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New science programme puts students on the path to success

A new programme launching at the City of Stoke-on-Trent College will boost science students’ chances of securing top jobs in careers including dentistry, medicine, veterinary science and pharmacy.

From September this year students enrolling at the Sixth Form College will be able to access three science baccalaureates in Medical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Mathematical Sciences which combine practical work with hands-on experience including access to research placements and mentoring from Russell Group university scientists, inspirational seminars and opportunities to undertake additional qualifications specific to their career pathway.

With Sixth Form science students already enjoying teaching access to state-of-the-art science facilities at Staffordshire University Science Centre, the three baccalaureates will also provide students with opportunities for careers guidance and specialist summer schools from industry professionals.

Ed Swann, new curriculum manager for science at the Sixth Form College, said the learning programme is an exciting and crucial development, ensuring top science students can access specialist learning support and advice, while also raising the aspirations of students who may not have performed well at GCSE level science or mathematics.

He said: “The Science Futures Programme brings together a package of support which will include admission tests preparation, for example for the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and mock interviews.

“There is also an opportunity to complete an additional Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) where students use their research skills to produce a 5000 word study – highly-regarded by leading universities as it demonstrates their ability to work independently.

“It means every student who is capable of getting an A* with us will have the best chance possible of achieving, not only a place at Oxford, Cambridge or a Russell Group University, but more importantly an excellent chance of securing the career they deserve.”

While great results remain a priority at the college, with 82 per cent of Sixth Form students achieving grade B or above in further maths alone, he added that access to the new science programme will not be limited to A* GCSE science students.

“We have a ‘can-do’ mentality here which means we don’t prescribe entry criteria to science courses. We don’t want to close the door to students who are committed to studying science.

“With this programme in place if students are capable of getting an A* we give them a really good chance of achieving that, and if they have achieved an A* in science at GCSE then choosing the Sixth Form College will give them an excellent preparation for future success in a range of scientific fields.

“Not having entry criteria allows us the flexibility to interview them, to look at their predicted grades if they’ve underachieved at school for example, and give them the opportunity of a fresh start.

“We can also offer a BTEC Science triple extended diploma across all the sciences, which is the equivalent of three A-levels, and can offer a gateway to a Russell Group interview.

“A similar programme I led at another sixth form college saw 12 Sixth Form students gain entry into Oxford and Cambridge last year, with 50 students securing places onto extremely competitive medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses over the previous five years.”

Potential students are being encouraged to come and find out more about the Sixth Form College and enjoy a tour of the campus in Leek Road at an Open Event on Wednesday April 20th between 5pm and 8pm. For more information call 01782 848736 or log on to www.stokesfc.ac.uk

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