5 key things you need to remember about what happens next:
- Your teachers will write their subject references in the summer term but your form tutor won’t write your school reference until the autumn term, so your predicted grades in the summer of Year 12 and the autumn of Year 13 will be the ones that really count, if you are applying for university. If you are applying for employment or an apprenticeship, your form tutor will be able to harvest your predicted grades in the spring term, as that is when the application window opens for these routes. However, your teachers will still write their subject references in the summer term, so that is when they need to see your attitude, ability and aptitude clearly on display, whichever option you decide is right for you.
- You need to be doing thorough research throughout the summer term and over the summer holidays, especially if you are applying to university. The application window for early applications (Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science) opens at the start of September in Year 13 and for everyone else in mid-October, so you won’t have long in Year 13 to get university applications completed.
- If you are planning to go to university, try to attend open days for the universities that are at the top of your list.
- If you are planning to go straight into employment or start an apprenticeship, you need to try to get meaningful work experience, either during the summer of Year 12 or early in Year 13, as that will really help you to secure your ideal position. Remember – so long as you won’t be missing school when there is an immovable date for an exam or for coursework submission, you can take a week for work experience at any time, so long as you have discussed it with Mr Forcella-Burton first.
- If you are just plain confused about which option is best for you, start by working out what your ideal first career would be and work backwards from there. If you research entry requirements for that career (using a site like Careerpilot or Morrisby), you will find out whether you will need to take an apprenticeship or go to university or if you can go straight into employment. If you think you need to take a temporary break from decision-making, why not take a gap year and use that time to distance yourself from school and gain clarity about what you want to do next?
- Research future careers to find out what qualifications you will need to start them
- Research universities that offer the course you are interested in studying (courses for UCAS 2021 will appear on UCAS from 5th May 2020)
- Attend university open days
- Seek and undertake relevant and useful work experience
- Write your personal statement – gaining feedback for improvements from your form tutors, subject teachers and, finally (and if you want it), Mr Forcella-Burton – by the summer holidays
- Register for ‘UCAS Apply’ from 19th May 2020 for UCAS 2021 – when asked for the school’s buzzword, enter Forcella, so that staff can see and process your application for you
- Create your own ‘UCAS Hub’ to capture all of your research
- Visit summer university open days
- If you will be an ‘early applicant’, book and study for the extra tests you will need to take (such as BMAT and/or UCAT for Medicine and admissions tests for Oxbridge colleges)
- Submit ‘early applications’ to UCAS from 8th September 2020
- Attend autumn university open days
- Submit all other applications to UCAS between mid-October and mid-January
- Make ‘late applications’ to university – you can still apply after the mid-January deadline but universities are not obliged to respond until results day at latest
- Await decisions from universities
- When you have received all of your responses from universities, accept one ‘Firm’ and one ‘Insurance’ offer (this should be a lower offer than your firm offer) from universities (the rest are automatically rejected when you do this) – if you received them all by mid-March, you need to do this by mid-May
- When you have accepted your two preferred university offers, they will contact you to arrange your first year accommodation
- Apply for student finance
- If you are intending to apply for employment or an apprenticeship, attend the ‘Preparing for Employment and Apprenticeship Programme’ (PEAP) sessions in school
- Start applying for apprenticeships – most larger employers start to advertise these on their websites and the government website in the Spring Term
- Ensure you have applied for both student accommodation and student finance
- Continue to apply for apprenticeships and employment
- Await exam results – IB qualifications in early July and A level and vocational qualifications in mid-August
Once you have your VISION of what your next step is going to be, it becomes really important that you put in enough EFFORT to get there, have the right study SYSTEMS in place to achieve your goals, PRACTISE regularly for what you will have to do in coursework and exams and maintain the right ATTITUDE to your studies. In other words, once you know what you want to do next, you need to make sure you get your VESPA right.
Make sure you join our alumni group, so that you can keep in contact with us after you have finished Year 13 and gone on to your next step:
Students – You will finds lots of other useful information on our Post-16 Community Google Classroom. The joining code is cruhkyz.