Sound careers advice and Higher Education guidance are given in both group and on a one-to-one basis to ensure that students are well prepared for their life after The Cotswold School. Careers days, and guest speakers – from universities, colleges and potential employers – help our students make the right choices.
We give guidance on how to get the most out of University Open Days as well as support in completing university applications. Students are also encouraged to take up the many and varied opportunities there are to visit employment and education exhibitions, aimed at both raising aspirations and providing inspiration. Valuable practice interview sessions are provided with the generous and longstanding support of our local Rotary Club and professionals living in our community. Meanwhile our staff and tutors also play an important role as student mentors, taking time to speak to each student 1-to-1, ensuring they are receiving the support and can find any information they may need.
Our approach is one that supports and encourages but also challenges. Choosing what to do after school is an important decision for our students and while we are there to support and encourage, in partnership with their parents, we make sure they have thoroughly examined their choices and impress upon them the variety of options available. After all, when the applications are finally finished and sent, they must be an honest reflection of the student and the student’s choices independently made.
Mrs Helen Monteith is our Careers Coordinator and with Mr Matt Smith, who has developed our comprehensive Careers Related Learning for all year groups, oversees the provision of career and apprenticeship advice, and further education opportunities. Further independent, professional advice is provided to any student who requests it (or who is recommended by their tutor) from our qualified Careers Advisor, Ruth Thomas.
A Careers Board is located on the main school corridor and in the Sixth Form Common Room and is regularly updated with wide ranging opportunities to inspire our young people. The school enjoys close links with its local community with the result that many local companies approach the school directly with job opportunities, work experience and apprenticeships for our students. These are widely advertised through our careers boards and online.
There are plenty of opportunities to visit careers fairs and, in fact, The Cotswold School hosts its own Careers Evening at which representatives from a wide variety of professions and alternative education providers all have stands and are available to talk informally to students.
For those looking at further and higher education opportunities, we begin the UCAS process in Year 12, first with an information evening for students and their parents/carers. All Year 12 students are encouraged to do something different, useful and unique outside school and during their long holidays, which they can usefully refer to when it comes to writing their all important Personal Statements.
In the first term of Year 13, students are guided through the UCAS system. Mr White and the Sixth Form Team, in conjunction with our Principal, Mr Morgan, produce each student’s Higher Education reference.
Our programme for preparing our students has proven highly effective over the years with our students consistently setting their sights on and winning places in their chosen fields: be it with specialist colleges, on inspiring apprenticeships, or at the country’s topmost universities.