The work within the Careers Department reflects a whole school ethos and mission to inspire and champion excellence for all students in whatever career path they choose.
At St Helen’s we understand that students can feel daunted about the future. With the wide variety of paths and possibilities open to them, making decisions about their future in an uncertain world, plus understanding what aspects are truly important to them, can potentially feel like an emotional rollercoaster!
We therefore see it as crucial that students begin learning about careers and the world of work from Year 5 and continue all the way through to Upper Sixth. This ensures that every student leaves school with a good awareness of the emerging and differing opportunities and career paths alongside traditional professional routes. They also have the self-knowledge, skills, and resilience to thrive in society as a successful young adult; maximising their individual strengths, talents and potential.
"Whether you are student who already has a grand career plan, or a student who is feeling bewildered by the number of options available to them, we are here to help and support you."Mrs Emily Cartwright, Head of Careers and Professional Guidance
Whether it’s the Young Entrepreneur project in Year 6, the action packed ‘Business Brains and Entrepreneurship’ day in Year 8, the day’s work shadowing as part of ‘World of Work Day’ in Year 9, the two weeks’ work experience in Year 11 or listening to one of the fascinating talks by visiting speakers, students have so many opportunities to immerse themselves in discovering more about the world of work. This in turn enables every student to feel supported, confident and well-informed to fulfil their potential and meet their aspirations. Our open-door policy encourages students from across all year groups to either pop in or make an appointment to talk to the careers team who are available every day.
Career Development Institute
St. Helen’s is also proud to be a long-term member of the Career Development Institute and have received an excellence award from Investors in Careers. In 2022, we were shortlisted for an award in the Independent School of the Year for Student Careers Programme category.
We are also immensely proud of our wonderful, purpose-built careers library. It is open to all students across the whole school and is kept up-to-date with the latest careers books and reference material in both printed and digital format. Students are also provided with logins to a useful array of online career packages. This enables students to individually research information on different occupations, apprenticeships, universities, gap years, the labour market, career pathways and UCAS applications.
Thanks to links with parents, other schools in the Oxfordshire area, local and national employers and organisations, the careers provision is greatly enhanced and ensures that students’ learning is current and relevant. This involvement boosts the provision of work experience placements, curriculum projects and real-life examples linked to particular curriculum subjects, careers talks, the annual careers convention, workplace visits and Upper Sixth practice interviews. The careers department is always aiming to expand links and if you are interested in volunteering some of your time, experience and expertise to support an event or activity, please get in touch with Mrs Emily Cartwright, Head of Careers and Professional Guidance.
We are enormously proud of our alumnae whose remarkable achievements and sphere of influence are evident in every walk of life, from medicine, business and engineering to law, public policy and the arts. We are extremely fortunate that so many stay in contact and generously give their time, expertise, skills and professional advice to current Sixth Form students through the Kate Scheme, our career mentoring programme. The aim is to inspire and guide students as they make the transition between school, higher education and first career. This initial step to a professional network brings lifelong advantage.
The careers programme
Our careers provision takes into consideration the Gatsby benchmarks and the Career Development Framework (2021) developed by the Career Development Institute. The current careers programme is delivered through careers lessons provided within the Personal Development (PD) programme from Years 5 through to Sixth Form.