Shrewsbury School

Careers Education Programmes

Futures Programme 2021-22

The principles of the programme are three-fold:

1 - Explore Through a comprehensive Tutorial, PSD and Futures programme, Third and Fourth Form pupils will have multiple opportunities to explore a range of careers options, reflect upon and improve their employability skills.
2 - Develop Fifth Form pupils will access one to one guidance interviews with qualified professionals to form an action plan to inform post-16 choices, to develop their understanding of their future options. They will also undertake a range of psychometric tests to aid self-awareness, as well as attending relevant events.
3 - Compete Sixth Form pupils will access range of support from the Futures Department to enable them to compete for positions that are reflective of their post-18 plans. These are anticipated to include places at top universities across the world, degree apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, employment roles and meaningful gap year programmes.


Third Form

Careers education at Shrewsbury is embedded within the Third Form through the Personal and Social Development (PSD) and Tutorial programmes. The focus at this stage is on self-discovery and exploration, and enabling pupils to link the key skills they are developing through school life to the world of work. For example, through the Tutorial programme, pupils build a reflective account of their skills and areas for development, with action plans being generated from these activities.

During the Lent Term, pupils and their parents receive information, advice and guidance around GCSE option choices for the Fourth and Fifth Forms, through assemblies, parents’ events and through the Tutorial and PSD programmes.

In the Summer Term, pupils will have the opportunity to attend the Enterprising Futures Conference and visit the Futures Department to learn more about the resources available.

Fourth Form

In the Fourth Form, pupils begin their co-curricular activities in Sports Leadership, Outdoor Skills or Combined Cadet Force, as well as starting their first year of GCSE studies.

Careers education through the PSD and Tutorial programmes continues in the Fourth Form and pupils are guided to evaluate the skills and strengths they are developing and to articulate them in their CVs, applications, personal statements and covering letters.

In the Lent Term, pupils take part in the National Enterprise Challenge as part of National Careers Week. During the holiday periods, they are expected to take part in work experience, where practical.

In the Summer Term, pupils are introduced to external speakers from several contrasting professional areas, through a mixture of formal presentations, workshops and business ‘suppers’. Pupils are also set ‘work briefs’ by visiting employers, to aid further development of key skills, such as research, analysis and presentation.


Fifth Form

In this key year, pupils begin to put their broader experiences into context as they start to plan ahead beyond GCSE, and develop their post-16 plans.

In September, the whole year group takes a careers profiling test, which results in a detailed, personalised report identifying diverse career choices that match individual pupils’ relative strengths and professed interests. This provides the stimulus for an impartial one-to-one interview with the Head of Futures to explore the content of the report and to introduce them to the additional resources and support that are available to them.

The Tutorial and PSD programmes enable further exploration of these ideas, which are then linked to parents and pupil events around subject choices for Sixth Form study.

Following the GCSE period, pupils will access a range of events to help prepare them for the rigours of Sixth Form study. Fifth Form pupils are expected to complete work experience placements in the holiday period before returning to Sixth Form. The School, through the Futures Advisor, will provide practical support throughout the year to enable this.

Sixth Form

The focus for Sixth Form students is on researching information on all the options open to them. The Higher Education Adviser and the Head of Futures, with support from external speakers, deliver a full range of advice through lectures, workshops and one-to-one guidance to enable pupils to identify their strengths, vocations and ambitions. These include (but are not limited to) presentations and workshops on UCAS, Degree Apprenticeships / School Leaver programmes, career opportunities, LNAT, UCAT, BMAT, studying abroad and gap years.

For those applying for medicine or Oxbridge, individual support is provided by experienced staff to ensure students have the best opportunity of being successful with such aspirations. Students are encouraged to visit the Futures Department as frequently as they need to in order to explore their ideas in more depth and for support in their decision-making.

Many students will attend university open days during the year, and are encouraged to discuss all their ideas with the Higher Education Adviser, the Elite Universities Adviser, the Head of Futures, their tutors, teachers, housemasters and parents. On average more than 95% of pupils will choose to apply for university in the first term of the Upper Sixth, so the Lower Sixth year is a vital time for researching all the possible options.

Upper Sixth pupils are guided through the application processes for universities, including Oxbridge, and are given assistance to plan effective and fulfilling gap years if they choose that option. Students are encouraged to give careful consideration to the alternative routes beyond Shrewsbury, such as the growing number of competitive school leavers’ programmes and apprenticeships offered by top employers in corporate, vocational or military environments. These salaried programmes combine workplace training with further study, often leading to a degree as well as professional qualifications. For many young people this is now an attractive option as they quickly gain employment skills, experience and job security without the burden of student debt.

Whatever their preferred destination, it is essential that students gain work experience during and after the Sixth Form. Exposure to the workplace is regarded as a necessity by both employment recruiters and admissions tutors for the more vocational degrees such as medicine, dentistry, law, veterinary science, engineering and business. It demonstrates an understanding of the nature of the work as well as the development of some key skills. Students are coached to identify and understand what they have achieved during work or a gap year experience and then to communicate that in applications and interviews.

In addition to the support detailed, Lower Sixth students are able to access the Higher Education and Gap Year Fair in the Lent Term, as well as the Old Salopian Meet and Greet, where former Shrewsbury students from a wide range of universities and disciplines return to share their stories of Higher Education and student life. As part of National Careers Week, the entire Lower Sixth will take part in a Mock Assessment Centre activity which includes an interview, psychometric testing, team building activities and a communication workshop. During the Lent Term, staff from the Futures Department will visit the boarding houses to talk to Lower Sixth formers and their parents/guardians about their post-school options. The School also organises a ‘Studying abroad’ conference, as well as a ‘Challenge of Management' day, and enterprise activity aimed at Sixth Form students.

At appropriate points during Sixth Form, students will be introduced to our alumni platform, OS Connect, where they can access mentoring and careers support from former pupils.

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