CASE STUDY: The Downs School, Newbury

The Downs School

Download The Downs School Case Study

Key Benefits: 

  • Empowers students to take ownership of their career development through the student passport, allowing each student to set future goals and develop of individual plan that grows over time.
  • Provides a central database for businesses, making engagement easier to track and develop.
  • Will allow the school to develop an Alumni Database that can then be utilised for future events.
  • Easy to track progress of careers events and individual students.

About the school

The Downs School is a larger than average secondary school with over 1200 pupils on roll set in rural Compton near Newbury in West Berkshire.

The school is rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted and attainment and destinations are above the national average.

The school has a dedicated careers service that includes a range of activities to support pupils with their career choices and holds the prestigious Investor in Careers award.

CEIAG Programme

Over the last few years CEIAG  has developed to provide a stable careers programme for all students, leading to Investors in Careers Accreditation in July 2016.  In order to further strengthen the service, the school recognised the advantages of a centralised on-line careers system that would allow tracking of individual students, as well as improving access to employers and business individuals.  The school recognises the value of employer engagement to enhance individual learning and understanding of future pathways; Grofar can start to evaluate the impact of this engagement and track the support of business partners and parent volunteers.  The school had been looking for an effective on-line alumni database, an additional benefit of the Grofar system.

Grofar Implementation

The Downs School has started to roll out Grofar to student year groups.  This started with Year 10 who set up their Action Plans as part of a day of Careers Activities.  All students will have an induction session on using the careers management programme, followed by regular slots as part of their tutor sessions, in which to keep their student passport up to date.  Year 10 students enjoyed creating their Action Plans and found the Grofar systam easy to use.

Existing Business contacts are being transferred to the Grofar Business Database, this will be developed further in order to allow the school to promote future careers activities.  The ability of Grofar to be updated by external partners will save valuable time for Careers staff and ensure information is up-to-date.

What the school said:

Penny Allum, Careers Coordinator, said:

“Grofar allows us to further develop the Careers Service for our students, enabling them to track their progress and set goals for their futures.”