Form students benefit from ‘Futures February’

Wednesday February 24, 2021

Over 160 students in Concord’s 6.1 have benefitted from ‘Futures February’ – an academic extracurricular programme, designed to help provide students with higher education insights. The three-week programme, “is designed to get students seriously thinking about what they want to do when they leave Concord”, according to Dr Rob Pugh, Assistant Principal (Careers and University Admissions). Said Dr Pugh: “This year, the Futures February programme consisted of pre-recorded academic talks accessible on Microsoft Teams for our students studying around the world, as well as live University Coordinator meetings, Q&A sessions, society meetings and support from external speakers.” During Week 1, students were shown pre-recorded talks through Microsoft Teams, as well as a higher education academic overview by Mr Tom Lawrence, Vice Principal (Academic). Students also benefitted from the annual ‘World Class Study in London’ presentation – the first time it has been delivered as a webinar due to Covid-19 restrictions, and representatives were present from Imperial College, King’s College, LSE and UCL. Sarah Mullen, Student Recruitment Coordinator at London School of Economics and Political Science said: “Our World Class Study in London talks highlight the benefits of being a student in the city and offer an overview of the study opportunities at four of London’s leading institutions. “The sessions also enable us to provide advice and guidance regarding the UCAS application process and making a competitive application.” Said Dr Pugh: “Given the strong interest of Concordians in studying at universities in London, the event is always very well attended and worthwhile. “And although some students may have their sights set on other top universities in the UK or further afield, students were encouraged to attend to assess and consider other options, and gain valuable higher education advice, such as admissions and the application process.” 6.1 student Brandon said: “Although held remotely, the programme has given me relevant insight into the UCAS application process – informing me of what it entails to apply to the top institutions. “Of particular interest of mine was the World Class Study in London seminar that allowed us to directly ask questions to university representatives, as Imperial is definitely one of my aspirational choices.” In Weeks 2 and 3 students were supported with optional university coordinator meetings and tutor meetings, which were live sessions, as well as Q&As and student society meetings for those considering different options at this stage. The additional external session covered ‘Meet the Russell Group’ – a virtual experience ran by UK University Search, whereby students could explore the 24 Russell Group universities online throughout the course of a day. Week 3 is culminating this weekend with Concord’s annual Medical Futures Conference – delivered virtually for the first-time. A range of universities from across the UK, Ireland and further afield will be represented on the day, as well as 18 doctors and representatives from The Medic Portal and Medical Doorway, all supporting the region’s aspiring medics. Students from 36 different schools across the region will be present and with Concord’s aspiring medics too, the event will cater for over 200 students. Reflecting on the programme so far, Sixth Form student Shaz said: “Asserting the critical nature of 6.1 whilst instilling hope for my future university choices, Futures February has been an invaluable experience. “From degree apprenticeships, to Russel group universities, it has been a programme that has not only widened my horizons, but has made the horizons clearer for me.” Added Dr Pugh: “I am grateful for the support of all staff involved in Futures February and am equally grateful to all the contributors.”