On 6th November 2018, a group of high achieving Year 12 students went to the Launch Event for the Higher Education Plus Programme (HE+) held at The Nottingham Council House in the Market Square, Nottingham. The Nottingham Emmanuel Sixth Form is part of a consortium of schools across Nottinghamshire that work together with the University of Cambridge to prepare students for university study. Following a welcome address, students received specialist support and guidance from the University of Cambridge Admissions team and first-hand advice from former HE+ students who have now secured places at top UK universities. They also attended two master class sessions in a subject stream relevant to their A Level subjects, to challenge their thinking and extend their academic awareness of topics beyond their A Level curriculum. For example ‘Does Quantum Theory Prove the Existence of God?’.
“The masterclasses were THE highlight of my day! It was thought provoking and inspiring listening to lecturers discuss topics they are highly knowledgeable and passionate about.” said Michael, a Year 12 student.
This event provided a unique opportunity to gain an insight into university life and to meet other students who share similar interests and ambitions to their own.
Gen (Year 12) commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed the HE+ Launch Event; it was exciting to hear from alumni students and to meet other ambitious young people who have a passion for learning. I gained lots of valuable information about the application process for the University of Cambridge and how this compares with other competitive universities. In the afternoon, I attended a Social Anthropology master class which was absolutely fascinating and it helped me to realise the diverse range of courses on offer at universities. I can’t wait to visit Cambridge University next year and experience a taste of university life on campus.”
The HE+ Launch Event will be followed up by a visit to Peterhouse College at the University of Cambridge and a one-day Graduation Conference in the New Year.
Our Year 12 students took part in a ‘Futures’ week which included three days of work shadowing followed by two days of work skills, apprenticeship and UCAS preparation.
The three-day work-shadowing programme saw our students work within local and national organisations such the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham, Interserve (a multinational support services and construction company) and Heart Church. The three days gave our students a real insight into the world of work in a way that tangibly supports their final year studies, undertaking specific roles and responsibilities that enabled them to develop new skills and explore career progression.
During the two-day UCAS and work skills programme, students worked alongside staff from Deloitte, a leading accountancy and professional services organisation, which led on workshops to develop our students’ CV building, employability and interview skills.
Our students then moved on to work on three sessions focussed on ‘next steps’. The sessions were ‘Educational Pathways’, ‘Making sense of the UCAS process’ and ‘How to write a personal statement’. Students then signed up to UCAS and began researching university courses, apprenticeships and MOOC opportunities (Massive Online Open Courses) using Unifrog software.
Sam in Year 13 said, “The advice and guidance we were given during these two days enabled me to start my UCAS application much earlier than I had expected. This meant that I was able to thoroughly research the universities and courses I was interested in. I was then able to submit my UCAS application early on in the process and as a consequence, I have already received offers from three of my chosen universities. Fingers crossed for my final two choices.”