We work closely with our students on supporting and making a reality of their diverse post sixteen plans. Our programme is designed with the Gatsby benchmarks of good careers guidance in mind.
The benchmarks are:
In Year 12 we have a Higher Education Day for students, one-to-one interviews with our UCAS advisor, a Careers Day and a work experience week. In year 13 we continue with another Higher Education event and tailored individual support through the UCAS process. Our UCAS advisor has a wealth of knowledge about course options and how to structure a personal statement, plus our subject specialists are always on hand.
Yearly we host admissions officers and student ambassadors for many universities at our two HE events including Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Kent and several London universities.
The Year 12 event focuses on how to make the first decisions in narrowing down options such as campus versus city or single honours versus combined/modular courses.
The year 13 event targets personal statement writing and how to navigate the UCAS process online.
In the summer term of Year 12 we invite professionals from a very wide range of industries to talk to our students at our Careers Conference. Students are off timetable and tailor their own day to suit their interests. They can attend different talks throughout the day, and we encourage them to be open minded and inquisitive in their selection. In addition, they can opt to have a one-to-one consultation with our UCAS advisor or someone from the borough’s careers service.
Last year we had 40 plus visitors from a broad range of professions and industries including architects, doctors, computer animators, energy analysts, lawyers, marketers, psychologists and research scientists.
Whilst most of our students progress from us to university, we make sure they are all aware of their other options Our students who choose other routes such as applying for art foundation, apprenticeships or studying abroad are given up-to-date information through our in house team but also via their access to Unifrog, an online database dedicated to career and HE information.
All our students can log on to our Careers Hub which is where we post information about the many and varied opportunities that are sent through to us throughout the academic year. Students are alerted by email every time a new item is posted, and it is always widely used with opportunities ranging from one day courses to year long internships. This is how one of our students recently described it:
“I have just attended an all-day young lawyer programme at UCL which I found out about via the school’s careers hub. I found it very interesting, and it was a great experience, and I wanted to let you know that the emails we receive are very useful when looking to gain extra insight into various areas of interest, and it’s given me more motivation.”
Parents are kept informed through our Parents’ Information evenings at the beginning of each year, our HE overview meeting for Year 12 parents in early spring, and our Oxbridge evening in the summer term. We also host an annual student finance talk for parents.
Throughout the two years our sixth form tutors meet each of their tutees individually once a term to offer personal guidance.
HE guidance - Y12 parents information talk February 2023
In the last week of the summer term our Year 12 undertake work experience. In 2019 our students found themselves a very impressive range of placements. The majority of these were completed during the work experience week, but others took up opportunities in the summer holidays.
The following list shows some of the eclectic range of careers they sampled:
Architecture, banking & finance, counselling, dentistry, education, engineering, environmental research, ethical fashion, hospitality, journalism, law, media, medicine, museums and galleries, music, music technology, pharmacy, photography, politics, product design, property investment, publishing, research science, restaurant industry, retail, sound recording, structural engineering, theatre, travel and tourism.
“My two weeks at J.P Morgan shaped my knowledge of the world of investment banking and significantly strengthened my confidence in sharing and presenting ideas to large groups. It also exposed me to the different components of an investment bank, which helped me understand the different career paths that lay inside banking that I would otherwise be unaware of.”
“ I took part in a project that invited university students from around the world to help build an apiary (bee house) for a farmer in a village in Japan. We would show the villagers how to build the bee house, and tell them of our way of life, and in return they would show us theirs. This transfer of knowledge is why it is named a “learning exchange program”.
“I applied for a place at the United Nations in Geneva. I shadowed people and went to lectures in departments such as the High Commission for Refugees and Human Rights, World Trade Organisation and the International Organisation for Migration. Whilst at the International Organisation for Labour, I was able to sit in with the press as spectator at a conference about child labour. It was undoubtedly the most inspiring and influential week of my life, and I was able to meet people engaged in careers that I didn’t even know existed. Since my work experience, I have decided (for the first time in my life) the kind of career I want to work towards after university.”
"I was an assistant and, with my lack of experience, not much was expected of me besides cleaning of living spaces, preparing meals and carrying and lifting building materials. Every day, however, I joined a different group with a different activity, and between those activities, cooking, cleaning, preparing baths and interacting and helping out villagers, my schedule was packed. I also acted as a translator between the English speaking students/supervisors and the Japanese villagers, which was extremely important, since the focus of the project was the transfer of knowledge between the students and villagers. This project epitomised the statement that people who barely know one another can work together to achieve a common goal, and that by sharing a living condition with another, one can get to know them more than they could by merely working together.”