It has been a busy term for our Lower Sixth pupils as they embarked upon their Higher Education Programme (HEP).
The first lecture in the programme was delivered by Ms Sharples, Head of University and Post School Guidance at the beginning of February and covered an ‘Introduction to Higher Education’. Pupils were given a tour of the HEP, with advice and guidance on milestone dates and key activities. The session helped pupils place themselves in the optimal position regarding their research for strong and successful applications to UK and global universities and work opportunities via degree apprenticeship and School Leaver programmes.
As the HEP progressed, pupils had a lecture to assist them in setting up their ‘BridgeU’ search platforms. The platform helps facilitate university research in the UK and globally, generating university and course matches for pupils to investigate. It also enables pupils to organise their experiences and evidence against the varying demands of different application processes, whether for UCAS, the Common Application, Conservatoires or Foundation routes.
Oxbridge is always an area of great interest for pupils. Ms Sharples gave an Oxbridge applications presentation to interested pupils, looking at all aspects of the application process whilst analysing previous cycle data across all colleges and courses. The session supported pupils and helped prepare them to succeed in the highly selective application processes.
Ms Sharples also delivered a US applications presentation to interested applicants, many of whom are currently well underway with their research and preparation for a US application in the Autumn Term. The holistic application process is highly nuanced. Therefore, pupils need to carry out significant research in preparing a balanced and aspirational college list, and all that a US application entails, be that SAT or ACT tests, demonstrated interest, college essays and volunteering and community involvement, to broaden their portfolio of experiences.
The Medics, Dentists and Veterinary applicants have also received a specialist presentation from Ms Sharples, looking at the duties of each of these professionals and, very importantly, how to match their preferred learning style to course delivery at the medical, dentistry and veterinary schools. The sessions considered questions such as; do pupils want a case or problem-based course delivery? Do they want a more traditional delivery, or would they be more suited to an integrated approach? Do applicants want the opportunity to intercalate within their degrees? Pupils also found out what the required academic profile is to gain places on these highly competitive courses and institutions, along with other key pieces of information.
Parents and guardians are an integral part of the Higher Education journey. It is important to keep parents updated on key dates and activities and reinforce important information to the application journey at each significant stage to help support pupils through the competitive Higher Education landscape both in the UK and globally. Ms Sharples and Mr Barron, Assistant Head (Sixth Form) recently delivered a Higher Education webinar to parents and guardians, providing an overview of the full programme, and the competitive admissions processes.
The Summer Term will see the Higher Education programme continue, looking further at US, Canadian and International applications, along with Personal Statements, and preparing for the summer in terms of emersion work and research and planning to allow pupils to start the Autumn Term of the Upper Sixth in a strong position. The Higher Education programme runs through to Upper Sixth A level results day, providing guidance and application support every step of the way.
Ms Sharples, Head of University and Post School Guidance