Planning university applications starts in the Lower Sixth, when students start working with tutors and the specialist UCAS team headed by Dr Mark Walsh, Head of Higher Education Applications. This term, as part of the Higher Education (HE) Preparations Programme, we welcomed student recruitment officers from the universities of Durham and Surrey who talked about choosing the right courses and universities; we discussed the advantages of taking a gap year or volunteering abroad; and pupils completed a HE survey with the aim of looking into their transferable skills. The programme concluded with a UCAS Personal Statement Workshop, supervised by the Life Skills Company. This half-day long workshop was attended by over 100 pupils, and enabled them to produce a first draft of their individual personal statement for university and an action plan to enhance it further.
Some of the comments from the pupils who attended the workshop:
'It really helped me to think about what I have done so far and what I should do next.’
'Very helpful and informative, it gave me the “push” to start writing.'
'I liked the step-by-step process. I am now more confident about writing my personal statement.'
'What felt like an impossible task before, now seems much more achievable.'