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HOME | SIXTH FORM | BEYOND SHS | Careers

Careers - Planning for Your Daughter's Future

Our Philosophy

While Surbiton High School equips girls with a great academic education, we are also mindful of preparing them for life after they leave us.

To ensure this, we have a well-resourced career and higher education service which we consider to be unique to the School.

The following key principles underpin our work:

  • Progressive: Our approach is strategic, not piecemeal. Starting in Year 8, “careers” builds year on year so that by the time they leave us, our girls should be well on the way to being effective “Career Managers”, with a good idea of who they are and where they want to go.
  • Person-centered: Everyone is unique – what motivates one, may not another. While there is much group based activity within our programme, there is also considerable focus on the individual through individual interviews, individualised action plans and career psychometric testing.
  • Impartiality: Our job is not to tell our girls what to do. It is for girls to explore themselves and the opportunities available and make their own decisions. By employing dedicated Careers Professionals, there is always someone impartial on hand to help students weigh up the choices and do what is right for them.
  • Quality: From our events to our interviews, we believe that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. Future Planning is not something that can be done in one talk or a 10 minute interview with a few line write-up. Instead, it is something that requires ongoing, timely and serious interventions.
  • Fun: While we are very serious about our girls’ futures, we recognise the best way to engage girls to be serious about their future is by making what we do fun. We do this by using non-traditional techniques such as video, personality tests, inspiring lectures and stories.

Framework for Future Planning

We use a well-established framework for career education called DOTS. All our work seeks to further the following key outcomes within this framework:

  • Self-awareness in a careers and education context
    What do I like? What am I good at? Where are my weaknesses? How do I know?
  • Opportunity awareness
    What are the career and education opportunities out there? How do I find out about them? Research skills, open days, courses, work experience, attending relevant talks etc.
  • Decision-making skills in the future planning context
    Become adept at weighing up the many future options surrounding education and career decisions and, once you have decided on goals to pursue, come up with a realistic and effective plan
  • Transition skills (Employability)
    So you have identified career and education goals (e.g. you want to get a work placement with Goldman Sachs or you want to gain a place at Oxbridge), what employability/transition skills will you need (e.g. interview skills, CV writing skills, reading beyond the curriculum etc.) and how do you develop them?

What do we do?

Interviews

  • Each girl has at least two career and higher education interviews during their time at Surbiton High School, one in Year 11 and another in Year 12
  • Each comes with an in-depth write-up and action plan to aid future planning, which is emailed to the student and their parents
  • Parents and students can also see us on a drop-in or appointment basis

Psychometric Career Testing

  • Girls are strongly encouraged to take the Morrisby Careers Profile at the end of Year 10
  • Its aim is to understand students’ abilities, personality and interests and link these to future subject, university and career choices. It can also provide guidance on things like study style and motivations. You can read more about the Morrisby here
  • Our in-house careers team are fully trained in the use and interpretation of these profiles, which means we are able to use them on an ongoing basis to help your daughter in her future planning and education
  • Feedback on the results is given in the Year 11 interview and at a parental/student feedback
  • Girls also undertake the Fast Tomato Careers Interest Questionnaire and Myers’ Briggs Personality Test in Year 9 to introduce them to the concept of using tests to develop personal understanding and connections with the wider world

Events

  • An annual Careers, Higher Education and Gap Year Fair
  • A series of “Working Lunches” for students (and sometimes parents) on different university and career options. Recent talks/workshops include: Study in Scotland, Careers in Television Production and Social Media, Careers in High-End Retail, Medical School
  • Bespoke programmes – where we recognise the need for additional support. For example, in 2013 we introduced a Medical School Evening Course
  • Subject in the Spotlight Career Evenings – these events see graduates from a certain discipline talk about what they have gone on to do. Recent events include the Classics Careers and the Drama Careers Evenings
  • Visits to universities and employers

Work Experience

  • All girls undertake one week’s worth of compulsory Work Experience at the end of the Summer Term in Year 11
  • This is preceded by a work experience preparation programme and then followed by a work experience debrief
  • Work-based learning is vital for developing one’s thinking about career and education choices. It is also important since many competitive courses such as medicine and veterinary science will expect it
  • The Department will also help girls source work experience outside the official programme

Compulsory Careers Classes / PSHE

  • In Year 12 – Choosing your university course Presentations/Workshops and Interview Day (a mock interview experience for all girls)
  • In Year 10 – University Lecture Day, giving girls a taster of what lectures are like in different subjects from top academics and Building a Winning CV (Year 10)
  • The NHS Careers Competition (Years 8 and 9)

Leadership and Employability

We believe it is fundamentally important to teach our students to excel as young people and as young leaders too. In an increasingly competitive world, it is essential that our girls learn how to project and promote themselves dynamically and with confidence. That will stand them in the best stead when it comes to applications and interviews for higher education and careers.

To that end, and using staff who have many years’ experience of working at senior levels in the business environment, we run workshops for girls from Year 8 onwards which are aimed at developing relevant leadership and employability skills. We teach, by way of example, interview technique and how to present well at interview, negotiation tactics, presentation and public speaking skills, ways to shine in the workplace and ways to make an application form sparkle.

We also offer one to one mentoring for Oxbridge and other university interviews, helping the girls to present themselves in the most positive fashion.

To be successful, young people must be interesting. Young people must be interested in what is around them. Young people must stand out from the crowd. Young people must be leaders, team players, committed, enthusiastic and adaptable. Our leadership and employability programme aims to ensure that when our students leave Surbiton High School, they are all of those things.

Who are we?

Terence McDermott – Director of Careers and Guidance

Before joining Surbiton High School, Terry was Regional Director with Inspiring Futures/ISCO (The Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation), a charity providing career guidance and education services to young people at top schools.

He has experience working with the Careers and Sixth Forms at some of the UK’s best known schools, such as Radley College, Oxford High, Harrow School and Wellington College. He is using this learning to build a Department at Surbiton High School which aims to be a national leader in its careers and higher education provision.

Prior to this, he worked in security services in Colombia, the Caribbean and Indonesia and in television production on various current affairs, documentary and entertainment shows such as "The Apprentice". He has also worked in executive search, headhunting bankers for leading investment banks such as Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Terry has a degree in law from Cambridge University, the Qualification in Career Guidance/Postgraduate Diploma from University of East London/Institute of Career Guidance and is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs. He is also founder of the UK’s first charity for people with voice problems (see www.lary.org.uk)


Ziba Leckie – Assistant Director of Careers

Prior to joining the staff at Surbiton High School, Ziba’s career has largely been in Marketing, PR and Events Management. Her role focused on the successful delivery of complex marketing campaigns to promote leading technology trade shows, including BETT (the British Education and Training Technology Show) and Apple Expo. She has experience in managing marketing departments and has been involved in recruitment, training and career development.

Ziba has a Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development, a degree in French and English and is an accredited Morrisby Practitioner.


David Sanders – Leadership Coach

David Sanders read Law at the University of Exeter. He worked in the corporate department at Macfarlanes, a major City law firm, from 1991 to 2013. He trained at the firm, qualifying as a solicitor into the commercial real estate team in 1993 and joining the partnership in 2000. David sat on the firm’s trainee solicitor committee for 11 years, with responsibility for the recruitment of new trainee solicitors into the firm from universities and law schools, and for their pastoral care during their two years of training. He also sat on the firm’s senior management committee from 2010 to 2011.

David now works as Leadership Coach at Surbiton High School, based in the Sixth Form Centre. He provides guidance and training on (amongst other things) interview technique, public speaking, commercial awareness, career, university and A-level choices, and the preparation of personal statements and workplace application forms. He also works for part of the week as a freelance law tutor, teaching property law and contract law at BPP University in London.

Key Career Resources

www.prospects.ac.uk – Job profiles, find out about career families, link degrees and careers.

www.nhscareers.nhs.uk – Great info on a wide range of careers in the healthcare industries.

http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/ – A fantastic resource from the University of Kent with lots of information.

www.morrisby.com – Access your Morrisby Report online. If you need your access code, contact the Careers Deparment or phone Morrisby on 01442 215521.

Morrisby Helpline: if you have signed up for the Morrisby Profile, you have access to their Careers and Higher Education Helpline on 01442 215521 for advice.

www.careersbox.co.uk – Bored of reading? Watch videos about different careers on this entertaining website.

http://www.sscallianceextranet.org/Home-Public/SectorSkillsCouncils/SSC_Contacts.aspx – A directory of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). There are over 20 SSCs representing different industries. They provide you with job profiles, information on demand for new talent in their particular industry, events, apprenticeships, plus much more. Examples include:

Some have dedicated career spin-off websites, such as:

Industry Directories/Associations are a great way to find which companies work in which industries. There will usually be one for most sectors (tip: Google industry name + directory or association). Use these to make “cold approaches” for work experience/jobs. For example:

The COA Careers Directory – A book that gives simple profiles of different careers and tells you what demand is like for these professions. Multiple copies available in the Main and Careers Libraries.

For university research resources, see the University Section Here

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"Our girls gain confidence from trying new things and succeeding, as well as from trying new things and failing!"
HOME | SIXTH FORM | BEYOND SHS | Careers

Careers - Planning for Your Daughter's Future

Our Philosophy

While Surbiton High School equips girls with a great academic education, we are also mindful of preparing them for life after they leave us.

To ensure this, we have a well-resourced career and higher education service which we consider to be unique to the School.

The following key principles underpin our work:

  • Progressive: Our approach is strategic, not piecemeal. Starting in Year 8, “careers” builds year on year so that by the time they leave us, our girls should be well on the way to being effective “Career Managers”, with a good idea of who they are and where they want to go.
  • Person-centered: Everyone is unique – what motivates one, may not another. While there is much group based activity within our programme, there is also considerable focus on the individual through individual interviews, individualised action plans and career psychometric testing.
  • Impartiality: Our job is not to tell our girls what to do. It is for girls to explore themselves and the opportunities available and make their own decisions. By employing dedicated Careers Professionals, there is always someone impartial on hand to help students weigh up the choices and do what is right for them.
  • Quality: From our events to our interviews, we believe that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. Future Planning is not something that can be done in one talk or a 10 minute interview with a few line write-up. Instead, it is something that requires ongoing, timely and serious interventions.
  • Fun: While we are very serious about our girls’ futures, we recognise the best way to engage girls to be serious about their future is by making what we do fun. We do this by using non-traditional techniques such as video, personality tests, inspiring lectures and stories.

Framework for Future Planning

We use a well-established framework for career education called DOTS. All our work seeks to further the following key outcomes within this framework:

  • Self-awareness in a careers and education context
    What do I like? What am I good at? Where are my weaknesses? How do I know?
  • Opportunity awareness
    What are the career and education opportunities out there? How do I find out about them? Research skills, open days, courses, work experience, attending relevant talks etc.
  • Decision-making skills in the future planning context
    Become adept at weighing up the many future options surrounding education and career decisions and, once you have decided on goals to pursue, come up with a realistic and effective plan
  • Transition skills (Employability)
    So you have identified career and education goals (e.g. you want to get a work placement with Goldman Sachs or you want to gain a place at Oxbridge), what employability/transition skills will you need (e.g. interview skills, CV writing skills, reading beyond the curriculum etc.) and how do you develop them?

What do we do?

Interviews

  • Each girl has at least two career and higher education interviews during their time at Surbiton High School, one in Year 11 and another in Year 12
  • Each comes with an in-depth write-up and action plan to aid future planning, which is emailed to the student and their parents
  • Parents and students can also see us on a drop-in or appointment basis

Psychometric Career Testing

  • Girls are strongly encouraged to take the Morrisby Careers Profile at the end of Year 10
  • Its aim is to understand students’ abilities, personality and interests and link these to future subject, university and career choices. It can also provide guidance on things like study style and motivations. You can read more about the Morrisby here
  • Our in-house careers team are fully trained in the use and interpretation of these profiles, which means we are able to use them on an ongoing basis to help your daughter in her future planning and education
  • Feedback on the results is given in the Year 11 interview and at a parental/student feedback
  • Girls also undertake the Fast Tomato Careers Interest Questionnaire and Myers’ Briggs Personality Test in Year 9 to introduce them to the concept of using tests to develop personal understanding and connections with the wider world

Events

  • An annual Careers, Higher Education and Gap Year Fair
  • A series of “Working Lunches” for students (and sometimes parents) on different university and career options. Recent talks/workshops include: Study in Scotland, Careers in Television Production and Social Media, Careers in High-End Retail, Medical School
  • Bespoke programmes – where we recognise the need for additional support. For example, in 2013 we introduced a Medical School Evening Course
  • Subject in the Spotlight Career Evenings – these events see graduates from a certain discipline talk about what they have gone on to do. Recent events include the Classics Careers and the Drama Careers Evenings
  • Visits to universities and employers

Work Experience

  • All girls undertake one week’s worth of compulsory Work Experience at the end of the Summer Term in Year 11
  • This is preceded by a work experience preparation programme and then followed by a work experience debrief
  • Work-based learning is vital for developing one’s thinking about career and education choices. It is also important since many competitive courses such as medicine and veterinary science will expect it
  • The Department will also help girls source work experience outside the official programme

Compulsory Careers Classes / PSHE

  • In Year 12 – Choosing your university course Presentations/Workshops and Interview Day (a mock interview experience for all girls)
  • In Year 10 – University Lecture Day, giving girls a taster of what lectures are like in different subjects from top academics and Building a Winning CV (Year 10)
  • The NHS Careers Competition (Years 8 and 9)

Leadership and Employability

We believe it is fundamentally important to teach our students to excel as young people and as young leaders too. In an increasingly competitive world, it is essential that our girls learn how to project and promote themselves dynamically and with confidence. That will stand them in the best stead when it comes to applications and interviews for higher education and careers.

To that end, and using staff who have many years’ experience of working at senior levels in the business environment, we run workshops for girls from Year 8 onwards which are aimed at developing relevant leadership and employability skills. We teach, by way of example, interview technique and how to present well at interview, negotiation tactics, presentation and public speaking skills, ways to shine in the workplace and ways to make an application form sparkle.

We also offer one to one mentoring for Oxbridge and other university interviews, helping the girls to present themselves in the most positive fashion.

To be successful, young people must be interesting. Young people must be interested in what is around them. Young people must stand out from the crowd. Young people must be leaders, team players, committed, enthusiastic and adaptable. Our leadership and employability programme aims to ensure that when our students leave Surbiton High School, they are all of those things.

Who are we?

Terence McDermott – Director of Careers and Guidance

Before joining Surbiton High School, Terry was Regional Director with Inspiring Futures/ISCO (The Independent Schools’ Careers Organisation), a charity providing career guidance and education services to young people at top schools.

He has experience working with the Careers and Sixth Forms at some of the UK’s best known schools, such as Radley College, Oxford High, Harrow School and Wellington College. He is using this learning to build a Department at Surbiton High School which aims to be a national leader in its careers and higher education provision.

Prior to this, he worked in security services in Colombia, the Caribbean and Indonesia and in television production on various current affairs, documentary and entertainment shows such as "The Apprentice". He has also worked in executive search, headhunting bankers for leading investment banks such as Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Terry has a degree in law from Cambridge University, the Qualification in Career Guidance/Postgraduate Diploma from University of East London/Institute of Career Guidance and is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs. He is also founder of the UK’s first charity for people with voice problems (see www.lary.org.uk)


Ziba Leckie – Assistant Director of Careers

Prior to joining the staff at Surbiton High School, Ziba’s career has largely been in Marketing, PR and Events Management. Her role focused on the successful delivery of complex marketing campaigns to promote leading technology trade shows, including BETT (the British Education and Training Technology Show) and Apple Expo. She has experience in managing marketing departments and has been involved in recruitment, training and career development.

Ziba has a Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development, a degree in French and English and is an accredited Morrisby Practitioner.


David Sanders – Leadership Coach

David Sanders read Law at the University of Exeter. He worked in the corporate department at Macfarlanes, a major City law firm, from 1991 to 2013. He trained at the firm, qualifying as a solicitor into the commercial real estate team in 1993 and joining the partnership in 2000. David sat on the firm’s trainee solicitor committee for 11 years, with responsibility for the recruitment of new trainee solicitors into the firm from universities and law schools, and for their pastoral care during their two years of training. He also sat on the firm’s senior management committee from 2010 to 2011.

David now works as Leadership Coach at Surbiton High School, based in the Sixth Form Centre. He provides guidance and training on (amongst other things) interview technique, public speaking, commercial awareness, career, university and A-level choices, and the preparation of personal statements and workplace application forms. He also works for part of the week as a freelance law tutor, teaching property law and contract law at BPP University in London.

Key Career Resources

www.prospects.ac.uk – Job profiles, find out about career families, link degrees and careers.

www.nhscareers.nhs.uk – Great info on a wide range of careers in the healthcare industries.

http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/ – A fantastic resource from the University of Kent with lots of information.

www.morrisby.com – Access your Morrisby Report online. If you need your access code, contact the Careers Deparment or phone Morrisby on 01442 215521.

Morrisby Helpline: if you have signed up for the Morrisby Profile, you have access to their Careers and Higher Education Helpline on 01442 215521 for advice.

www.careersbox.co.uk – Bored of reading? Watch videos about different careers on this entertaining website.

http://www.sscallianceextranet.org/Home-Public/SectorSkillsCouncils/SSC_Contacts.aspx – A directory of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). There are over 20 SSCs representing different industries. They provide you with job profiles, information on demand for new talent in their particular industry, events, apprenticeships, plus much more. Examples include:

Some have dedicated career spin-off websites, such as:

Industry Directories/Associations are a great way to find which companies work in which industries. There will usually be one for most sectors (tip: Google industry name + directory or association). Use these to make “cold approaches” for work experience/jobs. For example:

The COA Careers Directory – A book that gives simple profiles of different careers and tells you what demand is like for these professions. Multiple copies available in the Main and Careers Libraries.

For university research resources, see the University Section Here

back to top