We are proud of the breadth of subject and university choice that our pupils make. On average, pupils take up places at around forty different university destinations in the UK and in several other countries. Around seventy single courses and thirty different joint honours degrees are applied for.
Both the Careers department and individual Tutors work closely with all Sixth Form pupils to ensure that preparation for the university application process begins early, and that it is completed with considered care for the important life choices that are involved. In the Lower Sixth we run both a Higher Education Conference and a Careers Conference, providing extensive guidance and information about university applications and careers.
We offer a separate stream for Oxbridge applications that begins with an Oxbridge Conference attended by an Admissions Tutor from either university, as well as Old Oundelian (OO) undergraduates from both universities. Pupils attend regular meetings with the relevant departmental Oxbridge mentor, which include discussion about extra reading or research, as well as advice on choosing colleges, interview technique and practice for any pre-tests that may be necessary.
It is no surprise that Oundelians are also looking across the world for the best higher education institutions. While most pupils will go on to universities in the UK, increasing numbers of pupils (and parents) are looking across the Atlantic for higher education with a more global approach. Oundle offers comprehensive preparation for admissions to universities in the United States and utilises its considerable resources to offer personalised advice for pupils and parents. Individual guidance and planning is provided by a senior member of the Careers department and we partner with U.S. consultants to provide common application, essay, SAT/ACT and general application advice, including selecting appropriate universities which will provide a best fit for our pupils. Specific tutoring is provided for the American College Test (ACT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for US applications, and representatives from prestigious universities are invited to meet pupils to talk about admissions.
Whilst it is clear that pupils need to make well-informed decisions about a university and degree course, and that their university applications must be of high quality, it is increasingly the case that graduate jobs are offered to those applicants with a strong CV showing relevant work experience. We believe that pupils should begin to develop their employability skills in the Fifth Form, building up their confidence and their CV gradually through the Sixth Form and into university.
Our careers programme has two distinct but complementary strands involving an academic focus on Sixth Form options and university applications as well as a professional outlook towards work experience, CVs and interview skills.
Our aim is to guide our pupils into a career, or indeed a number of careers, that they will go on to embrace and enjoy. Some pupils will know the direction they would like to take, while others may not. It is our role to help identify what this could be and to ensure our pupils can make informed decisions about their future. We start this process in the Fourth Form with an aptitude profiling test. This provides pupils with an additional tool for choosing Sixth Form subjects, degree courses and ultimately career choice.
During the Fifth and Sixth Forms, we guide pupils through CV writing, interview practice, researching degree courses, completing the UCAS application and pre-test preparation. On the practical side, we also guide pupils through budgeting, negotiating student rental contracts and other related fundamentals through our Learning for Life programme.
The Careers department is staffed by two full-time dedicated advisors, as well as teaching staff. In addition to the formal programme, pupils can drop in during break and lunchtimes, or make an appointment to discuss their higher education and careers options. There is a well-stocked Careers library available for further research. The department provides support for all pupils throughout their Sixth Form and indeed beyond for those applying post Gap year, helping pupils compile university lists, complete application forms and write personal essays