In line with consistent improvements in academic achievements over the past decade, more and more Shiplake pupils are embarking on high quality university courses upon leaving the College. To give them the best possible chance of being accepted onto highly competitive courses, Sixth Form pupils are guided through the UCAS process and given the necessary support to perfect their applications.
The structure of the GCSE curriculum at Shiplake allows pupils to keep their options open for the future, but boys and girls are warmly encouraged to give university some thought before finalising their Sixth Form option subjects. This is important to ensure they are able to meet the entrance criteria for their desired courses and universities.
Following the completion of work experience in the summer of Year 12, pupils take part in a Post-Shiplake Options Week. This is filled with information about further education and life after Shiplake. Activities include presentations from industry experts and from universities in the UK and abroad. Admissions tutors and senior lecturers give hints and tips on the decisions pupils will shortly be making, advice on personal statements and explain the intricacies of the UCAS application process.
The week always includes a trip to a local university, usually Reading or Oxford Brookes, where pupils are able to sample the student lifestyle and attend informative lectures on their favourite subjects. There is also plenty of time throughout the week to browse the UCAS website and identify suitable courses. Having attended a seminar on personal statements, pupils are then expected to complete a first draft over the summer holidays.
At the start of Year 13, students work alongside their tutors to redraft and improve their personal statements. Whilst the official UCAS deadline is not until after Christmas, admissions tutors review applications on a first come first served basis so we strongly encourage pupils to submit their applications in October.