Careers and Work Experience
Our award-winning Careers Department aims to equip every Oakhamian with all the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about life beyond School.
We are fully committed to providing exceptional careers advice to our pupils throughout their time at Oakham and achieve this by delivering an in-house Careers Programme to support students in:
- Making well-informed decisions at key points of academic progression in Forms 3, 4 and 5.
- Developing the skills and professional awareness needed to navigate the world of work in the 21st century.
- Applying for opportunities post-Oakham, including UK university applications, overseas study and degree apprenticeships.
Pupils take part in taught sessions covering key topics such as interview skills and producing a CV, plus the numerous events we host each year, including a Careers Fair, a Higher Education Fair, UCAS events and workshops with external speakers.
The School works closely with its external partners and contacts, as well as its extensive alumni network, to introduce students to careers and work experience. Many of our students in Form 5 and above undertake work experience placements organised by the Careers Department during the summer holiday, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in a range of competitive fields.
We are proud of the variety of opportunities our students take following their time with us, including studying at some of the most prestigious universities in the UK and abroad and Degree Apprenticeships with top employers. We also continue to support Old Oakhamians for three years after they leave School.
The Careers Department is led by a full-time Head of Careers and Progression, who is a qualified careers advisor registered with the Careers Development Institute (CDI). We also have a full-time UCAS and Careers Co-ordinator and a dedicated Work Experience Officer, in addition to further coordinators for Oxbridge and Clinical applications.
The majority of our students go to top universities in the UK, Europe and the United States, including Oxford, Cambridge, other Russell Group universities, medical schools and many more high-ranking institutions worldwide.
- 91% of applicants are into a university of their choice.
- 6 pupils are at international universities, including Iona College, New York, Florida Southern College, USA, and the Frankfurt School of Business and Management.
- 4 students have secured places on specialist Drama courses, including one at RADA.
- 3 pupils are studying specialist Music courses.
- 7 are studying specialist Art and Design courses.
- 1 pupil is embarking on a prestigious Degree Apprenticeship.
Careers and Leavers' Support Team
Dr Rachael Pearson
Dr Rachael Pearson
I joined Oakham School in 2021 from Loughborough Grammar School, where I was the UCAS Co-ordinator. Before training as a Careers Advisor in 2018, I taught English at Nottingham High School for 14 years, during which time I completed my PhD.
I feel very lucky to be working with such an experienced and knowledgeable team in the Careers Department and am greatly enjoy working with Oakhamians as they make transitions between stages of their education here and as they move on to pathways beyond Oakham School.
Dr Darren Sheppard
Dr Andrew Nicoll
In the Sixth Form, we encourage all pupils with outstanding GCSE results to consider an application to either Cambridge or Oxford Universities. Some pupils’ ambitions will lie elsewhere, but for those who do wish to make an application, we provide a range of support and guidance.
Our aim is to help Oxbridge aspirants to demonstrate their academic potential in the most effective way possible in their applications. Each applicant is mentored both by a subject specialist in their chosen area of study and the Senior Academic Mentor.
Around a dozen Form 7 pupils apply for clinical courses – mainly medicine – each year. We have a busy programme of events and activities for students considering clinical courses, including the Royal School of Medicine Careers Day (held at Oakham), lectures, mock interviews, personal statement workshops and more.
There are Old Oakhamians training to be doctors, veterinary surgeons and dentists at Bristol, Imperial College, Nottingham and Sheffield, among many other UK universities. In addition, former pupils regularly receive offers to study medicine abroad.