A little bit about me:
My name is Lana and I'm currently studying Education with Psychology at Bath. At present, I am on my placement year, which is an optional year that you can complete during the third year of your course. I am undertaking my placement in a Child and Family Psychology department within the NHS where I am part of a team that works to improve the wellbeing of children and adolescents who have experienced early adversity and trauma. At A level I studied Psychology, Geography, Sociology as well as AS Biology. I signed up to the On track to Bath Social Sciences programme in Year 12 and being honest I didn’t really know that much about it. I just knew that if you did well there was an opportunity to have a lowered offer to the University and that was all I needed to know. However, the programme had a lot more to offer than just the chance of a lowered offer.
The On Track to Bath programme:
The On Track to Bath programme targets local students whose background may make them less likely to attend a leading university. The programme can be completed in a variety of subject areas including Computer Science & Electronics, Science, Social Sciences & Psychology, Languages and Business, Economics & Entrepreneurship. The programme aims to develop research skills that since attending the University I have discovered are invaluable. The scheme also provides sessions that support your A level work, as well as tailored 1:1 personal statement support.
For me, the programme gave me the knowledge, confidence and practical support to apply for university and to work hard to attend my first choice university and to not settle for anything less.
During On Track to Bath, you get to complete a research project of your choice. I conducted some research into the effect of absence on children who have parents in the army. This project provided me with an incredible insight into the impact of absence on children and was even a large topic of conversation in my interview for my current placement. Who thought a research project I did at age 16 would still be relevant four years down the line in my first proper job. The research project helps you to develop research skills that you will carry with you into your first year of university and beyond. Having the experience of completing research will hold you in good stead for modules such as research methods and for modules that involve report writing. I also strongly believe that the skills I developed whilst on the programme will support the development of my dissertation in my final year.
As part of the On Track to Bath programme, you get to complete a three-day residential at the University. This was during the summer holidays of Year 12, we stayed in university halls and completed various activities such as a bus tour of Bath, sports sessions at the University and treasure hunts to help you explore the campus as well as group debates. The residential was an exciting experience that I was able to share with friends I had made on the programme. I think as a Year 12 student the most exciting thing was staying in university halls for the first time and getting a taste of living with your friends! It is a unique experience that is hard to gain unless you're on a programme such as On Track!
Getting into Bath:
Upon completing just a few sessions I knew my heart was set on Bath. The beautiful city, the sports facilities, the friendly atmosphere, the caring staff and most of all the support that they provide to make sure you succeed. Waiting to see if I had an offer from Bath was daunting, Bath was the last university to respond to my application and I was terrified this meant I hadn’t been offered a place but the day the offer came through I was ecstatic. The feeling I felt on results day upon finding out I had made it into Bath was indescribable. Because of the On Track to Bath programme, I felt more than comfortable moving away from home and to Bath for the next chapter of my life.
The On Track to Bath Programme is so much more than a lowered offer into a leading university. I have had endless opportunities arise from the programme whether that be from the skills it helped me to develop or the confidence it gave me to never settle for anything less than you are capable of.
My advice to you:
Take up any opportunity you are given, even if it is outside of your comfort zone, it will be worth your time (I have friends who still say to me today that they wish they had done the On Track to Bath Programme).