Using Focus Point
Focus Point has been developed by FOCUS West as a significant new online resource for school pupils, with content designed for every year group from S1 to S6.
Focus Point aims to support pupils in their learning and career choices, helping them to think ahead to their options after school.
It aims to:
- Provide a hub of information, advice, and guidance related to school subject choices, college and university applications, preparing for higher education, and careers.
- Connect pupils with others who share their interests or who are pursuing the same post-school route through the creation of networked ‘social groups’.
- Encourage self-reflection by allowing pupils to maintain e-profiles, record their activities and achievements, and draft ‘personal statements’.
Focus Point offers information, advice, tools, and activities designed for each year group.
Within the S1 and S2/3 sections, pupils will find:
- Introductions to college and university
- Self-reflection activities that will generate career ideas
- Advice and tools to support school subject choices
The ‘Choosing my Subjects’ activities include a unique tool called the Subject Chooser. Pupils will be able to enter a course or career they are interested in and find out if there are any subjects they must choose in order to access a university or college qualification in this field.
In addition to the above, the S4-6 section contains extensive content related to:
- Applying to university, including advice on course options, entry requirements, UCAS applications, and writing Personal Statements.
- Applying to college, including advice on course options, applications, interviews, and ‘articulation’ routes to university.
- Preparing for higher education, with information, advice, and interviews on student life, university teaching, financial support, and student accommodation.
- Jobs and careers, including career-match and job search activities and advice on work experience, apprenticeships, and applying for jobs.
By creating their own account, pupils will gain access to the ‘myFOCUS account’ section of the site. Here they will be able to:
- Save the results of activities and course and career searches.
- Create and update a ‘personal statement’ about their Interests, Skills, Achievements, and Goals.
- Keep an updated record of their activities and achievements in ‘My Log’.
- Draft their UCAS Personal Statement, drawing on information that they have previously uploaded to their Profile.
- Join ‘Social Groups’ pertaining to the careers they are interested in and/or the universities and colleges they hope to apply to. Once joined, pupils will be able to access information specific to their interests and communicate with pupils from other schools who share their interests through our ‘Talking Point’ instant messenger.
FOCUS West is also happy to respond to any enquiries from pupils through Focus Point. They are encouraged to contact us.
Registering on Focus Point
In order to access all the features above, pupils must register on the site.
Currently, full access is available only to pupils who attend FOCUS West schools. In order to validate that all those registering are pupils at these schools, we have created an 'authentication keycode' for each school.
If you have not yet received your code from FOCUS West, please contact Caroline Craig and she'll be happy to provide you with one.
Pupils should select their school and enter the corresponding keycode on the registration form. They will not be required to enter it again.
Child protection, data protection and moderation
These keycodes ensure that only school pupils will have access to the discussion forums and other features contained within 'myFOCUS account'.
Moreover, FOCUS West will strictly moderate these forums to guard against any inappropriate communications.
As regards data protection, FOCUS West will not share pupil registration details with any other individual or organisation. Email addresses will be used infrequently and only to contact the members of Social Groups to notify them of any information or opportunities specifically related to their interests.
We asked young people what they liked about FOCUS Point, and here is what they said:
“Impression is it’s more useful in the early stages of life. If you didn’t know what you wanted to do. Job matcher was helpful at beginning, I put in my subjects and it showed what jobs I could do. When you put in your favourite subject and it comes up with a list of jobs through favourite subjects.”
“I used FOCUS Point and it was good”
“tells you what career you can do after you put the subjects in, I like that”
“FOCUS Point is colourful and attractive”
“FOCUS point is better for kids”
“It is easier to read.”
“I prefer FOCUS Point, I like the quizzes”
“FOCUS Point is more helpful because it shows what to do”
“FOCUS Point has lots of colour”
“FOCUS Point is good because you have skills on there”
“Really easy to use, easy to login, profile populates, really helpful”
“It shows you a bigger spectrum of jobs”
“FOCUS Point has more things to do and lets you register faster.”
“easy to find what you want”
“I like FOCUS point because of the strengths of the profile.”
“I like the job matcher as well”
If you have any questions related to Focus Point, please don't hesitate to contact Caroline Craig by email or phone: 0141 574 5368.