Applying to 6th form- Really appreciate any guidance

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imaanali1
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Hi, I am very anxious about applying to 6th form in a couple of months.

Would someone please explain the whole process of attending open days, forming a personal statement and gathering predicted grades info, approaching a teacher to write a reference, sending application, when the college/6th form approach school for references and what they ask for etc, interview offer....
When would these events occur when applying to college/6th form and in which order.?
Also when colleges approach schools for references, what do they ask for?
All help is greatly appreciated, thank u
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athena5967
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So first of all, Open days:

So I actually didn't go for any of the Open days?? I was shielding since the beginning of 2020 so I didn't leave the house to see any schools, plus no one was holding them cos of covid - it was all online. To be honest, you can see most of the schools online and I doubt they will take down those online open days anytime soon, they might even update them. In-person open days are the most useful for getting the 'vibe' of the school, if that makes sense, but not necessary, plus most people already know where they want to go - or the options they're interested in and don't need the open day.


Personal statement:

Here is a link for how to write one - I promise you I literally just changed the examples to suit me - I didn't even change the order of how they wrote it. My personal statement got me a confirmed conditional offer at every school so trust me, just manipulate one of the examples to suit you and you'll be golden.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...nal-statements

Your predicted grades will come out on your reports so when you apply, use the most recent one you can (I applied in like October/November time last year so I just used my Autumn report). If not, email each teacher for your predicted grade, but again, it'll be easier for both parties if you can get a very recent report.



Applying to schools:

I panicked and applied to 15 schools, but majority of my friends applied for 3/4 schools max. There is no limit on the amount of schools you apply for and only private schools will ask for a money deposit for an offer. Some schools might require you to sit an exam in order to receive a conditional offer (only two schools asked me to do this - barely any do this dw)

In terms of applying, it depends on where you live. I know in Kent, most schools use the 'Kent Choices' website, however in schools in other areas I had to apply via their school website directly. You get a confirmation email and stuff usually, if not email the school and they WILL make sure it's all good. (I applied to a school and forgot to attach all of the documents so I just got a lowkey scary email asking for the stuff so I could get an offer - they want to give you an offer trust me, they'll make sure you don't just get disqualified)

When you apply, you will be required to give evidence of your predicted grades, and some schools ask for proof of identity. This is where having one single report with your predicted grades comes in. All of you have to do is attach one document instead of putting in all the emails from each teacher onto a word doc and THEN attaching it. Proof identity is pretty easy - passport scan, birth certificate, just that kinda stuff - don't worry about it too much. Oh and if you are an SEND student, you'll be required to provide evidence of that as well (literally just email your SEND advisor or your student advisor and they'll send you your results for you to attach onto the application).

If you want a reference from a teacher (I didn't need one for any applications but if you need it here you go) literally just email a teacher saying 'Dear X, currently I am applying for sixth forms and require a reference to apply. If you could write a reference for me, it would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, X' the teacher will happily send you one (I used that exact sentence getting a reference for my volunteering reference)

Also note, even though you send your predicted grades in, the schools will still contact your school for your results anyway (idk why. I got asked if I was alright since so many schools were asking for my results from my school lmao) I don't think they ask for much else, but I'd assume they'd as for a quick summary on the student's behaviour and any past incidents.

By the way!!! Even if you don't have the grades, but you want to study at that school/ study that subject, apply! My chem teacher really f**ked me over by counting the test I did whilst sick (I got a 3 in that smh) and brought my level 9 average down to a 5/6 so I technically couldn't apply for chem anymore (7 required for chem) but I still did - worst case scenario, I had the head of sixth form from a school call me act like a prick saying that the school is super selective and I would need super grades to stand a chance:eviltongue: - thanks my guy, I still got an offer from your school so f**k off - most people who call are really warm and listen to you and seem really supportive and glad when they hear your reason for low grades.


Getting an offer:

So apart from this year, I don't know of any schools that have given an unconditional offer for A levels/IB/BTechs. You will however, get a letter through the post and an email confirming your conditional offer (and the subjects you'll study) or your rejection.

Some schools might interview the student before confirming an offer (out of all the schools, only 1 requested an interview, all the others just gave me an offer). I had mine and it was very relaxed. The interviewer was the head of sixth form if I remember right, and we literally just chatted about what I wanted to be when I was older, the subjects I took (I chose bio chem econ and politics even though I want to do law or maybeeee genetic engineering so he was a bit perplexed heh - majority of interviews will try and guess your future before asking, its kinda funny), and what I would do for my EPQ. They will probably ask you about the chances of you coming to their school (be honest and maybe make a ranking system of all the schools you applied to. This helps you keep track of all the schools you applied to with offers as well as ranking them)

Most schools will just call you and ask for a brief run down of the questions above, and, if your grades are little low, ask if there's any reason for that and your chances of bringing them up (be super positive, even if you can't, convince them you can and you can get another conditional offer)


After receiving offer:

Once you've got an offer you'll have induction days so you can get used to what the school looks like and the facilities as well as the teachers who teach your subjects (and possible classmates). These are great fun and I made a great friend at one of the schools! They are usually done after your GCSEs so in late June and July before school breaks up for summer.


Confirming your place at your chosen school:

RESULTS DAYYYYYYY so I haven't done this bit yet but its in two weeks for me....... Once you find out your results on results day, contact your chosen school that you want to go to (when you get your offer they'll tell you how to accept your place on results day). Do this as quickly as possible as some schools do it via a first-come first-serve basis. Remember that ranking system? this comes into play now. If you don't get a place at your chosen school two things can happen. 1. they say haha nope can't have you bye and you move onto your second, and if not, third option until you get a place at a school or 2. they say umm sorry nope but we can keep you on the waiting list in case someone switches school before September starts so you can join the school. at this point you can accept it or say nah. Even if you do accept this, you will still need to try and get a place at your second or third school just so you have SOMEWHERE to go come September incase no one gives up their place.


I think that's it?? Please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions!!!!! I love writing about this stuff

ps: sorry its so long whoops
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imaanali1
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(Original post by athena5967)
So first of all, Open days:

So I actually didn't go for any of the Open days?? I was shielding since the beginning of 2020 so I didn't leave the house to see any schools, plus no one was holding them cos of covid - it was all online. To be honest, you can see most of the schools online and I doubt they will take down those online open days anytime soon, they might even update them. In-person open days are the most useful for getting the 'vibe' of the school, if that makes sense, but not necessary, plus most people already know where they want to go - or the options they're interested in and don't need the open day.


Personal statement:

Here is a link for how to write one - I promise you I literally just changed the examples to suit me - I didn't even change the order of how they wrote it. My personal statement got me a confirmed conditional offer at every school so trust me, just manipulate one of the examples to suit you and you'll be golden.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...nal-statements

Your predicted grades will come out on your reports so when you apply, use the most recent one you can (I applied in like October/November time last year so I just used my Autumn report). If not, email each teacher for your predicted grade, but again, it'll be easier for both parties if you can get a very recent report.



Applying to schools:

I panicked and applied to 15 schools, but majority of my friends applied for 3/4 schools max. There is no limit on the amount of schools you apply for and only private schools will ask for a money deposit for an offer. Some schools might require you to sit an exam in order to receive a conditional offer (only two schools asked me to do this - barely any do this dw)

In terms of applying, it depends on where you live. I know in Kent, most schools use the 'Kent Choices' website, however in schools in other areas I had to apply via their school website directly. You get a confirmation email and stuff usually, if not email the school and they WILL make sure it's all good. (I applied to a school and forgot to attach all of the documents so I just got a lowkey scary email asking for the stuff so I could get an offer - they want to give you an offer trust me, they'll make sure you don't just get disqualified)

When you apply, you will be required to give evidence of your predicted grades, and some schools ask for proof of identity. This is where having one single report with your predicted grades comes in. All of you have to do is attach one document instead of putting in all the emails from each teacher onto a word doc and THEN attaching it. Proof identity is pretty easy - passport scan, birth certificate, just that kinda stuff - don't worry about it too much. Oh and if you are an SEND student, you'll be required to provide evidence of that as well (literally just email your SEND advisor or your student advisor and they'll send you your results for you to attach onto the application).

If you want a reference from a teacher (I didn't need one for any applications but if you need it here you go) literally just email a teacher saying 'Dear X, currently I am applying for sixth forms and require a reference to apply. If you could write a reference for me, it would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance. Kind regards, X' the teacher will happily send you one (I used that exact sentence getting a reference for my volunteering reference)

Also note, even though you send your predicted grades in, the schools will still contact your school for your results anyway (idk why. I got asked if I was alright since so many schools were asking for my results from my school lmao) I don't think they ask for much else, but I'd assume they'd as for a quick summary on the student's behaviour and any past incidents.

By the way!!! Even if you don't have the grades, but you want to study at that school/ study that subject, apply! My chem teacher really f**ked me over by counting the test I did whilst sick (I got a 3 in that smh) and brought my level 9 average down to a 5/6 so I technically couldn't apply for chem anymore (7 required for chem) but I still did - worst case scenario, I had the head of sixth form from a school call me act like a prick saying that the school is super selective and I would need super grades to stand a chance:eviltongue: - thanks my guy, I still got an offer from your school so f**k off - most people who call are really warm and listen to you and seem really supportive and glad when they hear your reason for low grades.


Getting an offer:

So apart from this year, I don't know of any schools that have given an unconditional offer for A levels/IB/BTechs. You will however, get a letter through the post and an email confirming your conditional offer (and the subjects you'll study) or your rejection.

Some schools might interview the student before confirming an offer (out of all the schools, only 1 requested an interview, all the others just gave me an offer). I had mine and it was very relaxed. The interviewer was the head of sixth form if I remember right, and we literally just chatted about what I wanted to be when I was older, the subjects I took (I chose bio chem econ and politics even though I want to do law or maybeeee genetic engineering so he was a bit perplexed heh - majority of interviews will try and guess your future before asking, its kinda funny), and what I would do for my EPQ. They will probably ask you about the chances of you coming to their school (be honest and maybe make a ranking system of all the schools you applied to. This helps you keep track of all the schools you applied to with offers as well as ranking them)

Most schools will just call you and ask for a brief run down of the questions above, and, if your grades are little low, ask if there's any reason for that and your chances of bringing them up (be super positive, even if you can't, convince them you can and you can get another conditional offer)




After receiving offer:

Once you've got an offer you'll have induction days so you can get used to what the school looks like and the facilities as well as the teachers who teach your subjects (and possible classmates). These are great fun and I made a great friend at one of the schools! They are usually done after your GCSEs so in late June and July before school breaks up for summer.


Confirming your place at your chosen school:

RESULTS DAYYYYYYY so I haven't done this bit yet but its in two weeks for me....... Once you find out your results on results day, contact your chosen school that you want to go to (when you get your offer they'll tell you how to accept your place on results day). Do this as quickly as possible as some schools do it via a first-come first-serve basis. Remember that ranking system? this comes into play now. If you don't get a place at your chosen school two things can happen. 1. they say haha nope can't have you bye and you move onto your second, and if not, third option until you get a place at a school or 2. they say umm sorry nope but we can keep you on the waiting list in case someone switches school before September starts so you can join the school. at this point you can accept it or say nah. Even if you do accept this, you will still need to try and get a place at your second or third school just so you have SOMEWHERE to go come September incase no one gives up their place.


I think that's it?? Please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions!!!!! I love writing about this stuff

ps: sorry its so long whoops
Thank you so much for this!! It's very reassuring.
Just a few questions... Would my 6th form which I apply to receive a copy of my Autumn report when checking predicted grades or will my head of year just send an email to confirm?
I established my school newsletter but I only wrote for it for 2 years and then I stopped, if I really exaggerate how I wrote for my school newsletter but I don't include that I didn't carry is on, in my personal statement and interview, is that misleading?
I want to ask my English teacher to write my reference instead of my form teacher, how early should I contact my English teacher about writing my reference and should I also inform my head of year and form tutor that she will be doing it so that only 1 reference is written for me?
Will the 1 reference that my English teacher writes for me be sent to every college which asks for a reference?

Sorry my questions are so long, I really appreciate all ur help thank u
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athena5967
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Of course, don't worry!

From what my student advisor told me, it seems like they send a version of our Autumn report just without the extra information about how we can improve our grades - I don't actually know though. It would most likely be a file with our predicted grade and probably our current grade as well.

For your newsletter, definitely include that you established it!!! How long ago was it that you stopped writing in it? Depending on how long ago you could say you only recently stopped to focus on exams. I personally wouldn't say that you wrote for 'only two years' I would say that 'I established a school newsletter for X school and supported it by writing articles in it for multiple years'. This way it instantly says that you no longer write in it however it is said in a positive light (you don't outright say you stopped writing in it) - note: They literally skim your P.S so don't worry too much, they just want to make sure you do things and you don't stay at home doing nothing lmao

When asking for a reference, I personally went and got a few from a few teachers so I could pick the one I liked the best. If you want a reference from only your English teacher though, just email them, don't bother contacting anyone else. Note, some teachers can be a bit finicky when it comes to writing them so some might ask for permission from your head of year before writing it, they'll sort that bit out though, you'll just be copied in so you're aware of what's happening.

I would get your reference at the end of the first half term or end of the first term, this gives you plenty of time to make sure you have it for when you actually need it!

You'll find that you will be the one uploading all the files, the school doesn't help at all for applications but you can definitely use only one reference for all of them (again I don't know any schools asking for a reference)

OH!! Last thing!!! Make sure you find out the deadlines for all of the applications as each school has different opening and closing dates for applications!!

I think that's all but feel free to contact me again on this thread!!!
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imaanali1
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(Original post by athena5967)
Of course, don't worry!

From what my student advisor told me, it seems like they send a version of our Autumn report just without the extra information about how we can improve our grades - I don't actually know though. It would most likely be a file with our predicted grade and probably our current grade as well.

For your newsletter, definitely include that you established it!!! How long ago was it that you stopped writing in it? Depending on how long ago you could say you only recently stopped to focus on exams. I personally wouldn't say that you wrote for 'only two years' I would say that 'I established a school newsletter for X school and supported it by writing articles in it for multiple years'. This way it instantly says that you no longer write in it however it is said in a positive light (you don't outright say you stopped writing in it) - note: They literally skim your P.S so don't worry too much, they just want to make sure you do things and you don't stay at home doing nothing lmao

When asking for a reference, I personally went and got a few from a few teachers so I could pick the one I liked the best. If you want a reference from only your English teacher though, just email them, don't bother contacting anyone else. Note, some teachers can be a bit finicky when it comes to writing them so some might ask for permission from your head of year before writing it, they'll sort that bit out though, you'll just be copied in so you're aware of what's happening.

I would get your reference at the end of the first half term or end of the first term, this gives you plenty of time to make sure you have it for when you actually need it!

You'll find that you will be the one uploading all the files, the school doesn't help at all for applications but you can definitely use only one reference for all of them (again I don't know any schools asking for a reference)

OH!! Last thing!!! Make sure you find out the deadlines for all of the applications as each school has different opening and closing dates for applications!!

I think that's all but feel free to contact me again on this thread!!!
You have really been so helpful and I am grateful.

I really want to apply to a grammar 6th form and as an external pupil, my target grades (which are based on year 6 SATS tests) are quite low and are mainly grade 4's and 5's (which is equivalent to a C), however my predicted grades are much much higher as they are based on your current work and current mock exam results. If I ask my teacher to include in my reference that my target grades are low, however my predicted grades are grade 8's and 9's, do you think my teacher could positively highlight how this shows I am a hardworking individual which will help my application or do you think that the grammar 6th form would be put of with the low target grades?
Thank you for answering these wordy questions in detail <3
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athena5967
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(Original post by imaanali1)
You have really been so helpful and I am grateful.

I really want to apply to a grammar 6th form and as an external pupil, my target grades (which are based on year 6 SATS tests) are quite low and are mainly grade 4's and 5's (which is equivalent to a C), however my predicted grades are much much higher as they are based on your current work and current mock exam results. If I ask my teacher to include in my reference that my target grades are low, however my predicted grades are grade 8's and 9's, do you think my teacher could positively highlight how this shows I am a hardworking individual which will help my application or do you think that the grammar 6th form would be put of with the low target grades?
Thank you for answering these wordy questions in detail <3
Hi! So I know for a fact that even if your target scores are low, you can still get into a grammar school!! I applied for my grammar school and a few others! My target grades were only 6s (that being said some individual subjects said I had 7 as a target grade??) however because my predicted grades were much higher (apart from chem but you already know about that fiasco and how the schools dealt with that) the schools were all good! I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a teacher write it in a reference but teachers usually write your best qualities anyways so dont panic too much

What school are you thinking of may I ask? (don't say if you don't want too!!) Maybe I can see if I have applied there myself or if I know anyone who's done the process to help you out a bit more!
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imaanali1
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(Original post by athena5967)
Hi! So I know for a fact that even if your target scores are low, you can still get into a grammar school!! I applied for my grammar school and a few others! My target grades were only 6s (that being said some individual subjects said I had 7 as a target grade??) however because my predicted grades were much higher (apart from chem but you already know about that fiasco and how the schools dealt with that) the schools were all good! I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a teacher write it in a reference but teachers usually write your best qualities anyways so dont panic too much

What school are you thinking of may I ask? (don't say if you don't want too!!) Maybe I can see if I have applied there myself or if I know anyone who's done the process to help you out a bit more!
Thanks! I'm looking to apply to Camphill, Handsworth, Fiveways and Sutton Coldfied Grammar. My target grades are much lower than yours (grade 4's and 5's), however every single one of my predictions are grade 9's except Maths, Business and french which are grade 8's. Do you still think I can get in? My extra curriculars are impressive and the teacher writing my reference is very lenient and fond of me. Thank again so much
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athena5967
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(Original post by imaanali1)
Thanks! I'm looking to apply to Camphill, Handsworth, Fiveways and Sutton Coldfied Grammar. My target grades are much lower than yours (grade 4's and 5's), however every single one of my predictions are grade 9's except Maths, Business and french which are grade 8's. Do you still think I can get in? My extra curriculars are impressive and the teacher writing my reference is very lenient and fond of me. Thank again so much
Yeah, like I said before, the schools literally only look at your predicted! Having extra curricular activities are also really helpful when it comes down to the school culling of those they don't want Good luck by the way!!!! And don't stress too much - with those scores you'll done brilliantly!!
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imaanali1
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(Original post by athena5967)
Yeah, like I said before, the schools literally only look at your predicted! Having extra curricular activities are also really helpful when it comes down to the school culling of those they don't want Good luck by the way!!!! And don't stress too much - with those scores you'll done brilliantly!!
Thanks, you have really put my mind at ease
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