The Year 12 Post-Sixth Form Preparation Day was an enlightening and helpful experience which enabled students to discover more information about universities, apprenticeships and other possible pathways such as career opportunities and gap years. The event was held on Wednesday 14 March 2018 and lasted for the whole academic day. Year 12 student Eva Annision said, “It was an incredibly intriguing experience to be a part of. It was a great way to receive a lot of information about both universities and apprenticeships which will assist me when making my final post-Sixth Form decision”. We both agree that the day was beneficial and the questions many students were unsure about regarding both universities and apprenticeships were answered effectively.
The day began with an informative presentation about UCAS university applications by one of the UEA Admission Officers. Students were informed about many factors affecting university placements such as the UCAS Tariff, Student Finance and also a considerable amount of information on what makes a good or bad personal statement. The speaker ensured that humour was used to showcase the not so good examples which made the event seem much more colloquial and friendly making the whole experience a lot less daunting. Overall the beginning to the day was useful and those students considering university like us found the information given crucial to our success in our UCAS application.
University is a huge step in young people’s lives and half of us do not even know yet which University we want to attend. One event which crushed these doubts and fears was the Unifrog talk. The speaker presented a brilliant talk on how Unifrog works and helped us to understand how their website functions. As a student I found it provided me with me everything I did not know and everything I needed to know; there was no fillers which were confusing or distracting as she presented a simple and straightforward plan on how to find your university. It was personal, we felt incorporated and we felt as if our speaker wanted to help us. One student, Sara Freire, gave her response: “I found it informative, it made it easier for me to understand what I’m looking for.” A common theme running through many students’ responses was that they generally switch off in presentations, but not in this one. The information provided gave students a sense of beginning to feel as if they knew what they wanted, removing them from a state of fear and confusion when choosing their university. After this assembly we were able to access this website ourselves, we began brainstorming ideas and filtering out the universities we wanted and did not want. We were able to crunch down the numbers of universities, ultimately relieving the stress, and all with help from Unifrog.
We then split up into smaller groups and students took part in a variety of different activities, one of these being the CV builder workshop. CVs are a crucial part to obtaining a job; not only do they showcase our greatest attributes but they show an employer what we are really about. The CV builder workshop certainly helped students to understand how to in-case these ideas. While lots of students knew the information already due to Miss Emmerson and Mr Fish’s help and advice throughout the year, having a workshop reiterating the information, made students much more aware of the most effective way of building a CV. Developing your own CV and putting yourself on a page for someone to judge can be incredibly daunting and events like this can be a great relief for students who struggle with gaining that independence and building a solid CV.
Following on from this, students then took part in an interview workshop held by Fredrica of AIM Apprenticeship which informed us about university, apprenticeship and general job interviews; the information had not been spoken about much to Year 12 and to many students the workshop was both interesting and useful. A student with university interest, Emily Oxbury, said “While the session was done by Fredrica of AIM Apprenticeships, the information was incredibly useful to all of us, I was able to analyse what I thought I knew about interviews compared to what was being said and found that there were many elements I did not begin to think about such as body language and articulation. When considering Post-Sixth Form university placements I shall now be able to take this all into account thanks to the event held on Wednesday”. We both agree that learning the characteristics of interviews is a necessity to our future and Fredrica’s help will seriously benefit us for our Post-18 pathways.
The Careers Fair was the last event of the day and this tied it all together: we had understood the methods of creating CVs, filtering down universities and knowing how to act in an interview, all we needed now was to meet representatives. People came from various places to provide us with reasons as to why their university was the one to choose. As an Ambassador, meeting the representatives was great, with a friendly atmosphere and mutual understanding of what everyone wanted the Careers Fair went swimmingly. People from Lincoln, the RAF, UEA and the police force, all came to give us broad options. It is one thing to look online for a university but it is another to speak face to face. This experience was beneficial to the students: being able to interact with someone who is a direct representative makes you feel as if the decisions you are making are supported; not only this, but students felt they had control instead of being talked at and they could ask the questions they really wanted answering. Overall, the day gave us relief due to the friendly atmosphere and support and we were able to ask the questions that really mattered to us and would help us in the future.
The Post-Sixth Form event was not only informative and interesting but a fun and useful way of spending our time at school. The independence given in the careers fair along with the vast amount of relevant and important information in both the presentations and workshops ensured that each student is not only prepared for their Post-18 choices but had a fun time learning this information while doing it. We would both recommend a day like this for any Sixth Form and college and thank the staff for putting such a beneficial day together.
Written by Emily Webb and Katherine Hughes
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, Laundry Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 0XS
Main Office - 01603 497711 | Student Absence Line - 01603 497722
The Yare Education Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with company number 10301555. The registered office is at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, Laundry Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 0XS. (Telephone - 01603 497711)