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Strathearn School Belfast. U6 UCAS Information Evening 2012. PROGRAMME FOR THE EVENING. Introduction Mr Manning Overview of UCAS application process Mrs Graham (VP & Careers Director) UCAS online application process in Strathearn Ms Griffith (UCAS Co-ordinator)

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Strathearn School Belfast


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    1. Strathearn SchoolBelfast U6 UCAS Information Evening 2012

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

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

    5. Inside school Careers classes Guest speakers from different areas of employment Personal statement guidance by subject University talks Interview guidance Mock Interview evening (26 Nov) Outside school Personal research Careers conventions University open days Summer schools Taster courses for school pupils at universities Work Experience Oxbridge seminars Preparation for HE applications 5

    6. Applying to HEIs through UCAS Online: www.ucas.com Additional tests (BMAT, UKCAT, HPAT, LNAT, HAT, ELAT, etc) Oxbridge Cost (see www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.) Support in Strathearn 6

    7. Strathearn Careers Education, Advice, Information and Guidance (CEAIG) team Careers DirectorMrs H Graham Careers Adviser Mrs A Hearst UCAS Co-ordinator Ms A Griffith (plus CAO and nursing applications) Oxbridge Adviser Dr J Pauley U6 Careers Teachers Miss M Grier Mrs D Millar Mrs A McCracken Mrs L Staples Mrs A Hearst 7

    8. 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: 15 August 2013 (provisional) Clearing University! After application is submitted to UCAS 8

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

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

    12. Key dates for Strathearn U6 pupils June 2012 Pupils e-mailed UCAS login details and guidance on how to complete application Aug 23 2012 Early Applicants online application session Sept 4 2012 U6 Careers classes begin Sept 5 2012 Pupils issued with annotated sample of an UCAS form Sept 6 2012 UCAS Information Evening Sept 7 2012 QUB Open Day & MCB Options Careers Convention Sept 14 2012Early applicants [Oxbridge / Dentistry / Medicine & Veterinary Med / Science] submit completed UCAS application to careers teachers Oct 12 2012 Non early applicants to have completed UCAS application signed off by careers teacher Oct 15 2012 UCAS deadline for early applicants Jan 15 2013 UCAS advisory closing date for UK pupils. 13

    13. 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

    14. 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

    15. 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

    16. The Personal Statement Mrs A Hearst Careers Adviser

    17. Aim The ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of Personal Statements

    18. 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

    19. 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

    20. 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

    21. 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

    22. 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 Check university websites for specific guidance on what their admissions department is looking for in a personal statement ‘Dos’

    23. 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 Be someone you are not – it has to be personal 'Don’ts’

    24. ● 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 And finally

    25. 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.

    26. 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 Frequently asked questions

    27. UCAS APPLICATIONSPUPIL REFERENCES Mrs H Graham 28

    28. Strathearn’s Pupil Reference Writing Team 2 V Ps Senior Teachers U6 Form Tutors Head of 6th 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

    29. 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 30

    30. Concluding remarks Mr Manning 31