Firstly, I would like to say hello to you all and to reassure you that pupils who wish to continue to study their subjects in Year 13 at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr will be allowed to do so irrespective of their AS Calculated Grade. Also, I would advise all Year 12 pupils in the coming weeks or months to use some of their spare time (when they have finished studying or helping out at home) to familiarise themselves with the university application process by spending some time researching the UCAS application process and the different types of courses you could study at university (and their entry requirements). This will be quite an enjoyable process, thinking about what and where you could be living and studying in the future. If you are not considering studying at university please have a look anyway as there may be something there you have not thought about. You could also look at The Careers Wales website for other opportunities https://careerswales.gov.wales/ .
What to do first?
A good place to start would be The Complete University Guide https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/ , The Times Higher Education guide https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-uk , and The Guardian University Guide https://www.theguardian.com/education/universityguide . These will give you a range of league tables and allow you to compare courses between universities. Each university will have its own website, showing you the courses they offer and the grades you will need to achieve to get onto the courses. Honestly, for me, my first decision was ‘what do I want to study?’ and then came ‘what type of university do I want to attend?’, ‘how far away from home do I want to live?’ and ‘do I want to live near the sea or in a big city?’. Once you have spent some time researching you will have a good idea which universities are right for you. We will also help you when we return to school. Future open days will also be a great help in guiding you.
What is UCAS?
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. This is its website https://www.ucas.com/ . It is an excellent organisation and the website provides you with all of the information you need. Please don’t register as I will need to give you a code. You will get this when we come back into school and it links your application to Ysgol Bro Dinefwr. You will be looking at undergraduate courses and guidance for the process is found here – https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application. If you think that the process looks a little daunting, don’t worry as we will be going over everything with you in school. In fact, most of your form time in Year 13 will be spent writing your UCAS personal statement and completing the UCAS process under your form tutor’s guidance.
Writing your personal statement.
This is very important. This will take some time and you will have a lot of help from your form teacher. However, it is worth beginning the process and it will also help in your Welsh Bacc Enterprise Challenge. Please read this section and use it as your guide https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/how-write-ucas-undergraduate-personal-statement .
Oxbridge and Medicine
Please note that the entry deadline for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and for most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science, and dentistry are earlier, typically the 15th of October.
Finally, a big question. How much does it all cost and is it worth it? Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak the speakers that were due to come in to talk to you about finance had to be cancelled. However, we will try and arrange new speakers for you in Year 13 along with giving you guidance in school. The best place for finance advice is the Student Finance Wales website – https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/ .
Please remember if you are unable to find time to complete the above UCAS/university research suggestions there will be plenty of opportunity to do so when we return in Year 13.
Diolch and stay safe,
Mr R Rees
Post 16 Progress and Wellbeing Manager