Meet and Greet with the employer and learner on the first session, and the Transition Social Worker (Blackpool or Lancashire) in addition to having access to relevant  visiting professionals. The Annual Review for all pupils has a focus on independence and employment opportunities and for the students who have Collaborative meetings there is an opportunity to discuss around transition and career choices as appropriate.

Provision at Highfurlong is designed to meet the needs of the individual young person and fully support their pathway, we offer a bespoke package based on needs and interests. In addition we have a number of interactive books illustrating our post 16 offer, which are available to borrow.

Students and their families are able to access support from Pam Littlewood who is the  Family and Transition Support Worker and Joanne Martin Assistant Headteacher. Highfurlong maintains secure professional links for advice and guidance with the Transition Social Workers in place for learners living in  Blackpool and Lancashire, the Aiming Higher charity supports benefit claims and offers advice and guidance within a range of areas.