Higher Education and Careers in the Sixth Form
We feel strongly that we want to support all pupils to be equipped to flourish by the time that they leave Kingham Hill. We therefore are passionate about ensuring that pupils leave us to go on to the next step that is right for them; it is our intention that all pupils, during the Sixth Form, have the resources, guidance and time to carefully investigate their future choices once they leave Kingham Hill. For many, university remains an excellent investment in experience, skills and future employability. However, for some, the military, employment or an apprenticeship might be a better option for them. We are proud of our alumni who have gone down different paths and are thriving because they did not follow the crowd but pursued their passions and interests. And we are committed to supporting our current Sixth Formers in this decision - we will challenge pupils to ensure they are making the right decision but we do seek to support their different interests.
Having said this, we do believe that the process of writing a personal statement as well as having the school write a reference for them is a very positive one and thus we expect all pupils to create a UCAS application - one never knows when this might be needed. Applications to US colleges and other international institutions are supported alongside UCAS by the Head of Sixth Form, Directors of the US Program and other Sixth Form tutors. Many aspects of the UCAS process- such as writing a personal statement of your own strengths, interview skills and serious consideration of your own preferences, can equally help those applying for other routes. Specific career focussed sessions on CV writing and other job skills are also provided.
Higher Education Week
All Lower Sixth pupils are given significant guidance on all aspects of higher education - from university to apprenticeships, to where and why, to what and when - throughout the year. However, it is during the week before the May half term that the Lower Sixth have a dedicated week in which to focus on all things to do with preparing you in terms of mindset and applications for what lies beyond school.
Higher Education Application Timeline
UCAS stands for the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and is the means by which pupils apply to UK universities. Applying for university can be a daunting process for pupils and parents alike. We aim to guide pupils through the process and provide the appropriate balance of support, advice and encouragement to allow them to take ownership for making good informed choices about the next stage in their education. The following is a timeline of support, expectations and deadlines for Sixth Formers at KHS applying to higher education.
Michaelmas Term (Lower Sixth)
Pupils begin thinking about university and their destinations from the outset of Sixth Form, which then gives them goals to work towards; during the Sixth Form induction, pupils are taken on a university visit. Pupils are given a unifrog account and then begin their personal development plans with their tutors, house parents and Head of Sixth Form to set these goals and to hold them accountable to what they want to achieve. The focus of the first term in the Sixth Form is for pupils to settle into their subjects and ensure that their subject combination and choice is right.
During Sixth Form Seminar, pupils hear from a variety of different professions and careers. Pupils also begin thinking about their EPQ and are taken through a range of skills and techniques from planning, management, research skills and how to review their work: all strengths that will aid them significantly at university. Pupils are also encouraged to start thinking about leading and serving others as well as other opportunities that they can add to their CV.
Lent Term (Lower Sixth)
Pupils are given more Sixth Form Seminar sessions on alternatives to university such as apprenticeships and employer school leaver programmes as well as many sessions on different careers and PSHEE. Continuing to think about their progress that they are making in terms of their personal development, pupils also make significant progress on their EPQs and start to think about what universities they are interested in. The Head of Sixth, with the support of the Academic and Administrative Directors of the US Program, begins briefing the US Applicants and they register for SAT/ ACT exams to be taken any time between April and December.
Trinity Term (Lower Sixth)
This is the term in which Lower Sixth pupils attend a UCAS Exhibition at the outset and this sets the tone for the whole term, allowing pupils to start thinking about where they might apply to university. The Higher Education Week is an integral part of this programme, just before May half term, and is when pupils will consider all sorts of questions and discover an enormous amount about the UCAS process as well as how to apply to study overseas. This is also when UCAS accounts are activated. Sixth Form Seminar sessions are given throughout the term by different university representatives and further sessions are held to encourage pupils to begin to use the UCAS site/ College Board site/ International Study resources to research courses. Pupils are encouraged to attend Open Days during the Trinity term where possible and Personal Statement workshops are held. Seminar sessions on alternatives to university such as Apprenticeships and employer school leaver programmes are provided to encourage pupils to look into all the possibilities to decide if university is the right choice for them. Pupils are encouraged during this time to arrange work experience placements in a field relevant to their chosen course, or paid work experience, near home during the summer holidays.
Oxbridge/medicine/dentistry/veterinary medicine applicants start a specialised programme for early entry. Wider reading becomes even more of a priority for pupils and as much research as possible is undertaken for pupils’ EPQs.
Summer (Lower Sixth)
Pupils work on personal statements over the summer and continue researching universities. Some universities may also offer Open Days or longer subject based residential courses during this time- pupils are encouraged to attend as many of these as suitable. Pupils are also encouraged to undertake relevant work experience, voluntary work or temporary employment. Pupils are also advised to make significant progress with their EPQ in order to ensure that they have completed their research and are ready to complete their artefact or product by the end of the Michaelmas Term if not before.
Michaelmas Term (Upper Sixth)
Pupils hit the ground running by returning with a first draft of their Personal Statement completed; September is then when pupils revise this document and spend time with teachers and tutors to ensure it is the best it can be. Pupils need to finalise their five choices and thus some pupils attend Open Days this term. UCAS grades are confirmed with the Head of Sixth Form to assist in selecting courses with appropriate offers. UK Applicants are expected to complete their UCAS applications before the October half term. Applications are proof-read by both the academic tutor and the Head of Sixth Form. Once applications are complete and are found to be in good order they are forwarded to UCAS by the Head of Sixth Form.
US Applicants attend Fulbright College Fair in London. Applications begin, in discussion with the Director of the US Program and upils approach teachers to request teacher recommendations. US application personal statement workshops are held with the Head of Sixth Form, with the support of the Academic and Administrative Directors of the US Program; applicants continue to complete applications, according to individual deadlines.
Pupils wishing to study abroad are encouraged to speak with the Head of Sixth Form on a regular basis in order to ensure that individual deadlines are met.
Pupils wishing to apply for apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, the military or alternatives are encouraged to continue to research as much as possible and meet individual deadlines.
Oxbridge candidates need to register for their admissions tests in September and support is given to ensure that they are guided through this process. Those pupils who need interview preparation are given support, guidance and practice.
Oxbridge, Dentistry and Medical applications are due to UCAS on October 15th, 2020. The FINAL DEADLINE for all “standard” UCAS applications is January 15th, 2021. US Applications will be due between November 2020 (early entry/ early decision) and February 2021.
Lent Term (Upper Sixth)
Individual support is provided for those that have been invited to interview and help is given to those needing to take a portfolio to a university. Help is given as communication to universities is made. Support is also given through seminar sessions on Student Finance, budgeting at university, independent living and other relevant topics to prepare pupils for university entry. Personal advice is given by tutors and the Head of Sixth Form to assist pupils in selecting their Firm and Insurance offers. Pupils may be invited to post-offer Open Days and pupils will begin to think about replying to their offers. For US applications, the Academic and Administrative Directors of the US Program are available for support on funding applications and accepting offers.
Trinity Term (Upper Sixth)
Pupils will need to reply to their university offers by the beginning of May. Once they have done this, the expectation of both pupils and staff is that they focus on their final submissions of coursework and their exams.
Summer (as Hillians!)
We hope that pupils enjoy a well-deserved rest and relax after their hard work. We operate on a policy of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best on results day in August! We therefore ensure that pupils have thought about universities they might apply for in Clearing and Adjustment and will support pupils to ensure they end up at a destination they deserve. We encourage pupils to come into school on results day where possible so that we can give them the support that they need. Once their results are released, they will know very shortly where they will be going to university and we just hope they will stay in touch!
For courses such as Art Foundation courses or other subject specific disciplines, the appropriate Head of Department, together with the Head of Sixth Form, will support individual pupils in their applications and in compiling their portfolios and/or preparing for interviews.
We aim to support the aspirations of all our learners and to ensure that they gain the understanding, skills and experience they need to make progress and succeed in learning and work.
As with all we do at Kingham, the needs of each pupil are considered and we aim to support all pupils to explore the career path that is right for them, helping them to think through their own strengths, weaknesses and interests to find suitable career pathways. We provide access to relevant events and specialists at key junctures in their academic journeys and regular conversations with tutors who know the pupils well and can give advice and point them to other sources of information.
Pupils receive guidance through tutor times, PSHE lessons, Sixth Form Seminar, Chapel talks, lunchtime careers talks, employer visits and lessons themselves. Furthermore, all pupils have access to ‘unifrog’ and the plethora of information and advice on this platform is extensive. All pupils are encouraged to undertake work experience; we work closely with local businesses such as Daylesford Organic to help pupils explore career opportunities and expand their networks. Sixth Formers are also taken to various post-school fairs and university open days. Independent advice is available through CWR Consultancy who visit the Sixth Form to ensure that up to date information is always given to the pupils. We work closely with our Alumni and these ‘Hillians’ visit often: either to give talks, seminars, host career days and, particularly, to mentor our pupils. Further information about our career plan can be found on the school website.
In keeping with our commitment to provide pupils with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step after school, we use Unifrog; an award-winning, online careers platform. All pupils in the Sixth Form have access to this excellent website. Unifrog brings into one place every undergraduate university course, apprenticeship, and college course in the UK, as well as other opportunities, such as School Leaver Programmes, MOOCs and every college at Oxford and Cambridge. This makes it easy for pupils to compare and choose the best university courses, apprenticeships or further education courses for them. They can also explore exciting opportunities further afield by looking at English taught undergraduate programmes available in Europe and the USA. Additionally, the platform helps pupils successfully apply for these opportunities by writing their personal statement, applications and CVs and guiding them through the process, allowing teachers to give live feedback.