Careers advice and guidance is an integral part of the Diamond Diploma. Whatever you want to be, wherever you want to go, our aim is to support you and ensure that your decisions and choices are realistic and right for you.
We have a dedicated and qualified Careers Adviser who works closely with all students to help identify and implement career plans. Individual careers guidance is available at any time, in addition to a structured programme of advice. Our approach is highly supportive whilst ensuring that every student takes ownership of their own plans.
Core to our Careers Guidance programme is:
- As much one-to-one guidance as necessary
- Personalised support
- Regular lectures and tutorials
- Access to experts from the world of work, as part of the careers lecture programme, or for consultation - the programme benefits in particular from speakers from external organisations as well as parents, former pupils and friends of the School representing a wide variety of professional areas.
- CV preparation, interview practice and support in obtaining work experience
- Access to career experience courses run by ISCO (the Independent Schools Careers Organisation)
- Extensive careers library resources.
Preparation and guidance for higher education includes a visit to a UCAS convention, the “Centigrade” programme, a focused UCAS Day for girls in Lower Sixth, advice for UCAS Applications and the important Personal Statement as well as talks and advice on student finance, responding to university offers, gap year planning and work experience.
We expect students who hope to apply to Oxford or Cambridge colleges to demonstrate a superior intellectual curiosity and to take the initiative to go beyond the demands of AS/A-Level courses. Specialist preparation is given to students applying to Oxford or Cambridge that includes a personalised academic extension programme, visits to individual college open days and support from former pupils, parents and staff who are Oxbridge graduates.
The vast majority of Sixth Formers go on to higher education and considerable care is given to making you aware of the many options available. If you decide to take a gap year, we will continue to support you as you make your choices. Our programme of Sixth Form Careers Talks with external speakers gives insights into a wide variety of careers, graduate training schemes and up-to-date trends in the world of work.
“Elite applications” include Oxford and Cambridge, the most competitive vocational courses, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, as well as competitive degree courses such as Economics and Law at the most sought-after institutions. These may include Russell Group universities such as LSE, Durham, Imperial College and UCL.
Oxford University and Cambridge University explicitly state that their main aim is to select the most able students who will make the best use of their superb resources and their very particular teaching styles. The most important criteria for Oxbridge entry are high examination scores, a demonstrable ability and interest in a chosen field of study, a robust personality and work ethic to cope with the demands of the course and concomitant intellectual engagement.
Mr Paul Norman, Head of Sixth Form, is our co-ordinator for all elite applications. In advance of joining the Sixth Form, students who have the potential for an elite application will already be able to demonstrate their natural ability to achieve strong academic results across a wide range of subjects, for example in their GCSEs; they will enjoy working hard, reading and demonstrating an enquiring mind. Pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 who aspire and show potential will be encouraged to attend relevant taster courses and open days at Oxford or Cambridge, or other similar opportunities.
In the Sixth Form, we offer a tailored programme of support for students who have the potential for an elite application. This is in addition to the comprehensive, individual support that all students receive in regard to their planning for university, college or other training courses or gap year.
Our specialist, flexible programme of support for elite applications begins at any time from Year 10 upwards, continuing through to the end of the university interview process in the autumn or spring of the Upper Sixth:
- Identification of those with the academic potential and interest in an elite application
- Briefing on the application processes and research required
- Weekly tutorials, run by a Sixth Form Tutor or subject-specialist member of staff, to offer additional study and support wider reading and discussion
- Opportunities to prepare for additional admission exams, such as TSA, LNAT, BMAT or UKCAT
- Interview practice and feedback
- For International students, support to ensure they have the high standard required in oral and written English Language
- Individual support in decision-making, to ensure realistic expectations and appropriate range of alternative choices for UCAS or other options.