Following any AS exam undertaken, all Year 12 students take part in Pre-U week. This dedicated week off timetable gives our students the best possible start when it comes to planning ahead for life after Luckley. Activities include:
• Signing onto UCAS
• Apprenticeships presentations
• Gap year seminars
• Year 5 Taster Day work experience
• Practice interviews
• Guest lectures
• University Road trip
• Mentor programme
• A chance to speak with current and past university pupils
UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Services)
One of the key areas of Pre-U week is signing onto ‘UCAS Apply.’ This involves uploading vital information into the centralised system, most importantly your five choices of University. This form will be completed and sent off before the autumn half term, with offers expected very soon after. It is important this process is completed with 100% accuracy as it is the universities’ first contact with you and gives them the ‘perfect picture’ of who you are. Your GCSE grades, AS grades (if taken), music or Lamda qualifications and many more achievements can be included on this form, as well as your personal statement and reference.
This process begins in Pre-U week with a very detailed presentation from an expert in writing personal statements. The session begins with students completing a pro-forma, which will help you to think about all the information required, which is sometimes very difficult! Throughout this week you will have significant exposure to the personal statement process via the Post-18 Choices evening, a talk given by a guest lecturer from a Russell Group university, as well as during the University Road Trip. You can expect to submit several drafts before you get close to your final version. It may seem a long process but it is well worth the time and effort. It is advised that you return from the summer break with a draft statement ready for your academic tutor to check.
The Luckley system is exceptionally thorough. Our staff boasts an excellent record of reference writing, with many students gaining offers from all of the institutions they apply to. Your Academic Tutor will write the first draft of your reference, which is perfect because he or she will know you well, and this will be evident in the detail of the writing. Your subject staff will submit their own specific references and the academic tutor will compile these reports into one, adding any information about extra-curricular commitments and positions of responsibility in school. The reference is then passed to the Head and Assistant Head of Sixth Form who will add extra detail and give the reference more structure, making sure that there is no repetition between the personal statement and reference. The document will then be passed to the Head, who will add even more information if needed and will meet with you to go through your reference and personal statement before they are submitted.
Although Oxbridge states that, with the exception of medicine and veterinary medicine, there are no GCSE requirements, all students applying for a place at either establishment will undoubtedly have attained very high grades at GCSE, with most achieving at least four to five A*s. If you aspire to a place at Oxbridge, the hard work definitely begins with your GCSEs. Luckley students attend one of the annual Oxbridge conferences held around the country in the spring term of Year 12. If you are interested in attending Oxbridge or a Russell Group university, you should apply for a place at this conference, where you will have the opportunity to speak to current students, admission officers and lecturers from both universities. You will also get a chance to experience a typical lecture by one of the college professors.
We have a number of alumni that have attended these elite establishments and through our excellent mentoring programme can offer different insights into the application process. Assessments differ depending on which university you apply for. Cambridge uses assessment as part of the application process, however Oxford uses assessment before considering an application, although each course is very different. For many courses you will need to complete tests and send written work as part of your application. Cambridge requires you to complete an SAQ (supplementary application questionnaire) following your UCAS application.
If you are invited to an interview, we will prepare practice sessions for you and it is essential that you do some additional reading around your chosen degree course. During your interview you may be asked to complete a written assessment. All candidates with a realistic chance of being offered a place will normally be interviewed.
Do you want to study abroad? Once you have made the decision to study in America you will need to start applying. Fortunately, it is not as complex as the United Kingdom system but does take a little more time. There is no central body like UCAS, so you simply apply for each university or college separately. Applications can be made via post or online and you can apply to as many as you want! Deciding which university or college to attend requires research which can take up to 18 months, so you really need to be thinking about it at the start of Year 12. Once you have a shortlist, it is worth contacting the establishments to check whether they admit international students. The Head of Sixth Form will guide you through the application process, but in brief, you will need to complete the following:
• Mission statement (similar to the UK personal statement)
• Previous work i.e. coursework or an essay (the more the better)
• Pass your SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or CATs (Common Admission Test)
• Make sure you have the funds
• Get a student VISA for America
All this will need to be completed by the end of the autumn term in Year 13.
Not going to University?
Although a large proportion of our students go straight on to Higher Education following the completion of their A Levels, there are other routes available for those who feel that university is not for them. As part of our Pre-U week we invite apprenticeship and gap year specialists in to explain about other pathways and a number of our past students have chosen alternative routes. The Mentor Programme is also very effective in offering advice about opportunities available once you leave Sixth Form. We have a dedicated Careers Advisor who will be able to offer help and advice where needed.
You will be given many opportunities to develop your leadership and team working skills. All Sixth Formers will become prefects and role models, however there are more senior positions within the prefect system for those who are keen to develop these leadership skills. The Senior Team are responsible for leading their charges in all Inter-House competitions, as well as co-ordinating the annual food bank charity event and the termly RAG Week. These important leadership roles help develop management and organisational skills, as well as the mentoring and coaching of younger students. Regular meetings with the Head and Head of Sixth Form are key for these important roles and those selected play an active part in the running of the school.
The personal and social welfare of each of our students is paramount, however we do encourage independence. Your academic tutor will be your first point of contact for any concerns or issues and will also celebrate your achievements over the course of the two years.
Boarding provides the ideal environment to dedicate quality time to A Level studies and coursework, as well as helping you to prepare for life away from home. Weekly, flexi and full boarding options are available, and full boarders enjoy a range of leisure and social activities at the weekends. In the spring term, Year 13 students are offered a home study arrangement.
For those who wish to drive to school there is a dedicated area within the car park set aside exclusively for Sixth Form use.