Case Study: Ponder Fridays – the weekly careers lesson for everyone

Careers Advisor Helsa Niranjan talks about her experience of using the Career Clusters and Ponder Program at Greenacre Baptist Community Christian School.

School: Greenacre Baptist Community Christian School [NSW, Independent Schools]

Educator: Helsa Niranjan (Careers Advisor)

Context: Weekly Careers Program now runs from Years 7-12, small school, mix of university/training/direct job pathways.

 

“…because the reality is it shouldn’t be daunting [profiling], it should be exciting and encouraging for students to go through.”

 

Watch the case study video (with Rob) here:

 

Implementing the Ponder Program

New Careers Advisor Helsa Niranjan joined Study Work Grow for news and resources, but after seeing the Ponder Program, knew that it was exactly what she needed to make a difference to her students.

Like many high schools, there wasn’t a structured career education program in place before having access to Ponder:

I found when students were coming into Year 11 and 12, they were just so unsure of what they were doing [post school]”.

Helsa said that they now have ‘Ponder Fridays’, where all students in Years 7-12 are watching career education videos each week in Pastoral Care and then having engaging discussions about it. Despite some initial misgivings, the teachers have also given positive feedback because they don’t have to prepare any resources to be able to teach Ponder each week –

The teachers are learning that they can talk to their Pastoral Care students about their own experiences as well with their careers…  …it’s been really encouraging having it there as a program in terms of careers, but also in terms of life skills and preparing them [students] for post-school as well.” 

 

Starting Career Conversations with the Career Clusters

Helsa saw the Career Clusters in early 2023 when it became a new feature of the Ponder Program. She immediately saw that it was going to be beneficial, as students had given feedback that psychometric testing done in previous years was tedious –

“…we had done some psychometric testing for careers, by found that it was just too long and just a little bit confusing and daunting for our students at school. So the Clusters worked really well, that it was just an easy five minute quiz.”

She found that after doing the quiz with her Year 10 and 11 students, that immediately following the lesson the students were coming up to her in the playground to talk about their Career Clusters –

“...they’re like, “Miss, can we come and chat to you about what we got?” which was really encouraging

 

Key Takeaways: 

 

  • Students were eager to take the Career Cluster Quiz after seeing the videos and presentation but also felt confident that they had a good level of understanding before doing the quiz
  • Greenacre have now taken a whole-of-school approach to teaching careers with ‘Ponder Fridays’
  • The Ponder Program empowered general educators with the resources to confidently deliver career education at school
  • Students are actively talking with their peers about their Career Cluster and exploring career possibilities within their cluster
  • Students could instantly see how different jobs fitted into each of the Career Clusters, getting them thinking about what sorts of roles are out there
  • When compared with psychometric testing, the Career Clusters was easy, enjoyable, and engaging for the students, leading to a positive experience for them
  • Helsa personally found that having access to the Career Clusters & Ponder Program helped her greatly as a new careers advisor

Thank you Helsa for sharing your insights with us about using these resources in your school careers program.

 

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