Conference helps pupils with university decision

Lower Sixth pupils attended a two day UCAS Higher Education conference at the school to help them with the application process for university.

A series of talks, workshops and seminars led by our partners at leading universities, school staff and recent Old Stopfordians were organised to sharpen the pupils’ focus on the university application process, provide them with all of the information they need to make these challenging decisions with confidence and to identify where within school and outside they can get the help they need to ensure they have every possible chance of securing their first choice university place.

Head of Sixth Form Mr Stone kicked off proceedings on day one with a session on how to fill out the UCAS form whilst a talk on personal statements from the Heads of Upper and Lower Sixth Mrs Ashton and Mr Russell ran concurrently with the University of Sheffield’s Elizabeth Farnhill’s talk about ‘Undergraduate Study Skills’.

Elizabeth Farnhill - University of Sheffield

After lunch pupils had sessions with their UCAS Adviser and got to speak to Old Stopfordians who had recently left the school about ‘What’s it like to study’. In the evening Bernard Strutt, Head of UK/EU Recruitment at the University of Manchester, was the speaker at an information event in the Dining Hall.

A busy second day got underway with Dr Jose Puello of the University of Manchester in the Hallam Hall talking about ‘What to study and where’ whilst Ania Partyka from Liverpool John Moores University gave advice on ‘Student Life and Finance’ in the Upper Sixth Common Room.

Ania Partyka

In the run up to lunch trainer Ben Woolen from Laughton Scott gave an energetic and engaging talk about ‘Marketing Brand Me’. He talked about how important it was to portray yourself in the best light and gave hints and tips on how to deliver a powerful speech.

The final part of day two, and the conference as a whole, involved a number of workshops delivered by Ben and school staff. Workshops covered a wide range of issues with sessions entitled ‘Oxbridge’, ‘Applying overseas’, ‘World of work’, ‘Guidance for the undecided’, ‘Is a gap year right for me?’, ‘Law’, ‘Getting interviews right’ and ‘Medics/Vets/Dentists’.

Ben Woolen

Mr Stone was keen to highlight the importance of the conference to pupils: “The UCAS Higher Education conference enables us to draw upon the expertise of our partners at leading universities with the experiences of some of our 2015 leavers alongside the skills and attributes of our UCAS Advisers and is designed to give the pupils the best possible start to the process of applying to university.”

Lower Sixth pupils found the talks and workshops very beneficial and are keen to put what they learnt into practice with one commenting: “I found the conference really interesting and Ben Woollen definitely encouraged me to develop the confidence to promote myself to admissions tutors in the best possible light. I will definitely take on board his advice as I look ahead to making an application to read Engineering at university.”

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