From Monday the 17th of June to Friday the 21st, students at Riddlesdown Collegiate engaged in UCAS and Careers week where many different talks were held to provide students with a clearer insight into their lives post A-levels. It is imperative that students feel that they should not feel pressured into making a certain career path that would not help them, so the purpose of this week was to find out which path suits certain students. Some students would rather decide to go to university straight after Sixth Form or take a gap year before going to university taking that time to potentially explore new opportunities. One of the talks was by former student Matt Flood who has taken a gap year and provided students with the potential benefits that are available if they were to do a gap year. 

However, this does not apply to all students as there are some who may choose to decide to do an apprenticeship rather than going to university or finding work after A-levels. One of the more popular talks that students found the most interesting was Affi Khan who spoke about how he did not go to university but still found success running his own business and gave advice on how to pursue that and careers in recruitment. Additionally, another popular talk was by Communications Officer Elijah Lawal who works at Google providing the students with advice on how to venture into that world and more specifically answering questions about work life.  

UCAS and Careers week also provided more benefits than just providing clarity to students about their decision-making process post A-levels but also how best they can improve their chances of landing their desired university, apprenticeship, or job in the future. The personal statements talk by Louise Izzard was very well received by students as this provided necessary support to help them understand how to best write their personal statements and what to include in them.  

Overall, UCAS and Careers week was seen as a tremendous success for the school, greatly benefiting the students to find their key skills and interests and to compare different career paths, finding the best one for their future. Having this week may just be what some students needed to push them onto their correct career path by giving them access to the most beneficial sources of information that may not otherwise have been easily accessed.