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Careers Co-curriculum

The curriculum is supported by events to inform girls and their parents about HE, careers and routes into these and opportunities for girls to develop transferable skills, experience what the working world is like and to develop independence and leadership. The calendar of events is

Themed Careers Evenings

These are held for girls in Years 10 to Upper Sixth and parents: two evenings a year, each one covering a broad career area. The format is a plenary session with a university admissions tutor who outlines what they are looking for in applicants before the audience splits into parallel optional workshops: the first sessions are taken by former pupils currently reading subjects related to the theme; the second sessions by young professionals at the start of their careers and the final sessions by speakers at a later stage in their careers. We aim to use as many former pupils as we can: they are excellent role models and showcase the advantages of the sort of education BGS offers. The added bonus is that current pupils have a great opportunity to network and often gain work experience and or advice.

Careers Days

These involve a day off timetable for Years 8 to Lower Sixth.

Year 8

Learn to Earn, in association with Young Enterprise, emphasises the link between academic achievement, transferable skills and greater career choice and helps girls learn about a great variety of careers.

Year 9

Developer for a Day, in association with Young Enterprise, has groups of girls forming small companies which have to formulate a company strategy, plan, design and budget for a housing development which meets strict criteria within a tight timescale. Girls learn much about the range of professional careers within the construction industry which is still largely perceived as a male-dominated industry, yet which offers women great opportunities.

Year 10

Boombiz, in association with Rhetonic Ltd, offers girls the chance to experience many functional roles working in a fast-moving technology company. Working in groups, each group forming their own company, girls have to design, purchase stock and manufacture to exacting standards their chosen product. Throughout a trading year, profit and loss accounts show how successful the different companies are. The simulation is fast-paced with crucial decisions on purchasing raw materials, quantity of product made, quality of product and the advertising and marketing budget determining who becomes the market leader.

Year 11

A week’s work experience after summer GCSE examinations gives girls a real experience of the working world. Girls are expected to organise their own placement, although Careers will assist with suggestions and contact details from our extensive database.

Lower Sixth

Future Fortunes focuses on the skills needed to succeed in HE and the world of work through a series of activities involving planning, time management, multi-tasking, communication and presentation skills. Group advisers from local organisations, including several former pupils, describe their career pathways (in most cases, not straightforward which gives the important message that setbacks and disappointments do not mean the end of a successful career) and work with small groups of girls on the tasks set.

Additional events

Vacation Courses

Are advertised regularly to girls in Years 9 to Upper Sixth, with good uptake, for courses including Smallpeice Trust courses on engineering, Headstart courses, GSK vacation scheme, University taster courses in a wide range of subjects and vocational courses in Law, Medicine and Veterinary Science.

Morrisby Psychometric Testing

Is offered to Years 10 and 11 to inform career planning and for guidance to careers which are a good match for individual profile, particularly for those who are undecided about career direction.

Higher Education Information Evening for the Lower Sixth and Parents

Outlines the current procedures for university application and covers how the school supports applicants. External speakers inform on what admissions tutors look for in a strong application; student finance; Oxbridge; what to consider if planning a year out; and applying to overseas universities.

Personal Statement Workshop for the Upper Sixth

Provides advice from a university admissions tutor on what universities are looking for in a personal statement.

Oxbridge Summer Project

Gives prospective Lower Sixth Oxbridge applicants the opportunity to research independently a topic that enthuses them, to prepare a paper on this and to present it to an audience of their peers, parents and teachers and to defend it to an expert panel.

Interview Techniques Advice

Offered to Upper Sixth as an evening session to prepare them for interview.

Mock Interview Practice

Offered to Upper Sixth in preparation for university and other interviews.

Oxbridge Interviews

Offered to Upper Sixth Oxbridge applicants as part of a consortium of local schools; subject specific mock interviews in preparation for the real thing.

BMS Oxbridge Information Evening

Allows girls in Years 10 to Upper Sixth and their parents to join prospective Oxbridge applicants from other Bedfordshire schools to listen to advice from Oxford and Cambridge admissions tutors about the application process and how to prepare.

Bedford School UCAS Evening

Allows girls in Lower Sixth and their parents to listen to advice about the current UCAS application procedure and how to prepare.

Bedford School OB Careers Fair

For Years 11 to Upper Sixth. BGS collaborates in providing speakers for a comprehensive careers evening enabling girls to speak to current practitioners in a wide variety of professional careers.