Careers & Higher Education Support & Guidance

General

Careers information for Students

Careers information for Parents

Resources

Careers Policy

General

Throughout the school, we encourage students to develop an understanding of themselves, their strengths and their skills in order to assist them in their future choices on leaving school.  In line with the Government’s statutory careers strategy, information and guidance is developed across all departments of the school and across all age groups.  By the time the students leave SWGS, they will have participated in a full programme of careers activities and had personal 1 to 1 guidance to enable them to make informed career choices.  The vast majority of girls go into Higher Education – usually Oxbridge or Russell Group Universities, but increasingly some are opting to do Degree Level Apprenticeships for major companies and recently, students have achieved excellent placements at companies such as JP Morgan, Dstl, and KPMG.

The Careers Leader at SWGS is Mr Neil Harris and the Careers Advisor is Mrs Catherine Short (cxs@swgs.wilts.sch.uk).  She offers specialist careers and higher education support and guidance within school and she is available for interviews with students from all years Tuesday to Thursday. 

Careers education is carried out across all year groups and in a variety of activities.  All academic departments have excellent relationships with employers and their professional bodies to assist students with their investigations and offering inspiration for the future.  In addition, we regularly welcome independent external sources of careers guidance through a range of speakers, specialist conferences eg. Women Mean Business, Creative Industries Conference and activities such as Industry Days, and Take your Daughter to Work days.  There are visits from Universities, alumni, business mentors, and employers.  In addition, there are informal opportunities to attend a lunchtime drop-in session to hear SWGS parents talk about their jobs as part of ‘What’s it like to be a ….?’.  These enrich the Careers programme and present students with ideas to investigate their own futures.  Our ethos is to enable students to make the right decisions for themselves at key points of their education based on investigation, information and inspiration.

The School is currently working towards revalidation of the Careermark award for excellence in careers.

Careers Information for Students

Years 7 to 11

From the time you start your secondary school career at SWGS, you will be doing activities to introduce you to the world of work.  Year 7 students take part in the Real Game to consider all aspects of employment and our Year 8 students take part in Take your daughter to work day.  We consider this is an excellent way of helping students to find out more about employment, and employability skills, share those experiences and use them to consider different organisations, structures, breaking down potential stereotyping.    Our Year 9 pupils enjoy taking part in an Industry Day project where they are given the opportunity to solve a problem for a local company on a ‘consultancy’ basis. Several companies have used some of the ideas that students have developed. In February, students investigate their GSCE and post 14 options through a range of PSD lessons and have meetings with Mrs Short or other members of pastoral staff as required.

In Year 10, students do a day-long workshop to explore employability skills where they learn how to write a CV, apply for jobs, and develop interview skills.

Whilst the majority of our Year 11 students move into the 6th Form, we ensure that we help them explore all the different Post 16 opportunities through PSHE, Open Days, meetings with tutors and at least one interview with Mrs Short. Year 11 students build on their employability skills when they have a mock interview with a representative from a company so that each has an opportunity to write a CV and receive feedback on their CV and interview skills. This is an important part of Year 11, giving them insight into what might happen when they apply for employment.

Sixth Form

Year 12 and 13 students follow a two-year tailor made programme specialising in their needs for post 18 choices.  Whether a student chooses to go onto Higher Education, Apprenticeship or employment each is supported throughout that decision.  We cover employability skills with all students so that they leave South Wilts with a deep understanding of employability competencies and how they can illustrate and develop them.  Alongside this programme, we offer a personal development programme to include study skills, well-being and healthy living, employment opportunities and visits from a variety of speakers from Gap Year opportunities, universities, local employers and ex- students. Specialist programmes include those for Oxbridge students and Medics, Vets and Dentists. Additional help is available for those needing to take admissions tests for the most competitive courses eg. Law, History.  Our students excel at a wide range of Post 18 careers and to that end we work with students whatever their needs from completing their university application process (through UCAS), completing an application for employment or training, having a gap year or something completely different. In recent years our students who have chosen not to attend university have gained excellent apprenticeship positions whereas our students who opt for university have taken a huge range of courses at a wide range of universities.  Of the 151 leavers in 2018:

We aim to ensure that whatever they choose to do, they have firm plans for their future and the skills to excel at whatever they take on.

6th Form students are advised to have at least one interview with Mrs Short per year to help them explore their options and choose the right course of action, alongside their regular discussions with their tutors. Many students happily opt for more. Students can either email Mrs Short with a question or sign up outside the office (S4). Students are also encouraged to ‘drop in' whenever the door is open. All students of any year, are also welcome to see Mrs Short regarding any aspect of career choice, subject choice, work related questions or Higher Education.

Careers Information for Parents

Parents are also welcome to contact Mrs Short or discuss their daughter’s career plans during a Parents’ Evening.  In addition to the opportunity for one to one discussions, the Careers programme includes a range of careers and HE elements, briefings for parents, internal and external speakers, and a very comprehensive set of related resources be they written, verbal or particular websites. 

Specific career programmes for your daughter's year can be found at:

Click here for lower and middle school careers framework

Click here for 6th form careers framework

Click here for 6th form destinations

Click here for Careers Policy

We find that parents can play a pivotal role in the careers education of their daughters. In order to help, we have listed below a number of websites that parents may find useful.  Here you will find many useful links to all career matters. It is available to students via the VLE and to parents via Parent Portal.

Sixth Form Booklets

Applying for Higher Education

A Guide to getting a job/apprenticeship

A Guide to Oxbridge

Planning your Future

Results Day and Beyond

Post 18 choices and Higher Education Conference

Getting the best from University Open Days

General careers websites / Information

www.apprenticeships.org.uk
Government portal to apprenticeships packed with apprenticeship opportunities and information, advice and guidance.

https://workwiltshire.co.uk/lmi/
Labour Market Information and job opportunities available in Wiltshire

www.notgoingtouni.co.uk
Excellent information covering alternatives to university

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/
National Careers Service – 0800 100 900

University choices

www.ucas.ac.uk
The official information on undergraduate courses. The UCAS website also has a section for parents and guardians where you can get a variety of information and can sign up for a newsletter. It is worth registering.

www.ukcoursefinder.com
An online questionnaire linking students interest to degree subject areas.

http://unistats.direct.gov.uk
Compare different universities and courses using latest National Student Survey.

www.push.co.uk
Independent guide to university

www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk
Compare different universities using university league tables.

www.university.which.co.uk
The Which guide to university with the ability to filter by expected grades, location, subject interests etc.

Specialist topics

www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk
Information on all careers in the NHS

www.wanttobeadoctor.co.uk
Information on applying for medicine

www.fulbright.co.uk
Information on studying in the USA

www.erasmus.ac.uk
Gives information on spending a year in Europe as part of a UK degree

www.braintrack.com
Websites for universities worldwide

www.studyineurope.eu
Information on course taught in English but taken in Europe

Taster courses/ Summer Schools

www.london.ac.uk
Subject taster days at London universities

www.workshop-uk.net
Careers conferences

www.headstartcourses.org.uk
Taster courses in science and engineering

http://www.uniq.ox.ac.uk
Summer Schools at Oxford University

www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/year12summerschools
Summer Schools at Cambridge University

 


Detailed careers information can be found on the Careers Department on the school VLE which students can access from home or school.

If you have any questions please either email Mrs Short on cxs@swgs.wilts.sch.uk or call her. Please be prepared to leave a message as she is often with a student.

 


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