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Spotlight on careers at St Mary's

Spotlight on careers at St Mary's

Careers are a very important area for us as educators to explore with our girls, to help show them that they can break through that glass ceiling. Here we look at our career's programme. From Junior School up to Sixth Form.

At St Mary’s School, Cambridge we prepare girls to pursue ambitions with confidence, drive and commitment. Our Careers Department, and our school leaders, deliver a programme (Year 5 to 13), which is vital to this mission.

Aligned to Gatsby Benchmarks the St Mary’s Careers Programme provides inspiration, support and guidance.

Inspiring role models

As an all girls’ school, we ensure students meet role models from sectors in which women are under-represented (e.g. STEM). Our message is clear – all future paths are ‘for girls’.

In Junior School, next week is our annual Career's Week. An important marker in the calendar where we invite in speakers and run talks on all manner of careers, from female policewomen, pilots and more. We dispel stereotypes and this evolves as the girls mature, culminating in Sixth Form Learning Lunches which connect students with visiting female professionals from diverse fields.

Employer connections

Strong links with Cambridge employers underpin unique two-week work placement opportunities in Year 12 tailored to ambitions:

“This work experience was really good for seeing how a huge practice is run and learning about equine medicine. It was amazing and has given me so much I can talk about in my personal statement and at interviews.” Natasha C-C, now pursuing Veterinary Science at the Royal College

The Uptree initiative connects students with ARM employees in Cambridge: “I really enjoyed the virtual ARM work experience event. It was great to talk to young professionals working at ARM and get their advice on university and starting a job...” Alice G, 2021

Expanding horizons

We relate academic learning to real world careers, for example, a Year 8 trip to Cadbury’s World explores workplace marketing/manufacturing in action.

As an early InvestIN Partner School, St Mary’s students can access immersive career experiences in key professions:

“What I enjoyed most…was the amount of information … on investment banking and finance related careers …”

Stephanie E, InvestIN Young Investment Banker Programme 

Building employability

We continually enhance and expand employability skills – from enterprise, communication and creativity to leadership, risk-taking and resilience through:

  • Arts Award
  • Enterprise, Employability and Financial Awareness courses
  • Outdoor Adventure Days
  • Youth STEMM Award
  • Rymans National Enterprise Competition
  • D of E
  • National Citizen Service
  • ICAEW Base Competition

Supporting informed choices

Using Kudos software, students develop a personalised career plan, to inform GCSE, post 16 and 18 choices.

Post-16 support:

  • A Level subject seminars
  • Alumnae and Prefect Q&A session
  • Taster experiences linked to subject-specialist mentors at leading universities
  • Careers focused tutorials
  • One-to-one advice for each student (and parents)

Post- 18 support:

  • Gap Year presentations (Frontier, Gap 360)
  • Apprenticeship presentations (3AAA, Lloyds Bank)
  • Information evening to enable students to leverage the opportunities of Sixth Form
  • Questionnaire to inform work placements
  • CV support
  • 1:1 careers interview with an independent advisor to create an action plan
  • UCAS day
  • Tutor sessions
  • Mock interviews
  • Guidance on Oxbridge, International Universities, Apprenticeship or Gap Year scheme applications

“It was lovely to see Emma's genuine enthusiasm and desire to learn through her interest in the work and asking questions of the team. We all valued her work and presence during the week.”

Work placement employer feedback

Find out more about careers at St Mary's.