As you may be aware, we ordinarily hold a ‘Higher Education’ evening to which you and your children are invited to attend, to learn more about the opportunities available to students after their time in the Sixth Form. Whilst regretfully we are unable to welcome you into school this evening, this interactive article aims instead to provide you with the information and various resources that would have been presented and distributed to you during the event. Whilst things are running a little differently this year, we absolutely want to reassure both our students and parents that maintaining the high quality of our careers program continues to be of utmost importance to our provision of support in the Sixth Form. Please click here for an Introduction to Higher Education and then read through the below article; click on each of the links to open up resources comprising of audio supported presentations, information booklets, helpful worksheets and linked websites offering an insight into specific higher education pathways.

Upon nearing Year 13, it is important that our current Year 12 cohort be introduced to two key platforms through which they will apply for higher education upon finishing in the Sixth Form. These comprise of 1.) UCAS, the main provider of all university applications services if they aspire to study for a degree and 2.) the apprenticeship route, whereby students have the opportunity to work towards qualifications by combining practical training in a job alongside study. Two assembly-style PowerPoints are available here to further explain each of these options, but if you would like to look further into what apprenticeship courses are available, please click here.

When introducing the potential of studying for a degree, we ask that pupils carefully consider why they may want to go to university; the resource for which is called, ‘Thinking of Going to Uni’. ‘Turning the Spotlight on Yourself’ also provides students with a starting point from which to begin their decision making and consider how university study will suit their aspirations and goals for the future. For those pupils interested in applying to particular Russell Group universities, please check out this interactive resource which provides specific guidance and advice applying to each of these education providers.

For those students specifically interested in applying to university, the 2021 UCAS portal is now live. Using the assembly resource previously mentioned, as well as the ‘UCAS Setup booklet’, please follow the instructions and use the unique buzzword in order to create a login. This login will create a profile through which students will search for, apply for and monitor their university applications, so take care to note down and remember any passwords created. Further instructions on this process are included in the booklet. When applying to university, students should also apply to Student Finance to secure a student loan that will finance this study. A full explanation that guides parents and students through the application process is available via this ‘Student Finance Presentation’.

If an apprenticeship is instead the intention, it is important that students understand exactly what this qualification entails. This is explained fully in the ‘Guide to Apprenticeships’ and ‘Essential Guide to Apprenticeship Support’ resources. Students and parents alike are often surprised by the wealth of careers that are accessible via an apprenticeship, so take a look at the ‘A to Z of Apprenticeships’ where an extensive list can be found. For students who are undecided as to which path they wish to take, please take the time to read over both sets of materials to ensure you are well-informed when making decisions about the next steps of education.

For those students who are considering the option of a gap year, UCAS also provides wealth of information about how to best use time during a year away from formal, fulltime study. To find out more, please click here. If instead students are planning to enter employment straight after finishing school, we advise that students look here for vacancies and seek advice from our careers counsellor if they would like further guidance.

Regardless of whether students wish to pursue the university, apprenticeship or full time employment path, all of these options require the submitting of either a personal statement or comprehensive CV. In order to support our students with this process, they can access supporting materials here on ‘How to Write a CV’ if choosing the apprenticeship route, or the ‘Personal Statement Guidelines Booklet’ for instructions and model examples to aid their own writing. Once pupils have viewed all of the materials in this article, they should begin planning and drafting either a personal statement or CV. A first, complete draft should be submitted to form tutors by the end of the summer term, for feedback and further refinement.

In the autumn term of the next academic year, Year 13 will meet with one of the Sixth Form team to check over their draft and help them to complete the next steps of their application. It is therefore essential that students really take the time to think carefully, ask for advice and discuss ideas with those around them. They should also seek guidance from the Sixth Form team, so as to ensure that they are fully prepared when they meet with us to send off their applications.

Amongst current circumstances, we will of course continue to monitor any changes to advice given by UCAS or Apprenticeship providers with reference to applications for 2021 study. We are so very proud of how hard students are continuing to work in the face of adversity and know that despite difficulties, their commitment to their studies has already shown them to be capable of flourishing in an environment equated to higher education. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch via