This blog is here to help you as you make your decisions about what to do after college or sixth-form. The blog was initially set up for use just with my own students at the McAuley Catholic High School, Doncaster, and some of the posts refer to details of that school’s particular processes, deadlines, and to sessions from the annual ‘LAMA Week’ (Life After McAuley) when year 12 students had a week of sessions on preparing for application to higher education, apprenticeships or jobs.
However, I know from the blog stats and from mentions of the blog on Twitter that it came to be read outside McAuley, and I have also found over time that posts written for a previous year group continue to be useful, so now I am ‘resurrecting’ the blog in my new context working in an FE college in South Wales, and over time I hope to re-organise the blog to make it easier for newcomers to find the information they need, and to edit some of the posts to make them more widely relevant . Obviously, this is a work in progress so do let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.
You can use the links above to find pages on Researching and Applying. The Researching page has links to the key posts that give information about how to find out about and make choices of university courses and career options. The Applying page has links to posts concentrating on the UCAS application process in particular, and making job or course applications in general.
I hope you find the blog useful. Do feel free to discuss the information given, ask questions, or share your experiences using the comments boxes.
I was unable to attend most of the sessions. What did I miss?
Let me know what you learnt in the ‘comments’ section, please.
As I said in PSHE last week, now is the time to be getting on top of your preparation for what you intend to do after leaving school, and for most of you that will involve applying to Higher Education through UCAS.
To help you focus and to ensure I know who may need more guidance and support, I am asking you to update your personal information documents on Google Docs by putting the following information at the top of the document. Even if you think I know some of this information already from our academic mentoring or other conversations, please do this anyway to help avoid any confusion as we go on.
1) If you are not intending to make an UCAS application (or are undecided and may choose another alternative instead of, or as well as, applying through UCAS) please let me know what your plans are, and what steps you have taken so far (eg. Any applications made, interviews held, conversations with other staff members etc).
2) For those intending to apply through UCAS, please give me an outline of the progress made so far (eg. Open days attended, or due to attend; reading and research you have done; people you have spoken to or contacted by email such as admissions tutors or former students/acquaintances doing courses that you are interested in etc).
3) List the courses you are intending to apply for (institution, course name and course code) AND the entry requirements for that course. At this stage you may still be deciding between several different types of course, or not have narrowed your options down to the five choices available to you on the UCAS form, but what we need to see at this stage is that your research is detailed enough to show that you have considered your options, looked at a range of potentially suitable courses, and know what the entrance requirements are so that you can tailor your applications realistically to the grades you are likely to get, so please put all the courses you are considering. You can delete them or add to them as you narrow your options down or do further research and make changes in the light of your results in August.
This may be seem a bit of a pain for some of you now, but there is a good chance you will be thanking me in the autumn term 😉
If you need to calculate your overall AS or A-level grade from your UMS scores, or find out how many marks you need for next grade you can use this handy online tool. It also includes the rather complicated calculation needed for the A* grade: