Life Beyond St Mary's

Life Beyond St Mary's

At St Mary’s we encourage all Sixth Form students to explore their post 18 options. All students have access to an online careers computer package which enables pupil’s to explore the many different career opportunities open to them and the varied routes of entry. Students are also able to request individual guidance interviews with our external independent careers advisor as well as seek advice and discuss action plans with our Careers Co-ordinator. Our tutorial team are always on hand to discuss ideas and provide guidance. We issue regular updates regarding applying to University, apprenticeships, employment, a Gap year or other education or training. Opportunities for exploring future choices are available throughout the two years of Sixth Form. Sixth Form students are able to seek permission for up to 5 absences per academic year to attend visits to explore these post 18 options. Permission to attend any such events must be sought using the Sixth Form Post 18 Choices Form. The forms can be collected from Miss McHugh and they are to be returned to her in order to keep a track of the events, lectures and careers options that have been explored. Students will also be logging their own activity on Unifrog to support UCAS applications.


The majority of St Mary’s sixth formers carry on to Higher Education and secure their first choice university. Each student applying through The Universities and College Admission Service UCAS receives individual form tutor support and a one to one meeting with the Head of Sixth Form. They will attend a masterclass on How to write an effective personal statement and receive information about Student Finance. All students are encouraged to attend taster days, summer schools and open days to help them make informed decisions about their future choices. 

We encourage students to be aspirational. In addition to our careers department we have a dedicated Oxbridge co-ordinator who will guide students through their application and interview process. Students receive regular emails of University Open days, Summer Schools and Taster days.


Unconditional Offer Guidance

Universities sometimes give offers of places that do not require certain grades at A Level. If this happens to you, please see below for the next steps and read the attached UCAS Blog:

  1. Don’t immediately accept it.
  2. Tell your Tutor and Miss McHugh, Head of Sixth Form.
  3. We will arrange a meeting with your parents to discuss this, the options and importance of doing well.
  4. We will track your progress more closely and have regular update meetings.
  5. We will speak regularly to your subjects teachers and expect you to meet your target grades.




Students seeking an alternative route will be invited to attend an individual guidance interview with our independent advisor. We notify students about apprenticeship vacancies and Gap years for those considering alternative routes and can provide one to one help with applications. There are numerous Employers with options for school leavers  who offer comprehensive apprenticeship programmes. For further information about apprenticeships please read A Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships.


Gap Year

Universities and employers recognise the benefits to a young person that can be gained from a constructive Gap Year our Careers library has information relating to number of schemes.


Students looking to go straight to employment will be supported in their search and kept up to date with any relevant local opportunities. For any more information, please contact the pastoral team and Mrs Gaulton – Futures Coordinator


Year 12 Work Experience

Sixth Form Enrichment Work Experience Placement  

Useful Links

The following websites provide careers information, case studies, articles and videos regarding all post 18 options. This list is not exhaustive and our careers department can provide sector specific information.

National Careers Service


Sites for university and college HE applications


Alternative Pathways

Specialised sites to explore alternative post 18 pathways.

St Mary’s Catholic School is not responsible for the content of external websites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Websites are checked regularly but may be subject to change without notification.

Upcoming Events

23 Sep

Join us online for our Virtual Open Evening for September 2021 Yr 7 Intake

6:30pm - 7:00pm
05 Oct

5-23rd October A levels - Entry deadline A levels 4/9/2020

5 October, 2020 – 23 October, 2020
15 Oct

Vaccinations- HPV1 (Year 8) Boys & Girls - 1st session

All Day
15 Oct

Year 10,11 and 13 Invitation Only Parent's Evenings - "provisional date"

4:00pm - 6:00pm