Careers & Progression

In providing a great academic, all-round education, Surbiton High School is especially mindful of empowering students to make informed choices throughout their education with us and in their lives after they leave us.

It is something we think we do particularly well but do not take our word for it:  in 2018 our Careers Department was one of only three schools nationwide out of over two hundred entrants to receive an Independent Schools of the Year Highly Commended Award.

This success is a product of a well-resourced career and higher education service staffed by a Director of Careers and Head of Oxbridge, an Assistant Director of Careers leading on work experience and a Careers Officer. We consider this service to be sector leading and unique to the School.

Our engaging programme starts in Year 7 and builds year on year to help students make informed decisions during their school careers, such as their GCSE and A-level choices, with a particular expertise in helping students assess their interest and potential in a future subject choice.  This expertise contributes to the value added the School is recognised for.

Students also understand the link between their option choices and decisions after School as well as reflect on what future university and careers suit them as an individual – their strengths, values and interests. We then seek to support students to develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals, such as application writing (UCAS and work), interview and admission test skills.

OUTSTANDING OUTCOMES

Our Careers Department’s expertise and guidance, particularly its unique use of Morrisby psychometric information in the A-level options process and its nuanced knowledge of university entry requirements, contributes significantly to our outstanding university destinations and other outcomes, which include:

  • Nearly 90% of our girls entering Russell Group and Top 10 Universities
  • Oxbridge – a total of 39 year 13 students received Oxbridge offers between 2017- and 2021 (an average of 8 students per year, or over 7% of the year group)
  • 100% of Medical, Veterinary and Dental School applicants receiving at least one offer in recent years
  • Highest valued added at A-level of any school in the region

You can read more about the Careers and Higher Education Programme in Sixth Form at Beyond Surbiton High School.

WHAT WE DO

OUR APPROACH

We use the well-established “DOTS” framework for our work. We seek to further the following key outcomes within this framework:

Self-awareness in a careers and education context
What do I like? What are my strengths? How do I know?

Opportunity awareness
What are the career and education opportunities out there? How do I find out about them? Research skills, open days, courses, work experience, attending relevant talks etc.

Decision-making skills in the future planning context
Become adept at weighing up the many future options surrounding education and career decisions and, once you have decided on goals to pursue, come up with a realistic and effective plan

Transition skills
So you have identified career and education goals (e.g. you want to get a work placement with Goldman Sachs or you want to gain a place at Oxbridge), what employability/transition skills will you need (e.g. interview skills, CV writing skills, developing understanding of your chosen degree subject etc.) and how do you develop them?

COMPULSORY CAREERS CLASSES / PSHE include:

  • Year 7: Morrisby Profile (Early Years) Careers Interest Questionnaire – Girls undertake this careers questionnaire, receiving their own careers webspace to research careers and educational opportunities. At this stage we are obviously not asking students to “pick” a career. Rather we are starting a process that continues throughout their time with us (and hopefully beyond) of reflecting on who they are, testing this over time and understanding there is plenty of support available to help them.  In Year 7 we make a special effort to challenge gender stereotypes, such as bringing in the National Physical Laboratory, so that no student thinks this career is not for me on gender grounds.
  • Year 8:  Our United Learning Future Factor Careers Competition (devised and run by Surbiton High School for all United Learning Schools, the group to which we belong) – this is done alongside the national Step into the NHS careers competition. Surbiton High were National Winners of Step into the NHS in 2016.
  • Year 9:  Revisit Morrisby Profile (Early Years) Careers Interest Questionnaire revisited (from Year 7) together with other activities to help with GCSE choices.  Please see the GCSE Options booklet for our approach to choosing GCSE choices
  • Year 10: Introduction to CV Writing, Job Applications and Competency-Based Answers and Interviews
  • Year 11: The PSHE Programme in Year 11 focuses on Work Experience, concluding with a one-week placement after the GCSE exams.  See below for more details.

PSYCHOMETRIC CAREER TESTING

Girls take the full Morrisby Careers Profile at the end of Year 10.  It assesses pupils’ abilities, personality and interests through a range of assessments and helps link these to future school subject, higher education and career choices.   Our in-house careers team are fully trained in the use and interpretation of these profiles and deliver follow-up interviews in Years 11 and 12.   In Years 7 and 9, girls are introduced to The Morrisby Profile by undertaking the interests part of it to provide them with an initial careers profile which is then revised in Year 10 when they undertake the full assessment.

Parents can read more about The Morrisby Profile at:  https://www.morrisby.com/parents

Parents are billed £35 (subject to variation) in Year 7 for lifetime access to the Morrisby Profile (including the main profiling in Year 10) and an individual student webspace for conducting and recording careers, university, apprenticeship and A-level research.

INTERVIEWS

Each girl has at least two careers interviews, one in Year 11 and another in Year 12, to help with future ideas, particularly A-level, degree and career choices.  Additional appointments are also available on request.

EVENTS

Events we run include an annual Careers and HE Fair and “Working Lunches” for students (and sometimes parents) on university, career and employability skills. Being large school, we can draw on an incredibly generous and talented parent and Old Girl network to deliver these activities covering almost any career and higher education field you can think of

CAREERS AND HE NEWSLETTER

Twice per year, we publish a newsletter with a comprehensive update on career events and activities available live and online, university events and academic competitions.  It is an invaluable resource to help students explore their future options and make more compelling applications. Check out our recent editions

SUPPORT FOR COMPETITIVE PATHWAYS

The Careers Department works closely with The Scholars Programmes to ensure girls explore competitive careers and universities and are developing the skills necessary to be realistic applicants.

Our Director of Careers also runs the School’s Oxbridge Programme, and is therefore well placed to support the fostering of key skills for successful Oxbridge applications, such as academic curiosity, criticality and resilience.  We also have unparalled knowledge of their subject offering and entry requirements.  While our Oxbridge outcomes speak for themselves with circa 10% of our students achieving an offer, much more importantly, it is the value we add in inspiring, empowering and encouraging our Oxbridge applicants which sets us apart. We believe, like for like, no student has a better chance of obtaining an Oxbridge offer than with us and even where they do achieve an offer, we also believe they get a lot out of the programme we offer.   Find out more about our Oxbridge Programme.

While our provision for Oxbridge and Medical School applicants is excellent, our support aims to be gold standard whatever pathway you choose.  Therefore, we are adept at supporting students in pursuing the widest range of destinations, from Drama School to Art School, School Leaver Programme to studying internationally.

WORK EXPERIENCE

All students undertake one week’s worth of compulsory Work Experience at the end of the Summer Term in Year 11. From the beginning of Year 11 they are prepared for this programme and undertake in-school activities after their placement to ensure they get as much from it as possible. Work-based learning is vital for developing one’s thinking about career and education choices. Many competitive courses, such as medicine and veterinary science, will also expect it.  Support is also given finding work experience at other times in a girl’s school career too.

YOU CAN KEEP UPTODATE WITH OUR WORK AND GET GREAT ADVICE BY FOLLOWING US:

Our new Careers Department Youtube Channel

Careers on the Surbiton High Learning Space