Just over 50% of our students take a year out between leaving school and entering Higher Education. Whilst recognising that such a year may not be of benefit to everyone, we take the view that a constructive well-planned Gap Year can provide a wealth of experience and responsibility which can be of tremendous importance in: enabling students to make the most of university; giving practical back-up to some Higher Education courses; making the students more employable.
The last claim rests on the Gap Year providing a chance to grow up and produce more mature students; opportunities to show initiative and take responsibility; opportunities to develop general and specific skills e.g. languages, IT, communication, organisation; and enabling students to become more interesting people.
The Careers Library has an extensive supply of resource material to enable students to organise a Gap Year - some of it is commercially available, and some is generated within the School, making use of the experiences of our former pupils. Various Scholarship schemes are advertised to help fund people in their Gap Year. All of these require the students to invest time and effort in planning their year out.
Old Salopians have undertaken various exciting and challenging ventures including: sponsored cycle rides across the USA and through Vietnam, teaching in Argentina and travelling in South America, teaching in South Africa and researching Boer War sites, teaching Tibetan refugees in India, sailing across the Atlantic and trekking in Nepal, teaching in rural Africa, and even researching race courses across the world.
The School hosts a Gap Year Fair (organised by ISCO) in order to showcase a range of options available to students. This takes place at the end of the Lent term and 20-25 companies regularly participate. Pupils of all ages may attend although it is particularly appropriate for the Fifth and Sixth Formers, and their parents are very welcome to attend too.
For more information on Travel Scholarships for a Gap Year, please see our page on Travel Scholarships.