At a glance
- Overseas Family School is based in Singapore and offers an IB curriculum to students in grades nine through twelve.
- Sara Hornseth-Bates works at Overseas Family School as an Academic Advisor alongside a team of counsellors.
- Each counsellor is assigned a set of ninth-grade students every year, whom they follow the entire way through grade twelve.
- Sara initially brought BridgeU into her curriculum exclusively to use the Document Sending feature.
- Recently, she has also started using BridgeU’s Analytics, Strategy Advisor, and Assessments to aid her students’ university research.
Document Sending with BridgeU
When Sara was looking for a platform to incorporate into the Overseas Family Schools guidance curriculum, the main tool she needed was Document Sending.
Simplifying the counsellor’s role
Since a lot of her students apply to universities in the US, finding a way to simplify the process was important, especially when sending applications and documents through the Common App.
Sara highlights that BridgeU has made working on a guidance programme with a team of three other counsellors much easier. To keep track of their students and tasks, all of the counsellors use Document Sending’s summary page, where they can quickly find anything that has been uploaded by their students or requires their attention.
In addition, she discussed how BridgeU’s integration systems with Parchment and the Common App allow her to send multiple forms and transcripts in various formats, which has simplified the process for her and her colleagues.
“I’ve found BridgeU’s Document Sending very straightforward. Everything is clearly laid out, making it easy to use.”Sara Hornseth-Bates
Academic Advisor – Overseas Family School
Using BridgeU to expand the school curriculum
Sara had mainly been using BridgeU for Document Sending. But after a recent meeting with BridgeU’s Customer Success Manager, Diana Gravett, Sara has included more features in her programme.
Diana took the counsellors at Overseas Family School through a demonstration of additional BridgeU features they can use with their students. Then, after the meeting, Sara started to include some more tools in their curriculum.
She’s found that incorporating more research components into her programme has greatly benefited her students.
Using assessments to engage students and parents
One of the tools that the Overseas Family School has started using with their students is the KTS assessments. At the beginning of grade eleven, Theory of Knowledge (TOK) teachers start using BridgeU’s Assessments and lesson plans to prepare students for shortlisting.
Sara talked about how using these assessments has been especially helpful for students who aren’t sure which academic path they want to pursue.
In addition to providing the students with additional support, the assessments help teachers get their parents involved.
Since a lot of parents ask for small tests, like career analyses, to be done, BridgeU has allowed the counsellors to quickly set up students with tests and provide parents with results, helping to facilitate open communication.
Simplifying shortlisting with the Strategy Advisor
After students have completed their assessments and looked through their results, it’s time to begin shortlisting. Diana provided Sara with a tutorial on how to utilise the Strategy Advisor, and she’s worked hard to ensure her students understand how to best utilise it.
Sara discussed how the Strategy Advisor has allowed her students to easily collect their experiences when preparing for applications.
Plus, the counsellors use it when students stop by their office for help. They can easily pull up a student’s profile and report on BridgeU’s platform to find everything they need to support them.
Making informed decisions through Analytics
With students now having access to a wealth of information about universities around the world, it’s important to Sara that she can keep track of everything.
Sara uses BridgeU’s Analytics tool to track where her students are applying and their success rates. This helps when reporting to senior leadership, but Sara has also found a way to use it with her students.
When her students are shortlisting universities, Sara uses data reports from BridgeU to help them create a realistic picture of how applications will go. To do this, she shows students the data for previous Overseas Family School students who have applied at the schools they’re interested in and their success rates.
“Students really enjoy using the university matches and shortlist features; it helps them out a lot with their research.”Sara Hornseth-Bates
Academic Advisor – Overseas Family School
As we move into a new academic year, Sara is utilising features on BridgeU that she hasn’t used before to make each year better than the last. Although Document Sending is still their main focus, Sara said she’s interested in using the Strategy Advisor feature more.
The next stop for Sara’s students this year is their Common App essays and personal statements, which she’ll be working with them to write using BridgeU.
Another goal Sara is working towards is getting every counsellor and teacher at Overseas Family School to utilise the Strategy Reports when they write references and letters of recommendation.
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