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Sixth forms and colleges

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Resources and events for sixth forms and colleges

We are delighted to offer a varied schedule of events throughout the academic year to provide an insight into what it's like to study at university, and the opportunities available through higher education.

Our activities engage and inspire, giving students a taste of university life, as well as the chance to learn more about their subject at undergraduate level. We also have a range of events and resources designed for teachers, advisors and counsellors, including our Annual Teachers' and Advisers’ Conference.

We support students in making informed decisions about Higher Education, increase the accessibility of university, and support applicants in everything from writing their personal statement to applying for student finance. 

Alongside our range of resources and events, we also offer tailored virtual and face-to-face campus visits, representation at careers or Higher Education fairs, and school talks.

Booking information can be found within each of the event listings below. Please visit our talks, visits and fairs page or academic workshops page to make a bespoke booking.

We also offer travel bursaries alongside a range of other benefits for Schools Membership partners.

Resources

Understanding University, the Ultimate Uni Podcast

Our popular podcast helps Year 12 and 13 students, their parents, guardians, carers and teachers understand all of the ins and outs of University.

Alongside special guests, including parents of students at college/sixth form and current University of Essex students and staff, we discuss a range of topics including:

  • how to cope with stressful and challenging situations
  • the benefits of going to University
  • student support
  • student life
  • how to decide on a course
  • student finance
  • how university really is affordable

Understanding University: The Ultimate Uni Podcast is available on Spotify, Apple and Google. Whether you're out and about, or have 30 minutes to relax with a hot drink, tune in and discover the answers to all your questions about university.

To make sure you never miss out on an episode, sign up via the online form to receive updates and audio links directly to your inbox.

Supporting university applications

Downloadable guides

These resources provide information about the university application process, such as personal statements and student finance. We encourage you to share them with your students (and their parents) to guide them through the process.

Study skills and time management workshops 

These innovative workshops have been designed for teacher-led delivery, either in person or virtually. To accompany the videos below, you'll find supporting notes, presentations and activity booklets to deliver the workshop.

Please note that we also offer student-led versions of all of these workshops on our Student Resources page.

Metacognition workshop

Learning about Metacognition will help students to develop their independent learning skills, encouraging them to think about the way they learn and assess their strategies. With interactive activities and a murder case that needs help solving, this resource will aid your students and help keep them motivated.

Life design workshop

This workshop will help students to learn about the process of Life Design and the theory behind it. Students can apply this way of thinking to solve problems that don't have an obvious solution.

Materials for the teacher-led workshop:

Growth mindset workshop

This workshop will help students to understand what a growth mindset is, whilst identifying and exploring the benefits, and learn how it compares to fixed mind-set.

Materials for the teacher-led workshop:

Reflective practice 

This session will help students develop the skill to reflect on their actions and further the development of their overall learning.

Independent study and self-motivation 

 

Do your students struggle to stay motivated with their studies?

Matteo, Senior Student Ambassador and Outreach Mentor, shares some of his top tips to stay focused. 

Managing your emails

 

Ideal for teachers and students, this resource covers a wide range of email skills, from composing a professional and formal email to discovering time-saving tips and tricks to help you organise your emails and work more efficiently.

Supporting A-level English

The following resources have been created with a flexible approach so teachers can choose the sections and exercises that they feel are most relevant and beneficial to their students and insert them into their own teaching plans as they see fit.

Throughout the resources, elements of the University of Essex teaching has been included whilst staying closely linked to A-level syllabi. 

Supporting A-level Maths

We have an excellent relationship with the Further Mathematics Support Programme (FMSP) and with Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), the educational charity which manages the FMSP.

The University is a fund-holder for the FMSP, providing a centre for FMSP activity in the East of England. Dr Chris Saker is an FMSP Area Coordinator and he is based in our Department of Mathematical Sciences. The University is proud to be able to contribute to the excellent enrichment opportunities, teacher training and resources provided by the FMSP.

Registration with the FMSP is free and once registered teachers have access to free resources for teaching A-level Further Mathematics via MEI’s Integral website. Sample resources from Integral are available to try for free.

Supporting an EPQ or research project

We recognise that the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is a valuable qualification for students to undertake in preparation for study at university. The following resources are designed to introduce students to the key skills needed for writing their first research project.

You can also book an EPQ support session via our online enquiry form, or email outreach@essex.ac.uk for more information.

Find out more about our EPQ support sessions.

Develop your students' skills with the following workshop videos. Each workshop has an accompanying booklet to support the session.

Research skills

 

Referencing 

Developing a research question

Academic writing

Skimming, scanning and note-taking

 

Independent study

CPD resources for teachers and advisers

Turn and face the strange - Children in transition, Chris Nicholson

What are the difficulties children face with transition? Each child is different, but are their common reasons, why transitions are difficult to manage?

Using the example of looked-after children leaving care, Chris will show that in leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, the known for the unknown, conscious and unconscious processes are stirred up and often expressed through behavioural and emotional pressures placed on carers, teachers and others. These processes, when left unrecognised, reopen, widen and sustain the ‘relational ruptures’ that were established during their earliest years and decrease the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Chris will explore how developmental and psychoanalytic ideas can be used to understand and suggest alternative ways of addressing care leavers’ transitional needs. Chris' work with care leavers at Donyland Lodge, a therapeutic community and school in Essex, will be described.

Cross-curricular online learning platforms, Nick Acton

Learn how to create and share meaningful online educational experiences for a range of curriculum subjects. Participants will gain the skills to utilise a number of different online applications that can provide their learners with engaging assessment activities and innovative learning opportunities. All of the applications work on all devices, meaning that teachers can easily share their creations both in the classroom and with their home learners without any technological compatibility worries.

Human rights, big data and technology: What you need to know, Sabrina Rau and Elena Abrusci

Technology has been playing an increasing role in our lives, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The session will explore some of the main challenges to human rights posed by big data, AI and technology. In particular, the session will focus on issues related to data sharing, consent online, misinformation and disinformation. The session will enable participants to be more conscious online, better understand pressing issues and be more knowledgeable of the resources available to mitigate risks to human rights online. This will empower attendees to share crucial knowledge with their students and colleagues on the potential but also risk of certain products and services.

Pastoral support

Mental health and well-being support at the University of Essex, Emma Burgess

Learn more about the challenges students face in their transition to higher education and the support provisions in place at the University of Essex.

External links and resources

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)

UCAS administers all of the applications to higher education courses in the UK. The UCAS website offers guidance and advice on higher education courses for students, careers advisers, parents and carers.

Students can use the course search to browse and filter courses at universities across the country.

Student finance

  • Gov.uk gives detailed information about all aspects of student finance and is also the site through which finance applications are made. The finance calculator tool is also really helpful for getting an idea of how much money you might be entitled to for living costs whilst at university.
  • Money Saving Expert has a whole section on the student finance system from the perspective of an independent financial adviser.
  • The Student Loan Repayment website explains how students' loans are repaid after university.
  • Students thinking of studying an NHS funded or social work course will also need to look at the NHS website.

Comparing universities

  • DiscoverUni is a detailed website that allows students to search and compare universities and their courses across the UK.
  • The Complete University Guide collates a range of different league tables and allows comparison of universities based on a number of factors.

Visiting universities

  • Opendays.com allows students to find out when universities across the country are having open events so that they can plan a number of visits in order to find the right place for them.
  • Uni taster days is a one-stop source of university and higher education taster events, workshops and open days for teachers, careers advisers and students.

Graduate career opportunities

  • Prospects offer graduate job and career advice. University can dramatically improve career prospects by increasing graduates' average salary and offering them more choice and a variety of jobs.

Online courses with AccessHE

Seven higher education institutions have developed exciting short online courses suitable for college students, teachers and advisers. The free AccessHE online courses range from specific subject introductions to understanding how the university application cycle works.


AccessHE

Events

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Webinar series

Join our academics in a brand new six week webinar series. To give you and your students a flavour of what it's like to study our UG and PG courses at Essex, our academics have created a suite of short videos and webinars from multiple departments across the university.

Explore our talks, tasters and webinars
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Schools Membership Scheme

Our Schools Membership scheme launched in 2015 to create a network of schools, sixth-forms and colleges across the UK and around the world. By identifying the schools, we work closely with each year, we are better able to allocate our resources, and are proud to offer our partner schools a range of exclusive benefits.

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