The College boasts a long and proud tradition of having a high proportion of its pupils accepted to the country's top universities. Pupils benefit from a hands on approach from dedicated Higher Education staff, with help and advice on finding the most appropriate course to suit each individual, subsequently matching that course to a world class institution. Once courses and institutions are finalised, advice on completing UCAS forms and personal statements is given. Our aim is to ensure that each pupil has the opportunity to continue their studies, at the best and most suited place for them.
The Higher Education landscape is an ever changing one that has undergone, and continues to undergo, profound change. For pupils to be well prepared for their university application it is essential that they are given the knowledge to best navigate their way through the myriad of courses and universities on offer. The College aims to provide this through a variety of different ways that will enable pupils to make wise and informed decisions regarding their plans for Higher Education. We have a good track record of pupils achieving both a strong number of offers at a time of high competition (438 offers given in 2014) as well as offers from some of the world’s top universities (five Oxbridge places in 2014 and a full Presidential Scholarship for one pupil to Georgia Tech, USA) and top courses (four places for medicine in 2014).
To ensure our pupils obtain the best opportunities, speakers from UCAS and local universities visit the College to deliver talks and workshops with Upper School pupils before the start of the application process to UCAS. Pupils benefit from visiting Higher Education Open Days at Liverpool University, a Higher Education Day with a series of lectures and workshop based activities and a series of lectures at Haydock Racecourse regarding Oxbridge applications. Spread throughout the year, subject specific lectures are given, improving pupils' knowledge in those specific areas, but also to give advice on university applications to the relevant courses.
Research published in 2011 by Education Charity the Sutton Trust confirmed St Edward’s College as one of the best schools in the country at turning A Level points into places at prestigious Universities. Of almost 2,500 schools only 23 were rated as having both a high proportion of pupils going on to University and high acceptance rates to the country’s top 30 universities. St Edward’s was one of only four non-selective schools to fall into this high performing category.
Our aim is to help every pupil to gain a place in Higher Education either at the end of Year 13 or, if a pupil chooses to, following a gap year. In order to achieve this we offer comprehensive and expert advice at every stage of the applications process. Pupils begin to receive Higher Education advice from Year 10 onwards. The College sees the need to encourage and inform pupils in their early teenage years to contemplate their future, giving them time to discover who they are, what they want to study and what career path to progress towards.
Staff who know the pupils well such as form teachers, subject teachers and the Head of Upper School are key to this successful support and advice service. We have considerable experience and a proven track record of success in guiding pupils' applications to universities, including Oxford and Cambridge for which we have a separate preparation programme which commences from the end of Year 11.
Mrs Chadwick is the Lead Teacher for Higher Education and is always happy to speak with any pupil or parent who has any queries about applying for universities.
We also have a well-stocked careers and HE library in school which is available to all Upper School pupils.
By working with individual pupils we help them to...
• develop their knowledge, skills and abilities
• make well-informed and realistic choices
• become effective decision-makers
• manage and exploit opportunities
In order to support pupils in their application for these courses there are separate programmes of support. For Oxbridge this includes allocation of a staff supervisor in the subject being applied for. The supervisor will meet regularly with the pupil to discuss work, offer readings and give guidance and assistance, where necessary, for any entry examinations. A trip to Oxford and Cambridge universities is also offered to help inform pupil decisions.
Pupils meet with subject tutors, who have experience and training on what Oxbridge are looking for, for personal statement advice and guidance, specific to their subject.
Medicine, veterinary and dentistry applicants are supported with entry test preparation, where necessary, as well as advice in organising work experience and mock interview work with professionals to the area.
The College makes good use of its wide base of contacts in all fields, often resulting in pupils being given valuable mock interviews with past pupils, now experts in their area.
In the highly competitive environment of university applications we know how important it is that pupils can show their interest in subjects outside of the classroom. The College offers an excellent range of extra curricular activities such as sport, DofE, debating, drama, Engineering clubs, Advocacy schemes and charity work which all help to complement and enhance a pupil's application.
For those who wish to gain a further qualification, the College offer pupils the chance to undertake the Extended Project (EPQ), which enables pupils to produce a 5000 word essay on a subject matter of their choice. Pupils are encouraged to choose a topic that relates to the course thereby strengthening their UCAS application and personal statement. Pupils undertaking the EPQ in 2014 achieved excellent results with 90% of candidates achieving an A grade or higher.
These experiences also enable our pupils to develop their soft skills for university, developing confidence and higher level thinking as well as talents of oration and discussion necessary for top universities.