Stepping into the Future
Every girl is an individual. Wherever she wants to go, we can help her to get there. Whether she is considering an apprenticeship or aspires to Oxbridge, we will provide the support she needs. Girls are encouraged to share their expertise through subject societies such as our Medical Society and Law Society.
Each Sixth Former is given complementary membership of Futurewise New Generation careers advice. This programme begins when they are in Year 12 and runs through until they are 23. In Year 12 each girl undergoes a thorough psychometric test which produces a highly in-depth, analytical report on possible careers.
They then have an individual interview with an ISCO (Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation) careers consultant to discuss career choice and degree options. St Catherine’s is a member of the web-based careers platform ULAS and, through this, Sixth Formers can gain easy access to advertised work placements, relevant university taster courses, advice on CV writing, personal statements and so on. With a thriving alumnae network, we are able to help girls to secure internships and work experience.
CV writing, letters of application and interview skills are all covered within our General Studies programme and we prepare students for university and job applications by offering a range of practice interviews, conducted by experienced teachers, special guests with relevant experience and organisations like the Rotary Club.’
In many ways the process of looking at universities and careers starts a few years before Sixth Form has even begun. With days such as The Chocolate Challenge in Year 9, the Learn to Earn Programme in Year 10 and the ISCO Careers Insight Day for Year 11 as well as the university trips to Royal Holloway and Oxford in Year 11, we find that many students have given serious thought to their futures beyond A level. That said, we give a lot of time to both university applications (both UK and abroad) and careers advice to our students in the Sixth Form.
Choosing a suitable degree course can be daunting (there are literally 10,000s to choose from!) but our Sixth Formers receive plenty of guidance early on in Year 12 about how to make their final selection. Those planning to apply for a particularly competitive degree course like Medicine or Law receive a huge amount of support on the various aptitude tests required (eg UKCAT, BMAT and LNAT).
We also run an Oxbridge programme for those thinking of applying to Oxford or Cambridge. Many universities use interviews as part of their admissions process and our girls can expect a lot of support with this, including help with MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews, which universities are increasingly using) and of course they will receive detailed and lengthy help with their Personal Statement.
We understand the pressures that all students are under at the beginning of Year 13 – not only are they trying to cope with some very demanding academic courses but they have the added pressure of trying to organise the next stage of their education. At St Catherine’s we pride ourselves on the calm, well-managed degree of support and advice that we offer our Sixth Form students.
Learning to Lead
Girls in Years 12 and 13 are leaders in the School, and Sixth Form life is very different from that experienced by the younger years. We ensure that the girls themselves play an active part in the running of our Sixth Form, allowing them to hone their leadership skills. Girls are encouraged to develop more mature relationships with their teachers, and to develop their skills of discussion and debate during lessons.
We have a Head Girl team and prefects, and these play an integral part in the life of our Sixth Form. However, every girl is given the opportunity to make her mark. For example, girls sit on our Sixth Form Committee, run subject societies and organise our Christmas quiz. Girls write articles for our Sixth Form newsletter, organise termly trips for the whole of the Sixth Form and speak during open events. There is a leadership role available for every girl, no matter what her aptitudes and interests are.
Every student has something to offer, and we embrace this individuality. There is no such thing as a “typical” St Catherine’s girl – girls who are interested in academia, the arts or sport are equally valued. We appreciate the contributions of the girl who chooses to work behind the scenes, as well as the girl who enjoys being centre stage. The only common denominator is that St Catherine’s girls are kind and positive, with a strong work ethic and an enthusiasm for life!
Sixth Form girls are encouraged to see their education as more than about acquiring A Levels; we offer activities and challenges designed to develop skills in leadership, service and communication, and we emphasise character and individuality, encouraging them to follow their own paths.