Deciding on what to do in the future is a daunting task for any of us, but when you’re aged 14 and 15 and you’re making decisions that will impact on your career, it’s even more so. Particularly when some of the jobs we may be doing do not even exist yet!
To help with that decision-making process, and to reassure girls that it’s OK if they don’t yet know what they want to do, each year The Abbey holds The Way Ahead evening, part of the Aspire programme.
More than 250 parents and Lower V pupils filled the Richards Hall to hear about the two Sixth Form programmes we offer at The Abbey, A-levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
Not only did they hear from Sixth Form staff, but more importantly from current Abbey Sixth Form students taking both qualifications. Maddie and Kate talked openly and honestly about their experience of the IB and A-levels respectively. They both agreed that all Sixth Formers enjoyed sharing Sixth Form community life together regardless of which qualification they took.
Alumna Livy Watson gave a pragmatic talk about how she realised the journalism career path she’d initially chosen wasn’t for her and how important it is to find a career that suits your personality and values. She talked about ruling careers out being just as valuable as knowing what you want to do.
The evening is designed to start the Lower V girls thinking about their Sixth Form choices and beyond. They were told about the process of Morrisby psychometric testing, to help them make their decision, and about the Next Steps Interviews – a three-way dialogue between each pupil, her parents and a senior teacher at The Abbey.
Marlene Robinson, Director of Aspire at The Abbey, manages a full programme offering careers and university advice: “We start this process when girls are in Lower V to give them lots of time to think about the choices available to them and what they’d like to do. It’s an evolving process and the Next Steps Interviews allow everyone to put all their cards on the table and discuss the pupil’s next steps backed up by her Morrisby Profile.”
After the presentation, guests were invited for refreshments in the Sixth Form centre where pupils and parents were able to ask Sixth Formers and staff questions more personally related to them.
Comments from the evening - “It was a very informative and clearly explained evening”, “I wish I had had advice and help like that when I was at school”, and “The alumna Livy Watson and the Sixth Form speakers were amazing”.