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Alumni support virtual careers and university preparation programme

Published on 21/05/20

For two weeks this month our alumni have been taking parting in a series of university preparation and virtual career Q&A sessions, to help our Year 11 prepare for joining the sixth form and Year 13 pupils to begin thinking about life after Claremont Fan Court School.

Since Claremont adopted a virtual teaching programme, our teachers have been looking at new ways to support our current pupils. This is a particularly challenging time for our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils, who were due to sit examinations, which have now been cancelled. To ensure that our pupils continue to receive valid and engaging support as they prepare to make the next steps, we reached out to our alumni and some current parents to ask for help.

Mrs Emma Wells, head of sixth form (pastoral), developed a programme which invited our current undergraduate leavers (those still studying at university) to join a virtual Q&A session to discuss how they made the most of their time in sixth form, focusing particularly on preparation for university applications. A group of eight 2018 and 2019 leavers shared the importance of a personal statement and starting it early in Year 12. The group then returned for a follow-up session with Year 13 to discuss what it’s like to be a ‘fresher’. Giving top tips on how to make new friends, what to do if you find you haven’t made the correct course choice and advice on student accommodation and the importance of a varied recipe repertoire!

On Monday 11 May, Mrs Emma Wells, head of sixth form (pastoral) launched ‘Employability Week’. A programme of virtual lessons and life skills to prepare the Year 13 life after Claremont. Over the course of the week, 13 career professionals (11 alumni) presented one-hour sessions to provide overviews of their current roles, discussing their own career pathways and helpful advice on how to get ahead and stand out in a competitive world. The selection of professions and sectors covered included a barrister, business director, paediatrician, pilot, accountant, tv and journalism as well as those working in the world of fashion, arts, defence and civil service. Our professionals had experience of entering employment via apprenticeship and graduate schemes and gave an honest account of the success and set-backs that they had experienced.

This virtual programme was such a success that we are now looking at offering a regular Professional Enrichment Partnership (PEP) talks, to allow more of our alumni and parent experience to be shared, reaching out to more Claremontians as they start their career journey.

If you would like to support the Claremont Careers Partnership by volunteering to give a talk please register your interest here.