At Bedales, we offer a gradual and structured introduction to the world of careers and higher education.
Block 4 (Year 10)
In Block 4 (Year 10), students have a half-term module on careers, which is designed to help them think about life after Bedales in a gentle way. Students receive guidance on CV writing and how best to organise some work experience. The Old Bedalian (OB) network is also introduced to students.
Block 5 (Year 11)
At the very beginning of Block 5 (Year 11), in line with most HMC Independent Schools, students are offered the chance to take the MyFutureChoice (formerly Cambridge Occupational Analysts) MyAptitude and MyCareerChoices tests. These tests aim to show the students what A Level combinations are a good match for their skillset, and help them to think about what they might do in the future. The tests are followed up either just before or just after half term with a 20-minute interview to discuss the student's individual report with a MyFutureChoice specialist who comes into the school. From experience, the students appreciate the individual attention and feedback. Students are then encouraged to share and discuss the full report with their parents at home. Tutors also discuss outcomes with their tutees.
Also during the Autumn Term, a careers questionnaire is completed by all Block 5 students in order to ascertain their plans for Sixth Form and offer advice where it is needed. They also attend tea parties with the Sixth Form in order to find out more about the experiences at the upper end of the school.
In November, there is the opportunity for parents to come and hear about life in the Sixth Form at our Insight Morning, where we talk about our careers and higher education provision.
During the Summer Term, we hold a careers fair for Block 5, where we gather representatives from as many different fields as possible, having canvassed interest in varied occupations from the students prior to their exams.
6.1 (Year 12)
In 6.1 (Year 12), thoughts are very much geared to life after Bedales. Early in the year, all students sit the MyUniChoices test, again provided by MyFutureChoice (formerly Cambridge Occupational Analysts). This is designed to explore possible degree options which fit the A Level choice profile of students. This is followed up at the start of the Spring Term by one-to-one interviews with a MyFutureChoice specialist to discuss the individual student's results.
Head of Professional Guidance Vikki Alderson-Smart also interviews each student during the Spring Term to check on research progress, offer advice and ensure students are registering for university open days. Students have several information sessions, and anyone thinking of studying abroad or not planning to attend higher education is identified at this point and advised accordingly. The vast majority of Bedalians go on to higher education, but every year there are a few who choose not to, and we are able to advise these students with career choices.
In the Spring Term, ACT/SAT tuition can be arranged in school for those students wishing to study in the USA.
After exams in the Summer Term, there is a UCAS weekend, where students are talked through the application process for UCAS and attend a lecture from an Admissions Officer about writing their personal statements. We also arrange an Old Bedalian Fair, where around 60 current undergraduates or those in the workplace come to talk to students about their experiences.
Higher education information for parents is circulated at the 6.1 Parents' Meeting, followed by a Parents' Briefing early in the Summer Term.
6.2 (Year 13)
In 6.2 (Year 13), emphasis is on planning for the future, be that via a UCAS application, an international application, or an art foundation application. The Professional Guidance team is very experienced and able to guide the students every step of the way. For those not making university applications, any advice and meetings are organised on an ad hoc basis to suit the student.
We do not advise or become involved with gap year arrangements, though it may be that students are best suited to applying for higher education places once their results are known. We are, of course, here to support those Old Bedalians who make applications in these circumstances.
Find our more about the most popular university destinations for Bedales students and exam results.
Find out what Old Bedalians are doing by viewing their career profiles.