Bolton School Sixth Form Girls

Planning for the Future: Careers and Higher Education

The Head of Careers and Higher Education, Mrs E Lowe, will work with the girls on an extensive programme designed to prepare them for the opportunities and responsibilities of adult life. The two full time Careers Assistants, Mrs Knowles and Mrs Sutcliffe, are also available throughout the day to give advice and help.

So what do we offer?

Year 12 Autumn Term

  • Business and Enterprise Skills Training (BEST): we start the year with a whole day of business activities which are designed to help develop employability skills with workshops and seminars delivered by professionals from the world of work.
  • Inspirational speakers: for example, old girl and entrepreneur, Caroline Plumb, the CEO of the FreshMinds Group, who spoke about leadership and making the most of your ambitions at one of our BEST days.
  • Joint Business Competition and the Enterprise Trophy: working in mixed teams with the boys, girls will come up with innovative business ideas and make a pitch, Dragons’ Den style to a panel of judges. Six teams are selected to compete for the trophy.
  • A Careers Focus Day: we have introduced specialist days designed to focus on particular career areas and which girls can opt to attend. So far we have looked at Business Careers, Creative Industries, Engineering, Law and Working in the NHS.
  • Higher Education and Careers Fair: every two years we run this joint event which is open to the public, housing over 100 stands and covering a wide range of areas from Architecture to Apprenticeships. Representatives from universities across the UK attend so that girls have a chance to talk about making an application without even leaving Bolton! A programme of seminars means that students and parents can listen to presentations from visiting speakers about subjects as varied as Student Finance, applying to Oxbridge or Apprenticeships. 

  • Launch of the CowgillHolloway Future Stars Internship programme: girls and boys are invited to apply for this competitive scheme which allows them to pursue paid work experience in the world of finance with a highly successful local company.

Year 12 Spring Term

  • An Introduction to Higher Education: a number of talks take place this term. We are visited by a university liaison officer who delivers presentations separately to both girls and their parents about HE and finance.
  • Getting Ready for the Future: Mrs Lowe will spend a PSHEE session looking at how to plan for the future, whether it is preparing for university, a gap year, apprenticeships or applying for work. Girls will write a Year 12 Personal Statement allowing them to reflect on the year so far and consider their plans for the near future.
  • Another optional Careers Focus Day
  • Joint World of Work Morning: a whole morning is dedicated to talks given by visiting speakers who cover a wide range of career options. After a whole year talk about the job market, students attend the three talks that most interest them so that they can make contacts for work experience if possible.
  • Applications for the KPMG Summer Scheme: girls and boys are invited to apply for a four week paid work placement with KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies in the world. This gives them the opportunity to put themselves through a rigorous selection process, including an interview at their Manchester office.

Year 12 Summer Term

  • CV Skills and Interview Practice: whatever a student’s aspirations, whether she wants to go straight into work or onto university, the two interview skills evenings provide an invaluable opportunity to have their CVs scrutinised by a professional who will then give a challenging interview followed by written and verbal feedback.
  • Meet recent leavers: an early evening event where students can meet old girls and old boys who are first year undergraduates and keen to pass on their newly acquired insights face to face.

  • Work Experience: all are encouraged to continue to build up a portfolio of work experience, using the contacts established throughout the year.
  • Apprenticeships: we can give the most up to date information about modern apprenticeships to help girls make informed choices about their future.
  • Psychometric Testing: new entrants to the Sixth Form may like the option of taking the Morrisby test which will give a detailed profile of strengths and aptitudes as well as suggested career areas to research.
  • Beyond Bolton School: after AS exams girls spend a whole day considering their future and can choose from a wide range of talks covering student life, interview skills, apprenticeships etc. Every girls is also encouraged to register with UCAS and attend a guidance talk on Personal Statements.


Further Specialist Support Throughout Year 12 and 13


In the first instance girls are interviewed by their form tutors about progress and career plans for the future.

  • Careers/Job/Scholarship Interviews: at any time girls are welcome to arrange an interview with Mrs Lowe (Office in the Riley Centre) to discuss applications for work or university. Mrs Knowles and Mrs Sutcliffe are always available to consult for help and advice throughout the day in the Careers Room.
  • University Interviews: if girls are interested in applying to a university which requires them to undergo an interview, we are happy to offer a mock interview.

Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science

We recognise how competitive it is to make an application for these vocational degrees and we have a well-established programme of support which enables girls to give themselves the best possible chance of success.

  • CEP course for Medics and Dentists.
  • Specialist UKCAT training delivered by a professional company in school. BMAT training will be done in-house.
  • Visits and talks from Medical and Dental school admissions managers/tutors to give advice.
  • Girls can buddy up with a recent leaver who will provide support and advice as well.
  • As part of the CEP course, help and practice is given preparing for multi mini interviews.
  • Face to face interviews with practising doctors/dentists.
  • For the last two years, prospective dentistry students have had the opportunity to visit the dental practice of old boy, Irfan Ravat.

Applying to Oxford and Cambridge

Numbers of applicants to Oxbridge have risen dramatically over the past 10 years and it is getting more difficult to win a coveted place at either of these two universities. We aim to support you if you wish to make an application by offering the following:

  • An evening talk for you and your parents about Oxbridge applications.
  • A trip to the Oxbridge conference for schools in the North West.
  • One to one support in the Summer Term of Year 12 when choosing course and college.
  • Departments offer specialist support and teaching in their subjects along with practice for any aptitude tests in the Summer and Autumn Terms.
  • Mock interviews are arranged with a member of staff in the Boys’ Division.
  • A Saturday morning of mock interviews in the Autumn Term to replicate the real experience as closely as possible.
  • Year 12 Oxbridge CEP course: Introduction to Oxbridge – Spring & Summer terms.
  • Year 13 Oxbridge CEP course: Oxbridge Preparation – Autumn term.
  • Year 12 Oxford / Cambridge Open Days – two-day trip, including a night in a university college.
  • Liaison with Old Girls – current Oxbridge undergraduates offer support to sixth form girls.
  • Support and guidance from our Coordinator for Oxbridge Applications, Miss Irvine.


Whatever a girl’s aspirations for the future, we are keen to support her throughout the Sixth Form. We aim for students to leave Bolton School feeling confident that they are able to make well informed choices about their immediate and long term plans where possible.