The Careers Department is located in the Stableyard area, and is a bright and welcoming department packed with posters, brochures, prospectuses and all kinds of Careers information.
Pupils are introduced to the Careers Department in Year 10, spending one of their PSHE periods with the Careers and HE Coordinator, Mrs Louise Rapple Moore. In Year 11, all pupils are invited to take part in a Careers Profiling programme, with a choice between Cambridge Occupational Analysts’ Preview programme, or the Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation’s Futurewise programme. Both involve a comprehensive profiling questionnaire, producing a detailed report and including an interview with an external careers guidance professional.
In Year 12, pupils attend a weekly Careers period from January, giving them a wealth of information about all the options available to them after leaving school. The Department has lots of up-to-the-minute literature and information on Universities and Colleges, Apprenticeships, training schemes, Gap Years, careers in the Armed Forces and much more. In Year 13 pupils attend Careers lessons throughout the Autumn Term, while they are completing their UCAS applications, which are submitted in the second half of term.
Towards the end of the Summer Term, the Careers Department holds Work Experience week for Year 12. All Year 12 pupils spend a week working in the ‘real world’ and this can either be organised by the department, or by the parents. This is an extremely valuable week for our pupils, many of whom may never have experienced a working environment or had to use public transport before. The work that the pupils experience may or may not be directly relevant to a chosen career, but it is always an invaluable experience of life in the workplace and the expectations of a working environment.
Following Work Experience week, the Year 12s take part in Post-Shiplake Options Week, which is filled with information about further education and life after Shiplake: talks and presentations from people in industry and from universities in the UK and abroad, tips and thoughts on the decisions the pupils will shortly be making, advice on personal statements and UCAS applications. This week normally includes a day-trip to a university in the south of England – perhaps Reading or Oxford Brookes.