Careers & Higher Education
The aim of the Careers & Higher Education Department is to help your children make informed decisions by receiving impartial advice about their careers and higher education choices.
The department is staffed full time by a Careers Office Manager and six other staff, including an American University tutor, Oxbridge and UK Universities Advice Tutors, as well as a Careers Adviser and two other Support Staff. It has a fully equipped Careers Library and computer terminals. As well as Careers & Higher Education literature, the library also has a lot of information on Gap Year programmes. The school is a member of the charitable organisation called FutureSmart Careers (FSC), which allows access to a wealth of impartial careers advice. It calls on the services of MyFutureChoice (formerly Cambridge Occupational Analysts); another Careers Charity to help students pin point Higher Education courses they might find interesting.
Guidance by year group
Year 9 - Towards the end of Year 9 students work through a programme of activities to help them think of their strengths and weaknesses in order to make decisions about GCSE/BTEC choices. Dedicated parental presentations inform you of the choices available to your children. Parents' Meetings with Subject Tutors help to confirm the choices of GCSE.
Year 10 - Students are allowed to explore the GCSE choices they have made and given breathing space to flourish in their subject. During this year the importance of work experience is highlighted and the need for good preparation before applying for jobs is explored. Attendance at our Careers Fairs is encouraged.
Year 11 - Subject to parental agreement, students engage interest and psychometric profiling tests. This is followed up by an individual careers interview by an independent FSC specialist, to help them consider what steps they should take in the future. Students are encouraged to think about their Higher Education plans and what A Levels or other qualifications they need, in order to progress further. Students are also encouraged to think of other things they could do in order to make their plans come to fruition, like work experience, a year in industry experience (YINI), Headstart courses for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Sixth Form - Students are encouraged, subject to parental agreement, to investigate their individual strengths by using an in-depth questionnaire to suggest suitable university courses based on their likely academic outcomes. A full programme of university talks and UCAS advice is scheduled throughout the Sixth Form. The importance of Futurewise Careers Courses and University Taster Courses are enforced as well as the need for other good work experience, which helps to back up both university applications and career decisions. We offer work experience contacts through the Old Millfieldian Society but students are also encouraged to find their own placements by writing a CV and covering letter, and by focussing on improving networking and employability skills.
Towards the end of the Lower Sixth year the OM Careers Convention takes place. This allows students to gain useful advice from Old Millfieldians who are often experts in their professions. Mock interviews, Oxbridge Seminars and SAT Workshops help students to maximise their chances of gaining entry to the UK or American Universities. A dedicated Medics Programme also helps potential doctors gain entry to Medical Schools. Finally Millfield is a SAT Test Centre making entry to American Universities a little easier. An on-line SAT course is also offered through the College board to help students really achieve their full SAT potential. A growing number of students are also supported in their applications to European Universities.