Careers Education and Guidance in the Sixth Form @DRHS
Whilst we want you to enjoy your time in the Sixth Form we are clearly very aware that it is very much a stepping stone to your future and we want you to be ready for that next step.
Careers Education is a key part of our Tutorial and INVEST (Off Timetable Days) Programme.
- Finding a weekly Work Experience placement
- Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs – a great way to consolidate learning or study new courses set up by world-famous universities
- All about Higher Apprenticeships
- Preparing for UCAS – how to apply to university
- Studying Abroad
- Taking a GAP Year
- All about ‘ME’ - personal statements, your C.V. and social media profiles
- Preparation for Work Experience Week
- Review of Work Experience Week …what next?
- UCAS – Personal Statements
- Interview Skills and Preparing for an Interview
- Practice Interviews
- Becoming a LinkedIn Pro
- Professional Networking
- Finance – loans, financial fraud and student finance
- Mock A level Results Day – accepting an offer, going through Clearing or Adjustment
Unifrog is used throughout the Sixth Form to support the careers programme.It is a fully comprehensive careers platform which brings a vast array of impartial information about careers and future choices in one easy access location.The platform allows students to explore a significant range of information whether that be:
- Shortlisting apprenticeships and university courses
- Looking at studying abroad in Europe, USA and beyond
- Finding MOOCS
- Searching for virtual work experience opportunities
- Gaining an understanding of what it is like to be an undergraduate studying at Oxford or Cambridge
Students also benefit from a number of interactive features on Unifrog such as the UCAS personal statement tool which allows Form Tutors to provide live feedback and comments to the student.
Once a term, students also use Unifrog to update their CV and evaluate their key competencies and activities for the last term. Each student has their own account and really enjoy the user-friendly platform offered by Unifrog and like the fact that it can be accessed on any type of device.
Careers Advice, Support and Guidance
We work with Rhian Jones and Lindsay Draper - two highly qualified and very experienced Careers Advisors who come into school to meet students for 1:1 career advice and guidance appointments.
At the start of Year 12, we generally prioritise appointments for students who have joined the school in September as they wouldn’t have met our Careers Advisors in Year 11.
Also, in Term 1 we prioritise any Year 13 students who have decided not to apply to University or FE College (for an Art Foundation course for example) so that they can meet with a Careers Advisor for advice about applying for a Higher (Degree) Apprenticeship or employment.
However, all Year 12 students will have been invited to a 1:1 appointment before the end of Term 2.
Initially the Careers Advisor will discuss your skills, strengths and interests. To help with this process we offer Year 12 students the opportunity to purchase (for about £30 with our school discount) a lifelong subscription to Morrisby, which is an individual profiling and career platform. This is something that both of our Careers Advisors have been trained to use. So, whilst not essential, Morrisby can be really helpful with this process.
Then they will explore some possible career routes with you and together you will agree an action plan which may involve further research or reading etc. A subsequent appointment will then be made to discuss progress with your action plan.
We understand that some students know exactly what they want to do and others have a more urgent need for 1:1 support – so you can always book an appointment with a Careers Advisor by contacting Mrs Harvey, Sixth Form Support.
Work Experience and Virtual Work Experience
We think work experience is really important in the Sixth Form.
A range of experience is invaluable when applying for a job, an apprenticeship or to university, particularly for the most competitive courses such as medicine. It is also a really good way to find out what you want to do in the future and, more importantly, what you don’t want to do!
Students are welcome to source and carry out their own work experience during the school holidays and at DRHS we offer three different opportunities for work experience during the school year:
Weekly Work Placement (Thursday Afternoons)
In Year 12, students can choose to spend every Thursday afternoon at a work placement as part of our DISCOVER programme. This could be the same place all year or a couple of different places.
Work Experience Week (Term 6)
In Term 6, just after the Year 12 exams, students spend an entire week at a work placement. This can be local to where you live, somewhere else in the UK or even abroad. In fact, we encourage our MFL students to carry out work experience in France, Germany or Spain respectively (post COVID of course!).
You are not there to make the tea! We find that our students have really high-quality work experiences and are often given high level projects to work on.
We provide guidance for students in terms of securing work placements and therefore encourage students to research and approach suitable companies and work places; however, we do have a large database of companies and businesses we have worked with before and so Mrs Harvey, Sixth Form Support, is able to help with the process too. Students are also welcome to use family and friend networks to secure placements and accommodation away from home.
Virtual Work Experience
We also signpost students to relevant and appropriate virtual work experience. These can be very flexible and fit around school work. For example:
- Observe a GP – Supported by the Medical Schools Council, a free interactive video platform providing insights into the role of a GP and the wider primary care team.
Medic Mentor & UHB Trust - 6-month Live Work Experience Programme
- Check out Speakers for Schools – they provide virtual work experience
Your Tutor and your Subject Teachers will do all they can to support you with your application to university, apprenticeship or employment. For university applications you will be given 1:1 advice and support with your Personal Statement from your Tutor and the Sixth Form Team. We have a very experienced team of staff in the Sixth Form who will make sure that your personal statement does you justice before you push the send button and it goes to UCAS.
However, we also realise that we are not the only people who can advise you on everything you need to do to become a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, an architect or a psychologist etc. At DRHS we also want you to have support from professionals currently working in these areas. So, we will match you with a Professional Mentor Zero Gravity | Unleash your university ambition.
We also work with New College, Oxford with their STEP-UP course to introduce students to the world of the Russell Group universities. This includes visits to the university, talks and workshops with staff and students and the all-important insider tips on how to write a personal statement.
For students applying to Oxford or Cambridge we also have a bespoke Oxbridge Programme to ensure personal statements are of sufficient calibre and reflect the depth of wider reading and research undertaken as well as preparing students for the demands of an Oxbridge interview.
In addition, we have the DRHS MEDICS - for students interested in a career as a doctor, vet, dentist, midwife or dietitian etc this a group that works together with Mrs Dunnett to specifically prepare for interviews for these courses at university.
Oxford, Cambridge and some of the other top universities require Year 13 students to take Admissions oras well as A levels. These tests help universities distinguish between the top students. For example:
- BioMedical Admissions Test or BMAT is an admissions test for Medicine, Biomedical Science and Dentistry at certain universities. There are three sections that cover problem solving, analysis, knowledge of Science and Mathematics, communication skills and essay writing.
- The University Clinical Aptitude Test or UCAT evaluates aptitude and professional behaviour, rather than medical knowledge. Among the skills assessed are communication, numeracy, problem solving, spatial awareness, integrity, teamwork and empathy. It is required by some universities for applicants for medicine and dentistry.
- For Mathematics, some universities, including Cambridge, require applicants to take the Sixth Term Examination Paper or STEP and for Oxford their Mathematics Admissions Test or MAT.
More details can be found here https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/advice/ucas-application/which-admissions-tests-do-i-need-to-take
Specialist subject staff are fully aware of these tests and will support you in your preparation for them – for example, Miss Adamson will run STEP Maths Lunch Clubs for students applying to read Mathematics ….as if life couldn’t get any better!
Finally, as part of Future Proofing you …we will make sure that you are offered further opportunities to develop your skills and increase your range of experiences whilst you are in our Sixth Form. So, we will encourage you to:
- Take part in A level Science Live, Maths Inspiration Lectures or Girls Get Set with GE etc
- Enter national competitions such as the Biology Olympiad and UK Senior Mathematics Challenge (Team and Individual events)
- Q and A with former students who are undergraduates at university or apprentices. Your chance to ask them what it is really like to do a Geography Degree or an Engineering Apprenticeship for example
- Run a club for younger students. Previous examples have included Dissection Club and STEM Club.
- Be a mentor – work with KS3 or KS4 students each week to help them improve their confidence, knowledge and skills in a subject you enjoy and are good at.
Exhibitions, Virtual Exhibitions and Webinars
- In Term 4 we give all Year 12 students the opportunity to attend a UCAS Exhibition/Virtual Exhibition. This is a great event for students who are beginning to think about post-18 plans. There are talks, workshops and Q & A sessions about applying to university and managing finances as well representatives from universities and colleges from all over the UK.
- We also support students going to Apprenticeship Exhibitions. There is usually one in Term 1 at Cheltenham Racecourse which is really well supported by both local and national companies who offer Higher Degree Apprenticeships.
Throughout the year we also signpost students to additional actual and (increasing more often now) online careers events and webinars.
- A lot of the UK’s top universities are now running degree taster sessions in a range of subjects including: architecture, engineering, law, languages, medicine and nursing. We make sure that our students get to know about these taster sessions in good time so they can book their place.
- Some universities and businesses are running specific online recruitment event, workshops and support sessions. For example:
- Engineering Degree Apprenticeship: GE’s online recruitment event
- Futures in Science: UCAS live personal statement workshops throughout the day
- MedCon: Online Medicine Conference exploring the future of medicine and ideal for anyone in Year 12 or 13 thinking of a career in medicine
- Universities are starting to provide a virtual experience of what it is like to be a student. We’ve had some good feedback from our Year 12s about University of Bath online Discover Bath
- We like Speaker for Schools – a set of careers webinars that gives a virtual feel of the workplace.