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Whitgift School
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Careers

The Careers Department at Whitgift works hard to ensure that students have access to accurate and up-to-date information.  We are proud to have maintained ‘Investor in Careers’ status since May 2000, and are one of only a small number of local schools to have achieved this quality award. It requires us to demonstrate that we have met, and maintained, rigorous careers information advice and guidance standards.

As can be seen from the comment below, we have an excellent reputation with both parents and students alike:

“As a parent, one of the School’s USPs was, and is, its Careers Department. Its importance has been highlighted as my boys have moved through the School. I have spoken to many friends with children in other independent, as well as state comprehensive, schools, and Whitgift offers a truly five-star service. It is incomparable to others, and one that truly benefits the boys.”

Aims

Our central aim is to encourage research and debate. We provide the resources to enable each of our students to explore and develop his career aspirations, thus fulfilling his potential. We want each boy to be able to reach an informed decision, having considered a range of options.

Syllabus

LOWER SCHOOL

First and Third Forms follow a broad curriculum, and the boys are encouraged to sample a wide range of extra-curricular activities to develop a variety of skills and self-awareness.  Boys in the Upper Third Form are encouraged to research subject/careers links in advance of their option choices.

LOWER FIFTH

Interest and Aptitude Profiles
We use the Preview Interest Questionnaire, with the Cambridge Aptitude Profile.  This is followed by a detailed report from Cambridge Occupational analysts, followed by individual feedback interviews at the beginning of the Upper Fifth year.

UPPER FIFTH

• Parents Evening - Held in September, to outline the issues and targets for the year ahead

• Moving Forward - A series of research-based tasks, supporting the transition to the Sixth Form, and beyond

• Careers Drop-In - In the Michaelmas and Lent terms, an experienced independent careers adviser is available to all boys and their parents, offering impartial advice on careers issues

• Work Experience - All boys go out for one or two weeks after their GCSE examinations have finished.  Placements are based on the boys’ careers interests

• Sixth Form Options - An evening with Heads of Departments, devoted to discussion of A-level/IB/BTEC courses

LOWER SIXTH FORM

• Future Skills Course - A full-day event, run by Inside Knowledge. The course covers time-management, negotiation and prioritising, among many other topics

• The Careers Conversazione - An informal evening at which Old Boys, parents, and other friends, give advice about their own professions
                                           
• After Whitgift - an evening for students and their parents about HE choices, applications, procedures and strategies, careers and gap years (This information is also presented in the booklet "After Whitgift")

• Open Days - Visits to some universities are arranged by the School, and the boys are encouraged to apply for "taster" courses

• After Whitgift Course - Visiting speakers give presentations on gap years as part of the General Studies programme.  The boys spend two days in June focusing on options for the future, applications, and interviews.  Presentations cover university admissions, interview skills, money management, and the personal statement

UPPER SIXTH FORM 

• Practice Interviews - All boys are offered practice interviews, and additional support is offered to boys applying for courses that have specific requirements

• UCAS Application - The UCAS form has to be submitted by the Michaelmas half-term.  The progress of applications is monitored through to the results stage

Teaching Methods

There are no taught Careers periods on the timetable. Instead, students receive targeted briefings at appropriate times, usually coming in to the Careers Resources area with their Form Tutor, who is then able to follow up the work in form time.

Upper Third forms follow a programme of work during their form periods; in the Lower Fifth, forms come in to see Careers department staff for a general introduction to vocational information.

The Upper Fifth follow the two-part ‘Moving Forward’ course, investigating career options and Sixth Form courses. The Lower Sixth come in for a briefing about university entry, and we run a two-day course for the pupils in that year group to help them with their post-18 options also.

Our annual Careers Convention, targeted primarily at the Lower Sixth, is also an opportunity for our students to come and talk to industry professionals.

The ‘After Whitgift’ evening in February of each year is intended to be the initial briefing for parents and the Sixth Form boys with regards to the university application process. Careers staff also attend senior school parents evenings, and contribute to Third Form options forums.

Visiting Speakers

A number of parents, Old Boys and friends of the School regularly come in to talk about their area of expertise, and often give our senior students work experience placements.

  • A visit from a Cambridge Professor, sees some fantastic model areoplanes
  • Ben Sparks, Mathematician Musician, gives a talk
  • Bali Rai visits for a talk and book signing
  • A visit from the author David Gatward
  • Jeremy Paxman gives a talk in Big School