Careers and UCAS
"The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.’ Benjamin Mays
At the Abbey we recognise that each student is special with her own unique set of qualities. Having gained a range of GCSEs and embarked on their chosen AS/A2 or IB subjects each student is carefully monitored and guided throughout her time in the Sixth Form. Each girl is encouraged to develop a work hard/play hard attitude and to embrace opportunities.
Students are helped with university applications every step of the way to ensure that each girl chooses the right course at the right university for her. We offer individual advice to students throughout the year and encourage them to use the extensive resources available to them. Some PSCHE time is devoted to UCAS applications in order to maximise students' chances of successful placement on the course of their choice. The tutor group system in which Upper and Lower VI girls mix gives invaluable insight into the UCAS system for the Year 12s. Staff support the preparation of personal statements and work hard on a detailed and accurate reference for each student.
The Higher Education Room in the Sixth Form Centre contains prospectuses from every UK University and some from colleges offering specialised courses e.g. Art Foundation and horticulture. There are individual college guides from several of the Oxbridge colleges. Up-to-date UCAS guides list the entrance requirements for each course, and a range of resources help students make the right decisions on subject choices at IB or A Level and at University. There are also books on specific careers (e.g. Law) and information about GAP year opportunities. Girls are encouraged to record their interview experiences during the UCAS applications procedure and this information has been compiled for the benefit of future students. There is also assistance for those considering studying overseas with American colleges particularly increasing their profile.
Here is a quote from the parent of a recent leaver:
"The support, guidance and expertise offered by The Abbey to their students and anxious parents as they struggle through the university application process is outstanding. It's an incredible strength of the school and one which we and our daughters have valued enormously."
Every year, Abbey Old Girls and visiting speakers give several informal talks about their experiences of Higher Education and GAP years. There is also a more formal Higher Education Evening and an Oxbridge Evening which provide detailed information and motivation for the Sixth Formers. Many ‘Old Girls’ return to the Abbey to take part in our biannual Careers Conference and always speak very fondly of their time here.
Thanks to the advice received, the majority of our students receive offers from most of the universities they apply to and the list of destinations and courses is impressive. The individual study skills the girls have learned in The Abbey Sixth Form prove invaluable at degree level and there is virtually no drop-out with many attaining upper second and first class degrees. Please find below the Destinations of Leavers and latest graduate results.