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National Careers Service resources for schools and colleges

The National Careers Service Teacher Support Team has produced some pdf resources for schools and colleges.

The guidance notes explain how the resources can be used flexibly. The presentation slides, You Tube videos and lesson activities can be combined in different ways to suit your purposes. Reading the guidance notes will familiarise you with the five ways that young people can contact the NCS. The notes also explain that staff can email a ‘Support Requirements Form’ at least four weeks in advance to request a specific additional service. I particularly liked the suggestion that a school or college could book careers information and advice by webchat to a group of students concurrently (NCS resources permitting). So, if you’ve set a careers project for homework, you could arrange for students to NCS advisers by webchat after school in the library to help them complete their homework.

The resources include two versions of a presentation (and background notes) which you could use to introduce the NCS to students in an assembly. One is for 13-15-year-olds and the other is for 16-18-year olds, the main difference being that students aged 16+ are able to open a Lifelong Learning Account to keep their careers information in one place. The slides are professionally presented. Some could be extracted to make a short presentation on your school/college lobby display screen to catch parents’ attention. If you have access to students in lesson time, you could also use the follow-up quizzes provided.

Nine lesson activities are also included in the resources pack. I was disappointed by them. The suggestion that students can complete a career action plan in 20 minutes as a ‘cool down’ activity, for example, shows scant understanding of careers teaching and learning. As it stands, this activity will have limited impact on students’ learning.

The standard of presentation of the activities is also poor. The Job Bingo cards, for example, use heavily-stereotyped clip art images which is not acceptable in a national resource.

Teachers may get some inspiration from these resources but they follow well-trodden ground and other publishers have done this sort of thing much better. They also fall short of offering schools and colleges some ideas about what a progressive and challenging programme of careers learning could look like.

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  • Pat Morton

    In agreement with Anthony on this - but also just had a look at the job bingo resource - lack of imagination and stereotypical in equal proportions. National service needs a wake up call.

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