Bright Futures & University Guidance
Throughout their time at the Sixth Form all students have regular input to support them in their Post-18 choices and in making the transition from school to university or working life. This includes:
- Weekly “Find Your Future” Friday lunchtime sessions with Alumnae, parents and university or apprenticeship experts talking about their career or area of expertise
- Bright Futures evenings with Alumnae, focussing on opportunities with subject areas
- The annual Bright Futures Fair – a chance to speak to 35 different employers, university and apprenticeship representatives
- Interactive small group workshops exploring university and apprenticeship opportunities
- Visits to HE Fairs to speak to university representatives
- Beyond the Sixth Form Day, devoted to demystifying the UCAS process
- Personal Statement Clinic – a chance for students to have their draft personal statement vetted by experts from universities
- MedVet Society, supporting the application process for medicine, dental and veterinary degrees
- Practice interviews and structured help for those applying to architecture, engineering, teaching and health-related degrees, where interviews will be part of the assessment
- Specialist support for Oxbridge applicants
We also help students to develop important “passport” skills to help students navigate the job application process:
- Up-to-date help from visiting experts on CV writing, including a one-to-one CV Clinic
- Workshops on networking, and the chance to practise these skills with parents and Alumnae
- Mock interviews
- A tailored work experience programme, in which students identify and find a placement
- Workshops with graduate recruitment experts Foresight Careers, to help students position themselves for the job market while at university
All students can have a careers/HE interview with me at any time, or they can find me two lunchtimes each week at Bright Futures Drop-In Clinic. Tutors and teachers are a fund of knowledge about the choices and decisions facing Sixth Formers too. We also have a Bright Futures Resource Centre in Jerred Study Centre, packed with books, prospectuses, information sheets, and inspiration.
There are lots of useful websites on the school intranet to further exploration, but these free resources have much useful information:
www.sacu.com Take the picture quiz, and print out your own careers and degree word cloud.
www.informedchoices.ac.uk/subjects The Russell Group designed this tool for investigating degree choices, it allows you to select your Sixth Form subjects and generate degree ideas
www.how2become.com A great resource for information on popular careers, plus lots of help with selection tests
www.completeuniversityguide.co.uk League tables plus much more to support degree choice
www.prospects.ac.uk - click on What can I do with my Degree to explore a full range of options
www.university.which.com.uk Advice on A-levels, apprenticeships, university and student life
www.ucas.com Lots of information on university and apprenticeships. Their subject guides are a great place to start
www.unistats.ac.uk The official website for comparing UK higher education course data
https://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/ A fund of information on Apprenticeships, School Leaver Programmes and Sponsored Degrees
CV & Interview Preparation
Leaving school with a good CV and interview experience is increasingly important.
While only 10% of degree offers are dependent on interview, to increase their prospects in the graduate labour market, we would encourage our students to apply for internships or paid work during their long university holidays. A good CV is crucial to this.
All students can take part in mock interviews during the summer term of their lower sixth year.
All Upper Sixth students applying to courses for which they are likely to be interviewed (eg. medical, Oxbridge, or teaching degrees) will be offered practice interviews to support their application.
For further help, see the links below or browse the books in the careers library.
All Lower Sixth students will take part in the school’s work shadowing programme, spending a week in employment during the final week of the summer term.
In order for this to be a useful experience, students will be fully involved in the process: speaking to staff, family and friends about potential placements; contacting employers to discuss the possibility of spending a week with them; and reflecting on their experience by compiling a report on their week. They will have the support of their tutors and other staff in doing this.
The benefits of this scheme are many. It allows students to:
- Make confident initial contacts with the world of employment in a supported environment
- Test out particular career areas for themselves
- Make contacts that may lead to informal mentoring, internship during university years, or graduate employment
- University admissions tutors regard relevant work shadowing as a positive sign of an applicant’s commitment and, for some degrees, it is vital component of the application. We would advise any students planning to read a vocational degree (medicine and other medically orientated degrees, dentistry, veterinary science, teaching, law, business or finance) to check university websites for specific work experience requirements.
Head of Bright Futures Programme