Careers education is a crucial part of a learner’s life journey. At Hexham Middle School, we seek to equip and prepare our pupils for their future. Providing pupils, parents/carers and staff with relevant and current is key to ensure that all of our students can make fully informed decisions about their futures. We offer support to all of our students across all key stages so that they are prepared for adult life and the world of work.  

Careers education is delivered through wider-curriculum opportunities including the Personal Development tutorial programme, planned drop-down days and other bespoke events/activities. 

Hexham Middle School Careers Leader:   

Paul Freeman-Myers (Assistant Headteacher for Personal Development) 
Contact: or call on [01434] 610300.

Hexham Middle School Board of Trustees: The school’s CEIAG strategy and policy has been formally adopted by the Board of Trustees. The school’s careers link trustee is Veryan Johnston. 

Click on one of the following links to take you directly to the section you require: 

HMS Careers Policy

Click here to view the Hexham Middle School Careers Policy (ratified by the board of trustees)

HMS Provider Access Statement

Click here to view Hexham Middle School’s Provider Access Statement 

What are the Gatsby Benchmarks?

A report was published in 2014 by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation identifying eight benchmarks (known as the Gatsby Benchmarks), regarded to be key components for driving forward good careers and enterprise provision in schools.  

The Department for Education’s “Careers Strategy” was published 3 years after Professor Sir John Holman 2014 report ‘Good Career Guidance’. 

 The eight Gatsby Benchmarks include:

  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 

Careers Strategy, 2017

Gatsby Toolkit 

Measuring the Impact of our Careers Programme Against the Gatsby Benchmarks

There is a wider programme of evaluation seeking to monitor the impact of HMS’ careers programme. Evidence of different Gatsby Benchmark coverage is assessed using the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Compass+ platform. This helps the school to monitor and review how effective the careers programme is in achieving these benchmarks. Other evidence to assess the perceived effectiveness of the careers programme is gathered from timely student panels and broader Quality of Education reviews overseen by curriculum leaders and members of the senior leadership team. 

For any new additions to the careers programme we value gather feedback from different stakeholders; this feedback could be from staff, parents/carers, as well as employers and training providers.

At key points across a student’s school career they will complete a Future Skills Questionnaire. These questionnaires take place in year 9, year 11 and year 13.  Information gathered from these questionnaires is used to help evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of careers curriculum (including the relevant skills set and knowledge-based required for life beyond school), wider enrichment and broader personal development opportunities. The questionnaires seek to help the school respond effectively to the data collated, to help monitor progress over time, and tailor careers activities (when necessary) to ensure all students can access an ambitious careers curriculum offer

Careers Curriculum Vision

An ambitious and empowering careers provision which has success for every learner at its core, driven by the school ethos of Respect, Engage, Aspire and ‘an outstanding eagerness to promote good learning’. 

Our Aims and Priorities for Careers Curriculum, Information, Advice and Guidance

Our school’s strategic career plan contains 5 driving priorities: 

  1. To ensure that pupils develop the skills and character traits required to help them engage in their future adult and working lives. 
  2. To help foster and sustain a culture of high aspiration. 
  3. To promote equitable opportunity, celebrate diversity and inclusivity, challenge cultural stereotypes and ensure pupils are afforded additional support and guidance  to reach their potential.
  4. To establish sustainable links between the school, local businesses and enterprises and further/higher education providers. 
  5. To assist pupils in developing skills and confidence to make well-informed decisions about future aspirations and to manage transition from middle to high school.

Careers Programme 2023-24

You can download a copy of the HMS Careers Road Map 2023/24 here

National Apprenticeship Week 2024

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2024, all pupils this year will be learning how to be more like an apprentice and the ‘Skills for life’ that are needed.  This will be in the form of an assembly led in-house. Although pupils may not be directly involved in making decisions about their next steps beyond school, we value the opportunity, at a critical age, to address possible myths and stereotypes about apprenticeships.

HSBC Spotlight on Apprenticeships

To dive deeper into apprenticeships, take the time to watch the following video links.  Pupils can access these, or they are a good starting point for discussion between parent/carer and child.

02:02 – Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

07:37 – What did your family and friends think?

11:53 – What skills have you developed?

02:13 – What support is in place for you?

05:36 – How have the skills you’ve learnt prepared you for your future career?

08:47 – How has the apprenticeship affected your life?

Apprenticeship  exposure in the curriculum

Key Stage 2

Our Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to engage with apprentices with one of our partner organisations – Egger in Hexham.  This provides a meaningful encounter for our pupils, at an early age, to explore what an apprentice can do and why they may find their employment satisfying.  This year we have plans for our year pupils to visit the Egger site in Hexham building on their studies in design technology exploring the material products that Egger manufactures.  Our collaboration with Egger provides us with employer engagement linking to the area of opportunity focusing on advanced manufacturing of sustainable building materials.

Key Stage 3

We have planned opportunities for apprenticeships to be discussed in Key Stage 3 PSHE lessons that focus on careers and living in the wider world. By the end of Year 8, we endeavour for our pupils to know that there are four types of apprenticeships from Intermediate to Degree level. Apprenticeship opportunities are referenced in our Year 8 Group Career Guidance sessions led by Career Wave. Pupils will also know how to access sources of information that they can refer to in order to gain further knowledge of apprenticeship opportunities.  Our Year 8 pupils will have also explored, in a visit by Performance in Education about careers opportunities in the NHS, including those with apprenticeship routes. Health and Life Sciences is an area of focus in our broader careers programme, putting a spotlight on this sector as an area of opportunity and strategic importance for the north east of England.

Pupils in Year 8 will have the opportunity to explore apprenticeship routes further in the Year 8 partnership careers event that we have planned for Summer Term 2024.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

At Hexham Middle School, key staff who contribute towards our STEM curriculum are committed to embedding careers. Where possible, our STEM teachers actively signpost how their subject supports critical industrial sectors which are regarded as areas of economic growth and opportunity. 

This article (external URL) is all about stereotypes in Engineering.

Activities, Competitions and More!

Throughout the year, there will be opportunities to take part in a range of exciting opportunities and competitions. 

Hexham Middle School Alumni

We would like to share the life experiences of our past pupils as well as highlight the different career journeys they have had and pathways they now intend to pursue. Most pupils progress onto Queen Elizabeth High School, so we naturally benefit from this larger alumni body.  We are however specifically interested in hearing from former HMS pupils. 

We understand that alumni stories and career profiles can be the catalyst for motivation and a source of inspiration. It has also been said that “variety is the spice of life.” Life is more interesting when you try new things to vary your experiences.   

If you have previously attended Hexham Middle School and would like to share your career testimony, please fill in our alumni questionnaire by clicking here or contact Paul Freeman-Myers at or 01434 610300 .

Guidance and Support

Job of the Week

Please see below some videos giving details of various different careers that pupils may be interested in. Please note that these videos are the ‘Job of the Week’ from an external provider, MyPath (link to their external channel here), and all historic Jobs of the Week here

Here is a selection of careers to learn more about.