Higher Education and Apprenticeship Evening: Sixth Form Guide To Post 18 Pathways
It is at this time of year where we encourage Year 12 to start to finalise their Post 18 pathway so that they can start preparing to complete their applications. It is an incredibly daunting task and we find that some students can become an ‘ostrich’. They know they have a decision to make but they feel that if they ignore it, it will just go away! These students are usually still trying to choose their pathway in October and November of Year 13 and will often rush to complete an application to university, just because everyone else that they know has chosen this pathway. This can sometimes lead to them choosing the wrong course or institution and sometimes these students will not complete their first year. This causes distress to the students and their parents and is a situation that can be avoided if students engage in the sixth form tutor programme and work with their personal tutor to complete their post 18 application in a timely manner.
Our aim is to empower students to make the right decision for them and to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to make a decision. This process involves teamwork between the student, parents and school. Students need to have the confidence to realise that they can apply for more than one opportunity and make a final decision, once they have received their A Level results.
The purpose of this special edition Newsletter is to replace the calendared Higher Education and Apprenticeship evening which was planned to take place in school on Wednesday, February 24th before the national lockdown was announced. Please take some time to read the information that has been provided and listen to the videos that staff, ex-students and different organisations have prepared so that you are ready to support your son/daughter with their Post 18 applications. Students will also be supported in school by their tutor who they meet with every morning and for tutor period every other week.
We hope you find this information informative and we welcome any feedback that you may have. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
What are my options at 18 years old?
Click on the following links to explore all of your options at 18 years old:
- Doing a higher education level course – either full-time, part-time or by distance learning, at a university or a college;
- Doing an Intermediate, Advanced, Higher or Degree Apprenticeship;
- Getting a job that offers training;
- Doing a vocational course at a Further Education College
- Taking a year out (a gap year)
For further information on your options explore this section of the UCAS site: https://www.ucas.com/what-are-my-options
If students were unable to attend the virtual fair advertised last October, then they will have a further opportunity to attend in March.
UK University & Apprenticeship Search Fair
Wednesday 17th March | 12pm - 6pm | 100+ Exhibitors
With university open days on hold, our UK University & Apprenticeship Search Virtual Fair will be returning on March 17th to help students from Years 10, 11, 12 & 13 explore their post 18 options, with over 100 universities, colleges and apprenticeship providers from across the UK attending. Students will be able to speak directly with admissions teams and recruitment officers from Russell Group, Red Brick, Modern & Specialist universities, along with higher & degree apprenticeship providers. The event will also feature virtual campus tours so students can explore universities from their laptop.
You can view the list of exhibitors who’ve signed up so far here.
10 live webinars on a range of subjects will run throughout the day such as Choosing a Course, Careers & Employability, Degree Apprenticeships and Student Finance.
An overview of the application process:
Apprenticeships do not have a standard application window. The company offering the apprenticeship will decide when they will recruit. The application process can be a lengthy process as the company wants to make sure that they select the right person for the job as it is a large investment for them. Quite often, you will need to submit an application form, including a covering letter that explains why you are the best person for the role. If you are shortlisted, you may then be asked to complete some online tests. These could be an aptitude test or a psychometric test. Some students have been asked to submit a video presentation or complete an online interview. To help prepare for these tasks, we ask students to film themselves completing an interview. We then ask them to watch themselves and evaluate the interview. The students who practice, improve their competitiveness and have been successful in securing an apprenticeship. The next stage may involve an Assessment Centre. Please see the separate article on Assessment Centres. The final stage will often involve a final interview with the manager of a particular department.
For advice about how to prepare for an apprenticeship interview, please click here
How to search for an Apprenticeship:
The Government Apprenticeship Search Website:
We encourage students to register and create an account at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship so that they can receive notifications about apprenticeships that match their selection criteria.
Unifrog is a fantastic resource that all of our students and parents have access to. If you haven’t logged in before you will need to sign in using a form code. The form code for parents is johntaylorparents. If you have signed in before and you have forgotten your password, you can just select reset password and it will send you a link.
Some of our students will tell us that there aren’t many apprenticeships in the area that they want to progress in to and we always advise them to look at all opportunities available first so that they can then disregard the opportunities that do not interest them. This is because students are only used to selecting subjects and not business areas. Students do not have the experience to know what logistics entails or what a Chartered Management apprenticeship involves, therefore, by researching all opportunities within the local area, this provides them with an opportunity to find out more about apprenticeships that they wouldn’t have even given a chance beforehand.
To show you how easy Unifrog is to use to search for apprenticeships, please watch the video below:
Looking on company websites and registering an interest:
Many companies have a dedicated site for vacancies and will provide information about their Apprenticeship programmes. If an application window is not open, quite often you can register your interest and receive alert e-mails when the company does start recruiting again.
We have a number of students who have successfully secured apprenticeships in the past and two of these students have agreed to share their experiences with you in the videos below. They will share their journey and provide advice about their experience of the application and selection process.
Elizabeth Hendon - Graduated from a Degree Apprenticeship in Chartered Management at Nestle
Rebecca Shipton - Solicitor Apprentice with CMS Law Firm
A very popular selection method used by companies to recruit apprentices is to use an assessment centre. We encourage students to prepare for a day at an assessment centre by making sure that they are aware of their schedule and practice some of the exercises that they will be expected to complete. The following guide supports this process:
Please click here to explore a vast range of videos that introduce you to the different courses that you can study at university.
All students have access to the careers platform called Unifrog and therefore, they can use the search facilities to search for courses that they are likely to meet the entry requirements for based on their projected grades. Watch the video below to learn how to do this.
All students applying to university will apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) to visit their website click here. They will complete an application form which will include a personal statement.
Students are supported in completing their application form as they are provided with screenshots for each section:
Miss Greenhough has recorded two videos to provide an insight into writing a competitive personal statement:
Students have been provided with the following to support them when writing their personal statement:
The Sixth Form team have a proven track record for supporting students in applying to both the University of Cambridge and Oxford in a range of subjects. However, we also recognise that students who submit the most competitive applications have fully engaged in additional academic activities lower down in the school and have an excellent set of GCSE results.
In order to continue to support these students we usually take them to an Oxbridge conference in March, however, this year this will be a virtual conference. All students who have expressed an interest in finding out more about Oxbridge applications have been sent an invite to register for this event.
Admission is FREE but by ticket only and all bookings should be made online.
How to book
Tickets to attend the virtual conferences are free but you do need to register in advance for an e-ticket. Students and teachers can book themselves on to the conferences.
To book your place, please complete the online booking form.
The conference offers:
- Webinars on applying to Oxford and Cambridge (including Student Experience)
- Opportunities to chat live with course academics and current undergraduate students
- Videos of current undergraduate students from your region talking about their experiences of applying, settling into life at both Universities and their course of study
The conferences aim is for students to have the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into what living and studying at Oxford and Cambridge is like, an understanding of how both universities assess applications and the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
15 – 26 March
- UK Regional and National Videos from our Student Ambassadors
- Applying to Oxford and Cambridge
- Making a Competitive Application
- Student Experience
- Student Support
Tuesday 23 March
Wednesday 24 March
Thursday 25 March
Mr Sears has produced a presentation to support students and parents who are thinking of applying to these institutions:
Other sources of information about applications and admissions tests:
Some parents and students are worried about how they will finance their studies at university and this can be one of the reasons why they choose an alternative pathway. The purpose of this article is to clarify some of the myths surrounding student finance and to signpost you to further information.
Student Finance England is a service provided by the Student Loans Company. They provide financial support on behalf of the UK Government to students from England entering higher education in the UK.
You may be eligible for funding from Student Finance England if:
- you’re a UK national or you have settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU settlement scheme
- you normally live in England
- you’ve lived in the UK for 3 years before starting your course
- you’ll be studying an eligible higher education course at a UK college or university
- you do not already have a higher education qualification
If you’re an EU national and you want more information on whether you’ll be eligible for student finance in 2021 to 2022, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/studying-in-the-uk-guidance-for-eu-students.
You will apply for a student loan during the month of March before your course is due to start.
Key Facts for Parents about Student Loans:
- Students don’t need to wait until they have a confirmed place at uni or college to apply for finance – they can use their preferred choice and update it online later if they need to.
- Once your child has applied, you’ll get an email within 24 hours with a link to submit your household income details. You’ll need to create your own account if you haven’t already got one.
- When you register you’ll need to give Student Finance England your National Insurance number and your personal income for the previous tax year.
- It’s really important that you send Student Finance England your income details and any evidence they ask for as soon as possible so they can make sure that your child gets as much as they’re entitled to. They’ll only get the minimum amount of finance until you give them your details.
- Once Student Finance England has received your child's application and any evidence they need, they’ll assess how much they can get and send them a Student Finance Entitlement letter. Your child should take this to their university or college when they register.
- Once the uni or college let Student Finance England know they’ve started their course, they'll make the first of three Maintenance Loan payments into your child’s bank account and pay the Tuition Fee Loan directly to their university or college.
Birmingham University have provided an overview of student finance for you in the following video:
Many of you will have heard of Martin Lewis and may have already listened to his advice about managing your personal finances. He has provided a video to bust common myths about student loans, grants and finance, including the 20+ key facts every potential student, parent and grandparent should know.
For further information about student loans, please visit the electronic guide produced by Student Finance England.
Choosing to remain in full-time education can place additional financial pressures on families and individuals, therefore, it is important to make sure that you have explored all sources of funding in addition to student finance.
Many universities will offer scholarships to students that meet certain criteria. All parents and students at John Taylor High School have a login to Unifrog (www.unifrog.org/signin). If you haven't logged in before, you will need to sign in using a form code. The form code for parents is johntaylorparents. If you have logged in previously but have forgotten your password, you will just need to click on the 'forgotten password' link and a new one will be sent to your e-mail address. Alternatively, you can search with your son/daughter using their account.
To search for scholarships:
- Login to Unifrog.
- Scroll down to the group of tiles in the 'searching for opportunities' section and select the brown tile named 'special opportunities'. Click 'start'.
- The first page will include key terminology for this area. Click 'next' at the bottom of the page.
- Select the location where you live and click 'next'.
- When you are asked which country you are interested in select the tab for the UK.
- Under the search by keyword box, select scholarships.
- Select the tab for (Not tied to a subject) scholarships and subjects related to your area of study. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'next'.
- Select the areas that you want to exclude as you do not meet that criteria e.g. if you are not looking for scholarships linked to a religious affiliation, then click on this tab. You can select more than one tab.
- You will now be presented with three lists. Select the scholarships that you think your child will meet the criteria for. You can select up to 5 different ones to create a shortlist. Click 'next'.
You will now have a shortlist and will be able to read more detailed information about each scholarship, including how to apply etc.
Year in Industry help place students aged 17+ in Year 13 in top UK companies and organisations every year, including, Rolls-Royce, EDF, Network Rail, Scottish Power and P&G. Typically, the programme lasts between 10-12 months and is a paid placement.
Who is it for?
YINI is for post A-Level school leavers who are looking for work placements within technology, science, engineering, business and finance.
Students can apply to the programme, post A levels for a year’s work experience prior to going to university or as a year to help decide on the future direction of their career - be that Higher Apprenticeship, University or work, or during their degree course itself.
What will be involved?
For the duration of the placement, you will work on projects that will enable you to gain valuable work experience that employers are looking for. You will receive full support from The Year in Industry through a year-long mentoring service at the company, including on-site visits from the YINI team.
How it works
Student submits application to YINI via web site.
Student interviewed by EDT prior to full acceptance on the scheme.
Companies approach us outlining the kinds of roles they have / students they are looking for.
EDT Placements team will search the registered students’ database to find suitable matches for companies and forward relevant CV’s to the company. In some cases we will contact universities / schools for specific candidates.
The Company will identify which students they would like to interview and when.
The EDT will deal with the administration arrangements informing the student.
The company will interview the student and decide whether they want to offer a placement to the student. If they do the EDT will relay the offer to the Student.
The EDT will assign a mentor to the student / company.
Upon the student starting, EDT will invoice the company for the placement fee.
Benefits for young people
Get high quality work experience, even if you want to keep your options open
Gain skills that demonstrate competencies on your CV
Be set up with valuable contacts and opportunities for the future
Gain experience in a top UK company
Get the opportunity to obtain company sponsorship
Gain awareness of the available career opportunities
Check out alternative career routes e.g. Degree Apprenticeships
Earn a competitive salary
Opportunity to gain Platinum Level accreditation through the Industrial Cadet (IC) programme
Free service to post A-Level/Higher/Advanced Higher and Undergraduate students support throughout the placement
To find out more click here