Student guidance

The student guidance department has as its aim to seek to assist all girls to work towards achieving their declared long-term career objective and, where no definite goal is in mind, to ensure that as broad-based path of subjects as possible is pursued to keep a wide range of options open, at A level and beyond.

To this end it uses a wide range of resources (human and otherwise) and equipment designed to assist the girls in their research, to put before them a range of ideas and to enable them to assess the personal suitability of any given career path for themselves. 

The planned programme of information, advice and guidance at St Swithun’s exists to provide a focus for supporting individuals in personal development, encouraging self-confidence and the ability to handle decisions and manage change, providing an understanding of the world of work and the part to be played in it, and exploring one's own abilities and skills, enhancing these where possible.

Advice and guidance given to each girl throughout her time at St Swithun’s includes:


  • as part of the Thrive (PSHEE) programme, L4 explore the knowledge and skills needed to set realistic and challenging personal targets and goals


  • as part of the Thrive (PSHEE) programme, U4 learn about different work roles and career pathways, including clarifying their own early aspirations 
  • U4 are encouraged to participate in the national Take Your Daughter to Work day


  • GCSE option choices information evening and advice at parents’ meeting
  • Curriculum input via Stretch and form periods – an introduction to appropriate software programs, CVs and interview skills and guidance on making choices
  • A careers taster morning takes place in the years when there is no careers fair. 
  • Each girl is assigned a nominated student guidance tutor who meets with her individually at decision-making stages of her school career (GCSE and A level choices, post A level planning) and can be consulted at any stage from L5 upwards.


  • Morrisby psychometric tests are offered on an opt-out basis: members of staff are Morrisby-trained and discuss the results in guidance interviews.


  • A level and AS choices - all girls meet with their allocated student guidance tutor on a one-to-one basis to discuss future plans before finalising their decisions, including discussion of the outcome of the Morrisby testing done in summer of M5
  • Parents’ meeting


  • Course Finder – an interest-based questionnaire to suggest possible higher education course options
  • An Introduction to UCAS evening with a university admissions tutor for parents and pupils
  • Oxbridge applicants are encouraged to consult the school’s Oxbridge coordinator
  • Visit to the UCAS higher education exhibition at a local university
  • Individual discussions on a one-to-one basis from the spring half-term
  • Guidance through the UCAS process through group and individual input.
  • Art college applicants are guided through the process by a specialist, including portfolio preparation.
  • Each member of the L6 is allocated a nominated member of academic staff (a subject specialist) to help her to craft her personal statement effectively.
  • University – the Real Story: former pupils from the school are invited back to share their university experiences.
  • Sessions are held covering CV writing and networking skills


  • Start of U6 parents’ meeting to discuss application plans.
  • UCAS applications are completed by half term of the autumn-term – others (USA, Hong Kong, Irish universities, art colleges etc.) shortly afterwards
  • All U6 are offered a mock interview with a subject specialist.
  • Courses are offered to help with SAT, UKCAT and BMAT preparation.
  • Advice is given to girls on receipt of their university offers and student guidance staff are available to help with any queries in the post-results period.

Available to all

  • We host a biennial careers fair, attended by representatives from a wide range of different careers.
  • A gap fair is held every two years: Winchester College hosts one in the alternate years, open to our students.
  • Talks by admissions tutors and careers professionals are organised during the school year
  • The student guidance intranet site on the school portal has lots of information and links to relevant websites. The student guidance library has paper-based resources including university prospectuses and gap company information.
  • Workshops on preparing applications for specific careers (e.g. engineering, law, medicine).

Information about higher education can be found in the Guide to University Applications booklet below: