Friday, 19 June 2015

#University open days are a crucial part of choosing the right course, when it comes to making your #UCAS application

Exams are nearly over and Year 12 students are knuckling down to their year 13 courses and beginning to ask themselves 'What next after school?' 

For those planing on applying to university, tuition fees means students are committing themselves to significant investment in their future, through university study. As such, careful consideration must be made regarding the course of study, to gain the best possible return on this investment, when it comes to employment and a career.

June sees many universities holding Open Days, an important opportunity for sixth form students to review course options before submitting their UCAS application in the Autumn. 

A website is a good way to start research, but a visit enables you to take in the atmosphere and ask specific questions. Most universities allow you to to book to visit their Open Days online.

Prepare a check list of questions, so you leave the day feeling fully informed about both the course and what it would be like to study at the university itself.

Here are some suggested questions below:
  1. For your chosen course, what is the weekly contact teaching time and how does the system of tutorials work?
  1. How is the course assessed – how much is project work as opposed to exams?
  1. How many places are offered on your chosen course each year?
  1. How are applicants evaluated, e.g. are interviews part of this process?
  1. Does the course include time in industry, work experience or opportunities overseas?
  1. Do current students recommend the course?
  1. What careers advice is available?
  1. What percentage of last year’s graduates from this course gained employment and what types of jobs have they secured?
  1. What clubs and societies are offered and are the facilities for sport, the Arts etc. likely to match your interests?
  1. What is the policy for accommodation in the first year? If this is your first time away from home living in a hall of residence will make it easier to meet new friends.
  1. Do you like the atmosphere? You will be living there for at least 3 years so need to feel at home in the environment you choose. Campus style universities or those that are located around a town have a different feel.
  1. Are there good bus routes or secure areas for bicycles for travel to lectures? Think twice about taking a car. Parking can often be difficult and cars are very expensive to run.

Do you need some assistance with reviewing your university course options or with making a strong UCAS application?

Our team of friendly professional consultants are here to help. For an informal chat about how we might help you, call Claire Coker on +44 (0)1865 522066

or Email

You will find more information by visiting our website via the link below

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Congratulations prep school leavers! #commonentrance

Tomorrow will see a buzz of excitement among prep school leavers, with news of Common Entrance results for the majority of children leading to a confirmed place at their chosen senior school. Sighs of relief will quickly turn to excitement as the summer holidays approach and then gradually thoughts will turn towards making a new start, as they move on to their future school.

Here are 10 tips for parents to prepare your child over the summer, so they are ready to hit the ground running in the larger, more independent, hectic environment at senior school.
  1. Keep their brain ticking over with reading books from the local library, visits to art galleries and museums, doing puzzles, playing scrabble, subscribing to online maths programmes etc.
  2. Review joining information now. Return forms in plenty of time. There may be first-come-first-served timetabling choices to make, such as which extra language or musical instrument to take up, or booking in a mouthguard fitting.
  3. Run through the pupil handbook together to establish daily routine and rules. Getting into trouble in the first few weeks will be a set-back in the settling in process.
  4. Look over the extra-curricular programme, discussing which have most appeal. Planning school runs and other family commitments will be easier if you have an idea of when school commitments might be.
  5. Request email and phone numbers are circulated amongst form or house groups. Make contact with other families to arrange joint activities over the summer. Starting a new school alongside familiar faces is far less daunting.
  6. Gradually increase independence, for example catching the bus to the local shopping centre to meet friends for a couple of hours.
  7. Be firm on time-keeping and give advice about keeping themselves and valuables safe. Encourage your child to act responsibly and solve problems themselves.
  8. If boarding for the first time, practise housekeeping skills such as keeping a tidy bedroom, keeping track of possessions, changing a duvet cover and putting clothes into the laundry daily.
  9. Buy new uniform as soon as is practical, bearing in mind summer growth spurts. Leaving this until the last week of the holiday means items are more likely to be out of stock and the shops will be insanely busy with those doing everything at the last-minute. Name everything clearly and securely, including techy gadgets, chargers, trainers and in particular sports kit, which often tends to disappear.
  10. If starting a new sport such as lacrosse, hockey or rugby, book a pre-season summer course to get to grips with some of the skills before term starts. This will boost confidence and give them a head-start in September.
For the very few for whom results day brings disappointing news, firstly seek and listen to the advice of your prep school Head. They have strong relationships with senior schools and know your child well, so will be best placed to advise and support you in securing the right alternative school to the one you had your hopes pinned to.

If you would like an independent viewpoint, in tandem with that of your school, our team of friendly consultants are here with a listening ear and a big box of tissues, to advise and support you in reviewing your options.

For advice on choosing the right senior school please contact us to speak with one of our expert education consultants. 

Or Call 01865 522066