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Our experienced careers and higher education team organise a host of events throughout the year that aim to introduce students to a multitude of pathways and possibilities. The department is led by Miss Arblaster, Director of Higher Education and supported by Ms Strode, Careers and Higher Education Administrator.
Throughout their time at St Paul’s, students are encouraged to attend a wide variety of careers events.
From the LV (Year 9), students are invited to the biannual Careers Forum; recent forums have focused on careers in sustainability, writing and journalism, and technology and engineering. LV students also take part in Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Students in the V (Year 10) complete the Morrisby Profile, helping them to identify where their strengths and interest lie.
The annual V Careers Conference features talks from alumnae in different career sectors, ranging from music to finance to architecture to science research, as well as workplace visits with companies in sectors such as finance, healthcare, art & design, architecture and business. These visits give students first-hand experience of different industries that may be of interest.
The VI (Year 11) have a series of ‘world of work’ PSHE sessions in the autumn term which is followed by a 1:1 A level subject choice meeting to help discuss their future options. As students enter the Senior School, personalised support helps each student to identify their individual passions and interests and to find and gain a place on the right course for them. Students are invited to professional networking events, usually at a location in central London, where they can connect with inspiring role models.
Our regular ‘working lunches’ give students in the Senior School a chance to meet with professionals from a multitude of sectors to discuss their work and career paths. These visitors, who range from barristers to authors to Google executives, offer valuable and practical advice to students as they contemplate university courses and real-world application of their studies.
We have an extensive and dedicated higher education team who provide Senior School students with personalised support as they begin to make important decisions about their futures. Senior tutors, departmental academic mentors and higher education coordinators collaborate with students to help them discover the route that appeals to them and are always on hand to guide them through the application process.
The senior tutor is the heart of the support network and will meet their students daily and get to know them well; tutors will compile the school reference for their tutees.
In the summer term of the VII (Year 12) each student is assigned a subject-specific specialist from the relevant academic department, with whom they can discuss wider reading, differing course and institution details, and particular challenges within their field.
Heads of department run university preparation classes and moderate school references, ensuring accurate reflection of the individual and their course. In addition to this, students applying to university are aided by Higher Education Co-ordinators (HECs), who each oversee the applications of around 20 students. They meet their cohort of students regularly throughout the latter part of the VII and into the VIII (Year 13) to discuss everything from personal statements to student finance and to finalise application forms and references before they are sent.
Students are also given access to Unifrog, the ultimate destinations platform, which helps them manage their career and higher education choices.
At St Paul’s there is always much interest in US colleges. We have a dedicated US team who oversee the process with remarkable knowledge and feel for the range of institutions. The team provides 1:1 and group application support on US essays, supplementals and test preparation and writes the school recommendations. Throughout the year we host a number of visits from US admissions representatives keen to talk to the students.
In the UK, applicants to Oxford, Cambridge and courses such as Law, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science may be required to sit an entrance test prior to being invited to interview. Preparation for these assessments and for interviews forms part of our comprehensive mentoring system from each relevant school department, often involving joint university preparation classes and reciprocal interview practice with other schools.
We have a full programme of higher education activities throughout the VII and VIII (Years 12 and 13). The university admissions process gets underway in the January after starting the Senior School. A range of talks and events invite students to direct their thinking towards their next steps.
We have a prominent Higher Education Conference in April for our VII and their parents, along with students from other schools. This features speakers from a wide range of institutions delivering talks and seminars on the university application process, subject specific information and guidance for next steps. We also give a higher education information talk to parents in the summer term of the VII.
In the summer term, the VII have a number of suspended timetable higher education days where they rotate around a variety of sessions, helping them to prepare for their university application, as well as encouraging alternative routes such as gap years and degree apprenticeships.
Students also attend various university panels with alumnae. Subject specialists are there to answer queries concerning higher education and provide guidance to both students and parents. Regular university preparation classes begin at the end of the summer of the VII and continue through the autumn of the VIII to ensure everyone feels as ready as possible for what lies ahead.
Our alumnae network is an invaluable resource for helping our Senior School students to gather the information and guidance needed to plan for the next stage of their lives. We have a number of dedicated alumnae panel sessions for the VII and VIII where our students have the opportunity to hear about the experiences of recent school leavers at their particular university and on their particular course. Our online careers-advice community, OP Connect, enables direct contact with over 200 mentors who advise on work experience, courses and careers.