Priory 6 Newsletter
Friday 20th April 2018
We are pleased to present the first issue of the Priory 6 Newsletter, outlining all that Priory 6 is looking forward to during this Summer Term and onwards into the future, and so is of relevance to all those in Upper V. The events, the exams and the enjoyments!
Priory 6 2018 – 2020
Numbers are high for the next academic year in Priory 6, with a record number of external applicants and the vast majority of Upper V choosing St Augustine’s for their Sixth Form Career. We remain ambitious for Priory 6 and work closely with the girls. Following consultation with our Lower VI students, we have some exciting work planned for the Priory 6 Common Room and surrounding area in order to accommodate the growing numbers and update the look.
A Level Options
The girls will be receiving their A Level options letters this week.
Unlike most Sixth Forms, we construct option blocks from scratch each year, based on the individual needs of the students in each year group and make every effort to ensure that each student is able to take their chosen subjects. While at this stage we cannot guarantee that the resultant option blocks will accommodate all students, past experience has shown that all students will be able to take their chosen top three subjects.
While your daughter may decide to choose different subjects from these option blocks, please note, as advised earlier in the year, that after the option blocks are constructed in May 2018, we will be unable to move subjects between blocks. Girls who have given notice will also not be incorporated into the blocks.
GCSE and A Level Examination Information
Girls should attend all examinations in school uniform and with the correct equipment for the examination in a clear bag or pencil case. Any water bottles need to have the labels removed in advance please. No devices can be brought into the examination room. Parents are reminded of the importance of girls having a structured home routine during this important period, which includes enough regular sleep, regular exercise and extended revision without the use of devices.
Study Leave Arrangements
Friday 4th May – lessons 1-4 as normal, with an afternoon of Moving Up activities after lunch.
Thursday, 24th May – lessons 1-6 as normal.
Priory 6 Leavers’ Mass is at 6.30pm in the Chapel.
Friday 25th May – Leavers’ Day events including a surprise excursion off site.
First and last examinations
- The first written GCSE exam will take place on Wednesday May 2nd at 9am. The girls taking this exam will need to be at school by 8:30am.
- Art GCSE will take place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May. In due course, Art candidates will receive more detailed guidance about their setting up times.
- The full cycle of GCSE examinations begins on Monday 14th May and will continue for most girls until Friday 15th June.
- A Level examinations also begin on Monday 14th May, with the final examination on Friday 22nd June.
Priory 6 Announcement of School Officials – Friday 4th May
The new Priory 6 Leadership Team and all Prefect Roles for 2018/2019 school year will be announced in assembly. This will celebrate our new leaders stepping into their roles.
Upper V Thanksgiving Liturgy
On Friday 4th May at 2pm, the Upper V girls will attend a Thanksgiving Liturgy in the Chapel, followed by refreshments in the Rose Garden to which all Upper V parents are warmly invited.
Please inform Miss Hales via email (email@example.com) if you are able to attend. Upper V will lead their final Mass of the year on Wednesday 2nd May.
Upper V Seminar Week Tuesday 8th– Friday 11th May
Teachers will be offering revision and seminar sessions during normal lesson times and all girls are encouraged to attend. They can use the Scriptorium for private study between seminars and throughout Study Leave. This week serves as an excellent opportunity to establish sound routines whilst on Study Leave.
Lower VI Examinations – Monday 4th to Friday 8th June
The internal end of year examinations in Lower VI will inform the predicted grades for university applications. The focus in the summer term is very much on teaching and learning but there will also be time spent preparing for the university application process. As far as possible, students should arrange visits to university open days outside of school hours, but should the girls wish to attend university open days during term time, they should first discuss the course suitability with Mr Murphy (Head of UCAS), fill out a permission form and then ensure that subject teachers are aware of their forthcoming absence.
Post GCSE Programme – Monday 25th June
This year’s Priory 6 Post GCSE programme will run from Monday 25th – Friday 29th June.
On Monday 25th June, girls will drop off their GCSE textbooks, meet with their A Level teachers to collect summer work, and attend a series of Priory 6 workshops in preparation for A Level study, the UCAS process and Oxbridge applications. The day will end with a Priory 6 trip to Oxygen Freejumping, which the Lower VI students will also attend. The remainder of the Post GCSE Programme week is dedicated to work experience.
Careers Programme – Work experience
Work experience benefits general education and career planning for all students and it is an essential component of the UCAS personal statement or any job application. It is highly desirable when applying for any course, but essential for vocational courses such as Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Teaching and Nursing. Students are urged to seek as much relevant work experience as possible during the Summer holidays keeping a good record of tasks undertaken and skills developed in a log or diary, as this will be useful to draw on at a later date, for example, when writing their personal statement.
Mr Ferguson, our Careers Coordinator has been busy setting up a programme of fantastic work experience opportunities for the girls in Upper V and Lower VI. A rich variety of companies have agreed to work in partnership with us on this programme, including the BBC, BT Sport, Engineer Betchel Ltd, Arqiva Communications, Maverick and North One Television, The Sun Newspaper and Cineworld Group plc. If you feel that you would be able to contribute to this programme, please contact Mr Ferguson directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Level Results Day – Thursday 16th August
School will be open from 7.30am. Girls will have been contacted already by the universities at which they are holding offers but should come into school to collect their results from 8.00am. Mr Murphy (Head of UCAS), Mrs Raffray (Headteacher), Mrs Collins (Deputy Head Seniors), Mrs Macallister (Director of Studies), Mr Ferguson (Careers Coordinator) and I will be all be in school and on hand to support the girls in next steps should they need any advice or be in the position to go through to Adjustment (when your results are higher than offers received) as with several girls last year.
GCSE Results Day – Thursday 23rd August
GCSE Results will be published on Thursday 23rd August, apart from Additional Mathematics which will be published on Thursday 16th August. On 23rd August School will be open from 8.00am, and girls should come into school from 9.00am. As with A Level Results Day, Mr Murphy (Head of UCAS), Mrs Raffray (Headteacher), Mrs Macallister (Director of Studies), Mr Ferguson (Careers Coordinator) and I will be all be in school and on hand to support the girls in finalising options.
Priory 6 Induction
On Tuesday 4th September from 1.30pm, students of both year groups will attend our Priory 6 Induction. As part of their induction, the Lower VI girls will meet with their Form Tutors, Mr Murphy (Head of UCAS) and Mrs MacLennan (Oxbridge Coordinator), sit two CAT tests, confirm their timetables with Mrs Macallister (Director of Studies) and be welcomed into Priory 6 by our incoming Upper VI.
Priory 6 Residential Trip – Stubbers Activity Centre
From Friday 7th until Sunday 9th September, Priory 6 students and tutors will take part in a residential trip to Stubbers Activity Centre in Upminster. A polite reminder that your daughter’s attendance must be confirmed via email and the £80 deposit paid by Friday 20th April to guarantee a place on the trip.
EPQ stands for Extended Project Qualification, which is an additional qualification that students choose to take alongside their A Levels worth the equivalent of an AS Level. The nature of the EPQ is that the student writes their own title meaning essentially that they are designing their own qualification to suit their strengths and interests. It helps to develop research skills, independent learning, time management and a whole host of other skills that will be vital at university and beyond.
This year’s EPQ Programme showcased an excellent breadth of work, from a dissertation on The Evolution of the Diagnostic Process of Autism Spectrum Disorder, to another investigating The War on Drugs and its Global Consequences, to the production of a children’s book about internet safety. This year, 70% of our Upper VI students completed an EPQ, with a third of those girls receiving differentiated offers for university incorporating their EPQ grade.
Next year, we anticipate an even higher number of girls completing an EPQ as it becomes more and more standard nationally that students will follow three linear A Level courses plus an EPQ. Lower VI girls should spend this summer completing their project outcomes, so that they can move comfortably towards the final hand in date of Monday 5th November. We will be running an EPQ Showcase before the October half term to which both parents and staff will be invited.
UCAS and Oxbridge
Upper VI students have received all offers from their universities and have now confirmed both their first (Firm) and second (Insurance) choices. There has been an excellent number of offers with over 70% at Russell Group universities. Girls applying for Biology have had offers from Exeter, Warwick, Manchester, Liverpool and Loughborough. For Economics, offers have come in from University College London (UCL) and London School of Economics (LSE) and for Engineering, offers from both UCL and Manchester. Those applying for humanity subjects (Geography and History) have offers from UCL, Kings College London and Edinburgh, and our Politics students have offers from Edinburgh, Manchester, Kings College London, Warwick and Nottingham. Those applying for Social Sciences have offers from LSE, Birmingham and Loughborough.
Student finance for all applicants is applied for online at www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk. Those going to university in 2018 should apply for a student loan now.
The aim of our Priory 6 Higher Education Programme is that each girl secures a place on a course that is right for her at the university which is right for her. This involves a great deal of research on the part of the pupil and many conversations with those who know her very well. Some of the Higher Education preparation is delivered through sessions for the whole year group but most is done through one-to-one discussions with the individual pupil.
In Lower VI, the girls have regular sessions outlining the university application process; they start their research and some begin their preparation for admissions tests that Oxbridge and some competitive courses require. Throughout the year the girls are given many opportunities for exploratory discussions; the Director of Priory 6, Form Tutors, Subject Teachers and the Head of UCAS are all available throughout the whole application process to have discussions with and to advise the girls. The weekly Priory 6 careers talks give the girls the opportunity to engage with someone who is studying or working in the fields in which they are interested. In the Lower VI Summer Term, after examinations, we continue to hold UCAS events in school, including sessions on making choices, writing a personal statement and talking with alumnae about courses and universities. This bespoke approach to UCAS is a differentiator for us and is just one example of the exceptionally high standard of our Sixth Form provision.
The summer holiday between Years 12 and 13 is a very valuable time for reflecting on choices, making visits to universities, acquiring work experience and engaging with wider and deeper reading. The girls are then ready to make the final steps of submitting their applications. For those wishing to apply to Oxford or Cambridge or for Dentistry, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine there is a UCAS mid-October deadline. As our girls apply to competitive courses and institutions, all are advised to submit their forms to school by the end of October; this is well before the official UCAS deadline of 15th January. The Michaelmas Term of Upper VI is therefore a busy one with the completion of forms, the sitting of admissions tests, mock interviews and, for some courses and institutions, the real interview. The girls begin to hear the universities’ decisions and then have the exciting time of choosing a ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choice. The making of wise choices throughout the process makes A Level results day a happy one, as this is the day on which their university place is confirmed.
All UK University applications for the coming year will be done on ‘UCAS Apply’ via the UCAS website on www.ucas.co.uk. The 2019 apply cycle will be available in June and girls have already been encouraged to familiarise themselves with the UCAS website now, in particular the ‘course search’ option and UCAS TV clips and online virtual tours.
Parents are encouraged to register on the UCAS website to receive a monthly Parent Newsletter at www.ucas.com/parents-signup.
The Oxbridge applications deadline is 15th October 2018. In many cases, applications will result in an interview in December. If a place is offered it will be conditional on the pupil attaining certain grades in their A-level subjects. Oxbridge candidates who are unsuccessful may decide, in the light of excellent final results, to apply for the following year. Mrs MacLennan who joins the school in September as our new Classics Teacher and Oxbridge Coordinator will be running a mentoring programme as well as a series of workshops to prepare Oxbridge applicants. The 15th October 2018 application deadline also applies to all Veterinary, Medicine and Dentistry courses. Girls intending to apply for Medicine, Veterinary Science or Law should note that many universities require pupils to sit an Aptitude Test as part of their entry requirements. Girls are advised to research the LNAT (law), UKCAT and BMAT (medical) websites to see which universities stipulate these tests.
Priory 6 Key Dates
|Monday 16th April||Start of Summer Term|
|Friday 20th April||08.35am||Priory 6 Leadership speeches assembly|
|Wednesday 2nd May||1.30pm||
Lower V Priory 6 Moving Up Day (hosted
by Lower VI)
|Friday 4th May||8.35am||
Announcement of Priory 6 Leadership
Team and Prefect Roles assembly
|Friday 4th May||2.00pm||
Upper V Thanksgiving Liturgy for girls and
|Tuesday 8th May||Upper V Study Leave commences|
|Thursday 24th May||6.30pm||
Upper VI Leavers’ Mass for girls, parents
|Friday 25th May||All day||Upper VI Leavers Day|
|Monday 11th June||9.00am||Senior Sports Day|
|Monday 25th June||From 8.40am||Post GCSE Programme|
Tuesday 26th June to Friday 6th
|Work Experience Programme|
|Friday 29th June||7.00pm||Upper VI Leavers’ Prom|
|Saturday 30th June||4.00pm||Association Day|
|Friday 6th July||12 Noon||End of Summer Term|
|Thursday 16th August||08.00am||A Level Results Day|
|Thursday 23rd August||9.00am||GCSE Results Day|
|Tuesday 4th September||1.30pm||
Priory 6 Induction (both Lower and Upper
VI girls are required to attend)
|Wednesday 5th September||8.40am||Michaelmas Term commences|
Friday 7th September to
Sunday 9th September
Priory 6 Residential – Stubbers Activity
|Monday 15th October||Oxbridge Application deadline|
|Monday 5th November||Final EPQ hand in|
|Monday 10th December||Internal UCAS application deadline|
|Thursday 13th December||End of Michaelmas Term|
I anticipate a productive and exciting term in Priory 6, and very much look forward to seeing you at the various events above between now and the end of term on 6th July.
Director of Priory 6