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1 Strathearn School Belfast U6 UCAS Information Evening 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Strathearn School Belfast U6 UCAS Information Evening 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Strathearn School Belfast U6 UCAS Information Evening 2014

2 2 PROGRAMME FOR THE EVENING Introduction Mr Manning & Overview of UCASMrs Graham (VP & Careers Director) application process UCAS online application process in StrathearnMs Griffith (UCAS Co-ordinator) Advice on Personal Mrs Hearst (Careers Adviser) Statements Writing pupil referencesMrs Graham & Conclusion Mr Manning

3 3 AIMS OF U6 UCAS INFORMATION EVENING  To give parents an understanding of the UCAS application process  To help parents offer practical support to their daughters  To strengthen the home - school partnership

4 4 An Overview of the Application Process to University through UCAS [Universities & Colleges Admissions Service] Mrs H Graham 4

5 5 Preparation for HE applications Inside school Careers classes Guest speakers from different areas of employment Personal statement guidance by subject University talks Interview guidance Mock Interview evening (24 Nov) Outside school Personal research Careers conventions University open days Summer schools Taster courses for school pupils at universities Work Experience Oxbridge seminars 5

6 6 Applying to HEIs through UCAS Online: Additional tests (BMAT, UKCAT, HPAT, LNAT, HAT, ELAT, etc) Oxbridge Cost (see Support in Strathearn 6

7 7 Strathearn Careers Education, Advice, Information and Guidance (CEAIG) team Careers DirectorMrs H Graham Careers AdviserMrs A Hearst UCAS Co-ordinatorMs A Griffith (plus CAO and nursing applications) Oxbridge AdviserDr J Pauley U6 Careers TeachersMrs MyersMrs D Millar Mrs McCrackenMs A Griffith Mrs A Hearst 7

8 8 After application is submitted to UCAS  Each university deals with applications in its own way  Most pupils will hear by March / April re offers / rejections  Offers can be as grades, tariff points or a combination of both  If no offers, eligible for UCAS Extra (from late Feb)  If holding offers, reply to UCAS before deadlines expire  Be prepared for rejection, especially in high demand courses  AL Results day: 13 August 2015 (provisional)  Clearing  University! 8

9 9 The UCAS online application process in Strathearn Ms A Griffith UCAS Co-ordinator 9

10 10 Resources Website has useful information for parents as well as pupils. All girls have been emailed/issued with An annotated sample UCAS form. Guidelines on how to complete the UCAS form. Guidelines on writing an effective personal statement. 10

11 11

12 12 The Application Form There are 8 sections 1.Personal details 2.Additional Information 3.Finance 4.Choices (max. of 5) 5.Education 6.Employment 7.Personal Statement 8.Reference Sections 1 to 7 are the students’ responsibility The 8 th section, the reference, will be provided by the school 12

13 13 Key dates for Strathearn U6 pupils June 2014Pupils e-mailed UCAS login details and guidance on how to complete application Aug 20 2014Early Applicants online application session Aug 28 2014UCAS Information Evening Aug 28 2014 Pupils issued with annotated sample of an UCAS form Aug 28 2014U6 Careers classes begin Sept 12 2014QUB Open Day & MCB Careers Convention Sept 16 2014Early applicants [Oxbridge / Dentistry / Medicine & Veterinary Med / Science] submit completed UCAS application to careers teachers Oct 10 2014Non early applicants to have completed UCAS application signed off by careers teacher Oct 15 2014 UCAS deadline for early applicants Jan 15 2015UCAS advisory closing date for UK pupils. 13

14 14 U6 pupils’ responsibilities Research universities and courses carefully. Attend all careers classes. Complete application by the deadlines set Check information included is accurate and own work. Complete the ‘pay and send section’ Submit signed form and predicted grade sheet to Mrs Wright in the school office. Check school email regularly Respond to any communication from UCAS in a timely manner Meet all UCAS deadlines 14

15 15 School Input Each pupil’s application form will be read by: Careers Teacher (checks and signs off) Reference writer (also checks) UCAS Co-ordinator (checks again) Principal (final check and approval) Application then sent electronically to UCAS Any mistakes that are spotted will be pointed out to the student for her to correct (can slow down processing of application). A mismatch between predicted grades and course requirements will be discussed with the student. From signing off to sending an application to UCAS can take several weeks. Aim: to have all applications sent to UCAS by early December (providing school deadlines are met) 15

16 16 Parental Input Please discuss your daughter’s choices with her and check that she has: An appropriate email address Included all extra-curricular activities Stated exam results / extra-curricular activities & achievements accurately Access to a credit / debit card to pay: £12 for 1 choice, £23 for 2 or more choices. We welcome any support you can offer your daughter. 16

17 17 The Personal Statement Mrs A Hearst Careers Adviser

18 18 Aim The ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of Personal Statements

19 19 Why is a personal statement important? Fierce competition for university places Most applicants will have impressive academic achievements and high predicted grades Most applicants will have strong references

20 20 What is the personal statement? The one section of the UCAS application where the applicant has the chance to sell him/herself May be one of the most important pieces of prose students will ever write 4000 characters long (including spaces) 47 lines of text Needs to be the applicant’s own work ‘Why should I be given a place at ** to study**’

21 21 Admissions tutors want evidence of Commitment & motivation Passion for the course Sound understanding of what the course entails Reading around the subject Independent study skills Self-awareness Clear thought Good written & research skills Time management skills

22 22 Personal statement content: some ideas to include ● Why have you chosen the course(s) listed? What interests you about your chosen subject area? Personal trigger? Reading around the subject, lectures, visits, professional open days Any paid or voluntary jobs or work experience placements and what you have learnt from them Any skills gained e.g., communication/IT/decision making/team work & how these would benefit you in your degree A Level subjects – how they tie in with and complement your application

23 23 Personal statement content (contd.) Responsibilities in school & what you have learnt from them Social, sports or leisure activities and how you benefit from them Future career plans, if known If deferred entry, why and what you plan to do in the interim Why a university should choose you from thousands of other applicants? Conclude by reiterating interest in the course & stating hopes for the future

24 24 ‘Dos’ Ensure you provide relevant information Structure your personal statement coherently (paragraphs) Check spelling, punctuation & grammar (get others to read drafts) Link current & future studies Write an original personal statement Show passion for the course applied for Make every line count ‘So what?’ ‘Necklace test’ Check university websites for specific guidance on what their admissions department is looking for in a personal statement

25 25 'Don’ts’ Start every sentence with ‘I’ Be verbose, waffle or exaggerate Write in text language or jargon Appear arrogant Refer to particular universities - it may disadvantage you from others Copy other people’s personal statements Lie – evidence may be required Refer to controversial religious or political issues Be negative or repetitive Be someone you are not – it has to be personal

26 26 And finally ● Start early – do not leave to the last minute ● Draft and redraft until it is just right ● Parents – please be involved ● Considerable help available in school ● Everyone will have slightly different advice ● Applicants must be happy with their personal statement – it has got to reflect them

27 27 Frequently asked questions Can I apply for different subjects at university? Yes - but not recommended for high demand courses. Need a clear paragraph on why you wish to study each different subject area.

28 28 Frequently asked questions  How do I structure my personal statement? Use paragraphs, but bullet points and headings are also acceptable  Should I use all the space? Yes – but do not fill it with unnecessary words or irrelevant information


30 30 Strathearn’s Pupil Reference Writing Team 2 V Ps 2 Associate Senior Teachers U6 Form Tutors Head of 6 th Form UCAS Co-ordinator Dr Pauley (Oxbridge) All checked and approved by Principal Reference writers use information from: AS and AL subject teachers Teachers-in-charge of extra-curricular activities Teachers-in-charge of Positions of Responsibility 30

31 31 Content of References Is positive but realistic Avoids negative statements Includes information on: Academic standard reached to date and future potential Contribution to the school Personal skills and qualities (organisation, leadership, oral and written communication, ability to show initiative, sense of responsibility, commitment, etc.) Potential to succeed at chosen course at university 31

32 32 Concluding remarks 32

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