One of the principal aims of any HMC school is to help its pupils find the perfect University course and career path to help ensure their future happiness.
At Bede's, our Personal Tutors begin to discuss Universities and careers as early as Year 9 (the First Year) and, as our pupils progress through the school, careful advice is given at key points to ensure that individuals make the right choices.
In the First Year, such advice is particularly important when making subject choices for IGCSE/GCSE study - these choices are absolutely crucial in terms of keeping certain career paths open and defining each child as an individual.
In the Lower Fifth (Years 10) Tutors and subject specialists combine to further clarify strengths and weaknesses and future pathways. In the Upper Fifth, pupils must choose the right blend of Pre-U, A Level and/or BTEC subjects to suit their particular aspirations before they embark on Sixth Form study.
All of the teaching staff are available at any time to discuss such matters. Suffice to say that a child's level of academic success is central to their future progress and our emphasis as a school is on gaining truly excellent grades to support individual and collective progress towards A Level and degree level study.
In Years 12 and 13, after pupils have sat their IGCSE and GCSE exams and gleaned excellent results, we reach the business end of matters. We encourage our pupils to specialise further and seek work experience in their chosen field so that they can pen competitive Personal Statements for UCAS applications, the majority of which are to Russell Group and Sutton Trust universities. The Bede’s Diploma also works well in terms of developing the whole person so that our pupils are resilient and proactive in terms of surviving those first few tricky weeks at university.
Our Sixth Form Tutors support each individual application through to completion. We begin discussions from the start of the Lower Sixth and in earnest with ‘Futures Week’ in the Summer Term of Year 12 (Lower Sixth). ‘Futures Week’ involves presentations from several notable speakers, including Mr Tom Steer, from The University of Sussex, and others, and we encourage our charges to visit several universities in terms of Open Days and specialist study days. We organise scheduled visits to destinations such as Oxford, Cambridge, Sussex, Imperial and other leading UK universities. Here at Bede's, we also hosts subject specific talks led by visiting speakers. For example, a visiting speaker from Churchill College, Cambridge visits each autumn to speak to our Gifted and Talented Year 11 (Upper Fifth) and Year 12 (Lower Sixth) pupils.
Pupils looking to study outside the UK work with Mr Dozgic, who is our International University Applications Co-ordinator, supporting those who wish to apply further afield, principally within Europe and the USA, but there is a growing interest in Australia and the Middle East. Mr Dozgic provides expert help and guidance on a bespoke basis with a view to some of our pupils entering the very best universities abroad. He gives advice on SATS and Ivy League entrance and provides a structured framework for those wishing to enter institutions such as MIT, Brown and The Hague University in The Netherlands. Mr Dozgic can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and, having graduated from an American University himself, he is best placed to offer detailed and specific advice on the benefits and challenges that await abroad.
Ultimately, we support all of our pupils through to the end of the Autumn Term of Year 13 and beyond with an open door policy in The Sixth Form office. In practice, the vast majority of UCAS applications are sent to universities by mid-October to give our pupils the very best chance of success. The right decisions are made at the right time and we are also there on A Level Results Day to celebrate and help.
Our annual Careers and Universities Fair is also a much loved event, taking place as it does in the Spring Term each year. Mrs Deborah Franks organises this event and many different employers and universities attend in the MPH to help our entire pupil body to make progress on both fronts. We usually host over fifty exhibitors and children from every year group, plus visiting pupils from partner schools, gain valuable insights into a variety of careers and notable institutions. Visiting speakers in recent years have come from the University of Southampton and its medical school, Royal Holloway, plus many notable Law practices and several very profitable national and local businesses have been in attendance; national companies, including Deloitte, and various London based trading companies have also attended and we also schedule talks from visiting professionals in areas such as Advertising, Veterinary Science, Management and Business and Civil Engineering. We also cover the charitable sector, the Arts and the Music industry, to touch on all bases.
Ultimately, there are many Higher Education pathways and it is an interesting journey for all of us and, as many former pupils will testify, Bede's provides an excellent platform from which pupils move on to even bigger and better challenges. Our pupils are the future and they deserve our full support. They are a pleasure to work with and it gives us great satisfaction to see them move on to pastures new with excellent results and a clear sense of direction. Many go on to attend Russell Group universities, many go on to attend Sutton Trust or other leading universities, a growing number progress in terms of undertaking competitive Apprenticeships, whilst Gap Years and the word of Work is also of interest to some. We feel that we support each and every individual to make the right decisions at the right time and it gives us a great sense of achievement to see so many Old Bedians go on to great things.
“ There is truth in fiction. It is, ultimately, the mirror we hold up to ourselves and to society. ”
Paul Gibbs, Director of Higher Education and Teacher of EnglishRead Mr Gibb's Universities Blog
Careers Advice News and Blogs
21 January 2019
Mr Tuson reflects on the decision-making process behind those all-important Sixth Form course choices.
14 September 2018
It has been a successful year in terms of university outcomes here at Bede's with 82% of Upper Sixth achieving their first choice.
13 July 2018
Upper Sixth pupil Alex Hilton, who is hoping to head to University of Cambridge discusses 5 reasons why you should study Maths.