One of the most important factors in the Sixth Form experience is planning what to do after courses end. Students can be sure that their two-year course will fly by, consequently, structured advice is essential and available right from the start of sixth form entry.
Careers Education and Guidance in the Sixth Form is delivered through a course which runs throughout the first four terms, and in which all students will participate. The course is largely practical and is made up of a series of ‘workshop' activities. Although it will be tailored to meet individual needs, the following essential ingredients will be included:
- Consultation over choice of AS/A Levels to ensure that students have asked the right questions - e.g. Are you taking what you need? Are you taking what you enjoy most? Are you taking what you're good at? Are you taking enough subjects or too many? Does your combination of subjects ‘hang together'?
- Participation in ‘The Centigrade Scheme' - an in-depth computer analysis designed to indicate academic potential and opportunities beyond A Level.
A visit to the annual ‘Higher Education Fair' held locally where students can talk directly with university admissions tutors.
- Identification and investigation of skills and interests through workshop sessions, making full use of the wide range of specialist software. Also, extensive use of handout material to encourage self-evaluation and facilitate decision-making.
- Individual and group work on interview techniques leading to ‘mock' interview practice.
- Action planning, job application, letter writing and construction of CV's.
- Introduction to UCAS in the Lower Sixth and ongoing assistance with the completion of university application forms in the fourth term.
In the fifth and final term of the course, careers advice will be available on an individual basis for any students still needing guidance at this time. Once the A Level results are published in August, further assistance will be available for anyone who needs help during this often crucial time.
In the uncertain job market of the twenty-first century, it is vital that all students plan carefully for their future. Consequently, careers education and guidance has probably never been more important than it is today. The emphasis of the service at Our Lady of Sion is therefore on encouraging students to investigate fully the opportunities which exist for each and every one of them and to provide continuous structure and support throughout this period of self-discovery.
Head of Careers