Hollingworth Academy, Greater Manchester

The School

Hollingworth Academy is a successful and popular 11-16 comprehensive school in Milnrow, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Hollingworth is a consistently high achieving, successful school, having been graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in their most recent inspection. Both pupils and staff at the school are proud to be part of a school that serves the local community, providing an excellent education for all.

The school believes that every individual child at Hollingworth should be challenged and supported to make outstanding progress academically and develop into an independent, considerate and confident young adult, capable of successfully entering further education, employment or training. The school has the highest expectations for all of its pupils – their success is the school’s success.

The school also actively develops the skills that its pupils will need to prosper in life after Hollingworth. The innovative ‘Edge’ curriculum, which is a timetabled lesson for Year 7 and 8 pupils each week, offers pupils the opportunity to develop abilities such as problem solving, risk taking and effective communication, as well as fundamental life skills such as First Aid and financial awareness. In addition to this, throughout the academic year, Hollingworth holds a series of enrichment days and events for all pupils, designed to bridge the gap between learning and real life, developing pupils’ study skills and instilling a passion for learning.

In recent years, Hollingworth has developed a comprehensive Careers Education package for pupils to help support their progression to both further and higher education, or work-based training. The school has excellent relationships with local colleges and training providers, as well as some of the top universities in the country. Last year, a number of our pupils entered the Oxbridge Programme at a local Sixth Form College. The school values a lifetime of learning, and sees Hollingworth as an important stepping stone to its pupils’ future success. Indeed, the most recent set of figures available show that the number of former pupils (Year 12-14) not in employment, education or training is currently 1.7%, comparing favourably to a national average of 4.4%.

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

Hollingworth Academy is committed to providing a comprehensive programme of CEIAG for all students in Years 7-11, in partnership with outside agencies (Colleges, Sixth Forms, Training and Apprenticeship providers and Universities). The programme is supported by a small team of dedicated, enthusiastic staff, comprising of a Head of Department with overall responsibility for CEIAG, a Pastoral Support Mentor for CEIAG and a Careers Advisor who works within school to provide independent advice and guidance to pupils. In addition to this, at senior management level there is a member of the Leadership Team and a Link Governor for CEIAG.

The CEIAG programme at Hollingworth is designed to ensure that all pupils are able to make well informed, educated decisions about their future after leaving us, whether it leads to employment, training or further education. For this purpose, every pupil at has access to a range of resources to support them in their decision making:

  • An inclusive Careers Education curriculum, delivered to all pupils in Years 7-11 as part of their PSHCE education. This covers topics such as identifying skills that are useful to the world of work, the importance of the local Labour Market, the different post-16 pathways that are available to pupils, and support when making applications to colleges or apprenticeship providers.
  • The Careers Library, providing books, magazines, leaflets, pamphlets and prospectuses for pupils to browse through to help research their future options. In addition, both the school website and the Careers area of the VLE is regularly updated with CEIAG-related information, as well as a regular ‘Future Friday’ blog detailing the important careers events taking place each week.
  • Cascaid is a careers software package that provides careers guidance and information to help students to plan their future and make informed choices. This can be accessed from any computer once pupils have been provided with login details.
  • Pupils can request an appointment at their convenience with the school’s Careers Adviser, either in person or by completing an online form on the school’s VLE.

In addition to this, the Careers Department organises various enrichment events throughout the academic year, such as:

  • Drop in sessions, where pupils can ask guest speakers questions about different career pathways available to them (e.g. the Armed Services, Apprenticeships).
  • A week’s work experience for every pupil at the end of Year 10.
  • Assemblies and presentations from local employers and training institutions, for both pupils and their parents/carers.
  • Support for Year 11 pupils who wish to participate in the National Citizenship Service ‘Challenge Programme’ during the summer when they leave school.
  • Taster Days at local Sixth Form Colleges.
  • Mock Interviews, when all pupils in Year 10 have the opportunity to be interviewed by a local employer or representative from a career family of their preference.
  • An annual Careers Fair, which is also open to parents/carers and the wider community.

Further developing provision

The CEIAG Team at Hollingworth is always keen to further develop provision and actively seek new opportunities to further enhance the CEIAG programme that is already in place. Below is a selection of recent developments in this field.

Business Lunches

Recently, Hollingworth has been working closely with local businesses (and potential employers) by inviting them into school to host a ‘Business Lunch’, whereby they deliver a short presentation about careers in their area of industry to pupils, followed by a Q&A session afterwards. The event is designed to run in the format of a business meeting and has been received very warmly by both the employers involved and pupils alike.

Ambassadors & Alumni

The school is understandably proud of its pupils’ achievements and sees them as perfect role models for younger pupils to aspire to. If they wish to do so, Year 11 pupils can sign up to be listed on the school’s ‘Ambassadors & Alumni’ database when they leave Hollingworth, which holds information about where they have progressed to. This database is used to contact pupils to ask them for their support with various events such as the Careers Fair and assemblies. The school has found that they are willing volunteers who are able to illustrate ‘careers in the real world’ very effectively for current pupils.

Tracking Provision

The school is in the early stages of producing a tracking system which is used to record every pupil’s preferences in terms of the job families they are interested in pursuing in the future. This means the school can more effectively target pupils when organising Careers enrichment events in school, as well as ensure that individual pupils are able to best access the wide range of services and information it can offer them as part of their wider Careers Education programme. It is hoped that in time, this database can also be used to link with other information such as Pupil Premium and post-16 destination data, to provide a comprehensive record of the CEIAG support that each pupil receives over the course of their time at Hollingworth.

CEIAG Quality

In October 2015, Hollingworth Academy achieved the CEIAG Quality Award Inspiring IAG ‘Gold’. The Inspiring IAG Award is nationally validated under the Quality in Careers Standard (QiCS) - the national scheme administered by the Quality in Careers Consortium - see http://www.qualityincareers.org.uk for more information The Inspiring IAG Award recognises Hollingworth’s whole school approach to the leadership and management of CEIAG, resulting in the delivery of an effective Careers Education programme with highly successful outcomes. Comments from the Inspiring IAG Assessor included:

“Hollingworth Academy provides an excellent CEIAG package for their students; co-ordinated and delivered by an energetic and passionate team who strive to continually improve. This is underpinned by very strong leadership and vision. All of the partners and stakeholders [involved in the assessment of the award] had a very high regard for the Academy’s provision and support of their students.” Jane Wilkinson, Inspiring IAG Assessor.