The Careers and Vocation Department is staffed by the Head of Careers, Amanda Toone and the Careers Assistant, Clare Tidmarsh. It provides education, information, advice and guidance to students at different stages of their school career through a planned programme from Year 7 to Year 13. This is woven into the academic, co-curricular and pastoral programme and equips them with some of the tools to manage their life and learning, enabling them to make informed decisions about subject choices for GCSE, A level, BTEC, higher education, degree apprenticeships and careers.
There is a well- resourced Careers Room in the Library with university prospectuses and information about courses, careers and degree apprenticeships. In addition to this, there is a large noticeboard with careers related notices and an area dedicated to careers and gap year information. Furthermore, the regular careers updates on the school portal keep parents and students up to date with relevant and current information about activities at school and opportunities nationally and internationally. We also subscribe to Unifrog, an online complete destinations platform for students and their parents.
Careers Advice and Guidance
The purpose of advice and guidance is to help students to understand themselves and their needs, confront barriers, resolve challenges, develop new perspectives and make progress towards their goals. It also helps them to gather, understand and interpret information and apply it to their own situation. At Ampleforth, advice and guidance is delivered by a wide range of practitioners including the Heads of Year 12 and 13, tutors, teachers, parents, and Old Amplefordians. Students can also book a careers guidance interview with the Head of Careers who is a qualified careers adviser and offers impartial one-to-one guidance sessions to those who request it.
Work related learning
Increasingly employers look for evidence of work experience in the recruitment process. Universities also like to see that students have had experience of work outside the classroom, particularly for courses in Engineering and Medicine. Whilst the school does not take responsibility for organising such programmes, students are actively encouraged to get involved in voluntary activities both at school and in the school holidays as well as shadowing and work experience in the school holidays.
Help is given with CV and cover letter writing on request and students take part in events and activities within and outside of the curriculum which teach them about employability skills, careers, enterprise, going for interviews and networking. In some subjects, curriculum linked workplace visits, projects and challenges also take place.
A SAT tuition course for students who intend to apply to university in the US is offered by a local provider. This is a 16 week programme of tuition which commences in the Autumn term with the intention that students will take the SAT exams in May or June. Ampleforth is a registered SAT centre so the exams are taken at school. Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are welcome to take part in the programme with parental permission.
Talks are given to academic scholars in Years 9, 10 and 11on a range of intellectually challenging subjects. In the Sixth From, specialist support is available from various members of staff as well as tutors for those wishing to apply to Oxbridge.
Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Art and Drama
Support is available from staff in the Science, Art and Drama Departments, for those wishing to apply to Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Art and Drama. The Medic Portal (www.medicportal.com) is a useful source of information for those wishing to apply to Medicine.
Delegates from the Armed Services attend the Higher Education Fair so that those wishing to find out more about the careers they offer can speak to them personally. Individual interviews with careers advisers representing the Armed Services are also offered to students.