Sixth Form marks the close of one stage of education and the beginning of an exciting new chapter, as pupils leave school to embark on higher education and take the first steps into their future careers.
Our aim is to provide a coherent programme of guidance to support our pupils in their preparation for this so that they can make well-informed decisions about the path they wish to take. They have the support of senior house staff, tutors and subject teachers, as well as the Sixth Form team, to help them consider their choices and understand the steps they need to take to achieve their goals. This process starts early on in the Lower Sixth and continues until pupils leave to go to university.
Almost all St John’s pupils move on to higher education and they attend a broad range of universities including Birmingham, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, KCL, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, and York. The variety of subjects pursued at undergraduate level illustrates the fact that St John’s pupils are encouraged to pursue their own interests and explore the range of opportunities available to them. From art, drama and English to business, economics and engineering or languages, law, medicine, philosophy and politics, our pupils are supported to achieve their academic aspirations and the vast majority secure their first choice place.
of 2022 leavers attending a Russell Group university
of 2022 leavers received an offer from their first-choice university
The aim of the careers programme at St John’s is that every pupil leaves equipped with the drive and skills to succeed in any career they may choose. Careers advice is something we believe should be a recurring theme throughout the pupils’ education.
In the Lower School, the pupils begin to explore types of careers and their areas of interest. In the Middle School, the emphasis is on choosing GCSEs or A levels that reflect their areas of interest and identifying and improving key employability skills. Lower Fifth pupils have an ‘Interview Afternoon’ where they apply for mock jobs and have a practice interview with a professional from the local area. All pupils in the Upper Fifth have an appointment with our independent careers adviser who will help them to explore the options available to them.
By the Sixth Form, some pupils will have their heart set on a career and they will have had access to specialist advice, as well as focused work experience placements. Examples of these include a day shadowing a magistrate, an engineering placement with Atkins and hospital placements. They will also have practice interviews with experts in their chosen fields.
For pupils who are unsure of their career paths, the emphasis will be on exploring different options and developing key employability skills. We require all pupils in the Sixth Form to undertake some form of work placement and we are very fortunate that our parents and OJs offer a number of placements for the pupils to undertake. In the past year, these placements have included opportunities as varied as gaining experience at financial or legal institutions and a week’s placement at a television production company.
Each autumn, we hold a Universities Fair which provides pupils with the chance to speak directly with representatives from universities and corporate employers. The event helps pupils research their options, understand career pathways and gain practical advice about higher education admissions. All Sixth Form pupils make a CV and we have regular sessions during Wellbeing time that explore interview skills and how to develop their employability. Sixth Form pupils can also arrange appointments with our independent Careers Adviser.
While the majority of our pupils go on to university, we offer full support to those who consider alternatives to further education. This often involves identifying potential employers or career schemes, the checking of applications and practice interviews.