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Higher Education Conference 2021

Jonny Parks talk at the 2021 Higher Education Conference

Lower Sixth students attended a two-day Higher Education conference held at school to assist them with their forthcoming applications for University, Higher and Degree level apprenticeships and the world of work.

With the 2020 conference having been delivered virtually, it was fantastic to be able to use socially distanced seminar sessions and talks, led by SGS staff and supported by an in-person visit from Jonny Parks, part of the Lancaster University School team, to support our pupils in the latest stage of their preparations for life beyond school.

Jonny’s session encouraged the pupils to think ahead to the graduate job market and enhancing employability. Pupils were given information on details such as completing UCAS forms, personal statements and interview techniques and they also met with their personal UCAS Advisors.

In addition to the support given by departments and form tutors, each pupil works closely on an individual basis with their UCAS Adviser; a member of the teaching staff who, using their expertise and experience of the Higher Education application process, is able to offer pupils personalised support from the start of the process to pressing the button to send their application! The personalised support on offer also extends to those looking to study abroad, apply to Higher or Degree level apprenticeships or follow other pathways beyond school.

Whilst we were disappointed not to be able to welcome back our Old Stopfordian recent leavers, as we usually do, we were fortunate that SGS teaching staff were prepared to step into the breach and give talks on their experience of the application process, their subjects of study, gap years and what the pupils have to look forward to at university. This enabled pupils to ask lots of questions about life beyond school.

The conference also included a number of workshops covering a wide range of issues with sessions on the likes of Oxbridge, Medical applications, Law, applying for overseas study and gap years.

In reflecting on the success of this year’s conference, Head of Sixth Form Mr David Stone said: “We were really pleased to be able to run this conference again, socially distanced but in person with input from Lancaster University. There are always lots of changes that pupils and parents have to get to grips with as they look ahead to preparing for life beyond school. We are lucky to be able to utilise our close links with Higher Education providers and our in-house expertise to prepare both pupil and parents; enabling the former to approach UCAS and other various application processes with confidence.”