The Guidance Department is right at the heart of the College in A House, and has a suite of rooms for research and interviews.
It is stocked with plentiful resources, both paper and IT, and boasts its own coffee bar.
Eleven members of staff, led by Guy Nobes, advise pupils about Upper School subject choices, work experience, higher education applications, possible gap year projects and future careers.
Marlborough College aims to provide pupils with a framework for making proper decisions about their future development. The components are:
- realistic analysis of academic interests, strengths and weaknesses, and life skills acquired;
- accurate awareness of the nature of particular areas of study and work, and of the range of choice available;
- access to information on courses, institutions and careers, and the qualifications required to enter them;
- access to guidance which is supportive and impartial, and helps the individual to become aware of the options open to him or her, and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of particular choices.
Each of the last three years involves making significant choices, and the following programme aims to enable pupils to come to well informed decisions:
In the (I)GCSE year all pupils in the school (and also new Lower Sixth recruits) take ‘Preview’, a computerised interests questionnaire, and ‘The Cambridge Profile’, a series of ability tests , which enable guidance to be given by tutors, HMs and Department Heads when selecting Upper School subjects. In the Lent Term over a dozen youthful OMs are invited to run a Careers Speed-Dating afternoon which delivers brief insights into a wide range of professions, and work experience when exams have finished in the summer is something that is encouraged.
In the Lower Sixth ‘Centigrade’, another interests questionnaire, is administered, generating a report outlining appropriate higher education courses. Great care is taken to ensure that all possible courses are considered, and every pupil has an individual consultation with one of the Guidance Department which results in a report that includes the pupil’s own 5 Point Action Plan which is sent to parents, HMs and tutors for their information. Beginning in the Lent term, a series of sessions on university application and writing personal statements complements the Careers Fair when over a dozen senior professionals run an afternoon of seminars for the pupils. The end of the summer term sees a University and Gap Year Fair and pupils are urged to attend a couple of open days at universities that promise exciting courses.
At the start of the Upper Sixth every pupil completes a UCAS application form. It is stressed throughout that good qualifications are the passport to the most popular courses at university, and over 80% of Marlburians achieve grades that enable them to take up their first choice university. More than three quarters of pupils will take a gap year before beginning higher education, and those planning worthwhile projects can apply for a number of scholarships worth up to £2,000.
For those considering applications abroad, from the end of the Hundred year onwards two members of staff brief, advise and help organise the different application procedures. The College has a good number of opportunities for pupils to meet visiting representatives, and every year an SAT course is run for those in the Lower Sixth.
Events and opportunities are advertised weekly in the Guidance Bulletin which is sent to all pupils, parents and Common Room.