Universities & Careers
We are proud of our Careers provision at Princethorpe; our aim is to equip pupils with the necessary skills to make informed decisions regarding their future. We believe the Careers Education forms a fundamental part of the development of a young person and underpins the development of goals and high aspirations, thus contributing to academic success and individual personal fulfilment.
Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 can request a meeting with one of the Careers team at any stage of the school year and Mrs Quinney, Head of Careers, attends parents' evenings in Year 9 where pupils are making GCSE choices. Parents are also very welcome to get in touch at any time for any advice.
During Year 10, all students receive a Careers interview with a member of the Careers team and will use the profiling tool, Kudos, to assist them in deciding which career areas might be of interest to them. Pupils also use Unifrog which enables them to explore the world of higher education and work out what A-level subjects might be most useful to them. Careers guidance is offered throughout Year 10 and 11 by the Careers team, guiding pupils to suitable A-level choices, or to other courses and careers available to them. Small group discussions also take place during Year 11 in interest related groups, such as medicine or law.
Work experience is compulsory for all Year 11 pupils. This is normally completed after the final GCSE examination, at any convenient time in the summer holidays. At least one week is recommended.
The process of securing a placement, and the rationale behind it, is explained to all Year 10 pupils in April of Year 10, and letters to parents soon follow.
Pupils are encouraged to obtain a placement (or more than one) through family and friends. Pupils are expected to be proactive in doing this. Once a placement is found, we deal with all form-filling, references and all other necessary contacts to ensure that the placement goes ahead smoothly.
Work experience is an invaluable part of education at Princethorpe College; it prepares young people for life beyond school, encourages initiative, teamwork, is essential for UCAS applications, and is part of The Princethorpe Diploma. It might also reveal skills and suggest a career path that perhaps they never knew existed!
In the Sixth Form, more and more students are finding work experience to build upon their post-GCSE placement, as Universities are very keen that their applicants have this. This can be done in holiday time, so dates are flexible. The same procedure is followed as in Year 11.
This programme is run in conjunction with the Careers Department in order to inspire our most able pupils to aim for the top Universities when making their degree choices. We offer high performing Year 11 pupils the opportunity to visit Oxford or Cambridge in order to encourage this aspiration early in their academic career. Aspirant Lower Sixth students will be mentored by subject staff specific to their area of intended undergraduate study and, in addition, will meet regularly as a group to discuss and debate the reading which they are doing to prepare themselves for the interview.
Candidates are given the opportunity to strengthen their application by taking part in essay competitions and taster days run by the Universities. An Oxbridge Admissions advisor visits the College each year in order to meet applications and offer advice on the completion of their personal statements. During the parents' UCAS information evening, a session is held to inform parents of the unique nature of Oxbridge applications so that they are best able to support their children through the application process.
The Head and Assistant Heads of Sixth Form are available when GCSE results are published to discuss AS-level options and this begins a robust programme of careers advice throughout Sixth Form.
All Sixth Formers are encouraged to complete the Princethorpe Diploma, which aims to help students develop all the skills and attributes necessary to ensure success in applications for university and college courses and, indeed, in equipping them for success in the job market.
Within our CoRE programme information and advice is given to Sixth Formers about university applications and other career areas. Parents are invited to two separate careers evenings during Lower Sixth, the latter one concentrating on university applications. There are further opportunities for work experience, visit to universities and attendance at subject specific lectures. Potential Oxbridge candidates are identified in Year 11 and given advice about this route, including a visit to an Oxbridge College. Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry pupils receive extra guidance in their quest for places on these hugely competitive university courses. Visits are made to the Birmingham UCAS Convention and students are encouraged to visit prospective universities and attend university Open Days, at the same time as ensuring they don't miss too much school!
There has been an increase in the number of students applying for apprenticeships and Princethorpe Sixth Formers have been very successful in their applications.
During Upper Sixth the vast majority of our pupils do make applications to university or college and there are further information sessions on aspects of life such as:
- Student finance
- Leaving home
- Keeping healthy in the future
- Accepting university offers and what to do when results are published
Sixth Formers also benefit from practice job/university interviews in the Autumn.
The College holds a variety of Careers events including a bi-annual Careers Fair for all pupils from Year 10 to Upper Sixth, with speakers from a host of professions and representatives from universities, employers and organisations including the armed forces and gap year companies. We also hold a bi-annual University and Apprenticeship Fair aimed mainly at Sixth Form and Year 11 students and their parents.