Preparation for Higher Education
The aim of our Higher Education programme is that each student secures a place on a course that is right for her at the place which is right for her. This involves a lot of thinking and research on the part of the student and many conversations with those who know her well. Some of the Higher Education preparation is delivered through sessions for the whole year group and some through one-to-one work with the individual student.
In March of Year 12 we organise a Higher Education Evening to introduce the process to students and their parents and this is followed by a Medicine and Dentistry evening, to give insight into applying to these highly competitive courses. Some students choose to apply outside the UK and, given the diversity of world universities, the application of each student is dealt with on an individual basis. In the summer term, after examinations, we hold a UCAS event in school, including sessions on making choices, writing a personal statement and talking with alumnae about courses and institutions. Students are given the opportunity for an ‘exploratory discussion’ in the summer term of Year 12 with someone who is studying or working in the fields in which they are interested. The Head of Sixth Form, Form Tutors, Subject Teachers and the University Admissions Advisor are all available throughout the whole application process to have discussions with and to advise the student.
The summer holiday between Years 12 and 13 is a very valuable time for reflecting on choices, making visits to universities, acquiring work experience and engaging with wider and deeper reading. The student is then ready to make the final steps of submitting her application. For those wishing to apply to Oxford or Cambridge or for Dentistry, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine there is a school deadline for forms to be completed by mid-September, ready to meet the UCAS mid-October deadline. Students applying for other competitive courses and institutions are advised to submit their forms to school by mid-October and there is a final school deadline in mid-November. The autumn term of Year 13 is therefore a busy one with the completion of forms, the sitting of admissions tests (if required), mock interviews and, for some courses and institutions, the ‘real’ interview. Students begin to hear the universities’ decisions and then have the exciting time of choosing a ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choice. The making of wise choices throughout the process should make A Level results day a happy one, as this is the day on which their university place is confirmed
Click on the link to read “Informed Choices” which is a document written by the Russell Group Universities, offering guidance on choosing A level options.