How the LEDLET Summer Scheme helps you on the path to studying law at university

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Apprehensive at first, Ryan Lenihan, 17, from Gower College Swansea took the plunge and applied for the 2020 LEDLET Summer Scheme run in partnership with Legal Wales.

Here he tells us why it’s important to have self-belief and the confidence to grab opportunities, and aim high if you want to pursue your passion...

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The Power of Talking for Mental Wellbeing

Mind Cymru shares its tops tips on how to find the time to talk and look after your mental health.

With today marking Time to Talk Day, a day which encourages the nation to get talking about mental health and help end the stigma around it, there’s never been a better time to open up, express how you’re feeling and consider ways you can take care of your wellbeing.

And, with so much going on in the world at the moment it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit more stressed or anxious, so it’s especially important to keep talking and take positive steps to look after yourself.

We ‘talked’ with mental health charity, Mind Cymru, and anti-stigma campaign, Time to Change Wales, to offer five powerful top tips on how we can all care for and improve our mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown.

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From Ceredigion to Cambridge

What should I study at university? It’s a common question for many starting Year 12, so don’t worry if you’re still unsure.

Read how Seren helped Lucy explore and develop her passion for languages and gave her the boost in confidence to apply to study at Cambridge.

Lucy Hill (18), Studying Modern and Medieval Languages at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

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Seren Prospectus – Class of 2020/2021

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Download our latest prospectus for students and parents/carers and learn more about how Seren helps Wales’ brightest learners reach their academic potential.

Being a Seren student means you will be offered an extensive range of activities that you can take part in, resources to download, webinars and masterclasses to log into, and summer schools to apply for. All of which are designed to support your ongoing studies and help you realise your ambition of furthering your education at a leading university, if that’s where you want to go next.

We encourage you to grab as many opportunities as you can, but what you choose to get involved with is up to you.

You all have aspirations, ambitions, and goals. Seren is here to help you reach for the stars!

Seren-US summer schools for Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), Harvard, and Chicago Universities for 2020.

Unfortunately, we are in the throes of COVID-19, which has changed our landscape beyond any comprehension. We’ve had to make some very tough decisions over the last few days, including school closures and cancelling exams.

One difficult decision has been to cancel the Seren-US summer schools for Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), Harvard, and Chicago Universities for 2020.

Working within the guidelines and advice provided by the World Health Organisation, it is absolutely paramount to safeguard staff, parents, and young people. Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are restricting students to travel internationally, and of course there are clear restrictions for UK citizens entering the United States. Whilst we don’t have definite details of the timescale associated with the pandemic, we do know that the Welsh Government, and Governments across the world, are preparing to cancel events and unnecessary travel for all their citizens.

The latest guidance from Welsh Government is always available on our website at gov.wales/coronavirus

The Minister has been clear that the continuity of education and the wellbeing of all learners has been at the heart of her decision making. This will always be the case.

SEREN & Aberystwyth University Partnership Event

Blas ar y Talwrn (A Taste of the Talwrn)

17 March 2020

at Aberystwyth University

In partnership with Seren, Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies is hosting ‘Blas ar y Talwrn’ – a fun team-based Welsh poetry workshop.

Aimed at Key Stage 3 (Year 9) students, the one-day activity is a Welsh medium enrichment event introducing the ‘talwrn’ interactive workshop. Continue reading

Seren Jesus College Summer School: Guest blog from Dr Matt Williams

Applications for this year’s Seren Jesus College Summer School open on Tuesday 3rd March 2020. The Summer School is taking place 17th to 21st August and will be based on the theme ‘Intelligence: Real and Artificial’. We spoke to Dr Matt Williams, Access Fellow at Jesus College, who shares what’s on offer during the exclusive week-long programme and explores this year’s theme.

What can I expect from this year’s Summer School?

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Spotlight on: University of Cambridge

Elin Evans, 18, from Caerwys in Flintshire is currently in her first year at University of Cambridge, studying Engineering. Here’s what she had to say about her exciting university experience so far:

“Since starting in September, I have had one of the best experiences of my life. Not only have I become more independent, but I have also had the chance to explore my subject like never before. I have had so many opportunities to express myself and develop my interests…

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How to stay organised in 2020

We’re half way through February, and exams are starting to creep closer.

We spoke to Tomos Mather, 18, from Y Felinheli in Gwynedd who is currently in sixth form at Ysgol Tryfan, who has a few tips and tricks on how to keep yourself on track and not get overwhelmed with school work.stay organised blog

Be tidy

If you’re anything like me, after Christmas your room and workspace area will be a mess, with piles of papers, books and folders everywhere. After your mock exams or at the start of a new year, spend an afternoon tidying and decluttering your workplace to reset and get ready for the rest of the year.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead and keep track of what needs to be done. I write down what I expect I need to complete. I find it motivating to know that I need to complete set tasks on a particular day. This also helps me keep up with what needs to be done and means I don’t fall behind on my work.

Keep a calendar

I keep major deadlines on a physical calendar. I find a countdown helps me stay motivated to achieve my goals.

One task at a time

When you’ve got a lot on your list, it’s tempting to start half a dozen things at once in order to finish them all in time, but it’s often more effective to start a task and complete it before getting onto the next one. Focusing on one thing at a time also helps increase the quality of your work.

Place of work

Finally, find a location that you work well in. Finding a place to work away from where you relax will help you keep your schoolwork and home life separate. This could be your desk, a place at the dinner table or a library. You’ll find it easier to concentrate, especially if you try not to use your phone here.

How the Seren Conference inspires me to strive for the best

Last December we were in celebratory mood in more ways than one as we hosted our 3rd annual Seren Conference at Cefn Lea Park in Newtown.

Welcoming 1,288 students from all over Wales, it was the biggest Seren Conference yet, with three days packed full of workshops, seminars, speakers, and practical sessions. Representatives from 34 leading universities across the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge, overseas universities, and teaching professionals from across Wales were showcasing the wealth of exciting undergraduate opportunities and academic pathways available to students after their A Levels.

The Seren Conference 2019 has been inspirational to the students that joined us. Heading home, they were buzzing about the possibilities ahead of them, what they can strive for, and what can be achieved as they get ready to embark on the next stage of their education journey.

Here’s just some of the feedback…

Seren Conference

Millie Hore, Year 12, Ysgol Penglais School

I attended the Seren Conference to see what opportunities are available and to be inspired on what my next steps could be.

The day delivered a vibrant atmosphere through various seminars and workshops full of information. Beforehand we were able to select which sessions to attend, which was great as it meant the schedule was tailored to each students’ interests.

At the sessions, information was given on engaging with student life and applying for university, as well as academic content. A variety of representatives from Russell Group Universities and US Summer School programmes were free to speak to us and enthusiastically answered all of our questions – it was great!

A personal favourite of mine was speaking to the US Summer School alumni, who eagerly shared their experiences from the previous year and sparked an interest in me to apply for similar opportunities. Also, the academic seminar on ‘Natural Science’ left me intrigued with a desire to find out more about this field of research as a potential university degree.

Coming away from the conference, it was clear that to strive to be the best we must embrace all opportunities available to us, regardless of the challenges they may pose. The bus journey home was filled with an eager buzz as we all read the literature and university prospectuses obtained from the day.

Reflecting on the conference, I would definitely encourage all future Seren students to attend this conference to enhance their knowledge and understanding of future career pathways.

Ilona Hoffmann, Year 12, Ysgol Penglais School

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Seren Conference! A highlight for me was having the opportunity to talk to Russell Group Universities face to face and to find out more about what they offer and how I can get involved.

The first session I chose to attend on the day was ‘Applying for bursaries and scholarships’. I found this really helpful and I learnt a lot about what is available to students my age and in my situation. It was also great to see how easy it is to apply!

 I also went to the ‘Studying in the USA’ session which was one of my favourite sessions. I’m very interested in studying abroad and this session really opened my eyes to the education system in the USA. Being able to hear from previous students who had attended the summer schools was very helpful as it gave me first-hand experience of what studying abroad is like.

 Another session I attended was on the ‘Creative Industries’ and I found it highly insightful! I am very keen to pursue a career in the performing arts so going to this session helped answer all my questions. Lastly, I attended the Philosophy session which helped me understand the full breadth of the subject and also included a talk from an American lecturer who was even more fascinating.

 Overall, I found the day very, very useful and it gave me a lot to think about for the future. Being able to hear from past Seren students was reassuring as many of them were also indecisive on what to pursue in the future, which gave me hope in knowing there is time to consider my options and that the perfect degree is out there for me!