Careers and Higher Education

Careers advice and guidance is integral to both the academic and pastoral guidance offered during each student’s time in the Sixth Form.

Whatever you want to be, wherever you want to go, our aim is to support you and ensure that your decisions and choices are right for you.  

We have a qualified and experienced 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 the structured programme of support.  

Preparation and guidance for Higher Education includes a visit to a UCAS convention, a focused UCAS Day in the Lower Sixth, advice for UCAS Applications and writing a Personal Statement as well as talks and advice on student finance, responding to university offers, gap year planning and work experience.

The vast majority of Royal Sixth Formers go onto Higher Education and considerable care is given to making students aware of the many options available.  More recently, our students have considered and been accepted on Degree Apprenticeship programmes. If students decide to defer their place or take a gap year, we will discuss with them the best way to make that a positive year to gain further experience as well as continue to support them as they make their choices.  

Our series of 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.  Many past students and past and current parents of Royal School students contribute to this programme as do universities and professional organisations.

Early Applications

We believe that all Higher Education is a testimony to a students’ dedication and capability towards a career or subject. Some courses, including Oxford and Cambridge, the most competitive vocational courses of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, Conservatoire places, as well as competitive degree courses such as Law at the most sought-after institutions, are more competitive and require early applications to be submitted. 

Students who hope to apply for these highly ambitious places often need to demonstrate superior intellectual curiosity and to take the initiative in going beyond the demands of A Level courses. As well as advice given on the necessity and quality of work experience, specialist preparation is given to students, such as working with subject experts on a personalised academic extension programme, visits to individual college open days and support from former pupils, parents and staff who are Oxbridge graduates.

The most important criteria for early entry courses are high examination scores (and/or a high level of vocational skill and talent for a Conservatoire), 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.

To be considered for this programme, students are expected to have an average GCSE score of 7.5 and should let their Form Tutor, subject teacher or Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Parker-Yeates, know as soon as possible.