UCAS and Careers

Life After CSGS: UCAS, Apprenticeships and Careers Guidance

Students in the sixth form are carefully guided through the whole process of university application. The Higher Education Evening gives detailed advice about the application process and writing personal statements. Students are encouraged to undertake university visits or virtual open days to decide which one is right for them. UCAS Application Day helps students register with UCAS and provides advice from admissions tutors and past students already at university. Once the student is ready, they then work closely with their tutors, sixth-form staff, the Head of Learning and the Head of Key Stage 5 to ensure they submit the very best application form they can. There is also specific support in place for students who wish to make applications to Oxbridge, Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary medicine.

The Higher Level Apprenticeships Information Evening is the start of the formal process of making an apprenticeship application. This is continued throughout the remainder of Year 12 and Year 13

The Careers Service in the Sixth Form

Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) offers a planned programme of careers activities from Year 7 through to Year 13. Students leave equipped with the skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding to manage their lifelong career and learning so that they are as prepared as possible for their adult life in the real world.

We are one of only a handful of schools in the South East who have been awarded the prestigious ‘Quality in Careers’ Award for providing a comprehensive programme of Careers Education, information, advice and guidance from Year 7 to Year 13.

Careers Support in Year 12

Careers staff are available for advice as needed throughout the school day. We provide training sessions on CV writing; interview skills; applying for university; applying for apprenticeships; networking; how to present yourself. One-to-one careers interviews are also given to all Year 12 students who are new to the school and any Year 12 student who wants one. Throughout the year we have assemblies on a whole range of careers areas including: the current jobs market, studying abroad, the graduate market, how the world of work is changing and student finance. We also host talks from visiting speakers and ex-students on apprenticeships and university. Year 12 students also embark on one week’s compulsory work experience. Finally, we offer evening training sessions for Year 12 students and parents on: higher education; apprenticeships; student finance; career management.

Careers Support in Year 13

From June in Year 12 through to October in Year 13, careers staff and form tutors give help and guidance on selecting the right course at the right university and on completing UCAS applications. However, we also advise on applying for alternatives to university including: where and how to apply for apprenticeships/school leaver programmes; one-to-one advice on completing applications for jobs/apprenticeships; one-to-one practice interviews; group assessment centre practice. In the autumn term, we also provide workshops for parents and students on managing finances at university.

Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine

Any student aspiring to apply for a place at Oxford or Cambridge is supported through an extensive programme. This includes a programme of subject specific additional reading and tutorials in preparation for the rigorous application process. Oxbridge students are expected to attend the Quest lecture series to promote their intellectual curiosity and cultural capital. We continue to foster strong links with many of the colleges including Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and Mansfield College, Oxford, and visits are arranged each year so that students can see what it is like to study at such an institution. Subject specific preparation is provided for the subject entrance tests and mock interviews take place in Year 12 and in again in Year 13. Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge are given a specific mentor to assist them through the process. Any student applying to study Medicine and Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine is encouraged to be a part of the Medics Society, where a range of ethical and scientific issues are debated. The school runs the Medics Conference in Year 12, with a focus on successful application to medical schools and dentistry courses. In addition, past students of the school who have qualified in each of these professions are available to advise current students.

Comments from students awarded places at competitive universities or apprenticeship places

Amelia Mills

achieved a place to read Architecture at Cambridge

“When the challenge of determining my next educational steps arose, CSGS was there to provide extensive support, which assisted in every decision and potential hurdle. From finalising my course from a broad selection, to the daunting prospect of interviews, teachers and staff were consistent in their encouragement. In addition, there were numerous enriching opportunities, such as subject-specific lectures, visiting exhibitions and other establishments that enhanced and deepened my learning, aiding any preparation for my university applications. The assistance the school provided, which was tailored to my application process and course, was an integral part to my success in being rewarded with an offer to study Architecture at the University of Cambridge. CSGS ensures a rich and fulfilling education, which teaches beyond the words of a textbook and curriculum: a place where students thrive not just academically, but holistically.”

Varoune Shanmuganathan

achieved a place to read Medicine at Brighton and Sussex

“From being given information on the various admissions tests as well as mock interview preparation, CSGS not only helped further my motivation but also provided me with the confidence that I required when applying to medical school. In addition, the school offered a vast array of other enrichment activities such as a peer mentoring scheme, tutoring younger pupils, as well as awarding me the role of Vice School Captain. These activities strengthened the skills that I would require as a medical student and doctor, such as communication, integrity and leadership. Furthermore, the consistent support I received from my subject teachers and the sixth-form team played a huge role in my success in attaining a place at medical school. Knowing they were always there to give me advice on managing the stresses a medicine application entails, as well as constantly reassuring me helped me immensely at a very stressful time. Entering medical school has always been a big dream of mine; however, the level of difficulty to enter into such a prestigious course was always daunting but with the support that CSGS provided me, I was able to secure an offer from one of the top 10 medical schools in the country.”

Lauren Sillitoe

achieved a place to study English Literature at Durham

“The journey from Year 3 – me reading Enid Blyton – to being a Year 13 student accepted into Durham University to read English was a long one. I have always known what I wanted to study in an abstract half-dream of book piles and essays, but when it came to the very real prospect of personal statements and ELAT exams I was overwhelmed. One of the first and most useful opportunities offered to me by CSGS was an Oxbridge conference and trip to Oxford, where we were able to explore what an offer to study at undergraduate level would look like at a competitive university. It was also invaluable in terms of constructing a strong application and the basic Dos and Don’ts that served me very well in the weeks leading up to our application deadline. We also had mock interviews with both the Assistant Head and Subject Head, which proved to be both an enjoyable and critical experience. However, it was not just the nitty gritty of UCAS realities that CSGS prepared me for. In a less quantifiable but more long-term sense, the support and commitment invested by the teachers helped to challenge me beyond the classroom setting. Whether it was extension classes, trips to philosophy lectures or the many hours outside of class my teachers spent debating and discussing with me, I am very proud to have been a student at CSGS. My time here has not just carried me to Durham University, but it will support me to further studies and far beyond, and I will always be indebted to those who made that possible.”

Matthew Lecoq

taking up a Higher Apprenticeship in Audit with PWC

“I am starting a Higher Apprenticeship in Audit at the Big 4 accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). During the apprenticeship, I will be taking 15 ACA exams to become a qualified Chartered Accountant. The benefit is I will have no university debt, three years of invaluable experience working at PwC and a fantastic starting salary. When joining CSGS for Sixth Form, I was unsure of whether I wanted to go to university or do an apprenticeship in accountancy. CSGS were amazing with the support they gave for students doing apprenticeships, which is why I decided to go for the apprenticeship route. Events such as the Higher Education Evenings, where they brought in other apprentices that attended the school previously, really helped in making my decision. The application process for apprenticeships is different than when applying to university, as you are expected to undertake psychometric tests, verbal and maths tests, and attend interviews. All of this seemed quite daunting at first; however, the teachers who advised me were a great help by setting up practice interviews and explaining what big firms were looking for in their candidates. I am certain that had I not moved to CSGS, I may not have secured my apprenticeship at PwC, so I am very thankful to the school and if you are a student interested in applying for an apprenticeship, you are in very safe hands by being here.”

Thomas McBride

achieved a place to read Modern Foreign Languages at Cambridge

“CSGS was very helpful in aiding me to get an offer from Cambridge, facilitating multiple opportunities for practice interviews both internally and externally. In addition to this, the school also organised numerous trips to Oxford colleges for students interested in applying, where we received advice and resources from the university on our application. In terms of the wider teaching environment at the school, teachers were always ready to push students above and beyond in their study, and were keen to aid me in applying to extracurricular programmes.”

Russell Group Universities include:                                                 
University of Birmingham                              
University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
Cardiff University                                           
Durham University                              
University of Edinburgh                          
University of Exeter
University of Glasgow
Imperial College London
University College London
King’s College London
University of Leeds                 
University of Liverpool                         
LSE – London School of Economics
University of Manchester   
Newcastle University  
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford     
Queen Mary, University of London              
Queen’s University, Belfast                           
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton        
University of Warwick   
University of York

Other Universities include:
Aston University
Bath Spa University
Bournemouth University
Bristol, University of the West of England
Canterbury Christ Church University
Cardiff Metropolitan University
City, University of London
Coventry University
Goldsmiths, University of London
Harper and Keele Veterinary School
Kingston University
London Metropolitan University
Loughborough University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Nottingham Trent University
Oxford Brookes University
Ravensbourne University London
Royal Veterinary College, University of London
Sheffield Hallam University
School of Oriental and African Studies  (University of London)
St George’s, University of London
University of Surrey
University of Sussex
University of the Arts London