On Monday 8th June, Year 12 were treated to a day off timetable to spend time looking into their future beyond King Henry VIII School. Each year we run HE Day on Activities Day so this year the prospect for the day was looking bleak. However, in collaboration with Lancaster University a day was delivered that ignited their motivation and fuelled their imagination for the possibilities open to them once A Levels have been completed. The day began with an inspiring and amusing presentation from Mr Slack about his time at university. Many of us will never be able to un-see the mullet that he was modelling back in the early nineties or unhear the stories of Boris and his scurvy.
After such an interesting start to the day, we moved on to the first port of call: Personal Statements. These 4000-character documents have been looming over us for a while now, however it was still quite intimidating now that we had to actually start writing them! Luckily for us, our teachers were just the people to help us. As well as some amazing guides from Mrs Pike, our careers advisor, we got to watch a video created by Sarah Byard, an ambassador from Lancaster University. Throughout, we learned how to write something that will allow us to showcase our talents and personality whilst still standing out from the crowd; they even gave us some ‘dos and don’ts’, such as not waffling and to write formally, which will hopefully allow us to create some amazing statements for our Universities of choice!
We were next delivered a presentation that talked us through the process of choosing the correct course and university for us. This was once again led by Sarah Byard, with her words certainly making us realise the non-academic values and experiences that can come from university! When beginning the seemingly impossible task of narrowing your interests down to one specific course you would like to study, the advice we were given definitely provoked some thought as to the most important aspects we should contemplate when doing this. For example, we should begin by deciding what subject interests us the most, as well as also considering what we are most successful at and what may help us with any future careers we wish to pursue. Similarly, the challenge of choosing a university proves to be another task that involves a lot of careful thought and consideration. We learnt that there is far more to this decision than it just being where our favourite course is based, as although this aspect is arguably the most important of all, we must also acknowledge factors such as whether we would like to go to a campus or city based university, whether there is an option of studying abroad for a year and the quality of the facilities and accommodation.
The final session of the day was possibly the most daunting of them all as we would be registering for UCAS. At first, we had no clue where to begin, but we had a Live Teams Meeting headed by two more incredible ambassadors from Lancaster University who expertly guided us through the process. Of course, it is not the most exciting task in the world, however sorting through the many pages of forms could have been confusing without the help, and UCAS is an essential step towards higher education. By the end of the session and a nice Q&A meeting, I think we were fully prepared to begin the process.
To conclude, the day was found to be very informative and helpful by all. Not only did it give an insight as to the amazing experiences and adventures that await us in our futures, but it also provided significant guidance regarding beginning the process off completing our UCAS applications and personal statements, as well as how to choose our course and university. I know that I can definitely say that the tasks which previously seemed so intimidating no longer seem so scary! We would just like to say a huge thankyou to all teachers who were involved in the higher education day, particularly Mrs Dowding, Mrs Heathcote and Mrs Pike who were key in its organisation and planning and ensured everything ran smoothly. On top of this, we would also like to thank Lancaster University and their fantastic ambassadors, as without them, this day would not have been possible.