Tutorial Overview

In addition to their academic studies, students take part in a tutorial programme which consists of three core elements:

a) Pastoral Tutorial

b) Academic Tutorial

c) Inspire Talks

The pastoral, academic and inspire curriculum combine to provide students with a broad range of information, guidance, support and inspiration.  It is on this foundation that their current, and future academic success is built.

Pastoral Tutorials

Our pastoral scheme of work is a key part of our commitment to supporting students in more than just their academic lives. We strive to encourage them to leave EMS as well-rounded, conscientious citizens with both the skills and confidence to contribute to their community.

“The pastoral curriculum is very enlightening and well-tailored to our age group”

[EMS Student, 2020]

Students attend fortnightly pastoral assembly, all of which use the Common Inspection Framework for further education as their main reference, while keeping in mind the outcomes for young people as per Every Child Matter criteria. We cover a breadth of topics including an exploration and understanding of fundamental values, equality and diversity, combating discrimination, and democracy and law. Personal and social skills, physical and mental well-being, and an unwavering antibullying message are all at the centre of our pastoral curriculum. This goes hand-in-hand with signposting and referral to additional support wherever possible. We also run sessions around sustainable living and student finance. Our assemblies are totally student-centred: they provide an opportunity for students to discuss, explore and share ideas in a non-trivialising and non-judgemental space.

“Pastoral assemblies comfort us in the knowledge that we never struggle alone”

[EMS Student, 2020]

In our assembly curriculum, we also go beyond the universal, government-advised topics and cover issues that we feel are relevant specifically to our students at EMS. These assemblies are about offering them an opportunity to apply their quick-thinking mathematical brains to varied and challenging perspectives, explore points of view different to their own, and encourage flexible thinking and questioning beyond just an academic remit.   In the Spring Term 2023, we will be exploring with students the concept of gender in education and the role it plays in the world of STEM in particular. We will consider the historical underrepresentation of women in STEM subjects, the possible reasons why and — crucially — what students and staff alike can do to tackle it.

A safe space for discussion is what it’s all about. The pastoral curriculum is there to support students during their time at school and to prepare them for life beyond EMS.

Mental Health

Physical Health

Healthy Relationships

Sexual Consent

Drugs and Alcohol

Gender Identity and Bias

Safeguarding Basic Training

British Values

The Prevent Programme

Democratic Process

The Importance of Failure

Online Safety

Career Choices

Revision Skills and Exam Anxiety Management

Finances and Loans

Student Debt

Global Geopolitics

Academic Tutorials

These often-informal lessons provide the opportunity for academic tutors and students to come together to review academic progress, consider careers, develop study skills, discuss targets and identify academic support needs. 

The academic tutor supports students with their academic journey through EMS and onto the next stage of their education and future careers.  

  • Tutors help students settle into life at EMS and getting to know other students during induction and the first weeks of term. 
  • They prepare students with the transition from GCSE to A-Level and taking ownership of their learning. 
  • Revision skills and independent learning is often a focus before assessments. 
  • Tutors monitor homework and help students with organisation and time management.
  • After each assessment point, the academic tutor meets with each tutee to review their academic progress, as well as reflecting on careers, UCAS and wellbeing.
  • Tutors support students with the University Admissions process (the timeline can be viewed below). 
  • Students can also get help with other applications, whether this is summer schools, work experience, studying overseas, or for a job. 
  • The academic tutor groups are a mix of year 12 & year 13 students, in most cases, students stay with the same tutor for both years. 
  • Student council representatives feedback to students in tutorial time. 

Parents will meet the tutors at the “First Impressions” evening at the end of September and are welcome to contact the tutor at other times of the year. Parents are able to meet teachers and tutors at parents’ evenings.  Dates are available on our Parents Page here.

Resources and opportunities are shared with students via the “UCAS” or the “Careers and Apprenticeships” channels in Microsoft Teams. These include opportunities for work experience, courses, summer schools, degree apprenticeships, and other career insights. In each of these channels there are also wiki pages containing a wealth and information and links to resources. 

Spring term Year 12: 

Talk: Choosing a course and a university. Student’s use tutorial time after half term for researching courses, universities or alternative routes. 

Talk: Higher and degree level apprenticeships. 

Trip: UCAS discovery fair in March. 

Summer term Year 12: 

Assembly: The UCAS application process. 

Parent Event (online): The UCAS application process, including university admissions tests. 

There is also lots of information for parents on the UCAS website: Advice For Parents And Guardians | UCAS | Parent Guide To University, including a detailed “Parent, Guardian and Carer Guide” PDF. 

Start Applications: UCAS undergraduate applications open (mid May). Students will start their UCAS application during tutorials and complete most of the administrative sections. 

Assembly: Personal statement writing. Students will have a first draft of a personal statement before the end of term. Tutors will support students with this process. 

Open Days: Depending on demand, we normally run open day trips to Oxford, and occasionally Cambridge. Students are encouraged to attend open days to the universities they are considering applying to, they just need to complete an absence request form. Open days are normally at the end of the summer term or beginning of the Autumn term. 

Predicted Grades: UCAS predicted grades are created at the end of the year using the end of year assessments, teacher’s experience and the historic progress that students have made from year 12 to year 13. 

Autumn Term Year 13: 

Early Application Deadline: Students who intend to apply to Oxford or Cambridge (but not both) or Medicine will need to complete their application by September 30th to allow sufficient time for us to fully check, process and submit the applications to UCAS by the external deadline (15th October). 

Admissions Tests: Entry deadlines for most of the University Admissions tests are also in September. Many of the admissions tests take place the week after half term (except STEP which is in June of year 13). The optional problem solving lessons help to prepare students for these tests. 

Interviews: We will arrange a mock interview for students who are invited to interview (normally during the last 2-3 weeks of term), we aim for mock interviews to be conducted with an academic from the University of Exeter. 

UCAS Applications: Non-Oxbridge students have more time to complete their personal statement and will have the opportunity to improve their UCAS predicted grades after the assessments in November. Most students will have submitted their application before Christmas. 

Spring and Summer Terms Year 13: 

Main External UCAS Deadline: 25th January, 5PM. A small number of students send their application off in the new year. 

Feb-May: Students wait to receive offers over the coming months. 

Attend Offer Holder Days: These are open days for students who have applied and have an offer, they are a great opportunity to visit if you haven’t previously. 

Firm & Insurance Choices: After receiving offers, students will narrow down their original five choices to a firm and an insurance choice Deadlines for Accepting University Offers | UCAS 

Talk: Applying for Student Finance. 

Results day: We can support students and parents with the next stage if students need or want to use the clearing plus service (previously clearing and adjustment were separate services). Looking for a course in Clearing? Learn how Clearing works & find a new place (ucas.com) 

This year we have speakers scheduled to talk to the students about: 

  • Choosing a course at University (University of Exeter – Outreach Team)
  • University Finance (University of Exeter – Outreach Team)
  • Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships (ASK)
  • Interview techniques 
  • Different types of Engineering

While these talks may be at times outside of timetabled academic tutorial, often the discussions continue in subsequent tutorials. 

In the last couple of years we have had a couple of Alumni talk to students about their experience of applying and starting degree apprenticeships. 

A provider wishing to request access should contact Liam Cantle – liamcantle@exeterms.ac.uk, 01392 429020. There are a number of opportunities for lectures, talks, workshops and events that may be suitable for different purposes. We are flexible about timing and are able to put on early and late events for students and parents and the local community. 

The latest Provider Access Policy, setting out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school, can be found at the following link – Provider Access Policy – May 2023.  Please note this policy is still in draft form subject to approval by governors. 

Inspire Talks

Whilst EMS is primarily established to nurture Mathematical talent, it also has a responsibility to provide students with the opportunity to develop their appreciation of the wider world and to encourage the development of skills beyond the mathematical.

Hand in glove with the students’ own creative outlet of the Exeter Mathematics Certificate projects is the need to enable them to make the connections between their different spheres of knowledge that give rise to true innovation. One of our mechanisms for fostering our budding polymaths and reinforcing our unique learning atmosphere is the simply named `Inspire’ lecture series.

A place to broaden and round the education received by EMS students, `Inspire’ consists of a two – year programme of fortnightly talks across the spectrum of Philosophy, History, Politics and Art. Often research fellows, professors and lecturers, our previous speakers have expounded on topics as varied as “Proof of 1+1”, “Time travel for the uninitiated”, “Levels of Truth” and “The Seaton Down coin hoard”.

These lectures are designed to expose and illustrate the deep links between all things and Mathematics, whilst also breaking down the traditionally rigid boundaries between, for example, Biology and Physics.   They also provide students with inspiration for their own future; in the summer term of year 12 the focus shifts towards careers based topics with speakers from industry, degree apprenticeship providers and our own alumni.

Triangle mountains