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The Journey to University

As students prepare to take their steps towards leaving school, ISA remains committed to providing a guiding light on their career path and ensuring that each student is well-equipped, confident, and ready to embrace exciting opportunities.

The career exploration and university planning are integral parts of the educational journey and begin as early as Grade 8. As students start to explore their interests related to future careers, they also begin to consider how their high school subjects can align with those aspirations. The students have the opportunity to participate in The Morrisby Careers Programme which offers students a unique insight into potential careers based on their personal aspirations and priorities, as determined through a series of questionnaires. By analysing their profiles, students are presented with a wide range of suggested careers, many of which they might not have considered before. They can also explore related careers and other pathways that pique their interest.

Moving into Grade 9, students receive an invaluable introduction to Learning Strategies from Professor Vera Kempe of the University of Abertay during an advisory session. This session aims to equip students with scientifically proven learning strategies and encourage the development of effective study habits early in the school year. Throughout the year, our High School Counsellor, Heather Barker, provides one-on-one support to these students, with a particular focus on helping them organise and prioritise their workload for success across all subjects.

In Grade 10, our High School Counsellor, alongside an independent career advisor, administers a set of psychometric assessments from Morrisby profiling to all 10th graders. Following these assessments, personal interviews with the independent career advisor, David Chapman, are conducted to discuss the assessment reports. These assessments evaluate aptitudes, skills, interests, and personality traits. Subsequently, the HS Counsellor conducts small group workshops to help students utilise their comprehensive Morrisby reports in their university course research.

The focus lies on specific courses and the entry requirements for universities, especially the IB subjects needed. Each 10th grader has individual meetings to discuss preferences, which subsequently shape their IB subject choices for the following school year. If students are uncertain, course choices are tailored to their current interests, allowing for flexibility in university course options. Parent information evenings are also provided to keep parents informed about Morrisby profiling and to discuss the IB Diploma and University. Additionally, this stage is where we explore alternative pathways beyond the full IB programme, such as NESCol or transferring to another local or international school.

As Grade 11 begins, parents are invited to a university information evening. Students start the year with individual goal meetings with the counsellor to align their IB course options with their previously discussed university course choices. In October, a University and Admissions Overview talk ignites university research, which continues in small group workshops in late November. Morrisby follow-up interviews or Careers Clinics are conducted in October to ensure students stay on track with their career and university aspirations. By February, students compile a long list of universities, and individual family meetings are held in February and March to align student career possibilities with potential university course choices. During these meetings, the application process timeline, including predictions, references, personal statements, and open days, is discussed to cater to each student's unique needs. The ultimate goal is to find the universities and colleges that best match each student's individual profile.

In last year of school, in Grade 12, our High School Counsellor guides students through the entire university application process for the countries they are applying to, offering support and advice when communicating with universities. A university information evening is held at the beginning of the school year to ensure parents are well-informed about the application process. As students receive their IB results, our counsellor ensures they are content with their university placements.

Heather Barker commented: “I am here to support the students in every way possible when it comes to their career and university journey. It is an exciting time for the students, but can also be quite stressful as we go through the application process and hear back from universities. I provide social, emotional as well as academic support throughout. I really enjoy being able to spend time with these students at such an important time in their lives. I am with them all the way to the finish line!”

At every stage of their development, our staff aims to encourage students to explore their passions, identify their strengths, and broaden their horizons. Whether it's through the Morrisby Careers program, scientifically proven learning strategies, or in-depth assessments, we strive to ensure that each student's unique potential is recognised and channelled in the right direction.

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