Towards the end of the academic year, we begin the process of preparing our Year 12 students for life after Sixth Form. Following a visit to the Higher Education Convention at UEA in Norwich, students undertake an exciting week of activities to begin their preparation for life ‘Beyond Beyton’.
We have organised a programme which will include preparation for the university admissions process (University and College Admissions Service – UCAS), curriculum vitae preparation, life skills (including cooking, sewing and basic car maintenance), personal health and wellbeing, taking a ‘gap’ and a broad range of career workshops that offer an insight into the opportunities on offer and the alternative routes available into a varied selection of industries, trades and professions. Previously we had 25 different careers workshops running from which students chose four to attend. This is an ideal opportunity for students to be made aware of the vast array of options available to them, both post ‘A’ Level and post graduate. We end the week with a ‘careers conference’ which includes a light hearted but extremely useful talk, given by a guest speaker, on how to succeed in life.
We start this process at the end of Year 12 to give students the opportunity to get ahead with their UCAS application if they wish to go to university and to encourage them to focus on alternative options, such as apprenticeships, employment or taking a ‘gap year’ if they so wish. Students also like to have time in the summer, following ‘Beyond Thurston Week’ to seek appropriate work experience and volunteering opportunities that can increase their competitiveness during the application process, whether for employment or higher education.