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University and Careers Guidance
The vast majority of Alice Smith School students choose to study at a UK university. Australia, Canada and the USA are also popular destinations.
Emily Graham, Head of Higher Education

We are proud of our students’ success at consistently obtaining places into leading universities worldwide. Over 95% of Alice Smith students go on to pursue Higher Education of some kind.

The majority of our students attend universities in the UK with over half obtaining places at a Russell Group university. In recent years an increasing number have been successful in gaining places at top universities in the USA, Canada and Australia also. Some students select to have a Gap Year first.

To help them with their decisions, we have developed a structured Higher Education Programme, which all students follow. Our Higher Education Programme is based on the ethos of Inform, Guide & Support.

Inform

We aim to provide each student with information, tools and resources to enable them to effectively research Higher Education options. 

Guide

The process of whittling down options and moving towards making the right decisions can often be overwhelming. We will be on hand to talk through options and offer guidance for each student and discuss the pros and cons with them. However, it is important to keep in mind that we cannot make decisions for them.

Support

As students make their Higher Education decisions we will support them in realising their plans. 

Our highly personalised and comprehensive Higher Ed. Programme allows us to ensure that we identify students’ ambitions, strengths and concerns early and as such we are able to offer the support that each student needs. This includes students who wish to pursue Oxbridge, Ivy League, Medicine and other highly competitive universities. For these students, we ensure that they are prepared for any extra aptitude test they may be required to take; we then run interview workshops, followed by formal mock interviews taken by highly qualified members of our community such as governors, senior leadership and subject specialists. 

 

Preparation

In Key Stage 4 (KS4) students receive advice on their A-Level options from a university perspective and students and parents are invited to Higher Education Information Evenings. This is in addition to their KS4 Careers input through their PSHE programme. The Higher Education Programme begins in earnest in Year 12 when students receive weekly timetabled Higher Ed. lessons and are provided with opportunities throughout the year to meet with admissions tutors from the UK, US, Australia and Canada. It is worth noting that the vast majority of our visitors come from UK universities in line with the majority of demand amongst our students. We offer Information Evenings to students and parents on various topics regarding Higher Education during Term 2 and invite each student to have 1:1 meetings throughout their time in Sixth Form. Parents are also welcome to contact us to arrange meetings and gain support and advice. We have a full-time Guidance Counsellor as well as  a full-time Higher Education Support Assistant who work together with the Head of Higher Education to ensure that all of our students are well-supported throughout the process. Tutors are on hand throughout the year to offer further guidance and support. Please email hodhighereducation.ep@alice-smith.edu.my if you wish to make an appointment with one of the team.

In addition to visiting admissions tutors from the world’s leading universities, we also have guest university lecturers and professors visiting the school to conduct lectures, group discussions and meetings which are open to all students and further aid our students in making more informed choices. There are also a number of higher education fairs held in Kuala Lumpur which are attended by world-leading universities which we promote and encourage our students to attend.

 

Applications

We currently have students at universities in 16 countries worldwide

We are able to assist with the diverse nature of university application processes in different countries. Following their AS exams, Year 12 students take part in a focused period of Higher Education and Careers Workshops focusing on the nuts and bolts of the application process. They return after the summer into Year 13 ready to make their final decisions and prepare their applications. At this stage, Higher Education support becomes much more individualised as each student embarks on their own personal journey into furthering their education. We support each student in all of their applications and continue to monitor their offers and academic progress in meeting these offers throughout the year. Once all applications have been submitted, the focus turns to preparing our students for the transition into Higher Education, from academic expectations, to managing the emotions involved with change, to basic cooking skills and self-defence classes.

 

Careers and Work Experience

In the Sixth Form, we continue to build on the careers programme developed in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. At the end of Year 10, students are encouraged to take the Futurewise profiling test and interview, resulting in a profile which matches their particular skill sets and individual dispositions suitable for various careers.

As well as their profile, students receive membership to the Futurewise service run by ISCO (Independent Schools Careers Organisation). This membership lasts until their 23rd birthday (i.e. until they finish university) and gives them an online space in which to explore careers and higher education and to build their CV and applications, as well as offering access to a wide range of relevant resources and support.

We have a direct link to ISCO's Regional Careers Adviser who visits the school and is available to give further careers guidance and counseling. New students to school are provided the opportunity of taking this test should they wish to do so.

As we enjoy excellent and well established links with the local business community, we encourage and support our students pursuing work experience and encourage participation in this activity.

During the academic year, students in Key Stages 3 and 4 participate in Careers Days. In Sixth Form, a thorough programme is delivered every week where students work on research skills, course searches and maintain their CV and personal details. We encourage self-evaluation and target setting and through presentations and workshops enable students to write their Personal Statements.

As work experience is recognised and encouraged by both employers and Higher Education institutes, we encourage our students to participate as fully as possible. Further opportunities for work related learning that students are able to pursue independently are prominently advertised in Student Notices, HIgher Education GoogleSite and the  Sixth Form Centre, and student applications to such opportunities are fully supported by the school.

 

Useful Links

When students join the school they and their parents will have access to Frog Virtual Learning Platform which includes full access to the Careers & Higher Education section containing many supporting resources.

In addition, students and parents may find the following links helpful.

The vast majority of Alice Smith School students choose to study at a UK university. Australia, Canada and the USA are also popular destinations.
Emily Graham, Head of Higher Education
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