Education Case Studies

School streamlines the UCAS application process...

Claires Court School
Maidenhead, Berkshire

Claires Court School is an independent school that was established in 1960 and is located in Maidenhead, Berkshire. It offers co-education at Nursery and 6th Form, whilst 4-16 year olds are educated separately. Their aims are to educate the whole child, treating each boy or girl as an individual and ensuring they achieve their maximum potential.

They achieve outstanding results at all levels throughout the School with an intake that is non-selective. Co-ordinated education means that boys and girls are educated separately but meet together with such activities as sailing, rowing, performing arts as well as day trips and field study courses – the best of both worlds!

Services used

  • online Footprint® diagnostic
  • Personal Statement report
  • Student Self Awareness workshops


Self Awareness skills and personalised UCAS Personal Statement content based on each student’s unique behavioural qualities.

The challenge

Claires Court identified that in their 6th Form, the process for year 12 students to complete their Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) applications was taking up valuable time and effort for tutors and students. Students also had difficulty in thinking of an appropriate language to describe their strengths. All of this meant that the school had an inconsistent methodology for delivering quality UCAS applications with positive and consistent results.

“As a team of tutors in the sixth form we recognised the importance of the Personal Statement reports for our students and for many years have been highlighting this in an induction programme following their AS Levels. However, we were conscious to express their strengths and indeed many were unsure of ‘who they were’. This made writing a good personal statement very difficult. Also we were all aware of how difficult it was to write UCAS references for our students and how time consuming it could be”

says Richard Milner Smith, Head of year 12.

The solution

After discussions with head of year groups in the 6th Form at Claires Court, Self Awareness created a programme that would suit their particular needs. With time in the curriculum being an issue, a 1 hour Self Awareness Workshop in late June introduced the year 12 students to the psychological notion of becoming ‘self aware’. They were able to understand that as individuals we all have certain working strengths and motivators. That we all do things differently and the reasons why we prefer to learn in a certain way.

The students then completed the 10 minute online Self Awareness behavioural questionnaire – the Footprint® form. From this, individual Personal Statement reports were created for each of the students. The uniquely personal information contained in the reports has been created to assist students to complete the UCAS application.  

The results

Claires Court School year 12 students and tutors alike have benefited from the Self Awareness UCAS application programme. It has given the students self-confidence and understanding about themselves and the tutors and extremely useful and objective facility.

“When I was writing my personal statement, the Self Awareness report helped enormously. It made it very clear to me what qualities I had and how I could best put them on to paper. It even highlighted some qualities I was not aware I had!”

Brenda McCulley, Year 13 student.

The school now has a robust and consistent process in a very important aspect of school life – giving each student the best possible opportunity to impress their chosen Universities.

Head of Sixth Form, Trevor Sharkey, reflects:

“The Self Awareness programme has proven to be of immense value to the whole process of reference writing. The reports are astonishingly apposite and provide information that must be of immense value to admissions tutors, as well as to the referee… The best thing we ever tried as part of our induction of Year 12 students to the demands of the final year in school”