During their time at Shiplake College, all pupils will be required to make informed choices about their futures and decide what they want to do after leaving school. Exactly when these decisions are made varies considerably. Some know very early on exactly which career path they wish to take and have an abundance of time to research the options available to help reach their goals. Many others find deciding what they want to do a more difficult and daunting task. The Shiplake Careers Department is on hand to offer expert guidance and direction throughout the process, to ensure pupils are well informed on the wealth of opportunities available.
The Careers Department is a bright and welcoming area packed with posters, brochures, prospectuses and all kind of useful careers information. Pupils are encouraged to begin planning for their future in Year 10, as they spend one PSHE period per week with the Head of Careers, Dr Bob Snellgrove. They are introduced to Kudos, an interactive online programme which operates at various levels of academic ability and provides suggested career pathways and qualification routes in the future.
In Year 11, pupils are invited to take part in Careers Profiling, with a choice between Cambridge Occupational Analysts’ Preview programme or Futurewise, run by the Independent School Careers Organisation. Both involve a comprehensive profiling questionnaire, with professional external interviewers producing a detailed careers guidance report based on students’ strengths and weaknesses.
Careers guidance is stepped up in the Sixth Form as Year 12 attend a weekly Careers lesson from January onwards. Boys and girls receive the latest literature and information on universities, colleges, apprenticeships, training schemes, gap years and much more. The lessons continue throughout the Autumn Term in Year 13 while pupils complete their UCAS applications.
Alongside a quality, rounded education, employers greatly value experience when recruiting new staff. Shiplake pupils are able to gain some invaluable work experience during Year 12, after completing their AS exams. Placements can be organised independently or by the Careers Department. Pupils have consistently secured impressive placements, including several roles at blue chip companies.