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The Mercia Commitment

All teachers are highly committed to ensuring that pupils have access to the highest quality careers education so that they can fulfil their potential. As a school founded on knowledge, we pride ourselves on the knowledge that pupils have about careers and Higher Education. The more knowledge Mercia pupils have, the more empowered they are to make the right choices. Every teacher takes responsibility for inspiring pupils and ensuring they have access to information that will help them make appropriate choices as they progress through school. Given the academic aims of the school, university aspirations are at the heart of our drive and all pupils will complete a Mercia Promise from Year 7, which is a declaration of aspiration to guide them for the years ahead. 

Careers Education

Careers Education is delivered mainly through the Mastery Time curriculum. In Mastery Time, we use themes of the week to explore a range of issue that link to cultural capital. As well as a careers week, we also have an aspirations week, university week etc and all the time we are seeking to educate and inform pupils about potential careers open to them. Through family dining, we regularly host visitors informally, who pupils can talk to about their careers and lives, and we encourage a holistic approach very much to careers education. In lessons, staff are always promoting their subjects, how to pursue the particular subject and what career paths learning may follow. We also build in explicit one to one time with pupils to harvest their interests and goals and develop their careers knowledge from our enrichment programme, where external visitors lead much of the curriculum, offering unique experiences. Every pupil is entitled to speak to several visitors about their careers every year- this is essential in our drive to raise standards and aspirations. Every pupil is also entitled to our core knowledge curriculum around knowledge of universities and courses also.

Parents are central to this agenda and have awareness of our aspirations for University and support and uphold these aims. Discussions at Parents’ Evening are always aspirations related and Parents are informed about our commitment to pupil experience through enrichment electives and curriculum choices. Through the one to ones completed in Year 9, we collate a list of careers suggested by pupils and build our Mastery Curriculum around this. This is also the foundation for establishing links with work experience and career matching as pupils move through school.

Mastery Time and Careers 

Content includes:

  • Completion of the Mercia Promise  
  • Knowledge of Universities and qualifications- what we mean by A Level/Degree/ BA/Arts/ Sciences etc
  • Personal survey to reflect on areas of interest
  •  Discussion with Mastery Tutor re hopes and ambitions
  • Learning about Russell Group Universities
  • Understanding the inequalities that exist in Higher Education and the support available
  • Impact project involvement with Sheffield University
  • Inspirational speakers- careers focused
  • Access to networking events
  • Information for post-16 choices
  • A full exploration of the local offer available post 16


Year 7: Aspirations and Raising Awareness of Higher Education

Year 8: University and Qualifications - Understanding pathways and Options

Year 9: Exploring Options and Interests - Foundations for Careers

Year 10: Career Networking for support ahead - Strategic Planning

Year 11: Career Matching and Planning Ahead - Post 16 Destinations and Goals

Year 12: Building Experiences and Enrichments - Foundations for University

Year 13: Influencing the World - Lifelong Learning


Working alongside Roger Malahem from Enterprise (Sheffield), Mercia School will host a meaningful encounters network lunch. Here, a range of guest speakers will visit the school to discuss and share their career experiences. Alongside this, we have Enterprise Advisor Kerry Hyde, Graduate Careers Specialist, who will work closely with the school, advising and supporting our careers programme. Our partnership with HEPP and university outreach programmes will continue throughout the year and we hope to host and develop further partnerships as we continue. Our Enrichment programme also links pupils to a host of career and outside speaker opportunities.

Key Dates Linked to Careers Opportunities




Launch of Mercia Promise

Careers and Aspirations Week

Higher Aspirations and Higher Education Focus

Launch of Enrichment


Visiting Guest Speakers

Launch of Impact Project Y7/8

HEPP pupil information days

Start of A level Promotion


Black History Week - focus on tackling inequality through opportunity and aspiration

Experiences to action - Art and Careers


Assessment Opportunities and Feedback

Charity Week- pupils select and support a local charity

Big Challenge Competition Final- Business and Enterprise


Higher Aspirations Week- Focus on Russell Group Universities

Guest Speakers- Her Honour Judge Rachael Harrison and Judge David Dixon

Networking careers lunch 

Careers Week- Focus on career knowledge


UCAS processes and University Application Information

Year 9 Careers Surveys


National Careers Week

Employability theme of the week

Year 9 Options Talks and Films released

Science Week- MANTRA science bus visit

Enterprise Week

Year 9 Careers choices collated

Assessment Opportunities and Feedback


Entrepreneurial skills

Interview skills and personal qualities

One to one interviews with Year 9 for GCSE Selection

IMPACT Parents’ Evening

Understanding Apprenticeship Options

Post 16 Choices and Options Ahead


Local Universities and University Experience in Sheffield

Guest Speakers

HEPP Events

One to one career interviews


Mercia Heroes- Inspirational Figures

Assessment Opportunities and Feedback

Start of GCSE Promotion

Grofar Work Experience Logins and tracking


Parents’ Evenings

Review of Year and Mercia Promise

Results Assembly

Essential Health Safety/Placement applications

Year 11 Work Experience

It is our ambition that Year 11 pupils take part in Work Experience, to ensure they have access to networking and connections and have an opportunity to thrive outside of the school environment. Our Mastery Curriculum has allowed pupils to be developed into confident articulate individuals who will excel in the workplace and also savour the opportunity. Pupils will explore options and arrangements in Mastery Time and will be offered expert careers advice. A time frame for the process is set out below:

Year 10/11 Work Experience Timescale



One to one careers Interviews


Placement matching and applications


Grofar logins and essential training:

Applications and Interviews

Health and Safety





Placement Visits and Interviews


Email communications


Placements commence

Reviews/ Presentations in Mastery Time


Work Experience Event Presentations

Employers and Families welcome

How to be Involved

Parents: Ensure you are aware of your child’s Mercia Promise and support and encourage this. If you have any connections that may be helpful to the school, especially guest speakers, please get in touch. Do explore career options with your child, and in your SLT one to ones do explore career preferences and a pathway of support can commence.

Employers: If you want to host an event at our school, please contact us to arrange. We are very interested in guest speakers and improving our pupils’ knowledge of specialised careers. Please email directly Miss Hollingsworth, and check our events pages for activities you can be involved in.

Post 16/Further/ Higher Education: We would be happy to host visiting speakers and events. Please contact us if you wish to speak with our pupils. As Mercia pupils are entering Year 10/11, we are keen to engage with Post-16 providers to ensure pupils are aware of the full local offer. A number of events will be published as we enter the Post-16 applications process, which would potentially offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak to students and/or their parents. The events will be published on the website and the Sixth Form pages. It is essential that providers contact us early in the academic year to be involved in our planning. Access to students and/or parents will be granted on the understanding that information and guidance offered by providers is related to technical courses and apprenticeship opportunities and high-quality provision. Providers will be expected to meet the school’s safeguarding requirements and details will be issued about the format for such evenings and the expectations around communication. Please look out for dates, or contact to request to be added to the mailing list for events.

Volunteers: If you would like to offer some time or expertise with our pupils, please contact us. We are always looking to broaden our enrichment offers for pupils and are keen to develop partnerships with people who support the aims and ambitions of the school. Please look out for dates, or contact to request to be added to the mailing list for events.

Email: The school's lead on careers is Ruth Hollingsworth, Assistant Headteacher. She can be contacted via

Early impact: 

  • Personal Development of Mercia Pupils-which is linked to Mercia Values of academia, brilliance, commitment etc;
  • Pupils have high level knowledge about university and courses;
  • Every pupils has a Mercia Promise/Career commitment;
  • High Level Aspirations permeate the culture of commitment and dedication to learning at Mercia;
  • Assessment Cycle - a constant focus on achievement and pursuit of knowledge;
  • GCSE Selection Process - matching pupils and their ambitions to GCSE/careers choices;
  • Enrichment Opportunities - developing the whole approach to development and lifelong learning;
  • Business and Enterprise Opportunities - developing character and chances to develop business skills;
  • Charity Week and Charity Challenges - developing philanthropic attitudes;
  • Mastery Programme - focus on foundational knowledge of careers;
  • Visiting Speaker Programme - opportunity to have real life experience and interactions to understand careers and develop interest and aspirations.


This information will be reviewed in December 2023.

Please also see the Sixth Form Page for events.