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Teachers: PSHE: Ability

Last Updated: Wednesday January 11 2006 09:40 GMT

Career stepping stones


A Brazilian stone artwork entitled 'Monolith and Shadow"
Students look at the skills, qualifications and experience needed for different jobs.

They listen to an MP talking about how she got into politics and work out the first five-steps of their own career path.

Learning aims

By the end of the lesson, students should have a better idea of:

  • The career path they might like to follow
  • The steps taken to achieve this

MP Diane Abbott

MP interview

Students read this interview with MP Diane Abbott. They can hear her speaking by clicking on the purple box in the top-right hand corner of the interview page.

Asks students:

  • What does her job involve?
  • What skills, qualifications and experience did she need?
  • Describe her studies and previous jobs.
  • How have they helped her as an MP?
Main activity

Edith took part in a workshop for the female leaders of tomorrow

Stepping stones

Students read Edie's report. They can hear her speaking by clicking on the purple box in the top-right hand corner of the interview page.

She says she would like to work in humanities, politics or banking. Students imagine she takes the banking route.

Ask students: What skills, qualifications and experience does she need to work in banking?

In groups, students imagine they are Edie's career advisers, planning a series of steps to help Edie become a banker.

A Brazilian stone artwork entitled 'Monolith and Shadow"

Skill - being able to do something well
Qualification - you get this when you pass an exam or complete a course
Experience - comes with practised a skill over a period of time

Print out and distribute five "stepping stone" worksheets to each group

They identify five skills, qualifications or experience that a good banker should possess e.g. good at using computers, work experience in a bank. and write these on the worksheets.

Students then place the stepping stones in the order they think Edie should undertake them.

My stepping stone

Students identify an area THEY would like to work in. It doesn't have to be concrete.

Using another five stepping stone worksheets, they plot out the steps along their possible career path.

Extension activity

CV's or application letters

Students imagine they have already completed these stepping stones.

They write their own curriculum vitae, from a date in the future, outlining their skills, qualifications and experience for a potential employers.

If they prefer, students can write an application letter for an ideal job, again outlining their skills, qualifications and experience.


Students present either Edie's or their own stepping stone career paths to the rest of the class.

Ask students: Pick the most important stepping stone. What could you do to make this happen?

Curriculum relevance

National Curriculum PSHE guidelines at Key Stage 3

1a. To reflect on and assess their strengths in relation to work
1e. To relate job opportunities to their personal qualifications and skills, and understand how the choices they will make at key stage 4 should be based not only on knowledge of their personal strengths and aptitudes, but also on the changing world of work
2f. To plan realistic targets for key stage 4, seeking out information and asking for help with career plans

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