Careers and University Advice
It is a truism frequently quoted at careers and UCAS conventions that properly researching an appropriate course and university takes the equivalent time to that needed to complete an AS level.
We therefore emphasise the importance of committing time to this in Year 12 and we dedicate a significant level of resources to making this endeavour successful for the students.
The Sixth Form benefits from having its own Head of Sixth Form and UCAS advisor, Mrs Sian Marker, whom the girls can contact directly whenever they have a query or need help. The Head of Sixth Form and the tutor team organise individual appointments with the girls completing their UCAS applications.
Sessions on how to complete applications happen throughout Year 12 in General Studies. A whole day is dedicated to UCAS and post 18 choices at the end of the Summer Term in Year 12. The Sixth Form also benefit from our Head of Careers, a long-standing member of staff who knows most of the girls well from the lower school and is therefore able to prioritise getting to know newcomers quickly. The Careers advisor has bookable and open door sessions to advise pupils. Mock interviews with the Sixth Form are also held with parents and other members of the school community, including the Head of Sixth Form. Girls in Years 9-13 are invited with their parents to attend a Careers Fair, hosted by the school. This event gives the girls the opportunity to speak to a number of people from a range of professions on a one to one basis. We encourage the Sixth Form students to be independent in their research about potential courses and careers. Our well stocked Sixth Form Careers and UCAS library is in the Sixth Form’s own Quiet Study Area, which is on a separate floor of the school library. This is open throughout the school day for the students to access in their study periods.
In the spring term, each Year 12 student has a one-to-one interview with the Head of Careers or Head of Sixth Form to discuss possible careers and courses. Girls have the opportunity to complete the COA Centigrade test and their feedback report from the test, produced externally by COA, currently forms the basis of this interview. Other tests, such as the Morrisby Profiling now completed lower down the school, can also be taken into account to make a personalised action plan on careers and higher education. All Year 12 students travel together to attend a University Convention, currently held at Surrey University, at which over one hundred universities are represented.
In keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step after school, we will now be using Unifrog; an award-winning, online careers platform. All students in the Sixth Form now have access to this excellent website and set up their accounts earlier this week.
The Unifrog platform is designed to support learners in making the most informed decisions about their futures and has a range of tools that are suitable for all year groups. Each student has their own personal account that provides a wide range of information related to their interests and aspirations. Students are given time to explore the platform independently, in addition to during general studies sessions. Key features of the platform include:
- Exploring Pathways – personality quizzes, career and subject profiles, MOOCs and webinars
- Recording – self-reflection about extracurricular activities and key employability skills
- Opportunities – search tools showing live vacancies/courses/placements for apprenticeships, universities (in the UK and abroad), FE, virtual work experience and much more
- Applications – tools to help students build applications for a range of pathways (e.g., CVs, Personal Statements, Common App Essays)
We also provide support for students looking at other further education routes such as apprenticeships. Students can apply for Higher Apprenticeships and Degree Apprenticeships, both can be equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
There are currently many apprenticeships for a variety of job roles from engineering to working in HR at the Treasury and we can provide support every step of the way. Both UCAS and the government provide a wealth of helpful information including testimonials from A level students who have gone on to complete an apprenticeship rather than go to university.
We will support girls throughout the process and help them chose an appropriate apprenticeship option. As each application is different we will guide them through from CV writing to the interview stage.