University offers, the university fair and careers talks - pupils look to the future

The Spring Term is always one where many pupils start to turn towards their futures beyond PGS. Along with a huge variety of career talks and the (remote) Universities Fair, pupils in Year 13 have started to receive offers for university.

The university news this year includes nine offers of places at Cambridge and Oxford. In an increasingly competitive university environment, made all the more challenging in the context of the pandemic and the extensive period of remote learning over the last year, this represents an outstanding achievement by our candidates. We are delighted at their success.

Cambridge Max Harvey – Natural Sciences – Robinson Megan Latham – Classics – Murray Edwards Robbie McDonald – Medicine – Gonville and Caius Leo Wilkinson – Natural Sciences – Queens John Yu – Mathematics – Emmanuel Yi Zheng – Natural Sciences – Fitzwilliam Oxford Rory Buckeridge – Spanish and Portuguese – Trinity Edith Critchley – English Language and Literature – Hertford Oliver Saint – Spanish and Linguistics – Pembroke

Many universities are still making decisions, though plenty of offers have already come through from some of the UK’s leading research universities, including Imperial, Durham, Warwick, UCL and many others. Our pupils are applying for an unprecedentedly diverse range of subjects, from Fashion Management to Biotechnology, Architecture to Liberal Arts. In addition, pupils continue to consider alternative pathways such as apprenticeships in fields from computing to accountancy.

Furthermore, we have several Year 13 pupils applying to universities in the USA and Hong Kong, reflecting the increasingly global outlook of PGS pupils.

“It has been inspiring to see the ambition our university applicants have shown over the ten challenging months of the pandemic,” said Mr James Burkinshaw, Head of Careers and Universities. “From setting up their own online discussion groups to wider reading and research to undertaking placements online and in-person supporting the vulnerable in nursing homes and other sectors. This motivated, aspirational, socially responsible and intellectually enquiring group of pupils continue to impress us all.”

For Years 11 and 12 there has been the opportunity for them to focus on what their life may be beyond PGS with the Universities Fair held online this year. There were representatives from nearly 40 leading UK universities available for pupils and parents to talk to during the evening. The engagement of the pupils in both year groups was apparent throughout the evening, as they asked informed questions and demonstrated a wide range of aspirations, from Biomedicine to Old Norse, Computer Science to Urban Development. Many also took advantage of the chance to talk to Emma Gotz from the National Apprenticeship Service to find out more about this increasingly exciting alternative pathway to university. Particular thanks to Careers and Universities Administrator, Carla Fewings, who developed and managed the Universities Fair, including co-ordination of over 40 separate Meeting Rooms, with great effectiveness. It was a wonderful evening and a perfect launch for Year 12’s ‘From Aspiration to Application’ programme, as well as allowing Year 11s to begin considering their own long-term aspirations as they finalise A level choices. This term there has also been an impressive range of career talks provided by members of the PGS community. There has been apprenticeship advice, talks on careers with the Police, in biomedicine and pharmacy, psychology architecture and town planning to name just a few. Many thanks to everyone that has engaged with this programme of talks, allowing pupils to develop their aspirations and providing inspiration for their future.