Our pupils’ creativity and innovation were targeted during a series of business start-up workshops for our Lower Sixth. Pupils had to consider the elements of a typical business framework including marketing, finance, target markets and customer segmentation and the exercise is designed to deliver transferable employment skills whether or not one is aiming to start up a business. Larger corporations look for individuals with problem solving skills, who can innovate and are creative. The workshops culminated in a presentation of each group’s business plan with a view to securing finance and investment.


Our careers and higher education department continues to innovate and this year saw the introduction of a new event in the Horizons calendar: the Old Bradfieldian Advice Panel.

As it turns out this has been one of the most successful evenings to date with lots of positive feedback received from the attending pupils, many of whom had plenty of questions to ask our panel at the end of the evening.

The idea was to provide a breadth of post-Bradfield experiences from which our Upper Sixth pupils could learn.

We invited eight OBs who have left between 2013 and 2015 to share their experiences of life at university, on Gap Years and in the world of work.

The whole event was compèred and facilitated by OB Steve Simmance (G 79-83).

Each former pupil had a unique and interesting journey to talk about including ski instructing across five seasons, starting a new business, pairing a career in engineering with coaching American Football, carving out a future acting career at drama school and working in data science after university.

Pupils were astounded at the variety of options and change that this small group had crammed in since leaving the College.

The overall message they all took away was that it is ok not to know what you ultimately want to do and that it is ok to keep on trying things out and build your skill set.


Over two thirds of the year group have applied through UCAS to a range of UK universities and received offers to study a variety of courses, from History and Sociology at Cardiff and Law at Exeter to Economics at Nottingham and Biochemistry at King’s College, London.

One OB has been offered a place at Cambridge to study History of Art while one current pupil has received an Army Scholarship.

A significant number of pupils have also made applications to notable overseas universities, particularly in the US, including University of Miami and University of Massachusetts Amherst while one of our top tennis players has earned a Scholarship at Union College, New York.



Later in the term, OB Steve Simmance returned to the College to talk to our Upper Sixth pupils about interview techniques and compiling CVs. He provided insightful tips on what to include as well as what not to include. As our pupils prepare for a competitive future careers market, Steve also invited the pupils to think about what their online presence says about them and whether they thought their profiles were appropriate should a prospective employer look them up.

Having previously had a CV workshop and a pro-forma example the whole year group were required to send their CVs to Horizons in preparation for their interview practice a few weeks later.

Upper Sixth pupils were then invited to attend mock ‘general’ interviews later in the term where they were put through their paces as they faced competency-based question styles of the type used by many companies as part of their employment processes.

It was a pleasure to work with 40 professionals this year to help our Horizons team interview the large year group. Many of these were parents of current and former pupils who were joined by attendees from previous practice sessions, the Horizons network and local recruitment agencies. Following the interviews each pupil received written, and in most cases verbal, feedback which they have found both constructive and informative.


We were joined by 23 professionals for the Networking Evening. Our Lower Sixth pupils got to discuss careers in a number of different industries from finance, engineering and clinical trials to marketing, property and stage management.

We were again supported by our faithful OBs undertaking degree apprenticeships who prove to be invaluable sounding boards for our pupils.



John Bradshaw came in to give an inspirational talk to the Lower Sixth about resilience, courage and honesty in life, using his own experiences to demonstrate how important these three values are. Ably assisted by his Guide Dog, John spoke about his personal story from being in the Rhodesian army, then being blown up while trying to defuse a bomb and losing his sight, to his situation today. Judging by the volume of questions he received at the end of the talk, his story clearly resonated with the year group and gave them plenty to digest as they progress through the Sixth Form and on to life beyond Bradfield.

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