Universities, Colleges and Gap Years
A majority of Rydal Penrhos School leavers choose to go on to Higher Education, and between them they study a diverse range of subjects. For example our 2017 leavers took up places on courses including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, English, ArchitecturePolitics, Philosophy and Economics, Business and Management, Law, History, Engineering, Sports Science and Culinary Arts. Furthermore, a number of our 2017 leavers are now studying for their degree in an overseas institution, not only in Europe but also further afield. We support all applications including to American, Canadian and Chinese universities.
Although most pupils take up their university places in the September/October after leaving school, some prefer to take a gap year. We recognise the value of a properly planned gap year and encourage our pupils to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities available, enabling them to broaden their horizons and bring invaluable assets to their CV. We also support alumni returning to make deferred applications. The school library holds a wide range of resources and information about all aspects of university applications, UCAS preparation, applying to universities overseas, and gap year possibilities, which supports a substantial programme of visiting speakers.
Careers guidance is offered from the outset through the PSHE programme. Guidance focuses on making correct choices and is particularly relevant in Year 11 as pupils begin to prepare for the selection of their Sixth form programme of study. The Head of Careers, Mr Michael Farnell, oversees this process, liaising with the Head of Middle School and the Head of Sixth form, as well as the Head of PSHE to ensure continuity across key stages.
The Head of Sixth form and Head of Careers run the Sixth form lecture series at which guest speakers – often former pupils – come to talk to current pupils about their areas of work and how to succeed in their future professions.
Mr Pender oversees the UCAS application process. We encourage all pupils to explore the following routes to higher education:
- University Open Days
- Unifrog- bespoke online platform that builds the Post-18 picture
- ‘Centigrade’ careers programme – can be helpful in providing a starting point to help pupils narrow down their choices.
- Mock interviews
- Higher Education seminars
- Job shadowing
- Work experience
- UCAS electronic application assistance
- Careers Conference
- Personal research (Unifrog and UCAS website)
Applying for competitive courses in the UK
Pupils wishing to apply for competitive courses at Oxford or Cambridge, or for Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry are identified at the beginning of year 12. They are then encouraged to attend taster courses and apply for programmes like Medlink and Headstart. UCAS applications are prepared in early September to make sure they meet the October 15 deadline. Additional practice interviews are then arranged in November and December to maximise the chances of success for the pupils.
Rydal Penrhos Society
Rydal Penrhos pupils have accomplished great things after leaving the school, excelling in careers as diverse as law, medicine, business, acting, journalism and sport. We have a dedicated Rydal Penrhos Society, which helps to keep pupils in touch with one another and to support the school as a whole. Please contact Sarah Ritchie on SJRitchie@rydalpenrhos.com with any questions or queries about the Society or visit the Rydal Penrhos Society website.