St Peter's 13-18
The Careers Library is open to both pupils and parents. This provides access to comprehensive and up-to-date careers information including:
- books and journals;
- higher education prospectuses (both UK and overseas);
- information on alternative progression routes e.g. apprenticeships and school leaver programmes;
- general information e.g. on university/subject taster courses and gap year opportunities.
In addition, there is access to:
- software that enables pupils to examine their strengths, interests, ambitions and career options;
- work experience opportunities which are supported through the NYBEP programme;
- iFawkes, the school’s VLE, where pupils can access dedicated material tailored to their needs at critical stages of their academic journey.
All resources are regularly updated to ensure that information is current, comprehensive and accurate.
We also have a database of contacts covering a range of careers. For instance, we are able to put pupils in touch with people who have studied a particular subject at specific universities, and are able to provide advice on interview formats for certain subjects at particular universities using feedback obtained from former pupils.
The School uses a specially-targeted psychometric test as part of its programme to help pupils consider options for their future career direction.
During the last term of the Fourth Form, pupils take the ‘Morrisby Test’. This consists of an ‘interests’ questionnaire together with a three hour comprehensive psychometric test made up of twelve different assessments designed to help build a picture of personal strengths, interests and abilities. The test publisher, the Morrisby Organisation, uses the results of the tests to produce a personal and detailed report.
The Head of Careers and Higher Education holds British Psychological Society (BPS) Level A & Level B Certificates, as well as Full Morrisby Profile qualifications and is therefore qualified to debrief pupils. Pupils are seen on a one-to-one basis in the Christmas term of Fifth Form. These are formal but relaxed sessions which provide an opportunity to discuss subject preferences, A Level choices and possible future careers.
Pupils in Lower Sixth are encouraged to complete the Centigrade questionnaire. The personalised report contains a selection of higher education course areas that may be of interest to pupils based on their interests and abilities, both in the UK and overseas (if they have indicated such a preference).
Pupils are seen on a one-to-one basis to discuss their options and choices and the ways in which they should conduct their research to ensure that they make informed decisions that are right for them.
Gap Year Advice
For some pupils, a break from academic study before starting a university course is an attractive option. The majority of pupils who wish to pursue this option still apply to universities in their Upper Sixth year, but for ‘deferred entry’.
Gap years can take many forms:
- Organised activities with a specialist gap year company;
- Work experience;
- Independently organised travel.
Pupils need to be clear about what they hope to achieve by taking a gap year to ensure they make the most of their time. Careful thought and consideration is therefore needed before pursuing this option.
Whilst there are many benefits to taking a gap year, pupils need to be aware that there are potential disadvantages, for example continuity for some subjects is broken and some pupils can find it distracting and difficult to refocus on their studies afterwards.
Information, help and advice is available in a variety of formats in the Careers department. In addition, representatives from gap year organisations come into School to give presentations and also attend the annual Careers Convention.
Ad-hoc Advice and Support
Individual advice and discussion is often the key to arriving at the decision that is most appropriate to the pupil. Therefore, one-to-one discussions take place with pupils at key transition stages in Fifth Form and Lower Sixth.
In addition, as much as possible, the Head of Careers and Higher Education and Careers Assistant operate an open-door policy for pupils to ‘drop in’ to discuss any careers related issues.
Further advice and support is provided in the summer at the time of the A, AS and GCSE results. At this time certain pupils may need further guidance and advice that relates specifically to their achievements in these examinations.
During the course of the year, in addition to presentations on specific careers and Higher Education courses, the school hosts an annual Careers Convention. The Careers Convention is a great way for pupils to be offered a ‘one-stop-shop’ to multiple careers and organisations without having to take time out of school, thus disrupting their academic studies.
The Convention is open to pupils in the Fifth Form and Lower Sixth. Over 50 representatives from various professions are available to speak to pupils on a one-to-one basis offering advice on qualifications needed, career progression and so on. Many of the professionals are ‘Old Peterites’ at various stages of their careers, as well as parents of current and past pupils, and local industry representatives. In addition, we invite individuals from a range of organisations such as Lattitude (Gap Year specialists) and Inspiring Futures, an independent organisation, retained by the school to offer supplementary impartial advice, guidance and support.