University education is full of opportunities, but sometimes it can be hard to know which way to look first, with so many choices available – or at least know where students are headed – especially when it appears as though some have a very clear pathway, but the reality is that most will need a considerable amount of support.

The Careers and Guidance (CAG) Counsellor at Repton School aims to provide reliable validity to the source of any advice and simplify this process for each student. The key is to develop a personal plan with crucial expertise that aims to maximize their success through their chosen pathway. As a school, we also rely on strong communication and openness with parents so that we as a team can find the best possible route destination for each person.

Starting with the basics, parents can help by teasing out what their children enjoy. This dialogue at home can channel excitement and help empower young people for their future steps. In school, the formal Careers and Guidance program commences in Year 11, although students of any age are welcome to make appointments with the CAG counsellor and attend related events at school! Our CAG lead will be in school for all open days and will be accessible to any parent, no matter how young the student.

In school, and as part of the Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) curriculum, students will be given access to numerous programs including the university resource ‘Unifrog’, to help in the journey of self-discovery along with the tutors who are instrumental in delivering these programs. Students will then use this knowledge to help make informed subject selection choices for the important final two years of school in our Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13), with tailored advice from the CAG counsellor.

Once enrolled in our Sixth Form and as part of the Year 12 curriculum, a key focus is research and decision-making for university choices. Students are given resources and presentations on research tools and factors to consider when finalizing university options. Students are also given detailed information on the key destination countries that Repton students apply to, with most at the moment targeting the UK, USA, and Canada.

As part of our service to all students, the CAG counsellor provides one-to-one counselling sessions with individual students. In addition, these are the other services provided to create a bespoke program of support depending on the needs of the individual. At Repton we will continue to:

• Organize University visits/fairs from all over the world regularly

• Provide presentations on key career/university topics of interest regularly

• Enable campus visits to universities in the UAE

• Communicate in weekly newsletters covering important event information

• Continue our highly successful Oxbridge Program

• Provide application enrichment opportunities

• Support work readiness skills

Our reassuring expertise will be pivotal in Year 13, as this stage is all about applications – making sure that deadlines are known and adhered to. All the application components are carefully prepared and executed with time for feedback and improvement. The CAG counsellor is instrumental in ensuring every application that is submitted showcases the student’s talents and academic merits to maximize success. However, the end of Year 13 is not where the CAG’s help ends – most importantly when results come out the CAG is there for advice & support, and is keen to welcome back ex-students to school so that current students can learn from their experiences!

We also very much push, challenge and encourage students to go beyond their comfort zone and what they think they can do. We greatly encourage students to join academic, sporting, artistic, or musical teams, societies, or clubs. Our student leadership team also set these up themselves with the ‘Law Newsletter’ one example at Repton Sixth Form. It is these experiences that can help build confidence, positivity, and engagement within the local community and in themselves. Wider activities as part of our curriculum are set up to enable Repton students to grasp the opportunity as we know that they will not only add to the personality of a university application but also forge steps towards future careers and success.