Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Careers at GMS


Great Marlow School believes that all students should have access to careers education, information, advice and guidance. GMS have put in place access to information that will help students choose suitable pathways to careers options. Jobs that offer personal, economic and successful sustainable employment will lead to fulfilled lives.

Staff, together with careers advisors work to raise student aspirations and help strengthen their potential and resilience by delivering career focus events, like work experience, and Careers’ Week, culminating in a Careers’ Day that has representatives from many professionals making a pitch about their specialty.

Everything GMS does in the careers’ field supports learning, informs careers options and embeds personal qualities. GMS are proud that 100% of our students progress onto further and higher education, training, employment or apprenticeships.

The information about the careers advice at GMS is updated annually at the start of the academic year.

GMS Careers Advisor

Mrs Southon is the school’s Career Guidance and Information Adviser: she is available to meet with students one day a week, in her office located in the Sixth Form Centre.

Mrs Southon has a background working in business and charities within human resources, where she successfully ran Apprenticeship and Management Training Schemes for young people and delivered career management skills workshops for professional and support staff.

In 2010, she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance at Reading University (Dip CG, QCG) with Distinction. As the holder of a Level 7 Appropriate Careers Qualification, she exceeds the Gatsby Benchmark requirements for a professionally qualified Careers Practitioner within our school. She is also licenced to administer and give feedback on a range of Psychometric Tests, including MBTI Personality Questionnaire.

Students have access to a one to one guidance interview with Mrs Southon at key points in their school lifetime, for example when making significant subject choice or career choices including:

  • Year 9 GCSE Options’ Choices
  • Post-16 Career pathways
  • Post-18 Career pathways

Careers Information and Advice will also be available to parents, carers and students at GCSE Options’ Evening, Parents’ Evenings, Annual Careers Fair and Sixth Form Events.

Mrs G Southon 
GMS – Careers Guidance Information Advisor
Tel: 01628 483752
Mr O Hollyman
GMS – Head of 6th Form and Careers Coordinator
Tel: 01628 483752


Mrs Southon is a full member of the Career Development Institute (MCDI), which is the single UK-wide professional body for everyone working in the field of careers guidance, advice, education and coaching.

CEIAG Programme

Click to enlarge


There has never been a time when Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) has been as important as it is today. The landscape of education, training and employment opportunities that students need to navigate is more complex and more challenging than that faced by previous generations.

Our mission statement is for all students to achieve their personal best.  In careers education, this translates to every student making the right choices for their progression.  GMS aims to support students in making well-informed decisions by providing access to differentiated, impartial and independent information and guidance about the range of options (including academic, vocational, apprenticeships) that are most likely to help them to achieve their ambitions.  By helping students with decisions at crucial stages, informing them of all their options, and introducing them to the world of work, GMS aims to prepare them for their career future, whichever pathway they choose.

Aims of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) at Great Marlow School

  • to raise students’ aspirations and to broaden their horizons
  • to inspire and to empower students to make informed realistic decisions at key transition points in their learning
  • to provide good quality independent and impartial careers advice to students which inspires them and motivates them to fulfil their potential
  • to provide advice and guidance which is in the best interests of the student
  • to provide opportunities to engage and work in partnership with employers, training providers, local colleges and other agencies
  • to provide opportunities to inspire students through encounters with employees
  • to develop enterprise and employability skills including skills for self-employment
  • to support inclusion, challenge stereotyping and promote equality of opportunity

The GMS Careers Map under the heading CEIAG Programme sets out how the GMS Academy provides a careers programme through Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 to provide students with the knowledge and inspiration to succeed in their chosen career paths.

We aim to fulfil the Gatsby Benchmarks, the framework of eight guide lines that define careers provision in school and colleges. They are as follows:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each student
  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

GMS Careers’ Week

In February, a variety of different businesses, educational establishments and vocations are invited to attend the GMS Careers Fair. The exhibitors range from the armed forces to apprenticeships, ICT to higher education and accountancy to childcare.

The Careers’ Fair is the culmination of a week in which all students, in each year group, have discussions with their subject teachers about how their studies linked to specific careers paths. In addition, each student is given a preparation sheet, allowing them the chance to prepare specific questions for exhibitors.

All students from Year 9 through to Year 3 are given the opportunity to visit the thirty stands housed in the hall and the sixth form centre, to ask questions and discuss their potential career paths with the experts. Also, to collect information and take the free gifts made available!

The day is always a great success and, for many students, provides a first opportunity to really consider their future.

In 2019, Amelie Fitzpatrick from Year 10 was asked what she felt about the event and said, ‘I think that it was very inspiring and useful to get an idea of what I want to do when I look for jobs or go further in education.’

Also from Year 10, Louise Larney said of her experience of the Careers Fair, ‘It really helped me because there were jobs that I didn’t even know existed and it gave me information about them.’

GMS would like to thank the following companies and their representatives, who attended the 2019 GMS Careers Fair, for their support and advice during this successful event:

Thanks to these companies for their support
Cobham Softcat Waitrose
Bisham/Serco DP Architects Handelsbanken
Henley College LGP Solicitors Army Recruitment
Bucks Health Care Bucks College Group Deriaz Campsie Team
Heighway Associates Bucks New University Mars Apprenticeships
Seymour Audit Limited Brothers Hairdressers GMS Child Development
Marlow Sports Therapy One to One consulting Danesfield HouseDanesfield
Berkshire College of Agriculture Adult Nursing Oxford Brookes HS2 Team Surveyors/ Eiffage Kier
Alan Spargo Limited (Precision Engineers)


GMS Careers Day 2019

Click to see further pictures from Careers Day 2019

GMS Careers Resources

Click to view Careers Choice Booklet

Useful websites include: 

Year 12 Work Experience

In Great Marlow School all Year 12s complete a one week work experience placement. In order to minimise disruption to studies, this takes place at the beginning of July: the exact date is advertised at the beginning of the academic year.

GMS believes in the value of work experience because, firstly, it offers a unique opportunity to experience a workplace environment that could impact on a career choice. Secondly, students can reference the work placement when applying for UCAS, apprenticeships and jobs. Thirdly, some placements may, and frequently do, lead to part-time employment.

To give students ownership of their placement, they are asked to arrange the place of work themselves. They are expected to pay travel costs, which must be factored into their decision. Often a CV and an interview are required; this is good practice and the school encourages employers to do this. To support students through the process there is a section in The Next Steps Guide available on the website, under the Sixth Form tab. Finally, formal paperwork has to be submitted to the employer at the time of the placement.

Students are encouraged to speak to parents, carers, family friends, peers (like Year 13 students), Connexions, tutors and the sixth form leadership team to ask for help and advice. The best placements have taken into consideration what the student’s intentions are at the end of Year 13: it is important that placements reflect a student’s interests, educational strengths and long-term career choice.

The placement should be challenging, unpaid and different from any part-time work engaged in by the student.

Once students have secured their placement, the contact name, address, telephone number and email address is given to their tutor. The details are verified by the staff of GMS, so that visits or telephone conversations can take place during work experience week.

STEM Day/Activities

What is STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us; technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our world; engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home; mathematics is in every occupation, every activity of life. By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and, hopefully, pursue a job in a STEM field. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help the student learn. Programmes like Engineering For Kids integrates multiple classes to provide opportunities to see how concepts relate to life in order to hopefully spark a passion for a future career in a STEM field. STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making maths and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn.

At Great Marlow school we actively encourage our students to study STEM and provide opportunities throughout KS3 and KS4 to inspire their interests in this field.

Activities at GMS promoting STEM

The Science Department took a group of Year 9 and 10 students to a careers’ day at the software company SAS. This fantastic opportunity was part of Tech Week, an initiative aiming to drive the next generation’s interest in studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects and joining the technology industry. It provided the students with a great insight into how a global business works, career information, and workshops. In the afternoon, students had the unique opportunity to take on the role of business analysts and solve a real life business problem using SAS Visual Analytics.

During Science Week a workshop on scientific thinking and analytical skills was presented to Year 9 students.  During this workshop the students were challenged to investigate the spread of a fatal disease through an airport.  In order to prevent a pandemic, the students had to identify the origin of the outbreak and develop a serum.

The activities in the workshop included: – Simulated outbreak and ELISA testing – Simulated blood typing and analysis – Personal voting systems and pandemic quiz

An embryologist, Danielle Breen, visited from the Thames Valley Fertility Clinic to speak with the whole of Year 11 and Year 10 triple science students. This was linked in with the GCSE specification as part of their Homeostasis and Response module. Students learnt from an expert how IVF treatments were carried out from start to finish, how the body is manipulated with synthetic hormones, the success rates of average IVF cycles and they debated the ethical issues surrounding the process. This fitted in with the careers’ fair that the students visited that day.

The Year 7 cohort went to visit the Big Bang Fair held at the Birmingham NEC. The Big Bang Fair is an annual event that invites an enormous range of companies, universities and, most importantly, students to come together and enjoy the world of science. At the fair,  Year 7 students had the opportunity to visit different stalls and speak to many adults working in STEM careers, as well as taking part in many experiments! The fair included many interactive shows, demonstrations and activities. A great day out was enjoyed by both students and staff alike with many of our students wishing they could have stayed longer!

Year 12 Physics-Talk from an industry expert


Are you an employer looking to work with a school?

Great Marlow School values developing relationships with local employers to help prepare students for the world of work and to support them in making informed career decisions.

Careers events need volunteers to work alongside the team in GMS, for example in delivering occupation/sector specific careers talks; offering interviewing practice; offering workplace visits; and being a stall holder at the annual Careers’ Fair.

If you would like to find out more, please make contact with Mrs G Southon, Career Guidance and Information Adviser on: 

The Changing World of Work

Getting students ready for work: help for parents and carers.

How can parents and carers help their son or daughter make the right decision about their future study or career options?

Exploring Labour Market Information ( LMI) is a good place to start.

The report below provides high quality information and advice to help young people make choices about their careers and developing their skills to meet employment demands, for now and the future.

It includes:

  • different work sectors across the LLEP area
  • numbers of people employed in those areas
  • skills that employers value
  • which occupations are changing
  • STEM in the labour market
  • growth areas in Buckinghamshire: creative, digital economy, engineering and manufacturing, life sciences and agri-tech, construction, health and social care.

Download ‘BTVLEP ‘Labour Market Intelligence Update for Buckinghamshire’

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin