At St John’s we believe that it is essential to prepare pupils for the future, and that this is about far more than just qualifications. We encourage our pupils to be conscious of what we call the ‘formula for success’: Success = Qualifications + Skills + Experience + Contacts. To ensure they can succeed in whichever path they choose, we want to help our pupils understand the job market and what it is that employers may be looking for, and to build impressive profiles to make them stand out in a competitive world.

We know that the job market is dynamic and constantly evolving, therefore we want to facilitate our pupils to be confident, skilled, experienced individuals who can thrive in the future, whatever it may hold.

Lula Teunnisen - Head of Careers

Careers education begins in Lower School during enrichment lessons, where pupils are introduced to the multitudes of career paths available and the skills that employers are looking for, as well as reflecting on the changing nature of the job market. Upper Third pupils include research and reflections on careers in their personal projects to help them consider how their own interests relate to the working world.

In the Fourth Form, pupils are given support and advice as they make their GCSE choices, with both pupils and parents having the option to arrange one-to-one meetings with the Head of Careers to discuss the options they are considering. The Fourth Form also take part in a Careers Carousel, where they experience workshops in a wide range of careers such as medicine, law, finance, marketing and property, to encourage them to begin thinking about what working in such industries might involve.

In their GCSE years, we facilitate and encourage pupils to take ownership of the research and decision-making for their futures. They are given access to Unifrog, a platform which allows them to complete personal profiling, research subjects, careers, apprenticeships and much more, as well as to record their skills and achievements and start building a CV. Parents also have access to this platform to support their children. GCSE pupils also join the St John’s Careers Team network, where numerous competitions, work experience placements and other opportunities are advertised, and they are actively encouraged to take part in these.

Upper Fifth pupils attend the A level Options Evening and have personalised one-to-one conversations with their tutors to guide them on choosing their A levels. They are actively encouraged to meet with the Head of Careers and/or the Head of Sixth Form if they need further guidance.

Sixth Form pupils are encouraged to continue to use the Careers Team network and Unifrog, particularly for university research and to write their personal statements, and these are widely utilised. Sixth Form pupils are expected to complete work experience, which they record on Unifrog, and we support them in finding their placement.

Pupils are given the opportunity to attend various talks on different pathways, such as degree apprenticeships and applying to American universities, and to hear from students who are currently following such pathways; St John’s pupils who are considering these pathways receive personalised support from the Head of Careers throughout the process.

Lower Sixth pupils take part in Core Curriculum lessons to develop their skills and understanding on topics which will be essential for their futures, such as financial literacy, political understanding and professional presentation, and these core curriculum lessons often give them the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers from different professions. Visiting career and industry experts also run workshops on Enrichment Days, for example interview skills and CV writing. Sixth Form pupils take part in several university visits, including Sussex University and the University of Oxford, to get a sense of what university life involves, as well as receiving in-school talks from university representatives from universities such as Warwick and Bath.

Those applying to Oxford or Cambridge have one-to-one progress meetings with subject specialists and the Head of Sixth Form Enrichment to produce, develop and revise their personalised action plans, and also take part in a mock interview with external subject specialists. Those who are required to complete admissions tests such as the LNAT or TSA are given preparation classes for these towards the end of the Lower Sixth to ensure they are fully prepared. Specific societies exist for popular careers, such as law, medicine and psychology, to ensure that pupils who are interested in these careers have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding. Towards the end of the Lower Sixth and in the Upper Sixth, pupils are given extensive guidance on their personal statements and university applications, including a Personal Statement Day and dedicated tutor time.

We hold an annual Careers Convention in October, where St John’s pupils and parents have the opportunity to meet, converse and network with approximately 50-60 representatives from a wide range of different fields. Pupils in the Fifth and Sixth Forms also have the opportunity to sign up for a wide range of careers talks and workshops with representatives from different careers which occur over the course of the year. Examples of recent workshops include: business skills with Unilever, media, clinical psychology, medicine and criminal law. We encourage pupils to seek individual support with anything related to their future, and thrice-weekly careers lunchtime drop-in sessions are available for all pupils if they would like to discuss anything with the Head of Careers, or pupils are welcome to make an appointment at another time.

We produce a bi-annual careers newsletter, Future Focus, to celebrate everything pupils are doing to prepare for the future, and to discuss pertinent careers and university related issues.