Careers & Post School Pathways
Helping your todays shape your tomorrows
At Solihull, we recognise that a high-quality Careers and Post-School Pathways provision can help to prepare pupils to make important decisions and manage key transitions, both within an educational context and beyond. The department is run by Mrs R S Chillcott (MA Oxon, PGCE), our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration.
Throughout their time at Solihull, all pupils receive support from the Careers and Post-School Pathways Department when making academic options choices. All Year-groups receive group presentations on the academic option choices available, and the impact of these choices on post-16 and post-18 pathways. These are supplemented by one-to-one meetings with our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration, where pupil option choices are discussed, alongside individual attainment grades, and post-school education and career aspirations.
Solihull ensures that all pupils receive current and unbiased information on future learning, training and career options, through meaningful encounters with representatives from the world of work and higher-education providers. Twice-termly ‘Careers Weeks’ are held for pupils in Lower School and Middle School, during which time form tutors deliver sessions on Unifrog, and students in Lower Sixth receive weekly Unifrog sessions from the January of that year. Optional Careers Lunch events take place frequently, are open to all Senior School pupils, and provide opportunities for pupils to hear from representatives from the world of work and to take part in meaningful Q&A sessions. Saturday Careers Workshops take place termly, which allow for a deeper-dive into the world of work than is possible during a standard Careers Lunch event. Regular Careers Newsletters are sent to Senior School pupils and parents, bringing together a collation of information from employers and universities across the UK.
During the Christmas term of their Upper Fifth year, all pupils participate in Morrisby Online Careers assessments. All pupils receive a full, individualised report following completion, and meet with our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration to discuss this in relation to their post-16 pathways choices. All pupils in Upper Fifth receive a Post-16 Pathways Meeting during the Easter term, which is designed to support decision making around their post-16 options. These include discussions on the most appropriate programme of post-16 study, in conjunction with projected academic attainment; discussions on the most appropriate academic subjects, in conjunction with projected academic attainment, post-18 education and career aspirations.
The Careers and Post-School Pathways Department also supports pupils when researching and making applications for university and/or apprenticeship opportunities. Lower Sixth students and parents are invited to a Post-18 Pathways Evening, at which they hear from university admissions departments, and alumni who have participated in degree apprenticeships programmes. Lower Sixth students also enjoy protected curriculum time to begin their UCAS applications, and participate in two UCAS Mornings, which include Personal Statement workshops and a UCAS subject carousel. Students are encouraged to attend (a maximum of three during school hours) university Open Days. Students applying to Oxbridge, as well as those applying to read Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science, are supported by Dr S Foster, our Oxbridge and Medics Co-ordinator.
All students in Lower Sixth receive a Post-18 Pathways Meeting during the Summer term, which is designed to support decision making around their post-18 options. Students are supported to identify their most appropriate post-18 pathway, via discussions with our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration. Support includes helping students with awareness of academic and vocational courses available to, and suitable for, the student, in conjunction with projected academic attainment and career aspirations. Students are also supported in considering degree apprenticeship opportunities versus the traditional degree route, and how to access them.
Solihull recognises the importance of parental involvement in the Careers and Post-School Pathways programme, and to this end, our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration is available to parents and guardians at all times, by appointment, either with or without the pupil present. Parents and guardians also meet the Director of Academic Guidance & Administration at key sectional and whole-school events and parents’ evenings.
Members of our alumni community, especially our recent leavers, use the Careers and Post-School Pathways Department extensively. Alumni are welcomed back to Solihull in person, or helped remotely whilst on Gap Years or living away, whenever they need our impartial support and advice on key decisions affecting their continued education or careers.
Our network of Career Mentors, made up of parents and alumni, generously support our pupils and alumni. Our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration is able to match Sixth Form students and younger alumni with a Career Mentor who is an experienced professional in the student’s area of interest, and who can help give them an insight into their world of work, and support in getting there. This support varies, as appropriate, but can include help with CV writing, job interviews and introductions.
Mrs R S Chillcott, our Director of Academic Guidance & Administration, is always happy to hear from you. Please contact her on Careers@solsch.org.uk. Together we really can help our students’ todays shape their tomorrows.