Dear Students,

We thought it might be helpful to send a brief update on a number of things that I know many of you may be thinking about at the moment.

Exam Result Days
Just to confirm, A Levels and Level 3 Vocational results will be made available to students on the original date of Thursday 13th August and GCSE and Level 2 Vocational qualifications the following week on Thursday 20th August 2020. Our Exams Team will be in touch in advance of these dates to provide you with information about accessing your results. There will be lots of support available for Huish students on these days and in the following weeks from our Progression Team and teaching staff who will be ready to help with any onward plans you have or might want to make.

Next Steps – Progression Advice and Support
If you are uncertain about what you want to do next or have changed your mind about what you were planning to do please do let us know and we will do our very best to help off information, advice and guidance on a range of next steps, including employment, Apprenticeships and further training. We will make sure that your college Unifrog account remains active for one more year to enable you to research Apprenticeships, build a CV and engage with their interest/personality test to help you explore potential future pathways and careers. The National Apprenticeship website continues to be updated every 24 hours: https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch.1

Next week, Richard Jones and his team are providing a number of online forums for you to engage with, around progression and next steps beyond Huish. Sessions will be held in Microsoft Teams at the following times:

  • Tuesday 19th May 2.00pm
  • Wednesday 20th May 7.00pm
  • Thursday 21st May 2.00pm
  • Friday 22nd May 2.00pm

Keep an eye on your emails for details and instructions on how to join.

Richard is also able to offer 1:1 advice and guidance by phone or on Microsoft Teams. If you would like any further guidance regarding your options for the future, including questions about existing university applications, you can email Richard Jones, Progression & LC Manager – richardj@richuish.ac.uk.

University Admissions 2020
If you have applied through UCAS for university this year you should have received a letter from them which can be accessed via the following link.

It encourages students to continue their applications as normal, with the support of a new service which they are establishing to help applicants. It includes a message from Michelle Donelan, the HE minister, who confirmed that individual universities will be able to recruit up to 5% more domestic students for the coming year. UCAS have some very clear information on their website about university applications, along with some frequently asked questions and answers which you can find by following this link: https://www.ucas.com/coronavirus.

Richard Jones has also summarised some of the most frequent questions and answers being asked by Huish students below, which we hope you will find helpful.

Q – If I get the grades they asked for does that mean I can go to my firm choice university?
As with previous years, if you receive grades that meet the conditions of the offer from your firm choice of university, then your place is secured.

Q – What happens if I am not awarded the grades I need for my firm choice university?
If your grades do not meet the conditions of your firm choice, the following outcomes could apply:

  • Your firm choice could show flexibility and confirm your place, even though your grades are lower than the conditions initially set out. We can help you check this on results day and offer support in contacting the university.
  • If your firm choice does not accept you but you have met the grades for your insurance then your insurance choice is confirmed, there could possibly be some flexibility here.
  • If neither your firm or insurance accept you then you’re are eligible for ‘clearing’ – further details on clearing can be found here – https://www.ucas.com/events/2020-entry-clearing-opens-348886. With the cap lifted on university places there are likely to be some very attractive offers available during ‘clearing’ so please don’t panic if you find yourself in this situation. We will be here to offer advice and guidance on finding the best fit for you.

Q – What if my grades don’t reflect what I think I could have achieved and how will universities respond?
The three options above are the same as previous years. However, if you feel your summer grades do not reflect your ability you will be given the opportunity to take exams either in the autumn (details still to be confirmed) or next summer. There is unfortunately still a lot of uncertainty around these exams and how each university’s admissions departments will deal with this. Some universities have stated that if the grades from the additional exams in the autumn meet the student’s original offer, then the place will be honoured but will have to be deferred until September 2021. Other universities have indicated that students would need to apply again in the following cycle to secure a place. In this situation we would recommend either contacting your firm and/or insurance choices or checking their website to see if they have provided an update on their policy for this situation. Don’t forget if you have any questions about this please ask us (richardj@richuish.ac.uk) and we will of course be here on results day and beyond to help.

Q – Should I keep studying?
Our advice at Huish is to, where you can, keep studying and revising in some form over the summer so that you are in a position to take an autumn exam should you wish to. Also, continuing to study for your qualifications will provide really good academic preparation for whichever progression option you choose to take.

Q – What if I want to re-apply for 2021?
Should you decide to make a fresh, or in fact a first time, UCAS application for 2021 Huish will fully support you with this and allow you to apply through the College, providing you with a reference. If you have a university offer and are thinking that you might now want to take a year out we would advise you to get in touch with Richard Jones, Progression & LC Manager – richardj@richuish.ac.uk and he will be able to set up a phone call or Teams meeting with you to offer advice and guidance around gap years and university.

Q – I was planning to do an Apprenticeship but this has now been withdrawn and I need some help thinking about other options
Please don’t worry, we are here to help you if you find yourself in this position, just email Richard Jones, Progression & LC Manager – richardj@richuish.ac.uk and he will be able to set up a phone call or Teams meeting with you to offer advice and guidance on a wide variety of alternative progression routes.

Centre Assessed Grades
Your teachers are now working carefully on the Centre Assessed Grade process, in line with the Government guidance. We are working very closely with other Sixth Form Colleges to ensure that the grades and ranking we produce at Huish are as accurate and valid as possible and are benchmarked carefully against other providers. As you will know from my previous emails, once we have collated, standardised and checked these grades, we will then send them to the relevant exam boards for the next part of the process, which will happen at a national level. In conjunction with the exam boards, the government will use the information that we have provided them “to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements”.

I am so sorry as I know that this will be a very painful wait for all of you between now and August. Thank you for supporting us in ensuring that we comply carefully with the government instructions around confidentiality, you have been fantastically patient and understanding at such a difficult time.

Keeping in touch
We want you to know that staff at Huish are thinking about you all a lot. They miss seeing you and are feeling really sad not to have had the opportunity to finish the year and your time at Huish with you in the usual way. We know it will feel even more difficult for you at the moment and that you are likely to be missing your friends and feeling in real limbo about your next steps. Don’t forget that we will celebrate with you when we can and that your tutor, teachers and other staff are here for you if you need any support or have any questions in the next little while.

I hope that, whilst this update is unlikely to provide all of the answers you need at this uncertain time, it offers some information and guidance around a few of the key issues you might be facing.

Remember we are all having good and bad days at the moment and that this is really normal in these circumstances. Your Tutor is still here to support you and answer any questions you might have. However, don’t forget that if you feel that you or another student could do with some extra support just drop us an email – wellbeing@richuish.ac.uk – we are here to help and support you.

Please take really good care and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Tutor – they are still there for you and keen to help if there is anything at all that you need.

With warmest wishes,
Emma