12 November 2018

The conference aims to encourage more people to apply to the top Russell Group universities and, in the case of Oxbridge, to get through to the interview and then the offer stage. It is increasingly the case that pupils of school age, years 10 and 11, need to be familiar with undergraduate qualifications just as much as sixth formers do.

Taster courses or head start courses run by the Sutton Trust or Eton College came highly recommended as did MOOCs. MOOCs are online courses run by such as Future Learn. They are excellent, free of charge and are very strong evidence in any personal statement or reference of being an independent learner and of being able to cope with University level work.

Key messages in addition to the above personal research were to:

  •  narrow your focus and be specific as to which course you would like to study at University - eg. exactly what strand of Biology?
  •  engage fully in your subject outside school
  •  start your personal statement early and add to it as time goes on
  •  practice any admissions or aptitude tests
  •  research interview styles for your course and build on them starting with conversations rather than rigorous interrogations

Mr Taylor, lead teacher for Sparks pupils, commented, “Our Priory pupils took an awful lot from the day and it will definitely have inspired them to aim as high as possible.”

Another group of Sparks pupils will have the opportunity attend the Leeds conference on 19 November.