About Holmesdale


If you have any questions about careers that are not answered below, please contact:

Aim high as nothing is impossible!

The careers and guidance programme at the Holmesdale School has been designed to provide all students with the guidance, information and advice they require, in order to help them become empowered to make the right decisions for the future. It will also help them to develop the skills they need in order to be successful in an ever-changing ‘world of work’.

Future pathways are becoming ever increasingly complex and the multitude of different routes can make decision-making for Year 11 and Year 13 students stressful and complex. It is more important than ever that we prepare our students to be resilient, possess many transferable skills, be better informed of trends, labour market information and become as future pandemic proofed as possible.       

There is a focus at Holmesdale on making students aware and raising aspirations through independent and impartial careers guidance support with staff who care about all student wellbeing and progression. We want all students to aim high as nothing is impossible!

We demonstrate a responsive and proactive approach to individual needs and concerns. All students at Holmesdale irrespective of background have access to independent and impartial careers guidance and support.

In Year 10 (Spring Term) and Year 12 (Summer Term) students are offered the opportunity to complete work experience with an employer, this will need to be planned and vetted in advance. For Year 10 we are using the Education Business Partnership as part of Swale Academies Trust. This will offer a valuable insight into the work place and an understanding of the skills and qualities that are important. There is a short work booklet to complete with feedback from the person in charge and this can be really useful when applying for work and future opportunities.    

Assessing the effectiveness of CEIAG is collated via student feedback (both verbal and in writing) through destination evaluation i.e. positive progression into employment, education and training (EET) and via internal reviews, using a comprehensive, integrated approach.



Ms Sonia Houlker

Assistant Head Teacher - with responsibility for Careers.

sonia.houlker@swale.at - 01634 240461, EXT 307


Gemma Reeves

Head of Sixth Form



Jeanette Hamilton

Careers Advisor, KMPF Co-ordinator and Work Experience/Shadowing Co-ordinator.



Enterprise Advisor - TBC
Mrs Rachael Chibhaga – Enterprise Co-ordinator.



We are pleased to be part of Kent & Medway Progression Federation (KMPF) a National Collaborative Outreach Programme which enables our students' free outreach activities, including encounters with Further and Higher Education providers, UCAS application support, along with a range of employers, Saturdays morning sessions and Summer Schools.

Summer schools are the ideal opportunity to explore the skills required for an academic study course e.g. an Introduction to Psychology at Canterbury Christchurch University or perhaps by developing a creative portfolio at the University for the Creative Arts.



We are also pleased to announce that we are one of the Schools that are successfully signed up to SFS. Presentations are provided in school from top company speakers, professional bodies and representatives from institutions around the UK. This opens up doors to students for networking and work experience opportunities, as well as providing lots of ideas and inspiration for the future.

Some of our speakers have included the BBC and Radio Presenter Mr Justin Webb, Mr Ed Vince from Air BnB and Mr Trewin Restorick CEO/Founder of Hubbub and an award-winning environmentalist. We thank every one of our speakers for giving up their time and expertise.  Please see our termly school magazine for the full reports.



There is an annual careers fair event held in the school hall, to which local and national companies are invited to meet with our Year 7 to Year 13 students along with colleges, universities, charities and training providers. This has created work experience, part-time and apprenticeship opportunities for some of our students and it has provided in some cases, a more practical approach to learning about careers, which is of value to our kinaesthetic learners.  

An example of this is Smurfitt Kappa who attended in February with paper making products and they were able to notify us about their Engineering Apprenticeships. 

Employers are welcome to notify us of any opportunities they might have throughout the year.



We are part of the West Kent Enterprise Adviser Network, whose mission it is, is to prepare and inspire young people for the fast-changing world of work.

They link in with local businesses and employers and encourage involvement in the Holmesdale School.



We warmly welcome any Employer who would like to engage with our students and help to deliver activities – employer-led engagement, such as work tasters, attend careers fairs, visits and give presentations.

We also warmly welcome any Parent or Guardian that would like to volunteer their time to our School.

You might have a specialised career that you would like to present to our students during lesson time or in an assembly, or perhaps help us out on a more regular basis.

Alternatively, you might like to attend our Careers Fairs where you could have a stand and be able to talk to all year groups.

Please email Jeanette.hamilton@swale.at in the first instance.