Much of female happiness and career success is underpinned by a sense of agency and power in the creation of one’s own future. Equipping girls with an expectation of personal success and providing expert careers support is one of the reasons why St James Senior Girls’ School enjoys excellent academic results year on year, with their Sixth Formers progressing to first rate universities. This year’s cohort of Leavers are already enjoying their first terms at the universities of Oxford, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, St Andrews, King’s College London, Leeds, Nottingham, and Central St Martins to name but a few. The study subjects are diverse (Physics and Philosophy, Geography, Art Foundation, Liberal Arts etc) reflecting students’ confidence to pursue subjects they love and their plans to weave them into their future careers.
Nestled in Earsby Street, a stone’s throw from Kensington Olympia, St James Senior Girls’ School is the right size to nurture and stretch its 263 pupils. Rebecca Candy, its Head of Careers, explains, “Our vibrant Careers programme helps pupils to create their own successful futures by providing workshops and lessons to aid their personal development and self-knowledge. We help them to investigate the career paths that match their particular qualities and strengths and enable the development of their skills to make strong applications and enjoy success in Higher Education and the workplace.”
Ever mindful of the importance of career development, the school has recently become a Partner School with InvestIN Education, a company offering high quality immersive work experience for students aged 12 to 19. InvestIN experts speak at the school’s assemblies and offer pupils in Years 8 to 10 opportunities to participate in work experience programmes. The most recent of these was the “Step into the Future” weekend at University College, London in December which was aimed at those wishing to explore careers in Law, Medicine, Engineering or Investment Banking. The school’s new careers-focused ‘Female Lead Society’ for Years 9 to 13 launches in January and will meet once a week to investigate and discuss issues surrounding women in the workplace, growing pupils’ confidence even further to tackle job and university interviews in the future.
Alumnae who have pursued careers in STEM subjects regularly give workshops and presentations to current pupils, for example Mel Barker, Space Scientist, who will visit the school in March. The Minerva Society, the school’s forum for invited speakers, takes pupils beyond the taught curriculum and lends an enriching and inspiring element to careers they may not have yet considered. This is due in large part to the very broad range of topics covered in the Minerva Society Talks which include eminent speakers from business, economics, the arts, and natural and social sciences. Working with excellent external providers and its own innovative careers team, the school focuses on nurturing and delivering opportunities to pupils to help them on their path to a career that is not only fulfilling but makes a worthwhile and generous contribution to society.