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UCAS Drop Down Day for Year 12s

An article for the website written by Freddie Sheppard in Year 12. All sixth form students took place in a ‘drop-down’ UCAS day. Students were given information regarding the next steps after formal education at school, as the sun begins to set on our time in compulsory education.

The day began with a group session where the heads of sixth form, Mr Hollyman and Miss Jones gave a presentation along with a detailed guide, which included information outlining the different routes available, how to write a personal statement, how to apply to UCAS and more.

The year group was split into four and travelled to different sessions throughout the day. Three of the sessions were run by staff and ambassadors from our local university, Bucks New University in High Wycombe.

The first session my group attended was a presentation from Bucks New University explaining how to choose the right course and university. This involved talking through other options and the importance of making the choice most suited to you. We were provided with helpful links to websites such as, a useful site for comparing universities to ensure the best course is found for every individual.

Next, we were introduced to staff and ambassadors from Bucks New University, who informed us about the university experience. Here we received first-hand information from graduates and current university students about how to take advantage of all opportunities at university. At the end we were set a group task to produce our idea of the qualities and characteristics the perfect university would have; the winning team were given a prize.

In the third session we were given information on apprenticeships. We were informed of the growing modernity of apprenticeships as a popular alternative choice after compulsory education; the different levels of apprenticeships; how they are different to university and what they may entail. At the end, we did a logo challenge where we guessed the names of companies now offering apprenticeships – many students were shocked at the number of companies of all varieties offering them. Some included BT, Ryanair, Jaguar and HSBC.

The last session, presented by the recruitment manager of Bucks New University, included information on student finance. We were informed about different types of grants and bursaries and how to take out a student loan. The session was concluded with an exercise where we discussed the average amount of money university students spend on accommodation, bills, food, books, travel and entertainment per week – the results took a few of us by surprise!

In the afternoon, we all had time to register ourselves on the UCAS website and/or National Apprenticeship Service and began to fill in some of our personal details in order to hopefully shorten the lengthy application process!

Overall, the day was extremely helpful in opening up our minds to think about all available options, we received helpful tools and information allowing us to make the best decisions for our future.

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