Making the right decision about a possible career is vitally important, and from the earliest possible stage we encourage students to participate in all decisions affecting their future. The Head of Careers offers specialist support to students, and there is also a dedicated careers section in the Library. A programme of discussions with visiting employers in the Lower Sixth gives sixth formers a valuable insight into a wide range of career paths. At the end of the Lower Sixth all students undertake a week of work experience, and Kingswood benefits from strong links with local, regional and national employers. Although most students are placed locally, some career choices require students to work in London and elsewhere; the school uses its wide range of contacts to help in this process. Sixth formers learn a great deal from this opportunity, not simply about a career that interests them, but also about the process of making a job application and how to perform well in an interview. Kingswood also subscribes to the Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO), which offers students interest and aptitude testing and a wide range of career placements and courses.
Almost without exception our sixth formers go on to higher education, the overwhelming majority to university. The Head of Sixth Form takes responsibility for applications to higher education, working closely with the Head of Careers. In the Lower Sixth students complete the Centigrade Higher Education Questionnaire, which helps them to make decisions about the subject areas they might consider studying at university. Students are encouraged to go on Open Days to assist them in making decisions about their future, and a comprehensive programme of outside speakers ensures that both parents and students are fully prepared for all that is involved in higher education and the UCAS process. In the Upper Sixth students receive individual support in making their applications from tutors and the Head of Sixth Form, including on the writing of the all important Personal Statement. Specialist interview practice is provided for those sixth formers with particular needs, such as those seeking a place at Medical School or applying to Oxbridge. As a result of all this support - and of course the school's excellent examination results - the overwhelming majority of our students achieve a place at the university of their first choice.