On the 7th May 2019 Rainhill Sixth Form’s Year 12 students attended the ‘Preparation for HE’ conference, held at Edge Hill University. The annual event signals the start of the summer term’s progression programme for Year 12 laying the foundation for life beyond Rainhill Sixth Form.
Samantha Levitt, Edge Hill’s Outreach officer, introduced the day. Taking the Rainhill Sixth Form students through post-18 options, Samantha gave a comprehensive guide to choosing the right course at the right university.
Students then moved into smaller workshops where they tackled the most difficult part of the UCAS application, the personal statement. First up, students reflected on their own skills and qualities. They were then taught the STAR technique as a way to structure their personal qualities, skills and experiences when writing their personal statements. Finally, in the session, students turned teacher, marking three real personal statements and offering feedback on how to improve them.
After lunch, students went on a campus tour and were impressed with the quality of the accommodation and variety of facilities on campus. Students explored the new Catalyst building, the sports facilities and saw a variety of accommodation, from the new Chancellors Court to the older Forest Court.
In the afternoon, Samantha introduced the students to finance. She went through the student loan system and allayed fears about the affordability of University.
For the last activity of the day, students went back into their small groups to work on budgeting. Planning a meal for four, they were asked to estimate the cost of items and make choices about what they could scrimp on and what were ‘essential luxuries’. Students then scaled their budgeting skills to a week’s living at University. Considering how to budget for travel, socialising and shopping on £140 and what could be compromised to keep in their bank balances in the black.
As always, the Edge Hill University outreach team gave our Rainhill Sixth Form students the very best start to their HE explorations and the very best start to their progression programme and this will now be built on back at Rainhill Sixth Form.
UCAS week will be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th June 2019. All Year 12 students will attend a session in their form groups to complete their basic UCAS forms and the first draft of their personal statement. Further, in PSE sessions, students will be given the support by tutors to develop and hone their statement, complete course choices and check through their application. Apprenticeship students will be working with Faye Rafferty, from Careers Connect, to polish up their CV, look for apprenticeship opportunities and practice their interview skills.
In the Autumn term, apprenticeship students will attend an apprenticeship fair, where they could be meeting their future employers and personalised support for Oxbridge candidates will be offered in terms of developing an elite application, preparing for admissions assessments and developing their academic interview skills.
Mr David Hemsley, Director of Sixth Form, said of the careers and progression programme, “We have successfully seen a steady EET rate, well above the national average, over the last three years. There has been a 100% increase in Oxbridge applications in the past year and an even bigger increase in students getting to interview stage. We have seen success for one student this year in getting into Oxford and we are really proud of him. Working with our partner universities, such as Edge Hill University gives the students the best, most up-to-date industry information they need to make important decision about their future. We are grateful to Edge Hill University for providing this annual event, exclusively for our students”.