"The care devoted to the well-being and development of all pupils is outstanding, as is the quality of relationships. The school fully meets its aim of providing the highest quality pastoral care for their pupils."
2007 Independent Schools Inspectorate Report
Applying to university is both an exciting and potentially daunting prospect for both students and their parents; this why each student has a dedicated tutor to ‘accompany’ them through the entire application process.
In Year 12 the students and parents are invited to a UCAS awareness evening where a university admissions tutor explains what universities are looking for from potential students. The entire application process is explained and there is an opportunity for parents to ask questions.
With literally hundreds of university courses to choose from it can be difficult for students to choose which is the right one for them. This is why we provide students with the opportunity to complete a ‘Centigrade Survey’, which suggests potential courses of interest to the girls based on their responses to a series of searching questions. The results of this survey then provide a basis for a one-to-one discussion with our experienced Careers Tutor (for more details see Careers and University advice section).
Our students write their own ‘Personal Statements’ for their university application, but they receive constructive advice from both their tutors and relevant Heads of Department. The Headmistress meets each girl individually to discuss their application and reference in advance of it being sent to UCAS. Although this is a time consuming process we believe that our personalised approach to preparing university applications leads to highly individual ‘Personal Statements’ which makes our candidates stand out.
Those students who wish to apply for Oxford and Cambridge require additional support in preparing for preliminary tests and the interview stage. At Notre Dame these girls receive individual support sessions and guidance on extra reading from the relevant Head of Department. Mock interviews are arranged with the cooperation of other leading independent schools in order to prepare our girls for this challenge.
On the day of the A-Level results senior members of staff are on hand to offer their congratulations and, should the need arrive, additional support contacting universities.
Even after leaving the school, Notre Dame continues to offer support to those students who decide to apply to university post A-Level or decide to switch courses.