Former GSA school pupils are among the most noteworthy high achievers of the UK and indeed the world. Our alumnae include world leading scientists, international charity campaigners, famous actresses, war correspondents, Olympic medallists and business women at the highest levels.
However, we are just as happy to have educated those women whose contribution to society is made in other ways. What matters is that each student does the best she can and leaves with the qualifications, grit and resilience to lead a productive life in whatever way makes her happy.
Almost 94% of GSA students go on to higher education. Our students are ambitious when it comes to their choice of course and university. They are also successful.
What are known as the Russell Group of universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – are among the most popular destinations. Around 65% of all university applications made by GSA students are to Russell Group institutions and, of these, approximately 75% receive an offer of a place*.
GSA students are well placed to receive offers. For example, 63% of applications to study medicine receive at least one offer*. It is highly unusual for those GSA students who wish to continue their studies not to secure a place on a degree course with a reputable university.
*Based on 2013 figures.
Whilst university remains the overwhelming first choice destination for GSA school leavers, a number of students choose to pursue a gap year first.
A gap year can provide a welcome break from academia as well as highly useful life and work experience. Some students simply defer their entry to university by a year. For others, a gap year provides more time to apply which can be useful if they’ve received unexpected exam results or have simply changed their mind about which course to study.
Some companies and charities specialise in providing organised gap year experiences but it’s quite possible to arrange your own. Using the year to gain vital work experience is increasingly attractive. And international travel, often combined with employment or voluntary work, remains a popular option.
Today’s apprenticeships offer an opportunity to pursue nationally recognised qualifications at the same time as becoming highly skilled in a particular field and earning a salary.
Higher Apprenticeships at level 6 are equivalent to a bachelor degree and at level 7 to a master’s degree. Opportunities exist in a vast range of environments from accountancy to space engineering and many professional companies now offer high level apprenticeships as an alternative to university.
GSA schools are familiar with apprenticeships – in fact our President made national headlines by predicting their increasing importance to high achievers – and a growing number of GSA students are following this path.
An internship can be an excellent way for school leavers to gain valuable experience in their chosen line of work. Students can pursue internships during a gap year or after graduating from university.
However, not all internships are created equal and it’s important to scratch beneath the surface to discover exactly what is on offer and what is required in return. Is the internship paid or unpaid? Short term or long term? Will the work itself provide enough stimulation and experience to make a valuable contribution to her CV? How many interns have gone on to secure permanent roles with the organisation?
There are a number of reputable agencies that help secure internships and students’ personal networks and contacts can be a valuable source of enquiry. Some GSA schools have ongoing connections with companies which provide internships and/or university scholarship places.
GSA schools usually appoint a team of teachers to take responsibility for monitoring work experience placements and organising careers speakers, exhibitions and/or workplace visits.
Our aim is to make sure that your child is given plenty of opportunity to discover more about the huge variety of jobs there are and how she can pursue the kind of employment – or indeed self employment – that will make best use of her interests and aptitudes and provide her with a fulfilling career. Teachers can also advise your child on the A Level – or other – subjects required for entry to specific courses so that she can choose appropriately for the career path she has in mind.
Few people have a ‘job for life’ these days. For that reason, your child’s entire GSA education helps to equip her with the skills, determination and flexibility to stay ahead of workplace developments and to identify and pursue careers trends and opportunities as they arise.