“I am about to choose my subjects for staying on in the sixth form – I am really serious about studying Biochemistry at university.”
Serena, Year 11
Higher Education and Careers
A structured programme of careers support and guidance geared to the needs of grammar school pupils, is provided by Highsted. The aim is to enable pupils to achieve their full career potential by: raising awareness of individuals’ abilities and skills; broadening knowledge of opportunities in Further/Higher Education, training and employment whilst developing the skills necessary to make informed decisions.
The programme is delivered through timetabled dedicated PSHE (personal, social health & economic) education focus days, tutorials, lunchtime clinics and individual interviews by specialist careers staff, form tutors and visiting speakers. Work experience plays an important part in increasing pupils’ understanding of the world of employment and is compulsory in Year 11. A well resourced Careers Library is open to all pupils, offering a wide selection of general guides, specific careers information books and a computer with internet access and a range of relevant software.
An independent careers consultant offers a range of services appropriate to Highsted including guidance interviews for Year 11 pupils, clinic sessions at lunchtimes for Years 9-11, support in the delivery of PSHE education focus days, advice for general staff on careers education; provision of a Resource Fair, organisation of a Higher Education Convention. Our careers consultant and the Education Business Partnership support Highsted in its work experience programme by organising health and safety checks for placements and organising relevant speakers. These companies, together with other local business partners, also provide a consultancy role regarding work-related learning.
The programme of independent information, advice and guidance (IAG) includes:
Year 7: Gender stereotyping in general; project work on job families and effective use of the careers section of the Learning Resource Centre.
Year 8: The Real Game – an online interactive programme on lifestyle choices, decision making, budgets, work/life balance.
Year 9: Preparation for options choices: self-awareness; decision making; effective use of Internet (Careers website Fast Tomato)
Year 10: Preparation for work experience, including health & safety issues; enterprise; Dragons’ Den and Dragons’ Duel.
Year 11: Opportunity awareness; preparation of a CV; letters of application and application forms; Senior School choices; work experience; equal opportunities; voluntary work.
Years 12/13: Employment: post A-level opportunities; applications’ procedures; student finance; interview techniques; visiting speakers from employment and Further/Higher Education, including the Sittingbourne Partnership Higher Education Careers Convention; work experience; the use of on-line packages such as Odyssey and Pathfinder HE; Brussels work experience.
A Sixth Form student's life can be hard!
From the effort required to work for A-levels - probably the most important exams in a student’s life - there are some tough decisions to be made about what students want to do afterwards. These need lots of research, letter writing, form filling and self-analysis!
At Highsted students appreciate that achieving high grades at A-level keeps doors open: there are many more institutions and courses open to students with A and B grades at A-level, than those with D and E grades.
Students are supported through the PSHE careers programme, the Higher Education Information Evening and the Careers Convention about the options that are available to them post-18.This provision enables students to meet admissions tutors from a variety of institutions across the country as well as those individuals who are currently in professional roles within the employment sector. In addition to this provision, all sixth form students attend the Finance Road Show in order to support them with budgeting post 18. Highsted hosts visiting speaker workshops from Oxbridge in addition to running our own bespoke lecture programme across a variety of academic subjects geared at preparing students for life at university.
The majority of students go on to study at university level after Highsted, however those choosing to access employment are supported with individualised independent information, guidance and advice to enable them to make a smooth transition into the world of work.
Some useful websites and recommended reading:
For course and university research and a source of general information and advice.
For information about standards and ratings:
Financial advice and budgeting: