Spotlight on The Futures Programme
Our Head of Futures, Ms Day tells us all about the new exciting opportunities for girls at Blackheath High School to develop their journey through life.
How long have you been teaching Careers at Blackheath High School?
I’m not sure you can really ‘teach’ Careers; my role is much more to do with guidance, helping the girls to take ownership of the development of their skills from Year 7 upwards and making opportunities and experience available to all. But in answer to your question, I was appointed Head of Careers in June 2018.
Why has your title changed from Head of Careers to Head of Futures?
There’s so much more to Careers than just a destination. A career is the individual’s journey through life, learning and work. To reflect the diverse range of activities and skills encompassed within the new Careers programme, the role of Head of Futures has been created to reflect a new, more formalised whole-school approach to career guidance, with unique Careers lessons being delivered through the PSHE curriculum from Year 7 upwards.
Students will learn to record their activities and skills on the Unifrog platform, developing an understanding and appreciation of their own strengths whilst steadily accruing a portfolio of skills which can be adapted later on to create a stunning CV. We have identified a specific way of delivering a whole school approach to career guidance, utilising the experience of key stakeholders such as teachers, parents and visiting speakers to provide excellence in careers provision at BHS.
What sort of Careers activities and opportunities will the girls have?
For the first time at Blackheath High School, each form from Year 7 upwards will have a Careers Prefect, with two Careers Ambassadors in Year 12 and 13. Our new Futures Newsletter will keep parents up to date with the wide range of activities, experience and opportunities that girls can take advantage of.
All girls will benefit from the focussed Careers teaching embedded in the PSHE curriculum. Existing activities such as Look To The Future, Bright Horizons, Work Experience and the Wollstonecraft Speaker Series will complement the new Futures programme. In March, we will be hosting our first Futures Fair with a wide range of exhibitors and speakers. In addition, I’m delighted to be hosting the Girls School Association Careers cluster group meeting in the summer term, experts from across the GSA sharing best practice and developing new ideas.
Do you need to know what you want to do for a career when you’re at school?
Absolutely not! Apart from professions which require specific subject combinations at A-Level such as Medicine*, the most important thing is to get to know yourself well: what you enjoy, what your strengths are, what you’re interested in. This journey of self-knowledge begins in Year 7 and carries on throughout an individual’s lifetime. Regular research into different jobs and careers as well as speaking to adults – parents, grandparents, teachers – can really help students to make informed decisions later on in their school career. In addition, from Year 7 we develop the students’ interpersonal and communication skills, building each girls’ confidence and willingness to take risks.
(*and even then, you’re not locked into a career for life)
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Probably the Futures Fair in March. We’ve got some amazing speakers and exhibitors booked already. It will be great to be able to meet students from other schools as well. I’m really looking forward to sharing our school with so many visitors and providing a useful, interesting and engaging afternoon of events and exhibitors.
What surprising fact don’t we know about you?
In 2015 I wrote the book, music and lyrics for ‘UKIP! The Musical’, which sold-out at the Edinburgh Festival and won an award from The Stage, then we had a London run. I followed this with ‘Brexit at Tiffany’s’ in 2017 – a love story between Nigel Farage and Donald Trump! It was a terrific experience; I’d love to have time to write another satirical musical to complete the trilogy...