Careers Programme at Bristol Free School

At Bristol Free School, we use the Gatsby Benchmarks (see below) to inform the provision of Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) delivered. We aim to raise aspirations and encourage students to make an informed choice about their future career options. 

For contact with BFS related to our careers provision, please email: 

The aim of our CEIAG programme is to provide all students with a range of opportunities to develop in this area, within and beyond the curriculum, and to ensure that staff, governors, families and the wider community are involved in securing high aspirations for each and every student. Our careers programme is becoming an integral element of the Bristol Free School curriculum, providing all students with the careers education, information, advice and guidance that they need to realise the most ambitious of aspirations. We develop this at all key stages as follows:

Key Stage 3

  1. Careers Pilot focus lessons proving online focus on subjects, jobs and GCSE choices. The options programme for Year 9 is designed to support them in their GCSE choices.
  2. The pastoral curriculum in Year 7-9 covers the world of work, employability skills and develops enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  3. Students in Year 9 will have the opportunity to take part in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. The majority of students participate in this.
  4. Students in Year 9 will visit a FE/University.
  5. Students in Year 8 and 7 will be involved in an enterprise and STEM challenge.


Key Stage 4

  1. Careers Pilot will be used to collate useful progression information (activities, competences and interactions).
  2. One-to-one careers discussions with a Level 6 trained Careers Advisor in Year 10/11 inform individual Careers Plans for use by students, their tutors and their Heads of Year.
  3. Students take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. The majority of students participate in the Bronze Award. Many students participate in the Silver Award.
  4. All students completing the Duke of Edinburgh award will complete an element of volunteering.
  5. Extra-curricular clubs and trips support students in developing their understanding of a range of subjects.
  6. The options programme for Year 11 supports students' A Level choices.
  7. The pastoral curriculum in Year 10-11 covers economic well-being, world of work and Post-16 pathways.
  8. All students are involved in a careers day whereby they meet a wide range of local employers across all sectors.


Key Stage 5

  1. Unifrog online service focuses on CV writing, universities, apprenticeships and MOOCS.
  2. Unifrog will be used to collate useful progression information (activities, competences and interactions).
  3. Unifrog will be used to support production of UCAS application forms, personal statements and teacher references.
  4. A Higher Education lesson, as part of the curriculum, to be run weekly for Year 12.
  5. Students in the Sixth Form will be encouraged to visit university open days, masterclasses, taster courses and summer schools at a variety of universities, to develop their application profile.
  6. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) helps develop invaluable research and independent learning skills which are central to higher education.
  7. There is a dedicated team to support students with the UCAS process. Each student will have support tailored to their application from a subject advisor, their tutor and the Sixth Form team.
  8. Interview preparation, practice and workshops are led by departments and the Sixth Form team.
  9. There is preparation for, and support with, aptitude and pre-admissions tests.
  10. The pastoral curriculum for Years 12-13 will include lessons on life at university, including finances.
  11. Charity fundraising and enterprise activities will be encouraged e.g. the Young Enterprise competition and RAG Week fundraising.
  12. Sixth Form students will be encouraged to undertake volunteering and work experience to support their university applications. A range of opportunities will be advertised throughout the academic year, as appropriate to specific students.
  13. A number of students every year will take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. At Sixth Form, this will usually mean Gold or Silver.


Gatsby Benchmarks

In order to meet our statutory requirements with CEIAG we use the Gatsby benchmarks to guide our policy and practice. The eight benchmarks are;

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance


Further Information 

Pastoral Careers Curriculum 21-22

Careers in the Curriculum KS3 subject overview.