Throughout the Sixth Form we build on the careers foundation laid from Year 9 onwards. Our programme ensures that students receive specific, focused and appropriate guidance, enabling each individual to make the right choice for them on what to do after leaving School.
From the start of Year 12, students are encouraged to start considering their options for life beyond School. Their GEP programme includes presentations on the various pathways open to them, from Higher Apprenticeships and School Leaver programmes through to direct employment and gap years and, of course, undergraduate degree courses in the UK and abroad. All of this is constantly reinforced throughout the Sixth Form, and students are advised and supported by their Tutors and the Sixth Form Team.
Universities in the UK
The majority of our students embark on undergraduate degree courses in the UK. As a School we pride ourselves both on our record of helping students secure places to study competitive courses at top universities, and of giving students every opportunity to explore which universities and courses are right them, taking into account their individual preferences, particular talents and potential career path. Our programme focuses on giving students the skills they need to apply successfully to universities through UCAS and encourages them to build and reflect on evidence of their commitment to their chosen courses through activities such as work experience, lectures, competitions and wider reading. Students are guided through the whole UCAS application process, including choosing universities and courses, writing personal statements, and completing the online application. In June, we also hold an information evening for parents, which outlines the UCAS system and how we prepare students for the next stage of their education, as well as offering advice on how they can support their sons and daughters through the process. All students receive a comprehensive information booklet, which covers all aspect of the application process, including important dates and deadlines.
Applying to Oxbridge and for Medical, Dental and Veterinary courses
In addition to the above, a programme of preparation meetings takes place from January of Year 12 for students applying for Oxford and Cambridge Universities or for courses related to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. These courses are particularly competitive and usually involve admissions tests and interviews, and these meetings are designed to ensure that all students have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements of their application. Students are further supported by their academic departments in attending discussion groups and identifying appropriate wider reading, while in the Autumn Term of Year 13, we ensure that all applicants have at least two mock interviews.
In recent years, Nottingham High School leavers have gone on to attend universities in a variety of European countries and in the USA. The application processes vary depending on the country and the nature of the course, and students are both guided through their application and advised on the practical issues of studying abroad, including the language, fees and visas.
Students wishing to apply for specialist courses (for example at Music Conservatories or Drama Schools) are supported in doing so by both the Sixth Form Team and the relevant department.
Higher Apprenticeships and Direct Employment
There are an increasing number of options for School leavers, and in recent years, our students have gained prestigious Higher Apprenticeships with companies such as Rolls-Royce, Experian and KPMG. These programmes offer salaried employment with the firms, giving students invaluable experience straight from school, while also providing and funding the opportunity to study for a degree at the same time.
Many local firms also offer fast-track programmes for school leavers, providing excellent benefits and giving employees a competitive edge in the job market. A number of our students have taken advantage of these exciting opportunities.
All Sixth Form students have the opportunity to have an individual careers interview with an impartial adviser, who uses their expertise and experience to discuss and advise students about possible careers and the requirements for their chosen pathway. These interviews provide students with up-to-date information and sources about a full range of career opportunities, and offer valuable them help in planning for the next step. Our GEP and Activities Day Programme also offers students the opportunity to hear from experts in a variety of fields, with talks regularly given by parents and alumni.