- The SPGS journey
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As students start to contemplate life beyond school, our experienced careers and higher education team offer students specialist advice, support and a full programme of events introducing them to the very broad range of higher education opportunities and career pathways that lie ahead of them.
The department, led by Miss Arblaster, Director of Higher Education, includes Mrs Tomlin, Head of US Applications, a dedicated team of UK and US Higher Education Coordinators, and is supported by Mrs Strode the Careers and Higher Education Administrator.
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 all 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 students applying to university are aided by Higher Education Coordinators (HECs), who each oversee the university applications. 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 in the Senior School 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 May for our VII and their parents, along with students from other neighbouring and partner 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.