This year’s Careers Fair was an interim event focusing primarily on gap year opportunities and careers in the armed and public services. 

We were delighted to welcome the Avon and Somerset Constabulary for the first time to Downside’s fair, but unfortunately the Ambulance Service had to withdraw at the last minute because of emergent pressures on the NHS; however, we hope they will be able to attend next year.

As well as the police, representatives from the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy were present, and of particular interest to some were the opportunities for apprenticeships through these organisations. There was an excellent talk to members of the Lower Sixth (and other interested parties) by STA Travel on the advantages and planning of a gap year, giving many food for thought. Simon Lewis from UES Education gave a presentation on studying in the USA, and Sarah Nash from Study Options on studying in Australia or New Zealand.  It is essential that students who are thinking about studying abroad start the application early in the Lower Sixth year, as the process is very different from applying through UCAS. Our highly valued careers partners, FutureSmart Careers Ltd were also on hand to answer questions on all aspects of careers and higher education.

On the gap side of the event, we were delighted to welcome back the Avenue Cookery School, the Orchards Cookery School, Powder Byrne, Global Vision International, Projects Abroad and the Ski Instructor Academy.

The Careers Fair is just one element of the vibrant careers programme at Downside. Already this year, members of the Third Form have completed a psychometric test to help them identify their interests and skills; the Maths department has organised a trip to Bletchley Park for students to learn about how mathematicians contributed to code-breaking in the war; Mr Hunt, the Head of Chemistry, has organised the Walnut Lecture on 13th March, exploring how diverse the range of careers open to scientists is; members of the Fifth Form and Upper Sixth have already had individual guidance interviews with FutureSmart Careers, who will also be talking to members of the Lower Sixth in the Summer Term; the Classics department has taken some of the younger pupils to meet archaeologists to talk to them about their careers; Mrs Craig is taking the librarians to the Bodleian Library in Oxford; staff from GCHQ are coming to Downside next term to work with our Modern Linguists; Dr Vanessa Wilkins has conducted suturing workshops for students interested in studying Medicine. All of these events, and many others, are designed to give Downside students exposure to a wide range of career paths connected directly or indirectly to the subjects they are studying, reinforcing the relevance and importance of their academic curriculum in equipping them for the world of work. 

If you would like to contribute to Downside’s careers programme, then please contact the Head of Careers, Mr Rawlins.

Click here to read our monthly Careers Newsletter.