Last Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021

DYW – Interesting Practice: A whole school approach to career education - Woodfarm High School

What is this?

​Woodfarm High School in East Renfrewshire developed a holistic approach to career education for learners at all levels in order to equip them with the necessary skills to fully realise their aspirations in life.

Who is this for?

​This exemplar will be useful for practitioners involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda.

It supports professional reflections around the Career Education and Work Placements Standards as well as School / Employer Partnerships.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • How effectively do you plan for career education opportunities and progression pathways for learners from 3 - 18?
  • In what ways do you ensure that you meet the needs of all learners to develop skills for learning, life and work?
  • In what ways does the curriculum provision and timetabling in your establishment incorporate career education for all learners?
  • To what extend are partners involved in delivering meaningful, work related experiences for learners, the delivery of skills and qualifications as well as prospective career opportunities?


Word file: Woodfarm High School (65 KB)

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What was done?

Using the Career Education Standard (CES) an audit had been undertaken to embed the entitlements for young people into the curriculum. In partnership with employers and parents, learners are fully engaged in maximising opportunities to enhance career education across all aspects of learning. This includes initiatives such as a S6 Career Ambassadors programme, business breakfasts, presentations to challenge career stereotypes, an S2 STEM project and a ‘Skills week’ across all subjects.

Woodfarm HS also developed a ‘Employer Partnership’ database in connection with the local authority and East Renfrewshire’s Chamber of Commerce, in order to enhance the quality and scope of experiences for learners around the world of work. As a result, young people had the opportunity to visit local business and engage in work shadowing or extended work placements. They could practice interview skills and CV writing and find out about careers, including Modern Apprenticeships, through career evenings, talks, 1-1 sessions and enterprise activities.

Integral to the new approach at the school was the engagement of staff. Career-long professional learning (CLPL) opportunities were on offer during inset days and collegiate time and a ‘Teaching and Learning Community’ was established to collaborate with employers in order to coordinate and enhance work-based learning opportunities.


The aims of the programme were:

  • to meet the ‘I Can’ statements within the Career Education Standard for the BGE and Senior Phase
  • to prepare young people for the world of work
  • to increase the percentage of learners in positive destinations when they leave school..

What was the impact?

In reflection of the Work Placements Standard the school has developed a flexible, fully integrated model that provided work-based learning opportunities for learners at various stages of their development.

Watch a YouTube video recorded after an S3 DYW event at Woodfarm High School.