Bedales offers a gradual and structured introduction to higher education and careers.
Students have a half term PSHE module on careers to help with thinking about life after Bedales in an unthreatening way, including taking the KUDOS careers programme.
At the start of the year, our students are offered the chance to take the COA Cambridge Profile and Preview. These tests aim to show the students what A Level combinations are a good match for their skill set and what they think they might hope to do in the future. The tests are followed up with an interview to discuss the student’s individual report with a COA specialist. The students appreciate the individual attention and feed back very positively from the experience. The full report is then brought home and the student is encouraged to discuss the findings with parents. Tutors also discuss outcomes with their tutees.
Also during the Autumn term a careers questionnaire is completed by all Block 5 students, both in order to ascertain their plans for Sixth Form and to offer advice where it is needed. 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. In June there is the opportunity for parents to come and hear about life in the Sixth Form at Bedales and this includes an account of our Professional Guidance.
Thoughts are very much geared to life after Bedales: early in 6.1 students all sit the COA Centigrade programme. This is designed to explore possible degree options which fit the A Level choice profile of students. It is followed up by one-to-one interviews with Vikki Alderson-Smart, our Higher Education advisor. She will go through the report and try to ascertain from students areas they may like to study, as part of our ongoing discussions with each student about their future. Students have several information sessions and anybody thinking of studying abroad or not planning to pursue Higher Education is identified at this point and advised accordingly. The vast majority of Bedalians do 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 SAT tuition can be arranged in school for those students wishing to study in the USA. We also have an adviser, who works on entry to North American universities, works closely with the growing number of students applying to the US and Canada and oversees the complex application process.
In the Summer term of 6.1, there is a UCAS day where the students are talked through the application process for UCAS and receive a lecture from an admissions officer about their personal statements. Each June we also hold a Beyond Bedales Fair when current OB undergraduates or those in work come to talk to 6.1 about their courses and the institutions they attend.
Emphasis is upon planning for the next few years: along with the general advice available from the Higher Education Advisor, each academic department keeps abreast of relevant university courses in its area and is therefore both able to offer specific, course-related advice and ensure that the student’s reference is written in such a way to be particularly relevant to the chosen courses. 6.2 housestaff work closely both with reference writers and with the Higher Education advisor on students’ behalf. For those not making university applications any advice and meetings are organised on an ad hoc basis to suit the student. We do not become involved with the specifics of Gap year arrangements, though it may be that students are best suited to applying for HE places once their results are known. We are, of course, here to support those Old Bedalians who make applications in these circumstances.
A relatively new development for the school is the appointment of an Alumni Liaison Manager. Part of the role is to help to join up sixth formers and young OBs with people who have offered to assist with sector-specific careers advice and support, including work shadowing and mentoring opportunities.
Timelines for university applications
The below timelines show the application process for different types of course:
- Students applying through UCAS
- Students applying to Art Foundation Courses
- Students applying to US universities
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.