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  • A British International School

    Providing a premium, personalised education for your child

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  • Academic Success for All

    Your child will benefit from the rigour of a British education combined with the finest international curricula

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  • Creative, Engaging, Respected

    Our teaching staff have extensive experience of British and international teaching, inspiring your child

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  • International outlook

    With friends from around the world and an international curricula, your child will become a global citizen

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  • Join Us

    We would love to show you how we can support your child achieve more than they thought was possible

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  • Our active school community

    There is always a buzz about school, with a variety of events and activities, our community is always busy!

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3 science students doing an experiment

Making decisions about university and future careers: when is the right time?

Every step on your child’s learning journey helps to shape their aspirations. Each subject they explore, each MIT professor they meet through Global Campus, and each expedition they embark upon to visit new cultures and communities all feed into their ever-expanding view of the world and their place in it. 

 

We are often asked when the ‘right time’ is for conversations to be had, either at home or at school, around making decisions for the future. Rather than recommend a specific time at which these decisions need to be made, we suggest that all of our parents keep in mind two key milestones in the secondary school calendar, and how decisions at each of these stages help to open up potential future pathways and opportunities.

Year 9 - Shaping their path to university

In year 9 our students encounter the first point in their school career in which they can elect to study specific subjects. At this stage we recommend that all students keep their International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) choices broad and varied. The aim in year 9 is not to place students under pressure to decide what they would like to study at university (and therefore how they should shape their subject choices), but instead to focus on where their strengths and interests lie across a mix of different subject types. By choosing subjects your child enjoys and can excel in, they are establishing a great foundation for their A Levels in years 12 and 13.

 

Year 11 - Identifying students’ interests leading to their university of choice

Year 11 is when students make their most significant subject decisions as they look ahead to A Levels, which they will begin in year 12. This decision process takes place early in the school year, and is also when students receive significant university guidance from our Deputy Head of Secondary.

One method we use to help students approach their AS and A Levels  is to think about their education not as a specific destination, but as a journey. In practice this means that instead of encouraging a student to say that they would like to study at UCL in London, for example, we instead encourage them to think about what values and interests underpin their subject interests. They might identify that they are passionate about making a contribution to healthcare and securing an internationally recognised degree which helps them to do this around the world. We then help them to identify what skill sets and subjects they would need to pursue that direction and achieve their ultimate goal.

Many 15-16 year olds have a limited idea of the career opportunities available to them because they simply haven’t been exposed to them yet. It is important that we help them to explore their options, particularly for those who may not have an idea yet of where their interests lie. We hold sessions to help students think about different career pathways and possibilities, understand university systems, and gain a better understanding of the careers different university courses can lead to. Our Deputy Head of Secondary also provides online resources, webinar information and career workshops in which students can explore their career ambitions and pathways further.

Importantly, when choosing subjects we guide all of our year 11 students to think about and understand the importance of acquiring a transferable, interdisciplinary skill set. The world of work is forever changing, and traditional pathways to existing careers might not exist in the future. It is our job to prepare them for this challenge, and to help them build a robust, competitive skill set which will set them up them for success in a diverse and changing job market.

Find out more

We hope we have helped you to better understand how we guide our students at NAISAK towards a pathway which equips them for the world of work and pursuing their career ambitions.

To find out more about a secondary school education with us and the curricula we teach, visit our Sixth Form page.

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