Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School
Together we believe; Together we achieve

Careers Education Program

At HSMS we subscribe to the Jigsaw PSHE framework, a nationally recognised curriculum resource, which helps support the the delivery of high quality, ambitious and consistent teaching and learning across a range of SMSC themes. 

Each year group at HSMS spends a term exploring themes, knowledge and skills related to Careers Education in a unit called 'Dreams and Goals'.   



How does Jigsaw PSHE 11-16 support the Gatsby Benchmarks?


In the DfE Careers strategy 2017: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents and the Gatsby Benchmarks, the government set out guidance about careers education in schools which states that they would like four elements to be met: 

•   For all young people to understand the full range of opportunities available to them, to learn from employers about work and the skills that are  
valued in the workplace and to have first-hand experience of the workplace; 

•   For all young people in secondary school and college to get an excellent programme of advice and guidance that is delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience; 

•   For everyone to get support tailored to their circumstances. All adults should be able to access free face-to-face advice, with more bespoke support  
for those who most need it; 

•   For everyone to get the information they need to understand the job and career opportunities available, and how their knowledge and skills can  help them in considering suitable careers. 


Paragraph 63 of the guidance states: 

“Many schools deliver careers education, including employability and enterprise, through the curriculum as part of  their commitment to Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. As we legislated for in the Children  and Social Work Act 2017, Government will consider whether PSHE education (or elements of it) should be mandatory in schools. The Department for Education is currently engaging with a wider range of experts, schools, parents and young people on this, which will be followed by a formal consultation on the resulting regulations and guidance.” 


The Jigsaw 11-16 programme can help deliver the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks in the following ways: 

BenchmarkDescriptionHow Jigsaw 11-16 contributes
1 A stable careers programmeEvery school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.Jigsaw PSHE 11-16 can contribute to a stable careers programme by providing a range of lesson plans and resources on work-life, opportunities and skill development., allowing students to reflect on their ambitions and couple these with building the skills and attributes needed to achieve them.

2.  learning from career and market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

Note that there are numerous examples of lessons that focus on the skills needed in the workplace or in further education environments that feature across the units in Jigsaw 11-16. Jigsaw develops personal self-efficacy, self-
regulation and confidence alongside collaborative skills, empathy and inter-personal communication skills.

Examples of Jigsaw lessons on labour market opportunities:

Year 8 Dreams and Goals, lesson 4 and lesson 5


3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at
different stages. Opportunities for advice and
support need to be tailored to the needs of each 
pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

Whilst Jigsaw does not offer ‘advice’ on careers, it does consider equality and diversity, focuses on the Equality Act and Protected Characteristics, similarity and difference, prejudice, discrimination and social justice.

This work underpins the nurture of respect for others, as does the Jigsaw Charter that establishes the safe learning

environment every lesson.

4. Linking curriculum
learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers

should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

The Jigsaw PSHE 11-16 resources develop people and learning skills that maximise learning across the curriculum and enhance positive relationships across the school community. PSHE can act as the glue that gels lots of subject areas together when considering their relevance to careers and students’ future ambitions.

5. Encounters with employers and


Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

There are clear overlaps with the PSHE curriculum here. For example, in the Year 10 Dreams & Goals Puzzle (unit), students learn about work/life balance and watch videos about

different work styles (TED talks), employment types and skill development. This could easily be adapted if a local employer or similar were to visit the school and participate in the

structure of the Jigsaw lesson.

6. Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

Whilst the resources in Jigsaw 11-16 cannot facilitate work visits, etc., they can add to the experience of the job world, through lessons on the job market, skills needed in the workplace, and coping with challenges, as well as lessons on situations that may occur at work, taught through scenarios. Lessons across the programme contribute by teaching students about themselves, their behaviour, their
expectations, and how other people may be different/the
same as them. Communication skills, resolving conflict, respect for others and authority all support successful workplace

7. Encounters with further and higher education

All pupils should understand the full range of
learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

There are several ways that students can acquire information about the range of learning opportunities available to them, from a vocational as well as an academic perspective. In

particular, Year 11 lessons can be of support, for example, lesson 3 in Dreams and Goals.

8. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be
internal (a member of school staff) or external,
provided they are trained to an appropriate level. 
These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

The work covered in Jigsaw PSHE lessons can be an invaluable resource for the careers adviser, who can examine what the student has studied in PSHE (and other subjects too) and help the student piece together their goals, while looking for how to fill any skill and experience gaps. Jigsaw experience supports students to have a voice, to know themselves and understand their aspirations and set goals to achieve them.