Careers & Higher Education

At Wycombe Abbey we are committed to providing a planned programme of careers education, information and guidance for all girls. The hub of the Higher Education and Careers Department is the Careers Library which contains a wealth of up-to-date resources on careers and higher education. We publish a regular newsletter to ensure that the girls know about forthcoming events and opportunities. We know that careers education and guidance help young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to make successful choices, manage transitions in learning, progress to higher education and eventually move into work.

Each girl has a planned programme of activities to help her to make decisions and plan her higher education choices and ultimately her career. The Careers programme includes activities that encompass careers education lessons, individual interviews, information and research activities and work-related learning (work experience). While we aim to integrate careers education into girls' experience of the whole curriculum and through the General Studies programme, we also provide special occasions and events to explore this area further.

Each year we hold a very popular Careers Seminar evening to which people from a broad range of career fields are invited. Recent speakers have included barristers, fund managers, vets, a radiologist, GPs, a television producer, journalists, museum curators, civil servants, representatives from the charity sector, architects, entrepreneurs, the local MP, political lobbyists, a magazine owner, a psychologist, a geneticist, engineers, diplomats, marketing managers and representatives from the retail industry. The girls have the opportunity to listen to speakers in small groups and to ask them questions. We also engage a number of guest speakers, many of whom are Seniors, throughout the year who speak to girls on careers in the arts and sciences.

Another key event in the Careers calendar is the two day Management Conference, held each March for LVI Wycombe Abbey girls together with boys from The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. This dynamic event introduces them to the world of work in a fun and interactive way. It allows them to engage with adults, who act as their mentors, from a range of business backgrounds and to participate in a series of activities to enhance their experience of these business fields. Recent speakers have included the founder of Coffee Republic and the CEO of Retailing Services, Tesco plc.

We also value our links with the Independent Schools Careers Organisation and each year we work closely with them to conduct the Morrisby careers tests for our UV girls. Following these tests girls have individual interviews and this provides an excellent opportunity for UV to concentrate on the future direction of their education and to help them make the difficult choices about which A level subjects to study. During the UV year we also introduce the girls to the opportunities available for work experience. Our work experience programme is thriving, and each year girls undertake productive placements in a huge variety of professional contexts. We have a dedicated Work Experience co-ordinator in school who helps the girls to arrange placements and offers advice on CV writing and letters of application.

Of course the VI Form is a time for further decisions and forward planning as girls begin to contemplate and research what they would like to study at university. Each girl is assigned a VI Form tutor whom she meets regularly and who will follow her progress carefully throughout the two years; the tutor gives guidance at every stage and in particular is trained to advise on university applications. In the LVI girls attend several dedicated university preparation days which include talks from university admissions tutors. Many Wycombe girls make Oxbridge applications and they receive additional guidance and support. We are delighted by the success of our Oxbridge applicants; this year more than 40% of the cohort received offers from Oxford or Cambridge. Each year, about 10-15 girls make applications to US universities, many to Ivy League universities. We have a US Universities Co-ordinator and a US Universities Counsellor whose brief is to give guidance on applying to the US; we are committed to developing relations with US universities even further. Other girls apply successfully to specialist drama, art or music colleges.

Most girls choose to attend optional university preparation lessons during their UVI year in the subject for which they are applying. Girls are encouraged to attend Open Days at universities as well as a huge range of courses outside School, which encourage them to explore different degree and career options. Wycombe Seniors are an invaluable resource and they generously give their time to current pupils to discuss their own university experiences and career paths. There is a full programme of guidance and advice on everything from personal statements to university interviews throughout the LVI and UVI. We also offer advice on Gap years and run a highly successful Gap Year Fair for UV, LVI and UVI girls each February. A growing area of interest is to undertake an internship before starting university and Wycombe girls have recently been interns at Accenture, IBM and Metaswitch. Please click here see the university destinations for Clarence leavers 2013.

As Director of Higher Education and Careers, it is a privilege to follow each girl's progress and to see girls undertake challenging and exciting university courses and gap year projects. Many remain in touch and it is especially rewarding to hear news from Seniors about their successes as they embark on their careers and to welcome them back to Wycombe as role models for our current girls.


Director of Sixth Form

Mr J Franks MA (Cantab) GTP (e-Qualitas)

Deputy Head of Sixth Form (UVI)

Miss C Hoyle MA (Edinburgh) PGCE (Cantab)

Deputy Head of Sixth Form (LVI)

Ms J Kung BA Hons (Sydney) BA DipEd (Macquarie)

Head of Careers

Mrs A Kiln

Overseas Universities Advisor

Mrs S Mason BA (London) PGCE (Oxon)

US Universities Fellow

Miss M Yanora BA (Saint Joseph's) MA (Pennsylvania)

PA to Director of Higher Education and Careers

Mrs L Farrugia BA (Bucks)

Careers and Work Experience Administrator

Mrs A Hassall

US Universities Administrator

Mrs T Stubbs BSc (Bristol)

Head of UV and Careers Guidance Co-ordinator

Mrs S M Wright BSc (UMIST) PGCE (Cantab)