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Brakenhale School

Careers Correspondence

Please find below all correspondence and information sent home for parents/carers and students from Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead.

January 2024

8th January: Year 9 Assembly & Webinar 

Here is an update for you on a couple of career events that are coming up of particular interest to Year 9 and will help you and your child navigate this year of choices.

Wednesday 10th January at 6pm - 
Parent and Student webinar Choosing GCSE Options for Year 9.

This webinar is run by Adviza (a charity that helps young people make better decisions to enable them to learn and work and achieve their full potential.)

It gives an opportunity to discuss the varying GCSE options available to Year 9 students and what this could mean for students going forward in their career journey. Please note they will not be discussing the specific options available at Brakenhale or any other school. If you miss the live webinar, it will be recorded and become available at under the page.

Who it’s for: Year 9 students and their parents/carers

What will be covered: The webinar will look in detail at the routes into higher education and
apprenticeships from GCSE options chosen. They will also cover the different combinations of GCSEs that can be chosen, what they entail and where to locate information and resources to support this.

What you will get out of it:

  • A great opportunity to discuss options with a trained Level 6 careers guidance practitioner
  • Get detailed knowledge and understanding of further educational routes
  • Find out about useful resources for further information, tips and hints.

Tuesday 16th January - Year 9 Careers Assembly

This Careers assembly will be hosted by myself, the Brakenhale Careers Lead. It will run through Tutor Time and Period One.

Who it’s for: Year 9 students

What will they get out of it:

  • The session will remind students that it is never too early to plan what they want to do in the future. It is about achieving a ‘happy’ life for themselves, and part of that is choosing a career that suits their natural abilities and skills, therefore naturally excelling in the matter. Harnessing what is already there.... Now is a great time to consider natural abilities, with the GCSE options on the horizon.
  • After my initial introduction they will have very high level inspirational sessions with Brakenhale Sixth Form, Bracknell and Wokingham College and an Apprenticeship provider (DHL, the Global logistics giant.) It’s just a touch base to help them learn more about the many exciting options for their future and get them inspired, engaged with their learning and excited about their futures. It’s a light touch inspirational session on the whole.

Please remember the Brakenhale website Careers page was updated recently and has lots of interesting content for you and your child to help you guide through this exciting time of choices and planning.

I hope these events will give you and your child some more helpful information for their careers journey.

December 2023

4th December : Year 11 Adviza Sessions, P16 Options, Apprenticeships 

I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying the crisp Autumn days. Please accept this as the careers update for November.

Adviza Sessions:

The external Careers advisor from Adviza has now finished their group sessions with the Year 11 students. This was to give an insight to the Post-16 options available. Many of the sessions also focused on specific career paths and how to access certain jobs through the applicable courses/apprenticeships.

A reminder of the Post-16 options:

● Full time education: Sixth Form, College or Sixth Form College studying A Levels or BTEC

● Apprenticeships: Part time course alongside a part time job/volunteering role 20+ hours per week


I am finding that this particular year group is organised and thoughtful when it comes to their Post-16 plans. It is so encouraging to see many of them being open minded to completing an Apprenticeship, which is far from the YTS days parents may have heard of from years back! Apprenticeships are very focused and instrumental in enabling on the job learning of a trade, alongside gaining a qualification as well as earning money at the same time. Some students are ready for a 4-day working life Apprenticeship with typically one day at College. Anyone considering an Apprenticeship as their Post-16 option should be applying for a Level 2 qualification, knowing that once the Apprenticeship ends it could lead to full time employment or University. Some Apprenticeships are advertised now, many more become advertised in the New Year and at Easter. I would encourage anyone looking to get on an Apprenticeship scheme to get their CVs ready now and start practising for interviews.

Full time education:

The Spring and Summer Terms are very busy for the Year 11 students, with the intensity of exams and revision. I would implore you to ensure your child has applied for their courses before 20th December. This means that they can then focus on their studies for the remainder of 2024. You can apply up to early Summer for courses - but it means they are being distracted by applications which involve interviews and telephone calls. It's great to get it all wrapped up.

Tips when applying for courses:

  • Ensure your child lists an email contact address that they actually access regularly
  • Your child needs to get in the habit of checking their phone daily for important email application information
  • There is often the option for parents/carers to also receive emailed copies of correspondence - this is a good feature to use as then there is less chance of important emails going unnoticed
  • If you confiscate your child's phone for extended periods of time then they may miss important application emails - this was a situation I had regularly last year with the previous Year 11s, so please consider enabling the access to emails by another method regularly so that important communications are not missed
  • If your child has been asked by the education provider to have a telephone conversation/interview then they are more than welcome to come to my office and I can do this with them on a Monday or a Tuesday. I know last year we could contact Bracknell & Wokingham College within 5 minutes as it was during the day. I am conscious after January wait times can be 30+ minutes after 3pm, the time that everyone leaves school and starts to make their calls. That’s another reason why I recommend students to get their applications in early to miss the peak time of applications.

Hot Tip Reminders:

  • Students can change their mind a few times before they make their final decision on GCSE results day
  • Encourage them to make a number of applications - to cover the bases of their preferred choices
  • They can apply for an Apprenticeship as well as full time education and make their decision later on
  • Apprenticeships can be competitive, so apply for a number of them. It’s a bit like job hunting really! Don’t let this put you off though
  • Courses - They could apply for one BTEC (Level 1, 2 or 3) OR 3 A Levels
  • If they do not get a grade 4 in both Maths and English, then they will have to resit these as well as doing their Post-16 option.

All students should make 3 applications:

Plan A
The Apprenticeship/Course that matches their expected GCSE grades.

Plan B
The Apprenticeship/Course they would take if they get better than expected grades.

Plan C/Insurance policy
If they had an unplanned event/illness and could not sit their exams - what would their backup be? I would normally suggest a B TEC Level 1 course or an Apprenticeship with no entry requirements.

Wishing you well on the application process. It will be a great feeling when all the eggs are in the baskets.

Kind regards

Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead


November 2023

15th November: Year 12 & Year 13 Careers Sessions 

I hope this letter finds you well.

I wanted to inform you that today your child attended a careers morning within the Brakenhale Sixth Form area.

The event was aimed at giving Year 12 and Year 13 a balanced, unbiased information session covering the University provision, as well as the Apprenticeship option. Both Post-18 providers spoke to the grouped students for 30 minutes.

University of Reading discussed the benefits of attending University, how and when to apply, finances and a specific introduction to their Reading site. Please find attached a copy of their presentation: University of Reading presentation

FSP (Microsoft Gold Partner), voted number one mid-size company to work in the UK, is based at
Thames Valley Park. Their representative talked through the benefits of an Apprenticeship scheme in general. They also made students aware of their Apprenticeship Level 3 vacancies with a start date of September 2024 and September 2025 for posts as Developer, Data Analyst and Business Consultant. Much focus was placed on the amazing inclusive working environment they have shaped there. Please find a link to their careers page: FSP careers page

It is important that students take the time to explore all available Post-18 options so that when it comes to decision time, they have all the information to make the right decision for them as individuals.

It has been a busy careers week, with most students having their career advice group session with
Adviza Monday and Tuesday. The final day of Adviza sessions will be next Monday, please can you
encourage your child to attend the session as it is an incredibly important opportunity for them.
Thank you for supporting your child’s career journey.

Kind regards
Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead

2nd November: Careers Programme 

Dear Brakenhale Students

I hope this email finds you well and you have had a good start to the term.

I am delighted to announce that the careers information on the Brakenhale School website has been updated. The website details our Brakenhale Careers Programme. Our careers page can be found by using this link: Brakenhale Careers Website

This is just some of the information that the Careers page contains:

  • Post-16 options information and resources.
  • Post-18 options information and resources.
  • Dates for Brakenhale organised career events - we have some great thing lined up for you!
  • Diary of career events (virtual and in person) - please make the effort to participate in these, it's a great way to find out more about specific jobs/industries. Find out what careers interest you!
  • All careers correspondence sent to parents/carers will also be listed on the website
  • Policies - Careers policy statement, Provider Access Statement and Baker Clause statement.

Please also have a look below at the latest Labour Market Information (LMI obtained from the Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, or LEP) released in October 2023 - it gives an insight to jobs/industries/locations of employment that are on the increase or decrease. It is important to consider when you are choosing a career as you want to join a stable or growing industry. Artificial Intelligence is your biggest threat. Choose a job where it is impossible for an AI to take over. You will see below that one of the growing industries is digital technology, so that would be a good one to move into. You will see that there are fewer jobs becoming available in retail and estate agents, these might not be jobs to consider in Berkshire moving forward. Use this information to your advantage when making career choices.

I am always happy to hear feedback throughout the year on our Careers Programme - I can be
contacted at At the end of the year I will email out a questionnaire so we can get some feedback on your views of our Careers Programme. Improvement and progression is paramount, and we just want to keep striving to provide the best career information and experiences so you can enjoy and flourish in the future.

Make the most of the website, it has some great information and links on there!

Thank you for your time

Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead

October 2023

20th October: For Parents/Carers 

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope this letter finds you well. Please find listed below some key information regarding careers relating to your child.


We have arranged for all our students to have access to the careers portal, Unifrog. It is an excellent resource that can be accessed both in structured careers sessions held at school and used at home alone. It is also a good tool for parents to use when it comes to big decisions such as GCSE choices, Post16 and Post18 options. New students that joined us this Term will receive log on details today via their school email. For students that have used Unifrog previously, their logon details remain the same. I have attached a letter from Unifrog detailing the access code for parents. School based Unifrog sessions will commence from 20th November 2023.

I've also linked a very short video below, which gives a quick overview of the platform so you feel more comfortable navigating the system - you will have access to the portal for 90 days.

Parents Introduction Letter to Unifrog

Parents Introduction Presentation to Unifrog

Career Event Diary

There are so many amazing and insightful webinars online that you and your student can attend virtually. It is a great way for your child to explore different industries and careers without leaving the house and at no expense. It also helps them realise what they don’t want, which is one step closer to knowing what they like! Please click on the link below for the Careers Event Diary.

Careers Diary of Events

Brakenhale Career Events

There are lots of exciting career events coming up for this academic year. Assemblies with guest speakers, Careers Fair, Career workshops and more! I want to give the students exposure to as many industries as possible, and have made many contacts. However, if you work in the following industries and would like to help inspire the next generation then please contact me at

Animals, Beauty, Art (graphic design, photography, etc.), Beauty, Games Designer, Law, Medical/Dentistry and Science.

Labour Market Information

When choosing a career it is really important to choose a growing industry, one that will provide long term employment. Artificial Intelligence is probably the biggest risk to our children's generation - the Labour Market Information (LMI) details growing and shrinking industries in Berkshire and UK wide. Please use this information to your advantage.

Your guide to LMI and what is it all about

Brakenhale Website Careers Pages

We are delighted to announce our updated Careers webpage will be launched mid November. There will be a hub dedicated to parents. There is also an events' diary to keep you up to date on what is happening. LMI will be listed there, as our career policies.


The reality of most Post16 courses is that there are usually only approximately 20 places on each level, ie. 20 places for Level 1 Construction.  This means that many students who have planned to attend a certain course will not be able to join. Here are my top tips to avoid disappointment:

  • Apply for the desired Post16 option as soon as possible
  • When registering your child's email address - give an email address that they have access to daily. Students can miss key registration emails when their phones are confiscated by parents.
  • Also register an email address of yourself - so you will also see correspondence coming in.
  • When asked about the current school on the registration process - please do not leave this blank. If it says Brakenhale School I can sometimes help when a situation arises regarding the application itself.
  • Students MUST look out for emails from their prospective Post-16 providers, read them thoroughly and respond promptly - this is good practice for when some of the critical emails come out in July and August offering confirmed course places.

I wish you a restful half term and enjoy the career webinars that are on offer.

Kind regards

Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead

20th October: Parent/Carer Unifrog Letter 

Unifrog – The Complete Destinations Platform

Dear Parent / Caregiver,

In keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next steps after, we will now be using Unifrog; an award-winning, online destinations platform. All students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 now have access to this website.

Unifrog is the universal destinations platform and is designed to support learners in making the most informed decisions about their futures and has a range of tools that are suitable for all year groups. Each student has their own account where they can explore all the career and next step options available to them and find information on everything from managing their workload to writing a winning CV. Students have access to a wide variety of video and written content, and interactive quizzes and tests, including:

Students access the platform by clicking a link in their welcome email, where they create a password and can begin using the platform. They sign in to Unifrog using their email address and password and they can do so from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. We would encourage you to use the platform with your child so you can support them through the process of deciding their next step.

You can also have your own Unifrog account. You’ll be able to research careers, attend webinars delivered by employers and universities to learn more about their opportunities, and compare pathways so you can support your child in making an informed decision about their next steps. The sign up code you need was sent to you and you can sign up here: You can also sign up to Unifrog’s parent / carer newsletter when you first sign in to get expert advice and guidance on supporting your child with their next steps.

For more information, go to

Yours faithfully,

Kate Allum, Careers Lead Brakenhale School

12th October: Complete Academy Follow-up 

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope you are well and looking forward to the half term. 

The Students had a wonderful and insightful time with Complete Academy last week. I wanted to forward you on the letter from Complete Academy which contains their contact details, how to register for the course, and the date of their next Open Event. 

Please note, due to Data Protection we are unable to pass on your child’s details to the Academy, so if you would like updates then please contact the Academy directly so they can put you on their mailing list. 

Kind regards

Mrs K Allum, Careers Lead 


5th October: Complete Academy Football Taster & Talk 

Dear Year 11 Parents/Carers

Complete Academy (Football) Taster Session and Informative Talk - Monday 9th October

I hope you and your family have had a good start to the week. It’s definitely been a busy week for Brakenhale Careers Department; we have been busy planning another inspirational and informative event - which is why I am writing to you.

On Monday 9th October I have arranged for ‘Complete Academy’ to come and visit Brakenhale School. They are a football academy that offers level 1, 2 or 3 Diplomas based at Bracknell Leisure Centre. The academy will be running a fun 20 minute football session as well as hosting a presentation to explain the Post16 option that they provide - your child will attend both sessions. It is a good introduction to what a Football Academy can provide, please note other Academies are available.

We have invited Year 11 students who have a keen interest in Football or the Sports Industry to attend and your child has been identified as one of these. If you are not comfortable with your child attending or there are allergy issues then please contact me soon as possible.

Please can I bring your attention to the following:

  • There are 2 sessions - a practical session at break and a presentation at lunch - and students will attend both. The visit will not interfere with their lessons
  • Astro/Trainers will need to be worn for break only - please remember to bring these
  • Snack for break - please come to school with one, so as to avoid time in the canteen and missing the 20 minute practical football session
  • Lunch - the school will provide a panini and drink after the presentation free of charge. This means that your child won’t miss the presentation in the lunch queue.

Please see information below which has been shared with students.

I will assume that you are happy with your child attending if I do not receive an email from you.

Kind regards

Mrs Kate Allum, Careers Lead

2nd October: New Academic Year 

Dear Brakenhale Student,

Welcome to your new academic year. I hope you have settled in well. Please find attached Careers information for you to have a look through.

Careers events that you may want to attend in person or virtually
(Please pay particular attention to the the School Leavers Show in Ascot - I would highly recommend you attending)

Introduction to some Universities

Learn more about Apprenticeships and how to apply for one!

Post16 Options - what to do when!

I am also busy planning your Career assemblies for the Year ahead and other exciting events.

So I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm Regards,

Mrs Allum, Careers Lead


October 2023

13th September: Post-16 Options for Year 11 Students 

Dear Year 11 Parents/Carers

I hope this email finds you well. It is wonderful to see our Year 11 students back at Brakenhale.  For such an important year, I wanted to give you an update of what is planned for careers in the Term ahead.

Careers Booklet

Brakenhale Career Booklets were given to the students after their Careers Assembly in July. The Students had been advised to work through these during the Summer to help them gain an understanding of which career they would like to pursue, therefore resulting in them choosing a Post16 option that sets them on the right path for their future plans. For any students that have lost their booklet, copies are available at morning line-up on Mondays and Tuesdays. These booklets are really great to go through together at home - the feedback so far is that these booklets are helping to form a good plan that both Students and parents are aligned to.

Adviza Group Career Sessions

Group Career Advice Sessions run by the external company Adviza are starting Monday 18th September, they will run through to 11th December. The duration of this mandatory career planning session will be one lesson. Your child will automatically be scheduled for a session. The session times will be posted physically around the school and they will be reminded at morning lineup of their time, if their session is that day. Your child will be grouped with 4-5 other students with similar career interests, these are based on the Adviza questionnaire they completed last week during tutor time. Please can we ask you to encourage your child to be in school on the day of their appointment. They will leave the session with a planning document, it may be beneficial for them to show you their work when they return home.

Careers support

I am also here to support the students with their Post16 options. My office is within the school office, Ground Floor, Main Building. I can be found at the morning line-up and in the playground at break and lunch.  I work on Mondays and Tuesday and often on a Thursday. I will be spending time with the students discussing with them courses and Apprenticeships in detail. When students need to telephone College regarding their applications, then I am happy to help them do that on my school phone - you will find that the waiting list after 3pm to call college can be up to half an hour. During school time, we typically get through within 5 minutes.

What are the Post16 options

  • Full time course (Sixth Form, Sixth Form College or College)
  • Apprenticeship (paid job with 20% class based learning)
  • Volunteering/Working (working/volunteering 20 hours + a week alongside a part time job)

Post16 Applications to be completed before end of Autumn Term

This is now the time to select and apply for the Post16 courses! I would heavily suggest that students have a plan A (the ideal optimistic), a plan B (grades less than expected), and a plan C (an unexpected event that stops them from sitting their GCSEs). It is okay to apply for multiple courses at various locations.

Apprenticeships can be advertised now, but as the year progresses more apprenticeships are available for a September 2024 start.

Just to make you aware that the Post16 applications are the responsibility of student/home, although I am more than happy to help support. I just don't have time to apply for over 200 students!

Open Events

I would encourage visiting Further Education events, please register your interest on the providers website and check the date and times. This will give a good feel of that provider. 

  • Bracknell & Wokingham College (7th October and 22 November)
  • Reading College (4th October)
  • Farnborough College of Technology (11th and 12th October)
  • Berkshire College of Agriculture (30 September and 18th November)

Brakenhale Sixth Form - Key dates for your diaries

  • Brakenhale Sixth Form Open Evening: Thursday 9th November (6-8pm)
  • Brakenhale Sixth Form Taster Day: Friday 8th December (all day)
  • Brakenhale Sixth Form Application Deadline: Monday 8th January

I look forward to continuing to work with the Year 11 students this academic year.

Kind regards

Mrs K Allum
Brakenhale Careers Lead