Careers education at Cobham Hall begins in Year 7 and continues until girls make definitive choices for their future in Year 13.
In Lower School, girls are gently introduced to the topic of careers. They play the “Real Game” in which they simulate having a career and a personal life similar to that of an adult with incoming and outgoing expenses for holidays, family life, utilities and food – the aim of the game being, of course, to “live” and avoid bankruptcy.
In Year 9 girls begin to explore their own strengths and think about their subject choices for GCSE and IB, which will affect what courses they can study at university. Role play is used to help girls become aware of making good choices and bad choices and the potential impact of these on their career paths.
In Year 10 girls participate in two major careers-related activities. The Big Business Pitch is an entrepreneurial event in the style of BBC’s Dragons’ Den. During the two day event, girls learn about starting and marketing their own business while developing innovative ideas for products and services.
Year 10 students also undertake a week of work experience at a variety of businesses and companies. Throughout Year 10 girls prepare for the week, discussing interview techniques, what to expect and how to deal with situations that might come up in the workplace.
In Year 11 girls reflect on work experience and revisit their perceived strengths and weaknesses to assess their progress. There is much focus on subject choices for Sixth Form to ensure girls choose the right subjects for their desired career paths, or keep their options open. CV writing is also covered in Year 11.
In the Sixth Form, the personal attention girls receive in careers and university guidance is invaluable in ensuring that students make the right individual choice. In Year 12 girls attend a Higher Education Fair early in the year. Throughout the Sixth Form girls are encouraged to attend university Open Days and take part in UCAS personal statement writing workshops.
We hold an Oxbridge Conference, IB Conference and other university-related talks and seminars which are all part of career development in the Sixth Form. In Year 13 girls are guided through applying for university, whether that’s in the UK or overseas, and spend time fine-tuning their interview techniques and personal statements with the help of teachers, the Head of Sixth Form and professional career practitioners.