We’re now down the the point where you can only get personal statement support from the following places:
- Sunday and Tuesday lunchtime seminars (this week is the last week)
- you have 2 half-hour meetings you’re allowed with me in total this year (if you haven’t already used them!) – come book them with the booking sheet just inside the door
Or you can buy external support (like paying for a subject tutor, only for personal statements instead of subject learning) – if you want to know how to use the service we’ve checked and approve of, come and ask me: we use experienced staff working in Europe who understand the UCAS system well. The advantage is that they will be able to give you a lot more time and depth of feedback than tutors in school will. They can even be more “hands on” and write sections for you more fully than tutors will, or know how to.
If you want to purchase some support, come and ask me for details and I’ll put you in contact. You pay them (either online or through the school) and email the work to them. More details later.
On the week starting Sunday 3rd June, the first after Study Leave finishes, Year 12s will be devoting the whole week to preparing for the next stage of their career after A-level. For some this will mean planning placements, experience or applications for full-time employment, while most will be planning a conventional university application. (Even so, the changes to fees have made the “automatic conveyor belt” to UK universities for British-passport-holding students no longer such an automatic choice, and everyone ought to be considering worldwide universities.)
The week will be devoted to
- choosing universities
- writing personal statements
- organising work placements to enhance CVs
To aid students in making these choices, we have organised two trips in the week – to DIAC (the universities in Dubai), on Tuesday – and to NYU in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Both trips return before the end of the school day and cost 40AED each for transport costs only. Download the letter, including the booking slip, and complete and return it (cash only) to the Head of Careers as soon as possible – there is some competition for places.
Not only will the visits enable students to get a good “feel” for universities (the facilities, the lifestyle, the workload), to ask relevant questions of Admissions Directors and meet real students, they will provide a refreshing break in the week to enable students to think clearly and continue to develop their choice effectively. I strongly recommend all students go on both trips – but make sure you book at least one. (Students not attending a trip on a given day will instead be working at school with staff supervision on their personal statements.)
Whether you’re intending to go to university or straight into employment, and no matter which country you’re thinking of university-wise if that’s your route, this whole process is about two things:
- selecting with great care exactly the right route for yourself and making those applications, and
- using the excitement about your future to motivate yourself to be the best you can right now, because you are facing raw and brutal levels of competition from right across the world.
You can download and review the powerpoint from the PSHE session on 7/2/12, or find out how to book a meeting with me to talk about your future. (Note that you can also invite your parents to meet with me if it helps them or you think through the process.)
In the meanwhile, make sure you’re following this blog (use the sign up by email feature on the right) and that you’re already using your spare time to start to look at universities online. Most will have their prospectuses as downloadable PDFs.
Why not start at the Guardian’s 2012 league table of British universities?
DIAC is the gathering of several international university campuses near Silicon Oasis in Dubai. They have an educational team who are coming to deliver an hour-long presentation to all 6Fs in PSHE on Sunday 25th Sept.
The following week, starting 2nd Oct, is a “Week of Welcome” at all the universities in DIAC. We’re going to be organising a 6F trip of about half a day. The presumption is that it will be opt-out for year 12 (i.e. most of you will come), but opt-in for year 13 (we expect fewer to come as most of you will already be close to making final choices, whereas the 12s will be just starting to think about this.) There will be a small cost to cover the transport.
I’ll introduce the presentation and talk more about the value of going to university open days like this when DIAC visit on the 25th, but it’s worth bearing in mind two things:
- Visiting any university helps get a real sense of how they work and what kind of features you are looking for. This will help guide your future choices even if they don’t include that university itself. Note that most UK-based A-level students will be going on plenty of these days.
- Traditionally, DBS students have not studied at universities in Dubai – but with fees in the UK about to triple-at-a-stroke in many cases – are you absolutely sure you don’t want to consider a local university and staying at home? You don’t need to make this decision now, but you should at least look at and consider local universities. Later in the year you’ll hear a lot more about budgeting and financial planning, and this will come up there.
Letter and more details to follow – watch this space.