Paul Cowling is a qualified Careers Adviser with over twenty years of experience providing advice, guidance and information to young people aged 11 – 19 . Formerly employed by Somerset Careers and Connexions Somerset, he has been employed by the school for the last 9 years supporting our students with their work experience placements, careers matters in general,as well as advice, guidance and information to students via one to one careers interviews.

In an increasingly complicated world, students face an array of choices and options regarding their immediate post 16 destination and beyond. Students are not left alone to work through this maze, but can be supported by Mr Cowling in terms of helping them to be better prepared for the careers, educational and training decisions they will be making in the short and longer term.

Each student will receive a 1:1 interview during Year 10/11 to guide them through the vast array of options available.  Students are also given guidance when considering GCSE option choices in Year 9

If your son or daughter would like to speak to Mr Cowling they can do so by booking an appointment to see him. Parents are welcome to attend but need to contact Mr Cowling to arrange a convenient time for all.

  • Our careers provider access policy can be found in our ‘Policies‘ section.

Career Pilot – a free careers advice website for young people and a parent zone.

Careers News

Any student who would like to discuss their plans or need help regarding their next steps beyond Court Field School should see Mr Cowling for a careers appointment.

Please remind your son/daughter to regularly check their school gmail for any careers information, updates and news. Similarly you will find some useful information under “Life Beyond Court Fields”.

A visit has been arranged to the University of Plymouth on the 7th March 2018, which will give students an opportunity to find out more about university life and higher education. Details will be sent out nearer the time.

Year 11 Applications to College
A reminder that the deadline for completed college applications is the end of January 2018: Students can apply online or complete a hard copy of the form, which should be returned to Mr Cowling who will arrange for them to be sent off to college.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to apply. If you need any help completing the form, or are unsure about your next steps beyond school, then see Mr Cowling for a careers appointment.

Go to to find out more about this very important option and the growing number of vacancies that are becoming available in a variety of occupational areas. Speak to Mr Cowling if you require any further information.
A visit has also been arranged to the National Apprenticeship Show at Westpoint near Exeter on the 31/1/18. Any students, with a preferred choice of an apprenticeship rather than a full time college course after Year 11, should see Mr Cowling if they would like to go on this visit.

Year 10 – Work Experience
Students should be well underway by now in terms of approaching employers using the Link 2 database (info was in their pack) to secure their placement next July (week of 16/7/ – 20/7). Indeed, some students have already done so, and can now sit back knowing that their placement has been secured and sorted for next year. Well done to those students. For those that are still trying, don’t get disappointed if you have had some negative responses. This will happen. Don’t give up. Contact other employers on the data base. For those that have not yet started the process then it is important that you do so urgently. Easter is the cut-off date and will come round before you know it. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity. Speak to Mr Cowling if you need any help or advice.

Paul Cowling – Careers/Work Experience

Career Fair Competition Winner!

November 16, 2017

Congratulations to Year 11 Maddie Davey from Court Fields School in Wellington.

Somerset Skills & Careers Fair 2017 exhibitor Bristol City FC ran a competition for the most keepy uppies in a row, with a prize for the best boy and best girl on the day.  Here is a video of Maddie in action:

Maddie was the clear winner for the females and has been awarded with two tickets to a Bristol City FC match of her choice.  She is looking at dates with her Dad and will make her selection shortly.

Maddie started playing football aged 8, joining Wellington Wildcats where she still plays now for the under 18’s side.  Favouring centre-mid field, Maddie has also recently been asked to play for the ladies team too.

Once she completes her GCSE’s next summer (her favourite subjects are PE and English), football fanatic Maddie has an ambition to study for a diploma in sports coaching at Bridgwater and Taunton College.  From there she has big dreams of going to University and then travelling to Australia.

Well done Maddie from both The One Step Foundation and Bristol City FC, we wish you well in your fast approaching GCSE’s.  You have an exciting future ahead of you, in the meantime enjoy the Bristol City game!

School receives award for being a “Champion School”

NCS ( National Citizenship Service ) has recognised the commitment and support the school has given for promoting the NCS programme to its year 11 students. The school is one of only two schools in SomeNCS RB PCrset to have been given the award.  Paul Cowling, the schools Carers Adviser, says the NCS programme is a fantastic opportunity, which adds breadth and depth to a students life experience and is very please d to see so that 20 students have signed up for the 3 week programme this summer.Pictured are some of the students along with Ms Bennett, Mr Cowling and to colleagues from  NCS”

Work Experience Presentation

Court Fields school held their work experience launch evening on Wednesday  23rd November. Parents and year 10 students attended to find out more about securing  and  completing a one week work experience placement next July.

The evening  also included a presentation to 10  year 11 students ,  who undertook their  work  experience  in July of this year and who were identified by either the employer  and /or a member of staff who visited them  , as being particularly outstanding. The school also awarded a plaque to Boldscan of Wellington as “ work experience employer of the year” in recognition  of the support and quality of the placements  it offered to students this year and in previous years.

Any employer  who would be interested in supporting a student for a one week  work experience placement  next year, should contact Mr Cowling at school.


Pictured receiving their awards are from top left:-

George Barber, Harry Herbison ,George Seeley, Bronwyn Cheshire, Becky Mercer, Chloe-Ann Mair.

Bottom left Emily Horswell, Mel Hurley, Leanne Payne, Caitlin Hemburrow

Where have our students gone ??

Detailed below is a breakdown of the post 16 destinations of our year 11 students for the last 4 years.

Year Further education Apprenticeship other work NEET Not known total
2013 135 ( 88%) 9 (6%) 4 ( 3%) 4 (3%) 0% 152(100%)
2014 115 (89%) 5 (4%) 3 (3%) 1 (1%) 3 (3%) 127(100%)
2015 149 (90%) 4 (3%) 3 (2%) 5 ( 3%) 3 (2%) 164(100%)
2016 129 (88%) 9 (6%) 1 (1%) 4 ( 3%) 2 (2%) 145(100%)

Dates of College Open Evenings 2016/17

All local colleges have now published the dates of their open evenings. These provide an excellent opportunity for students , particularly year 11’s, to visit the college and find out more about the courses on offer as well as a chance to physically view all the facilities. The colleges also offer taster days, which give students the chance to actually try out the course they are considering. Go to the college websites for details when these will be available.

College Open Evenings:-

Richard Huish –  5/11/16 – 10.00am – 12.00pm  ( morning session)

7/11/16 –  6.30pm – 8.30pm

8/11/16 –  6.30pm – 8.30pm


Bridgwater College – 13/10/16 – 5.30pm – 8.30pm

23/11/16 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

17/1/17 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

13/6/17 – 6.00pm – 8.00pm

9/3/17 – 6.00pm -8.00pm  ( apprenticeship evening)

Cannington Centre     12/11/16 – 10.00am  – 1.00pm

28/1/17 – 10.00am –   1.00pm

21/6/17 – 5.30pm  –   7.30pm

PETROC –                  9/11/16 – 3.30pm –  7.00pm

18/1/17 – 3.30pm – 6.30pm

10/5/17 – 3.30pm – 6.00pm ( advice and guidance event)

Somerset College     19/10/16 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

18/1/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

8/3/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm

14/6/17 – 5.30pm – 8.00pm




A guide to HE information and advice covering everything from deciding whether uni is right for you to getting a graduate job

Thinking about HE

UCAS – read what UCAS says about ‘Is uni for you?’

Not going to uni – compare apprenticeships, gap years, distance learning and jobs as alternatives to university

London University Taster Course Programme – provides insights into degree subjects and student life

University and college open days – directory as well as advice about subjects, universities, a gap year, etc.

Whatuni? – has a list of upcoming open days

Push – read ‘Why bother with uni?’ as well as info about UK universities, student life, gap years, open days and student finance

Studential – has information on FE, gap year, HE, apprenticeship, enterprise and British Army options

The Sutton Trust – organises one-week summer schools and residentials for bright students from non-privileged homes to give them a taste of university life

Taking a Gap Year – offers an online and printed directory of gap year organisations and opportunities

The Year Out Group – includes over 30 gap year organisations that provide opportunities at home and abroad

Travel companies that offer a booking service covering travel, volunteering and work experience abroad include (owned by Flight Centre UK Ltd), Real Gap (owned by TUI Travel plc) and STA Travel

Studying abroad

The Complete University guide – has info on studying abroad

A Star Future – has info on studying in Europe and further afield

Studyportals – is a Dutch company providing a range of information on undergraduate degrees taught in Europe

Fulbright Commission – has info on studying in USA

Government of Canada – info on studying in Canada

Future Unlimited – is the official Australian website for international students

Applying to HE

UCAS – is the organisation through which you apply for most HE institutions in the UK. It tells you how to apply and provides information on courses as well as finance and support

Apply to uni – for information on applying for uni including tuition fees, open days, A-Z of universities

British Council – provides information for international students interested in studying in the UK

The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) is used by universities to select students for their law courses

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) – is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK university Medical and Dental Schools

Studential – has free examples of personal statements but remember your personal statement must be plagiarism free. (Studential also offers a commercial editing service)

Unipod – Oxford Brookes University’s guide to choosing a university, choosing the right course, organising finance, writing your personal statement, etc. Also look at Jobpod for graduate job ideas

The Student Room – has advice on applying for universities and courses including a personal statement builder and ‘University Connect’ (recent examples of offers made)

Where and what to study

Whatuni? – helps students find universities and courses in the UK. It has an A-Z of universities. ‘What can I do?’ provides ideas for degree subjects to study based on the A levels you are taking.

Which? University – help with finding the best UK university and degree course for you

Best course 4 me – for ideas about where and what to study

The Complete University guide – has information about university rankings, where and what to study, how to apply, student finance, student life, graduate careers, distance learning and studying abroad

Push – read ‘Why bother with uni?’ as well as info about UK universities, student life, gap years, open days and student finance

People and Planet – annual rankings of UK universities by environmental and ethical performance

The Open University – offer degrees through distance learning

UKCourseFinder – from the Morrisby Organisation helps you to find a degree course based on your interests

HE map – Useful map showing locations of UK universities and HE institutions

Unistats – is the official website for comparing UK universities, e.g. course data, student satisfaction scores, jobs and salaries after graduation

The QAA – read their reports on the quality and standard of HE providers

University coursefinder – from The Daily Telegraph will help you refine your degree course choices

The University Guide – from The Guardian has information on courses and university rankings

The Student Room – has an A-Z of universities and provides help with choosing a subject

The Good Universities Guide – print and online directory of universities and colleges

Student finance

The Student Room – has links to Student Finance England resources and the government finance websites of the other home nations.

Student Finance England – to sign up to Student Finance online

Best course 4 me – What’s the return on your investment in HE?

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) – promotes and safeguards fair access to higher education. See their website for student FAQs and info about bursaries and university access agreements

The Student Calculator – from Brightside helps you to work out how much money you will have at university and how much you will need

Gov.UK – for information about student finance and loans

Student life and housing

Student Beans provides students with offers, discounts, entertainment features, advice and money saving opportunities

The Student Room – has advice on student life and studying

Push – read for info about student life and housing

uni home swap – offers an alternative to living at home and studying locally. It helps students find accommodation in a different city in return for offering their own bedroom as a swap

Graduate and postgraduate

Whatuni? – has an ‘I want to be…’ section which shows you what graduates do by subject studied

The Association of Graduate Recruiters – brings together over 800 organisations that employ graduates. Find out the latest trends in graduate recruitment

Prospects – The UK’s official graduate careers site

Don’t forget also…

Many providers of HE information also post on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest

Visiting HE institutions and talking to current students can help you decide

Check if your school has access to subscription sites such as unifrog, HEAP degree course offers,

Read newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent for articles on trends and developments in HE

Access to HE courses – (QAA) are designed for people who have been out of education for some time, especially those who left school with too few qualifications to be able to go straight to university. A student who successfully completes all course requirements is awarded the Access to HE Diploma

The inclusion of these sites does not imply endorsement by Cegnet

June 2015


A Guide for Parents

It’s difficult to know at any age what career or job you want, but helping advise and inform a young person about pathways into work can be a real challenge. For parents, the prospect of helping their child decide what they want to do can be particularly daunting. You may feel you’re not up to date on the latest education and training options available, or you might not be sure what skills and experiences employers are looking for now. If your child is aged 11 to 24 years old, Great expectations – a careers guide for parents is designed to help.

Taking you step-by-step, we’ll help you understand the important decisions and milestones facing young people as they progress through school, college and further education or training until they successfully transition into the world of work. This guide will explain what jobs will be in demand in the future, the difference between university and an apprenticeship, the importance of work experience and how your child can get it, and everything you need to know about applying for jobs today.

This guide has been written as part of the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme, which promotes greater levels of employer engagement with young people.

  • Find out more about our Learning to Work programme

Contents of the report

  • Introduction
  • The future of work
  • Key decisions in your child’s pathway to work
  • 11 – 14 years old (Years 7, 8 and 9)
  • 14 -16 years old (Years 10 and 11)
  • 16 – 18 years old (sixth form and college)
  • Beyond education and training
  • Transitioning into the world of work
  • Further advice and information

Go to  – go to resources – go to  A –Z  resources – go to “G” –then scroll down and you will find  “Great Expectations – a career guide for parents”

Apprenticeship Opportunities

The number of apprenticeship opportunities in Taunton and Wellington continues to grow. Vacancies are appearing in a range of different occupational areas. Offering excellent training leading to recognised qualifications , with some employers paying as much as £192 a week , apprenticeships are an excellent choice leading to a well trained , well paid , career, and should be considered as a serious alternative to a full time college course.

Go to the apprenticeship website – to search for vacancies in Somerset or speak to Mr Cowling if you require any further help or advice.