Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Communications Office: 01235 546541

Joint Bus Service Co-ordinator: 01235 546565

St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

How to find us


Careers and higher education


The work within the Careers Department reflects a whole school ethos and mission to inspire and champion excellence for all students in the career path they choose.  Key to this is the need to develop awareness of emerging and differing opportunities and career paths (many of the jobs our young women could be doing in the next 10 years are just being invented, such as nano-medics, augmented reality architects and freelance biohackers...) alongside traditional professional routes; to match their skills, interests and values with the right jobs and maximise their individual strengths, talents and potential.

The School is a long term member of the Career Development Institute and received an excellence award from Investors in Careers.  There is a designated careers library, fully stocked with comprehensive and up-to-date information on careers, higher education and apprenticeship opportunities.  This is available for students to use throughout the day during break and lunch times, study periods and after school.  The careers team are available every day for students to drop in for advice and guidance.

The careers guidance programme combines career lessons scheduled during personal development, skills workshops, one to one careers interviews, tutor group careers activities, online and printed careers information as well as a wide range of events and activities including career panel talks, career and higher education advice evenings, careers convention, practice interviews, work experience and our new mentoring programme, The Kate Scheme.

Supporting the delivery of the careers guidance programme are teachers, tutors, employers, parents and our Old Girls.  If you are interested in volunteering some of your time, experience and expertise to support an event or activity, Please get in touch with Jackie Armstrong, Head of Careers and Higher Education.

The careers programme begins in Year 8, where the students learn about the world of work, how to gain part time work and what inspires and motivates them in a career.


In Year 9 students will:

  • Use Kudos software, a careers psychometric tool to explore their career interests and ideas further.

  • Research further into particular careers and industries and gain further knowledge on information and resources available to them to assist in their career development.

  • Have the opportunity to talk to students in year 11 about their GCSE subject choices and are given guidance on how to choose their options.

  • Participate in a team based Business Challenge Day.  The intention behind this day is to provide students with a realistic commercial opportunity and encourage them to use their initiative and imagination to produce an exciting business idea.


In Year 10, students will:

  • Are given an introduction to work experience and how to start looking for placements.

  • Have the opportunity to talk to students in year 11 to find out more about their work experience placements.

  • Are given an introduction to the careers library and resources available to them.

  • Are given the opportunity to participate in an in-depth psychometric test called The Morrisby test.  This is an online test that provides an excellent and detailed analysis of ability, aptitude, personality and work preferences together with a range of suggested career and course options.  As part of the test, the girls receive an individual and interactive report based on the results of their test and a feedback interview with one of the Morrisby trained members of the careers department.


In Year 11 students will:

  • Mix careers education with the process of choosing which subjects they wish to continue beyond I/GCSE and with preparation for work experience.

  • Are given guidance and assistance in finding a work experience placement.

  • Are encouraged to undertake a minimum of one week of work experience, usually after GCSE examinations. Help is given to find a placement and girls are briefed fully on all aspects including Health and Safety. In all cases the School must be notified of work experience placements so that the legally required health and safety check can be carried out. Work experience 2017-18 form.

  • Learn how to contact an employer, write a letter of application or email, build a CV and how to prepare for, and act in, an interview.

  • Spend time with the Year 10 students as they debrief on their work experience placements.

  • Have an individual careers interview to discuss their plans for after Year 11.

  • Explore their higher education interests and ideas further using an online resource called ‘Higher Ideas’

  • Have the opportunity to attend the annual Careers Convention, which this year is Friday 16 March 2018 at St Helen and St Katharine, held in conjunction with Abingdon School and Our Lady’s Abingdon.  Parents are also welcome to attend this evening.