Pictured: Oxbridge candidates 2013
Pupils are assigned their own Ucas advisor in addition to their form tutor. Ucas (University and College Admissions System) is the body dealing with higher education courses. Stockport Grammar School provides a strong support structure for all Ucas applicants. The application preparation begins, for some, right at the beginning of the Lower Sixth. Potential medics, vets and dentists are encouraged to seek out work experience in relevant practices and are given information about relevant taster courses which are offered during Lower Sixth. Students wishing to study other disciplines are also advised to attend relevant taster courses and seek work experience. The voluntary service opportunities offered at Stockport Grammar School, as well as the service element of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, provide pupils with experience which is much valued by universities and employers.
Ucas preparation officially starts in the spring of the Lower Sixth, with each applicant being encouraged to begin decision making about which courses they would like to do and which universities they might like to attend.
The school organises a visit to the Ucas higher education convention held in Manchester, where pupils tour exhibition stands hosted by universities and gap year organisations.
2 Ucas days are held in June and pupils are able to take part in career talks and presentations by Old Stopfordians and university visitors, as well as beginning their Ucas applications.
Over the summer holiday, applicants are asked to begin to draft a personal statement. This is for the section of the Ucas form where applicants can tell universities about themselves. This is the best chance applicants have to recommend themselves to a particular university or college, unless they are later called for interview.
In the autumn term of Upper Sixth, pupils complete their online application form and personal statement. The UCAS advisors write references using information from form tutors, subject teachers and extracurricular staff. The reference is attached to the form and the application is sent to Ucas. Mock interviews are available to help pupils to prepare if they are called for interview.
In August when the A Level results are published, the head of Sixth Form and her team, as well as other members of staff, are in school to congratulate pupils but also to help and advise if necessary.
Application to Oxford and Cambridge
For many pupils, application to the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge is a realistic course of action. Oxbridge candidates have regular meetings with a dedicated member of staff who guides them through the application process. They also have the opportunity to visit the universities on organised trips with the school.
We encourage Oxbridge candidates and all those applying to very competitive university courses to take an active interest in developing their knowledge and passion for their chosen subject area and extension sessions can be provided in all departments.