We held our inaugural Higher Education Conference last week. This three-day event for our Lower Sixth students is designed to give them opportunity, off-timetable, to focus on the big decisions they face over the coming months on their path beyond Woldingham.
There was no escaping the nitty-gritty of setting up UCAS accounts for UK university applications and getting started on the ‘much-loved’ personal statements, but there were several exciting sessions for our students, to help them think widely about their options and reflect on the reality of transition to university or the workplace.
A particularly interesting presentation from two employees of the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, a recent school leaver on an apprenticeship programme and a recent graduate of their ‘Flying Start’ degree programme, gave students insight into alternative pathways to university. The level of engagement of our students, especially the insightful questions they asked, was described by our visitors as the best they had ever experienced.
Student ambassadors from Kings College London gave lively presentations about life at university, from the differences in academic study between school and university level to practical aspects of life beyond school.
The highlight for most was the alumnae panel, made up of very recent leavers, who are still at university or are graduating this summer, from across the spectrum of subjects and universities. Mr Abbott posed several interesting questions to the students about their experiences of university, and there were lots of practical, helpful and amusing stories, including some laugh-out-loud moments.
The three days gave our Lower Sixth lots to reflect on over the summer and has put them in a good position to work on their preparation, and complete their applications in the autumn term.
Mrs Bodil Chambers, Head of Higher Education and Careers