Careers and Employability Outline at PSCA


Our Why?


At Plymouth School of Creative Arts we work tirelessly to support our purpose of Creating Individuals, Making Futures. We want each student to develop to become a rounded person who is equipped for a rapidly changing world that few of us will accurately predict – This means development in the following areas – Content Knowledge; Habits of Success; Creative Know How; & Way Finding



As a school of Creative Arts we recognise the importance of the Creative Industries and also of creativity in all areas of life. The creative industries generated £91.8bn GVA for the UK in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available. This shows a year-on-year growth of 7.6%, compared with growth of 3.5% for the UK economy as a whole over the same period.

Since 2010, the GVA of the creative industries has increased by a massive 44.8% and the sector now makes up 5.3% of the UK economy.

The Arts not only provide life chances for learning but also opportunities for living well.  Some of our students join us without knowing they want to go into the Creative Industries and as such we are creating a new kind of art student. One for whom their creativity and design thinking will be as useful as a research scientist or an entrepreneur as it would as a fine artist, dancer or musician.


How do we develop this?


The school uses four main approaches to realise our approach to supporting careers and employability. Making is at the core of all we do. It links to our creative culture; our curriculum and teaching approach; our students making something of themselves and a sense of actively shaping our pathway to future aspirations.



  1. Our Creative Culture

As a school we build from our creative culture which is underpinned by our purpose – Creating Individuals, Making Futures. Staff and students look to take a high level of responsibility in relation to developing quality. Our culture sees the development of all the sections in the My Ways framework as important. It is supported by our sense of the school as a community project where the city and our mutual partnerships provide real opportunities for learning. We have a view to the horizon and believe that this is an exciting, albeit at times challenging place, to navigate towards. We use our link to Plymouth College of Art to create a unique continuum of creative learning that provides opportunities for modelling possible futures and facilitating opportunity. This ranges from examples such as Tate Exchange and running projects from within this to the co-construction of films in Key Stage 2.


  1. Our Curriculum and Pedagogy

The curriculum looks to contextualise learning in relation to projects and inquiry through a Project Based Learning approach. This includes the use of an authentic audience and brief with deadlines and edge. The use of performance and exhibition is a common way we provide focus and real audience beyond the teacher. The fostering and enablement of project management skills is an important part of the development of our students. The Curriculum also includes aspects of specific career related learning based around career pathways and skills to ensure that students can navigate their journey successfully.


  1. Making Me


The Making Me project, as an aspect of our wider PSHE programme, supports students to develop the following:


  1. Consider their aspirations and also achievable options
  2. Establish how well they are doing currently in relation to the above
  3. Identify their wider context of family and friends and what helps them perform
  4. Create milestones and targets to support navigation towards their preferred future


  1. The Pull to an Inspiring Future


We recognise that even if our plans change, the habits and skills and mindset we develop through having an inspiring future in a supportive environment will be invaluable. The school looks to create a sense of possibility for learners that challenges the sense of what might be possible for me so that students are excited by what they are doing, how they are approaching it and clear why it is important to them. This includes:


  1. Visits locally, nationally and internationally
  2. Visitors and speakers
  3. Connecting the community to the school
  4. Giving students voice and a chance to lead


What does Careers Include at Different Stages?


The diagram below provides an overview of our approach to careers related learning and below this we expand on each Phase of the school in greater detail.

Phase 1  Building Key Skills

In Phase 1 children will have the chance to explore different jobs, for example the fire service, through the medium of play, visits, visitors and the wider experience of being in the school. Phase 4 students studying childcare provide a lovely connection for students of different ages coming together. Young children are encouraged to thinking ahead and plan to do something then reflect having done it.


Phase 2 Becoming literate, numerate and learning to learn

In Phase 2 we build on the approach in Phase 1. Students have projects where there is an element of edge linked to a real world experience. This can range from set designers from the Theatre Royal working with students on their pantomimes or working with Kier Construction to design a scaffolding wrap for a new building. This approach is complemented by visits and visitors to increase the sense of what is possible in life. We work closely with other local primary schools around visiting places in Plymouth, many of which will have a careers / aspirations focus as part of the Widening Horizons

Programme for Year 5. Student voice is explicit in the shaping of the curriculum in PBL and the phase more generally.


Phase 3 Becoming literate, numerate and learning to learn with increasing independence

We have needed in Phase 3 to revisit aspects of the foundations in Phase 2 as students come from a wide range of different schools (over 40). We develop the Making Me project where students really start to imagine what they could become and careers education is a part of this. We explore this through a number of web sites, ongoing conversations and a careers fair in the lead up to students taking their options. In Phase 3 we provide a generic offer that fulfils the requirements of the English Baccalaureate. Our options pathways move from a wide offer to give opportunity to gain a greater level of specialism using courses that are high quality. As students build key skills in Phase 3 there is a focus on scaffolding students to build their confidence and independence. Student voice is explicit in the shaping of the curriculum and wider shaping of key areas of the school linked to the student pledges.


Phase 4 Towards my Future and gaining qualifications

Students continue to use projects as they study for qualifications. There pathways are not designed to fulfil gaining the best score for the school in terms of Progress 8 measures but to ensure employability and career related pathways based on choices made in Year 8. A greater level of specific career skills are further developed e.g. CV writing, interviews and simple work and volunteering. For some students this connects to the Duke of Edinburgh Award. We try to ensure that Projects have an increased context to industry, work or research and further study. For example, computing students working with iDAT on real cutting edge ideas and having to pitch for funding against adults. We support students to be ready for exams and ready for the next part of their journey. Some students work at Level 1 rather than Level 2 but again the focus is on direction of travel.


Areas in development include a Year 9 Leadership Programme, Mentoring and Work Placements although with the latter we are increasingly trying to link the work related aspect into the PBL so it is purposeful.


The overall lead for the school in this area is Andy Carpenter.


Provider Access Policy Statement

This policy statement sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.

Pupil entitlement

All pupils in Years 8-11 are entitled:

  • to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point;
  • to hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events;
  • to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.

Management of provider access requests Procedure

A provider wishing to request access should contact Andy Carpenter, Deputy Headteacher, Telephone: 01752 221927; Email:

Opportunities for access

A number of events, integrated into the school careers programme, will offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak to students and/or their parents/carers:

Please speak to Andy Carpenter to identify the most suitable opportunity for you.

Premises and facilities

The school will make spaces available for discussions between the provider and students, as appropriate to the activity. The school will also make available AV and other specialist equipment to support provider presentations. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Leader or a member of their team.

Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course literature at the school, to be available to all students at lunch and break times.

Approval and review

To be Approved Feb 2018 by the Board of Governors at next meeting

Next review: [Feb 2019]