The Wider Study Programme
We strongly believe that learning and development in Sixth Form should extend beyond the academic, and encompass the health, wellbeing and emotional development of our students, as well as offering opportunities for them to explore all that the future has to offer. We support this development through our wider study programme as detailed below.
All students complete a fully established Horizons programme throughout the course of the academic year which incorporates sessions on:
- Employability and CV Writing
- Personal Statements and the UCAS process
- Employer/University Interview skills
- Independent study skills, motivation and exam revision
- PREVENT – Radicalisation
- Gun and knife crime
- Car driving safety
- Racial prejudice
- Mental health and well-being
- Sexual health
This is delivered through weekly sessions or half termly enrichment days subject to timetabling. All sessions are reviewed and amended for future years accordingly. These sessions are largely delivered by experienced external speakers.
All students complete 30 hours of work experience during their time in sixth form which is directly relevant to their prospective next steps. Students are supported in finding meaningful work placements which will allow them to experience the world of work, whilst giving them a flavour for a potential career. This also gives students the opportunity to develop their independence, confidence and initiative.
During the 2021/22 academic year these elements will sit within the weekly character culture session timetabled for all students on a Monday afternoon. These sessions have been planned in conjunction with students to ensure all sessions are relevant, meaningful and current.
Students in sixth form have the opportunity to apply to join the head student team or the house captain team. The head student team applies only to Year 13 students and sits above the house system. To apply for these roles, student must submit a formal application and then go through a rigorous interview process from the Principal, Head of Sixth Form and the existing Head Boy and Head Girl. The role of Head Boy and Head Girl is a prestigious role within the school and one in which is hotly contended each year. The role of the head student team is to oversee both sixth form and whole school events and initiatives, whilst representing the school at all public events.
House captains and Vice Captains work alongside the Head of House to organise community school events and drive up community spirit. These students are involved in multiple elements, including the school counsel, running termly charity events and competitions and supporting in the delivery of weekly newsletters and termly assemblies.
All students in Year 12 complete a compulsory hour of physical education. This then becomes optional for Year 13 students. Students have the opportunity to opt in to their chosen sport/physical activity and this is tailored to the students each year. Activities include; football, badminton, circuits and gym sessions.
Students are encouraged to sign up to the peer mentoring programme within school. Students complete three training sessions delivered by the safeguarding lead, the school counsellor and the pastoral lead for the school. Following these sessions, students are paired with a student from KS3 or KS4 who they meet weekly to mentor through the academic year.
Students are encouraged to become ambassadors for the school in a range of school events, including open evenings, sporting fixtures, charity events and guiding visitors in school tours. There are opportunities throughout the academic year for all students to get involved.
Debate club, initially created and developed by Year 13 students, runs weekly during tutor time. Students take it in turns to decide upon the topic of debate and act as an impartial judge. This club continues to develop and we will look to extend this to additional year groups in the near future.
We have a fully embedded careers provision within sixth form which includes the use of the Horizons programme, tutor time sessions, the UniFrog platform, external speakers and external careers advisors. All students have a minimum of one external careers appointment during their time in sixth form.
All students have access to the UniFrog platform. This is used regularly in tutor time and Horizons sessions and students are set directed tasks to complete during study periods. Since being introduced in the 2019/20 academic year, this has now become fully embedded and is fully utilised not only during the UCAS process but for access to the following:
- Quality career guidance
- Personal statement/ CV support
- MOOCs – Online courses
- Research into different job sectors
- Work experience placements and apprenticeship opportunities
- Scholarship and summer school opportunities.
Students considering applications to Oxbridge universities or intending on studying Medicine or Veterinary Medicine have additional support from our personalised Oxbridge programme which benefits from:
- A dedicated in school Oxbridge co-ordinator
- External support in preparation with personal statements, admission tests and interviews
- Mock interview preparation sessions
- Weekly admission tests tutoring
As a school we have enrolled in the Elephant Group programme, initially working with our Year 12 students, moving forward this support will continue as they enter Year 13. The Elephant Group supports students in their ambition of ‘The top third for the top third’, ensuring all state funded pupils in the top third based on prior academic ability have access to the top third universities. Support from the Elephant group include:
- External speakers and sessions.
- Support with work experience placements.
- Application and personal statement writing sessions.
- Mock interviews and admission test support.
All year 12 students considering university, are encouraged to apply for university summer schools to gain firsthand experience in the life of a university student. We also have access to additional Elephant group summer school places. Summer schools not only provide invaluable experience of university level study but also support students in the university applications and provide a great basis for student’s personal statements.