Preparation for Life and Work is a practical course which serves to prepare students for working life. It is not yet a particularly well known subject and therefore some students, parents and guardians may be unaware of its existence or what it entails.

This subject is usually taken by pupils who have mild to moderate learning difficulties and/or disabilities or who are not predicted to achieve five GCSEs at grades A* to C. The course is a mixture of Personal Social Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and citizenship. It teaches crucial life lessons that will help a student in many walks of life, in particular preparing them for when the time comes for them to enter the world of employment.

What will a student learn in this subject?

The world of working, jobs and interviews are covered, with practical guides on how to find and apply for positions. Students are taught how to manage their finances and given insights into how businesses are started, managed and grown.

Students are also taught how to form and maintain healthy, appropriate personal and professional relationships. Other subjects covered include how to achieve and sustain good health and personal safety.

What are the principal gains?

Everything a student learns in this subject will be relevant to their personal and professional future. The course allows them to practise numeracy and literacy skills by applying them to real-life situations such as writing a cover letter and working out costs.

Students have the opportunity to experiment with productive activities such as researching currently available jobs, completing application forms, gaining work experience, doing mock interviews, shadowing people at work and learning about travel to and from business premises.

Becoming more self-aware is another common by-product of studying this course and the subject encourages each student to be a reflective learner. Often they are encouraged to look back over recent lessons and life situations and consider what they did well and what they could have done better, allowing them to improve for next time.

It’s a valuable qualification to put on a CV, not least because the subject is extremely relevant to performing well in a working environment. This subject also tends to help students achieve better grades in their other subjects. For example, as it teaches transferrable skills such as time management it helps students become better learners across the board.

More than an academic qualification

Aside from academic knowledge, Preparation for Life and Work GCSE offers personal gains. Students learn about health and safety and how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and other personal skills which will serve them well throughout life. It also helps to build confidence, equipping students with many of the skills and knowledge they need to feel more self-assured in other lessons and less fazed when the time comes to enter the world of work.

It’s a varied, relevant and informative course which even students who don’t enjoy school can enjoy.



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