We encourage our students to research a range of post-18 options, although the majority of students each year apply to University via UCAS. Through work with tutors and teachers, students are encouraged to reflect on their ambitions and future intentions from the start of Year 12. We celebrate UCAS destinations of students within each Department, so that there is an obvious link with progression.
Our UCAS process begins in the spring, when we expect tutors to begin discussing pros and cons of university. Our annual Higher Education Evening takes place in February/March to introduce a range of opportunities to parents and students, including the application process and finances. This evening is led by an admissions tutor from a university and includes a range of subject-specific workshops ranging from physiotherapy to law to sciences. We advertise a wide range of university taster courses and residential experiences, and actively promote the programme of tasters held across the London universities. Each year, we take a small aspirational group to Oxford for a visit to Queens and St Hilda’s Colleges where the specific Oxbridge process is explained.
In specific days in July, we focus very clearly on the UCAS process and ask students to explore their own thinking and aims, alongside more practical sessions on writing personal statements.
From September students are encouraged to apply through UCAS at their own pace, although we would advise application by the October half term. References are completed as students are ready to apply and are compiled through teacher and tutor commentaries. All students will be given access to their own reference before the UCAS form is submitted.
We have high expectations of our students and have been very pleased with the number aspiring to Russell Group universities. However, we are very keen to promote diversity and recognise the value of subject league tables and appropriate applications.