The school is currently closed, except to the children of keyworkers.

Careers Guidance

NUSA Careers Guidance Statement

This statement sets out the place of careers guidance within NUSA’s provision for pupils across key stages 3, 4 and 5.


NUSA serves a broad range of pupils with an equally broad range of interests and aspirations. We endeavour to instil a sense of purpose in every pupil. For some, this takes the form of a definite career plan that follows a well-established pathway through education and training, and subsequently into employment. However, there are just as many pupils who are less certain about their ultimate employment aspirations. For this reason, our curriculum is structured to ensure pupils develop as broad an achievement profile as possible.

Information, advice and guidance regarding careers is an integral part of this provision. All curriculum areas endeavour to identify and explain the links between their subjects and the world of work. These links form part of our options processes that support pupils through the transitions from ley stage 3 to 4, and from key stage 4 to 5.

In addition to these links between the taught ‘academic’ curriculum and the world of work, pupils also enjoy dedicated personal development time. A significant proportion of our personal development curriculum is devoted to nurturing pupils’ future aspirations, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to successfully pursue those aspirations.

Work hard, be kind

Every element of NUSA’s provision for pupils is built upon the foundations of our ethos of hard work and kindness. From the moment pupils join NUSA, they are challenged to make the most of their potential in every subject, and to reflect on the connection between their effort and their progress. These expectations play an important part in teaching pupils how to plan for their futures by developing pupils’ capacity to:

  • Plan for change
  • Make informed decisions and choices
  • Develop their own capacity for success

Personal development

NUSA’s personal development curriculum includes all of those activities intended to provide pupils with impartial, accurate and useful information, advice and guidance regarding their future opportunities and employment. These activities are delivered in a range of different forums:

Tutor Set time and Assemblies: During tutor time and assemblies, pupils are taught in year groups. This allows us to tailor information, advice and guidance to the position of each cohort in relation to their journey through the secondary phase of their education. Tutors remain with pupils throughout their time at NUSA, and so develop a detailed understanding of every pupil’s interests and aspirations, and provide a consistent source of mentorship. Assemblies provide opportunities for NUSA staff and external visitors to address whole year groups. External visitors may represent other education or training institutions, or they may provide meaningful interactions with employers and employees.

Personal Development lessons: Pupils are organised in a variety of ways for their personal development lessons. At times pupils are taught in very mixed groups, allowing pupils to develop their understanding of the range of pathways that are open to them and their peers. At other times pupils are taught in more focussed groups, learning about pathways in which they have a particular interest, or for which they show a particular capacity. These focused sessions include engagement with the outreach programmes offered by those universities local to NUSA.

Every year, NUSA’s Year 11 pupils use some of their personal development time to plan three potential post 16 pathways that we refer simply as their ‘Plan A, B and C’. In this way we help pupils to understand the impact of their academic achievement on their future options, and the importance of establishing contingency plans.

From September 2018, NUSA pupils will start to use some of their personal development time to use the Unifrog online careers platform. This will help every pupil to make an earlier start to the development of their own personal career plan.

Personal Achievement Interviews: Pupils in all key stages are invited to one-to-one interviews about their progress in school and their aspirations for the future. These interviews are conducted by tutors, pastoral leaders and senior leaders. These interviews have a focus in each Year which builds aspiration.

Parents’ Evenings: Pupils and their parent(s)/carer(s) are expected to attend a subject-based parent’s evening during the course of every academic year, with additional evenings organised to support transition, achievement and options. These evenings offer opportunities for both NUSA staff and external organisations to talk to pupils and their families about their future choices and plans.

Work experience: All NUSA’s pupils complete a one-week work experience in Year 10. This work experience forms an important part of our key stage 4 personal development provision, and is linked to learning activities in school in the weeks before and after it takes place.

NUSA’s post-16 provision is almost exclusively vocational in nature, and so we also endeavour to provide meaningful encounters and experiences with employers and employees throughout years 12 and 13.

Partnership work

NUSA works proactively with local colleges, training providers and business organisations in order to provide the best possible support for our pupils. These links include Bilborough College, NUAST, Nottingham Free School, Futures, NCN, Think Forward, DANCOP, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Enterprise Advisor Network.

Year by Year Example Careers Focused Activities

Year 7

Purpose and School Culture – Personal Development Focus on students ‘Why’? Start Into University programme

Year 8

Futures Fridays and Achievement Interviews focusing on the Options process – Into University and English Speaking Board Assessments to develop public speaking and confidence

Year 9

Ambition Nottingham, Achievement Interviews focused on developing Career Plans. Support from Think Forward, Think For the Future Mentoring, UniFrog, and Skills Show Visit

Year 10

Achievement Interviews reviewing Career Plans. Work Experience for all Year 10 students– CVs and Personal statements completed. UniFrog, Sports Leadership, Support from Think Forward and Think For the Future Mentoring, University visits including Oxford University and Leicester University, Skills Show visit.

Year 11

Plan A, B, C, Achievement interviews ensuring all students have applications completed to aspirational destinations. Mock interviews with business, Futures Support for students most at risk of becoming NEET, Post 16 Assemblies and visits from local Colleges. Support from Think Forward, Think For the Future Mentoring and National Citizenship Service.

Year 12 and 13

Courseway Education, Mentoring from DANCOP, University visits including Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham, UniFrog, Barclays Virtual Interviews, Achievement Interviews, CVs and Personal Statement, in school experience, CLAs etc, NCT, work experience


Our collective aim is to ensure students can ‘Thrive at 25’. This includes a co-ordinated programme across our curriculum including our Personal Development curriculum, Tutor time, Life skills, SEND support and assemblies focused students purpose e.g Attendance and punctuality in a work context.

Requesting access

We are committed to developing our network of partner organisations and institutions. Should you wish to contact us to request an opportunity to attend a school event, or to talk directly to some of our pupils about the opportunities you can offer, in the first instance please e-mail our careers leader:

Mr Steve Schmidt
Careers Leader

Premises and facilities

We will make available an appropriate location for either group or individual activities, including AV equipment to support presentations. These arrangements will be discussed and agreed prior to any visit taking place.

Providers are also welcome to leave prospectuses and relevant course literature with our reception team, who will ensure its appropriate distribution and display.

Date of publication: 1.9.18
Date of review: 1.9.19

January 2021


View the calendar in full

Latest News

View more news stories