In September, Wellingborough School will be opening its new Sixth Form Centre, a purpose-built dedicated space for the current Sixth Formers and all those joining at the start of the new academic year, and for many years to come. The Sixth Form provides not only an academic environment but scope for students to widen their horizons, have fun and prepare for the world outside, as these reports demonstrate:
An evening to remember
Sarah Baxby, Head of Sixth Form looks back on the Gala Dinner:
What a wonderful evening! The dining hall looked amazing, with the tables set and decorated elegantly and fairy lights in bottles creating a welcoming ambience. The students were focussed and eager to get the evening under way; the chefs had their Wellingborough School aprons on, whilst the front of house team wore traditional white shirts and black bottoms. The pianists helped create a relaxing atmosphere through well-chosen and executed pieces of music.
The night itself had a buzz, with parents enjoying socialising and getting to know newer parents to the School. The appetisers were delicate, tasty and filling, even before we sat down to enjoy a mouth-watering three course meal. Whilst the night was in full swing, the students were busy preparing the next dishes, ensuring drinks were replenished and selling raffle tickets to raise money for the school cancer charity.
The event was a triumph which couldn’t have been achieved without all the past weeks of preparation and training and on the day itself the students had been at school all day in lessons and from 3pm they were busy preparing the hall, food and finalising the last details for the event. I would like to thank all the students for their hard work, Chartwells for helping to guide and train the students and the parents and staff who attended on the evening.
I eagerly look forward to next year’s Gala Dinner but wonder how they will be able to trump this one!
The UCAS experience – a student’s perspective
Justin Y13PS, recounts his Sports Journalism UCAS Application:
When writing my personal statement and completing my UCAS application, I received a large amount of guidance from the School. The teachers helped me to adapt my personal statement to reflect my strengths and experiences, so that it appealed to the universities I was applying to. I used Unifrog which was a great platform to get me started. It provided me with different ideas to write about, essential when you don’t know where to begin. When I had completed my first draft, I took it to my Housemaster, who gave me more ideas of what I might want to include. It then went to the Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Baxby, and we discussed how I could develop it further, to present myself in the best light. The final draft, alongside my reference, was then sent to the Headmaster. This was the final element of the quality assurance process, and he gave me a few final pointers which I found useful.
This support was invaluable and soon after I sent off my application, I received offers from all the universities as well as interviews from my top two choices. When I found out that I had interviews the School offered me practice ones, which allowed me to gauge what type of question I might be presented with and allowed me time to prepare and utilise the feedback given in the process. As part of my interview at the University of Gloucestershire for a course in Sport Journalism, I was given a task which involved me having to interview a professional footballer. The interview went well, because I was able to use the experiences and knowledge which I gained from my practice interview and link it back to aspects which I had written about in my personal statement. This has led to me being given an unconditional offer at the University of Gloucestershire, which I am thrilled about and have accepted. My advice is to get started early and accept all the help and support that the School provides.
Time to look to the future
Alexandra Arber, Head of Careers on the most recent Careers Lunch:
Our first Careers Lunch took place on Friday January 28. We welcomed Iwan Ellis all the way from Cardiff University to speak about Applying to Medicine and Dentistry. Students had signed up ahead of time and helped themselves to sandwiches, fruit and cake in the Marketing Suite which lent a business-like backdrop to
Mr Ellis started by showing our potential medics and dentists a film in which Cardiff University School of Medicine students talked about the most rewarding areas of their training and showcased the facilities available at Cardiff University School of Medicine along with key skills that medics and dentists in training would need.
He talked us through the structure of training at Cardiff University and then we looked at different frameworks of training at all universities – Traditional, Problem Based, Case Based Learning and Integrated. We also heard about ‘Intercalation’ whereby certain courses include an extra year of study where students can specialise or study abroad.
Mr Ellis identified how important work experience is and mentioned that in these times where face to face work experience is hard to secure, students can be thinking of upskilling using virtual work experience. We spoke about MMI (Multiple Mini Interviews) and Mr Ellis gave the students some ideas of what admissions officers and interviewers would be looking for and how to stand out; highlighting transferrable skills, presenting yourself well and showing empathy were cited as being extremely important.
We addressed calendar dates by when students will need to apply for Medicine and Dentistry via UCAS, good steps to take such as visiting for open days to get a feel for each institution, signing up for notifications from the universities and medical schools that the students are most interested in and joining university buddy forums where students can ask questions of current Medicine and Dentistry students. The talk was informative and timely, and the students have been given the presentation and resources to refer back to as they progress through their application process.
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