Life after Colfe’s

An all-years’ careers programme

Our philosophy is simple: if we can help you identify what you enjoy and where you have skills, the big decisions are easier about what to do for GCSE, A-level, degree and beyond.

The vast majority of leavers from Colfe’s go on to higher education, whether at university or at a specialist college for Music, Art or Drama; in the UK or abroad. In 2022 98% of our students went to their first choice university.

Other students may prefer to learn on the job – getting qualified, getting paid and gaining real-world experience. Degree apprenticeships are increasingly popular and the selection process is highly competitive, with often only a few coveted places available.

At Colfe’s we start talking about careers in Year 7 and gradually increase our careers activities every year. By the time it comes to Year 13, we are able to provide more tailored careers guidance, helping every student reach their potential.

We don’t just offer practical help – we also offer belief

For some, a path may be clear, and the role of the careers service is to support with Ucas applications or personal statements. For others, the future is less clear.

The bespoke support offered by the careers service is often about quelling anxieties. Taking risks is part of the learning process, and we encourage our students to embrace a passion if they have one; but we are also there to help with guidance on navigating the world of options available.

Here’s an example of what is included in our current careers programme, but it does vary and is updated as we find out about new opportunities for our students:

Year 7: An introduction to the world of careers, including careers of the future and growth areas such as green technology and AI.

Year 8: Looking at personality types and how this could be a helpful key to future choices. Students also start to collate their personal careers information at this point.

Year 9: Morrisby Aspirations quiz, which matches interests and ambitions with potential careers and university degrees. This is saved for future use. Advice and guidance is given on GCSE choices.

Year 10: The full Morrisby psychometric profile which matches interests and aptitudes with potential careers. This is followed up with a one-to-one careers guidance session by a trained external and impartial careers adviser.

Year 11: Tailored guidance about post-16 options including work experience, preparing CVs and choices of A-levels leading to different degree and apprenticeship choices. Students are also actively encouraged to seek further one-to-one support and guidance from the Head of Careers.

Year 12:

  • Introduction to the range of post-18 options and given information on where to start their research.
  • Weekly timetabled lesson supporting students onto the next stage, including writing or updating their CVs, applying for work experience, alternatives to university, and many other sessions.
  • Careers talks as part of our Forum programme covering gap years, university finance, choosing the right university, apprenticeships and many more. These are delivered by external speakers.
  • Spring term individual interview with an external careers adviser to give more support and guidance in taking the next step.
  • Encouragement to research their choices thoroughly and go on in-person or online university taster days and visits.
  • Medics programme, Oxbridge programme and support for overseas university applicants – all of these options are open to any students in Year 12.
  • Competitive university applications evening for parents and also a general UCAS information for parents and students.
  • Work experience programme in which Old Colfeians and our other contacts offer work placements during the holidays. Students are invited to apply for these placements.
  • We also use an online work experience provider to enable more students to be able to access employer experiences.
  • UCAS programme – a parents’ meeting explaining how we provide support through this exciting but sometimes daunting process is followed by sessions in which you will learn about:
    • Writing a Personal Statement
    • Getting the best use out of university open days
    • Managing your money
    • Making the most of the skills you have acquired in life so far
    • Using Unifrog, which helps with university application by keeping all research and personal statement drafts in one place
    • Each student has a personal tutor to help with the application process and write references.

We also hold a Careers Fair every two yearswhere advisers provide pupils in years 10 to 13 with information about careers, universities and apprenticeships. A diverse range of professions typically attend, from Art to Research Science.

The 2023 event took place on 21 March. Over 100 professional guests, universities, gap year organisations, and independent careers advisers attended, with a broad range of sectors represented, including:

Financial Services, Medicine, Museums & Heritage; Archaeology & Anthropology, Cyber security, Accountancy, Law, TV and Film, Auctioneering, Human Resources, Financial Technology (FinTech), Hospitality, Entrepreneurs, Property, Investment Banking, Nuclear industry, Construction, Surveying, Architecture, Reinsurance, Civil Service, Structural/Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, IT, Charity, Teaching, Accountancy, Digital Media Marketing, Sustainable retail, Actuary, Social Work/NHS Trust, Acting, Music & Composing, Physiotherapy, Meteorology/Climate Modelling, Renewable Energy, Journalism, Advertising, Graphic Design, Climate Change Science, Visual Effects, Medical Physics and many more.

For more information, please contact our Head of Careers:

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.