PUPILS at a Basingstoke school were given the chance to explore career options at a special fair.

Fort Hill Community School, in Kenilworth Road, Winklebury, hosted the creative careers fair for students throughout the day, and local colleges and universities in the south were on hand to give advice and hand out prospectuses.

The event was aimed at helping students who are deciding on their GCSE options for the next two years, and for pupils who are coming to the end of their studies and are looking at courses in colleges.

Jo Binmore, head of creative arts at Fort Hill, said: “For me, it is about opening the students’ eyes to show them what is out there.”

Award-winning portrait artist Nick Lord attended the event to give students an insight into his job and the choices he made to get where he is today.

The 25-year-old was recently crowned Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, beating 2,000 other artists across the country.

He said: “It is interesting to hear the pupils say that they can’t do things, but they can.

“For me, it is nice to give them a confidence boost.

“It is nice to be involved and there is that possibility to inspire someone to start painting.”

Ewa Trzebinska, a 14-year-old student in Year 9, said: “It has been good if you are thinking about options and are looking at how different subjects give you different opportunities.

“I am looking to study art at either Queen Mary’s College or another college.

“They are all really good but Queen Mary’s College stands out and it has a lot of courses.”