Next Steps Programme

University preparation starts in year 9, so by the time students arrive in the Sixth Form they are already well informed about university opportunities and university study.  We want you to feel empowered to apply to the very best universities in the world and we have a strong tradition in preparing students for UK and overseas universities, as well as for Drama and Art Foundation courses. Guidance is given in years 9, 10 and 11 about GCSE and A Level choices and how this might link to certain degree options beyond the Sixth Form, and university and potential career advice is also an integral part of the PSHE programme throughout the school.

Entrance to Cambridge and Oxford, as well as for Medicine, Veterinary Science and Law, has become increasingly competitive. These universities and courses not only interview rigorously but also involve sitting stringent entrance tests. We aim to prepare you as thoroughly as possible so that you can make strong and competitive applications. We offer interview practice with former Oxbridge graduates and medics and support you with additional test preparation as well. Our University and Careers events help guide you further with choices and decision-making and in year 12 you will benefit from a dedicated University Preparation Day when we advise on UCAS, personal statements and university choices. You are actively encouraged to attend university open days and taster courses to ensure you are fully informed about all your choices. Over the past years, more than 90% of year 13 have left to attend their first choice university.

Students are also prepared for applications for apprenticeship schemes, most recently including an apprenticeship degree place in Accounting at Ernst & Young.

The GDST also provides invaluable support, organising various preparation events including an Oxbridge conference at the end of year 12 which many of our students attend in order to gain a greater depth and understanding of what is required when applying for Oxbridge.  Students can also apply for a number of GDST scholarships and prizes targeted at sixth formers across the Trust, such as the Nomura GDST scholarship, which secures a place on the investment bank’s highly competitive immersion internship programme, or the Johnston Memorial Scholarship for those intending to study law at university.


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