Careers education: a springboard for life
"The Careers Department offers constant encouragement and support in our decisions and plans for life after Downe, whether advice regarding university applications, or opening our eyes to the many alternatives." Hattie Beazley
No-matter which profession or career path they ultimately choose, Downe House girls typically achieve great things. For example, many former pupils are leaders in the worlds of medicine, engineering, science, media, academia, business, finance, sport, art, politics and law. Helping each girl to identify her strengths and not be hindered by her weaknesses, we have put in place a comprehensive careers programme that begins in Year 7 and builds progressively throughout the school years. To encourage each girl to take an early interest in her future, Year 7 pupils join a parent for ‘Take your daughter to work day’.
During Lower Four, girls take part in ‘The Real Game’, a series of highly practicalcareers simulation exercises. In Upper Four - a crucial year when GCSE options are made - girls are given tremendous support in choosing their subjects, thinking about the skills they already have, as well as the qualifications they wish to gain.
During the Lower and Upper Five years, careers lessons concentrate on the qualities, qualifications and skills necessary to succeed in various professions. At the same time, a focus on A-level and Pre-U choices, supported by psychometric profiling and work-shadowing opportunities support each girl in clear decision-making.
In Sixth Form, workshops, taster courses and face-to-face meetings assist girls in such areas as making Higher Education choices, with the majority applying to Oxbridge and other Russell Group Universities and a growing number of students looking to study in Eire and the United States. Completing personal statements, understanding student finance and even surviving that first year at university, are all topics covered in Sixth Form. As additional support, our well-established ‘Oyster Programme’ includes trips to Higher Education Fairs, visits to leading universities and even advice on how to plan a gap year.