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Applebee Wood Community Specialist School

Respect, Belonging, Trust, Resilience, Aspiration

Careers and Transition

Key stage 4 Phase Leader: Mrs Fiona Nickeas


Telephone: 01772 336976


Transition from Applebee Wood

At Applebee Wood Community Specialist School, our careers advice begins in key stage 3. All key stage 3 and 4 classes have a designated careers lesson on their timetable each week. From year 9 onwards, KS4 college courses and opportunities will be discussed at the pupil's annual review. The pupils are encouraged to attend college open days from year 10 onwards. In the year 11 annual review, the pupils and parents are asked which college(s) they are interested in applying for. As the application forms can be complicated, particularly regarding our accreditations, I offer to complete the application forms on the pupils’ behalf. College interviews are then arranged. These are often in school. If the interviews are out of school time, I am happy to support the pupils and parents with this if needed. In year 10 and 11, our pupils access courses at Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) and Creativity Works Preston (CWP). Some of our pupils also attend One Vision, Fast Track, Myerscough College, Runshaw College, PNE and AppleCast. Some of our pupils also receive education in school with staff from Petite Education. We are always looking out for new opportunities for our pupils. Some of these establishments can also be used for post 16 Education. For some pupils, it is more appropriate for them to transition to a post 16 placement at a special school. We can also help with this process. We try to arrange taster days for all pupils at their chosen colleges/placements to reduce anxiety around the transition process.


This year, we held our 2nd annual Careers Fair in school. We had representatives from the local colleges, Independent travel training and DWP. The parents and children who attended, all found it invaluable. Next year, we are hoping to extend our offer at the careers fair and would be interested to hear from any organisation who would like to attend.


Last year, our pupils moved on to the following provisions: Myerscough College, Preston College, Blackburn College, Runshaw College, Cardinal Newman College, West Lancs Community High, Expanse Learning, One Vision, FixIt UK, and CWP. One of our pupils also got an apprenticeship with the company he did his work experience with.


Work Experience

In year 11, the pupils participate in a 1-week work experience placement. The pupils choose the type of work experience they would like to do and I make the arrangements. We arrange our work experience through Education Business Partnership. They arrange the health and safety checks and ensure the correct insurance and policies are in place. I take the pupils for an interview and visit them whilst they are on their work experience. I also have regular contact with parents and the companies during the placement. This year, 6 pupils completed their work experience independently, and 10 were supported by a TA. Independent placements are arranged near home where possible. 

In 2024, our pupils enjoyed placements at the following establishments:

Barnardo's Project, Lostock Hall Community Primary School (School kitchen), One Vision, Clipper and Brush, My Life Legacy, Rainbow Hub, Hoghton Lane Garage, The Coppice School, Willowgrove Care and Residential Home , Wilson Class at Applebee Wood Community Specialist School and DFH Auto Ltd.


National Careers Week

From 4th to 8th March 2024, we celebrated National Careers Week in school. We had a careers afternoon on the Wednesday and some of our activities included a talk by Miss McQuillan about her other job as an air hostess; A talk by Mr Cockerill about his previous careers; A £20 challenge - We'll let you know how much profit Peake and Adam's Class make at the end of term; Being chefs for the day - Making pizzas and decorating pizza boxes, designing and making chip cones (and enjoying the chips) or making fruit salad; Being gardeners for the day; Learning about Dr's and nurses jobs and many other fun activities! 


Useful links

Skills Builder

In our careers lessons at Applebee Wood, we use the Skills Builder Programme. Skills Builder is based around the following 8 essential skills:



These skills are taught across the curriculum and explicitly in the key stage 3 and 4 careers lessons. There is also a “Homezone” section of Skills Builder, where the pupils can develop these skills at home.