Mid-Course Summer

The long summer vacation between the first and second years of A-level study is not a holiday, in our opinion.

Of course, there should be relaxation and time together as a family, but for a few weeks in July and August our Earlscliffe students can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers at other UK schools and colleges, as they seek to gain top university offers in the coming autumn and spring of their final year.

We whole-heartedly recommend and assist our Earlscliffe students in doing some of the following activities, which will add value not only to their young careers and lives, but also to their university applications. We want an Earlscliffe student’s application to stand out from the crowd; we want it to show something that little bit special, so it catches the eye of the admissions officer as he or she looks over thousands of similar submissions.

The Mid-Course Summer is an opportunity not to be missed.

Harvard Summer School

Earlscliffians are encouraged to attend Harvard’s globally-recognised summer school in the USA.

Harvard’s Secondary School Program offers a choice of 300 courses across more than 60 liberal arts fields including biology, maths, creative writing and drama. Many of the classes are taught by Harvard professors, who teach the same lessons to university undergraduates during the academic year. In order to be considered, students must have achieved an overall IELTS score of 7.0.

As an alternative, Earlscliffe students can apply for Harvard’s Secondary School Intensive English Language Program, a selective seven-week course that helps prepare them for higher academic studies in English. Students produce and analyse academic work in the English language through writing, presentation and discussion, on themes that might include the environment, education and politics. Students are still part of the Harvard Secondary School Program, will live on campus and take part in all activities.

Participation in either of the Harvard summer programmes normally helps students in future UK or US university applications and improves their results in their second year of studies at Earlscliffe. Attendance undeniably provides higher levels of motivation and confidence.

The Extended Project

This is an external award and the equivalent to an As Level.

The Extended Project is a chance for students to complete a research project on a chosen subject. It could be a written report of about 5,000 words (e.g. an extended essay, an investigation of a hypothesis or an academic report), or a written report of at least 1,000 words with other evidence of extended work, like a video, CD, DVD, model or performance.

Each student has preparation sessions with his or her Group Tutor and the Director of Studies during the Hilary Term of the first year, and the proposed research project is signed off by the Director of Studies before the Easter vacation. Preparations will be finished in the Trinity Term before the project is completed over the Mid-Course Summer vacation.

The JP Morgan Schools Programme

We strongly encourage students who are considering a career in finance, banking, investment or economics to apply for a place on the JP Morgan Schools Programme.

Selection takes place in the Michaelmas Term and gives students the chance to learn about the various facets of a global investment bank, meeting inspirational people from JP Morgan and developing skills that will be beneficial in school, at university and beyond.

During the programme, students participate in classroom-based presentations, case studies, interactive seminars and skills sessions, as well as shadow personnel on the trading floors. It is an invaluable opportunity for students to strengthen their university application and gain practical networking opportunities for the future.

Work placement

We expect students at Earlscliffe to arrange at least two weeks’ work placement at some point during the Mid-Course Summer period.

The experience of a real-life, commercial environment is priceless at this stage in some young people’s careers. Others might want to volunteer within the service or charitable sector, in the UK, the student’s own country or a less-developed nation. For students applying for medical sciences courses in the UK, we recommend that they organise such a summer placement quite early in their first year.

After their placement, we help students to reflect on how they played their part. Being able to discuss the placement in a UCAS personal statement, and perhaps during a university interview, once again, provides Earlscliffe students with a competitive edge.

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