University & Careers
Supporting our pupils through university application and into their chosen field is a vital part of education at Caterham.
The majority of our pupils go on to Russell Group Universities with popular choices including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, Exeter, Leeds and Nottingham. Considerable care is taken to support pupils to achieve their chosen career path, which for some will be academic but equally may be performing, creative arts or technology – we support each pupil as an individual whatever their ambitions.
The Careers Department at Caterham School offers a comprehensive programme of support to all pupils from First Year to Sixth Form, as well as to Old Caterhamians. Our aim is to provide the resources to allow our pupils to research and develop their career aspirations, enabling them to make fully informed choices throughout the varying stages of their education.
The Careers Department, alongside key staff and subject faculties, offer information and guidance on the wide range of options open to our pupils. Whilst the majority of pupils will continue their education beyond Caterham School at some of the top universities, both in the UK and abroad, we also encourage and support pupils who are looking at opportunities such as degree apprenticeships, school leaver schemes and gap years. The School subscribe to Unifrog, an excellent online platform which allows pupils to research their options, record their experiences and involvement in school life using the information to compile their CVs and personal statements.
Introductions to university and the options available are introduced to pupils as they begin to consider their GCSE choices and continue throughout their education at Caterham. This can be through the careers or wellbeing programmes as well as through subject specific talks and presentations. The University Fair, held each summer, is attended by over thirty five UK and overseas universities and offers a comprehensive programme of specialised talks including Student Finance, Getting into Competitive Universities and How to Choose Your Course, as well as the opportunity to talk to university representatives about their courses and institutions.
The UCAS (Higher Education) application process is managed by the Director of Sixth Form (Upper) alongside the Head of Careers and Deputy Director of Sixth Form (Upper). Advice on this process is targeted to Sixth Form pupils to ensure they are fully aware of all the requirements in order to be successful. The Guide to Higher Education booklet is updated each year to reflect any changes in the process and is available online and in hard copy to all parents and guardians. There is also a comprehensive schedule of workshops and seminars covering personal statement writing, how to apply and the alternatives alongside the excellent alumni session, where pupils who left the previous year return to talk about their first year experiences. Upper Sixth pupils are also encouraged to sign up for a mock interview with one of our parental volunteers. This is especially useful for pupils who might be called for a university selection interview, but also for those wishing to apply for part time or apprenticeship roles.
The Director of Teaching and Learning oversees an impressive enrichment programme designed to support those pupils hoping to apply to Oxford and Cambridge and the Visual Arts department run an excellent programme to support pupils wishing to apply to creative courses such as the Art Foundation, Fashion Design and Architecture. The Science department engage with all potential medics, vets and dentists through the Medical Society programme, which includes UCAT and BMAT preparation, work experience and a regular talk schedule covering topics such as medical ethics. This is just a small example of the subject support on offer as all faculties run programmes for pupils considering their subject matter at undergraduate level.
The Careers Department maintains a comprehensive careers section on the internal Firefly portal and this is accessible to all current pupils and their parents/guardians. The Head of Careers also produces a termly Careers News Bulletin as well as a weekly Careers Newsletter, featuring topical discussions, website recommendations, part time job vacancies and much more. Resources are also available in the careers sections of the School library as well as in the careers room in the Pye Centre.
Careers evenings are also held on a regular basis over the academic year and allow the pupils the opportunity to explore the wide variety of career roles across a range of professions and industries. These have included Degree Apprenticeships, Study Abroad, Careers of the Future, Creative Careers, Careers in the City, Engineering and many more. We also hold interactive workshops with companies such as Grant Thornton, PwC and Nestle, enabling pupils to experience the world of work through engagement with potential employers of the future.
Contact: Mrs Clare Brown
Mrs Clare Brown
Leading and Managing Careers Work in Schools (joint certificate of further professional study through the Department of Education at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Occupational Analysts)
Clare joined Caterham School in September 2000 as a part time careers adviser. In 2004 she qualified in careers work and she is currently a member of the professional body of careers providers, the Careers Development Institute. Eighteen years on she is now Head of Careers with a support role as Assistant Head of Sixth Form. In a previous life, Clare was involved in the classic car industry and latterly managing a busy City based recruitment agency. Outside of school she enjoys long walks in the country with her Dalmatian as well as sailing and cooking.
Caterham School Society – professional and social network
When you leave Caterham School you will be able to join the fantastic new Caterham School Society. This new online platform brings together the extended Caterham community (parents/alumni/friends of the school) for mutual benefit – for career networking, for mentoring, to support parents finding placement opportunities for pupils, in addition to socialising and support for the school.
Whilst you are not able to join until you are an Old Cat, your parents and guardians can, so please pass on this information and encourage them to join via website: www.caterhamschoolsociety.co.uk.