23rd November 2016
A brilliant blog post by Sarah on how Unifrog supported her students to think about future opportunities along with hitting the Gatsby Benchmarks.
One of my main priorities when taking up my current post as Head of Sixth Form, was to improve the quality of Information, Advice and Guidance to students, enabling all of them to set their sights higher. Berwick is a very rural area, which meant that some students applying to University tended to stick to the ‘East Coast mainline’ and not research universities further away. They often overlooked degrees in fields out with the narrow confines of A Level subjects and didn’t consider joint honours degrees – Unifrog’s suggestions for broader ranges of subject areas has been invaluable. Those applying for Apprenticeship opportunities relied heavily on localised knowledge and contacts, missing out on the wide range of Apprenticeship opportunities available to them, particularly at Level 3 and above. The Apprenticeship tools have led students to explore a wider range of high quality opportunities and for some students to consider Level 4 Apprenticeships as an alternative to university (Benchmarks 3 and 7).
"The Apprenticeship tools have led students to explore a wider range of high quality opportunities"
Students are introduced to Unifrog in Year 11, to help them research possible pathways and inform their post 16 options decision making process. Once in Year 12, students receive extensive training in the use of Unifrog, with key tasks built into their IAG scheme of work (Benchmark 1) (Shortlists - University, Apprenticeships and Colleges, MOOCs and Competencies). This allows tutors and careers/pastoral leads to track progress and ensure timely careers interventions (Benchmark 2). This carries on into Year 13, with all of the UCAS reference writing process (subject and overall reference) and all personal statement writing now conducted through Unifrog. Again, this allows for easy progress tracking, and the ability of teachers to use the tool as a student, means that we can create suggested shortlists quickly and email them to students using school email, allowing us to challenge students’ thinking about courses and location.
"The first two years of using Unifrog has seen a marked increase in students applying for courses and apprenticeship opportunities beyond their geographical comfort zone"
The first two years of using Unifrog has seen a marked increase in students applying for courses and apprenticeship opportunities beyond their geographical comfort zone. It has also helped students applying for apprenticeships compare national opportunities to regional ones and explore the potential of Level 4/degree apprenticeships, with our first student to undertake a degree apprenticeship beginning her programme in September 2016.
Head of Sixth Form