What career and HE advice will the current year 11 students at West Kirby be given, to enable them to make relevant and informed decisions when deciding which A Level subjects to study. Particularly those who don't yet have a set career path. I am aware that many degree courses require specific A Levels. We hadn't appreciated these choices would have to be made by February.
The options are due in February to give the timetabling team a chance to build the option blocks around our students’ choices – this will ensure as many students as possible can study their chosen combination of subjects. This is well after the mock period, so students should be able to use their performance in the examinations to help.
Firstly, our opportunities day on 17th November with give students a chance to try out 4 chosen subjects, speak to teachers and current students to gain insight into the A-level subjects we offer at WKGS.
All Y11 students will have the opportunity to meet with our careers advisor to discuss their plans for the future and their subject options. They will also have a 1:1 advice and guidance interview with a member of the senior leadership team following the mock examinations to discuss subject options and their plans for Sixth Form.
The Sixth Form team will also continue to collaborate with the Y11 forms, and students will have the opportunities to speak to Y12 students (virtual) about A-level subjects. Students are encouraged to think about plans for the future and this will be explained during the opportunities day.
How do driving lessons affect Year 13? As well as writing personal statements etc. do we do them in free lesson/ enrichment or in our free time?
Driving lessons can be done as an enrichment activity during enrichment time. Preparation for personal statements forms part of the summer programme, which starts after Easter during enrichment time. Students then continue to work on these in their free time.
Do we find out about university tours via the school or do we have to know about them by ourselves?
All information regarding careers that comes to school via the sixth Form team is shared with students via the year group Google Classroom page. This includes a variety of opportunities students can get involved with and information about Open Events. In addition, students are encouraged to research further opportunities and university open days independently for the institutions they are interested in applying to.
If we have no idea what to do career-wise, are we advised to take particular subjects (I assume in our careers meeting later in the year this will get discussed)?
Advise on how to choose A-level subjects will be shared with students during Opportunities Day. All Y11 students will have the opportunity to meet with our careers advisor to discuss their plans for the future and their subject options. They will also have a 1:1 advice and guidance interview with a member of the senior leadership or Sixth Form team following the mock examinations to discuss subject options and their plans for Sixth Form. However, subject choices have to be made by the students.
Do you recommend taking 3 or 4 subjects in Year 12. My daughter said that she had been told she could choose 3 and then take the EPQ. However, the students who studied maths said they took AS further maths after one year and if they then felt that they had too much work they could drop it for Year 13. Is that option only available if you choose maths or is it possible with other subjects. It seems more useful to have an extra subject at AS level than doing the EPQ. Is the EPQ a valuable qualification?
Students can opt for 3 or 4 A-levels, but we would recommend they continue with 3 beyond Year 12. Most students take 3 A-level subjects and EPQ. All students who study 3 A-levels also do EPQ. Students who study 4 A-levels can do EPQ as their enrichment activity and many do as EPQ is seen as a very positive qualification to have achieved by many universities. The course develops skills of independent research, dissertation-style writing and source analysis which are all hugely beneficial to study beyond A-level.
Students who do Further Maths sit the AS exam to give them the option to finish after Y12 or continue to complete the A-level . If students have chosen 4 A-levels, not including Further Maths, they can drop the 4th subject at any point in Sixth Form. If students know they do not intend to continue with 4th subject, we recommend they drop it sooner rather than later to allow additional time to focus on their core subjects. Some subjects offer as AS, but not all. This information is available in our course guide for each subject and can be confirmed with our subject staff.
Is Psychology studied at A level or diploma?
Psychology is an A-Level subject at West Kirby Grammar.
If the students don’t get that specific grade for the subject they are wanting to participate in will they not be able to or is it more lenient with the grades?
We encourage students to speak to us on results day if they do not get the subject entry requirements to see how we can accommodate them. We will consider each individual case and we will always do what we can to accommodate students as we fully understand the external factors that impact on a final GCSE result. It is not always possible to accommodate students not reaching the entrance requirements
How do you support students applying for degrees at Oxford or Cambridge?
Y12 students have the option to attend a two-day trip to Cambridge and Oxford, which is organised to coincide with the Oxford Open Day in September. We travel to Cambridge one morning, visiting several colleges and departments there for the afternoon, then travel to Oxford, staying overnight in one of the Colleges. Students are then free to visit colleges and departments for the whole Open Day. They get a great experience of staying in college, eating in the college dining room and sleeping in the rooms, as well as meeting students and finding out about courses. They are able to sit down and chat to course tutors at the end of the day.
We work closely with the schools’ admissions tutors who deliver talks linked to completing applications, applying for certain colleges and preparation for interviews.
We are a partner school in the HE+ programme, which is run by Cambridge admissions. Students who are selected for this programme have the opportunity to work with students from other schools on subject specific projects and attend lectures on topics they are interested in. They have talks to help support their application and the interview process. There is also the opportunity to visit the university.
The Sixth Form team work with students throughout the year to develop techniques for interview and students can request a mock interview closer to the time.
This is all in addition to our summer programme which prepares all students for the UCAS application process, which starts in the summer term of Y12.
If the grades required are achieved, is there a guaranteed place in sixth form for current West Kirby Grammar School students or should we be looking for back up schools?
Yes. All of our current Year 11 students will have a place at our Sixth Form. If students do not achieve the required grades, we encourage them to speak to us to see what subjects we can offer.
Do you have to take EPQ?
Yes, except for students who opt to continue with 4 A-level subjects.
Do you have to apply for sixth form even if you are already a student at WKGS?
Yes, all current Year 11 students must submit an application for WKGS Sixth Form. Details of how to do this through our new online system will be shared with students shortly.