Now we have reached the end of a very busy term, I felt it important to write to you to summarise the progress made by students this term, as I know too well how little information students often bring home now they are in sixth form.
The first term in year 12 is always a challenge. Students have been faced with an ever-increasing workload and they have already sat two rounds of assessments in all of their subjects. These have proved good indicators of their progress and provide a good starting point for conversations regarding how hard students are currently working. Securing good grades at A’ level requires hard work and dedication, and many students are clearly demonstrating that they are working incredibly hard and their progress grades are testament to this. Their most recent progress reports were sent home this week, this time including their target grades, so I hope you have had chance to discuss these together. I must stress that students should be working a 40-hour week as this will vastly improve their chances of securing excellent grades, and we strongly recommend they remain on school site until at least 3.10pm each day to ensure they can keep on top of their studies. Young people can often have a tendency to compare themselves to their friends, in particular when it comes to work ethic, and on this, I would advise students not to. Please ask your son / daughter honestly how hard they are working, because we strongly suspect that some of our students are not working anywhere near as hard as we expect at present.
We have delivered a number of study skills sessions this half term, focusing on time management, organisation, motivation, effective revision strategies and research into how the brain works. You can find the presentations HERE and I recommend you access these so you can best support your son/daughter at home. We are aware that some students may find the independent nature of A’ level study a little difficult and they may simply focus on doing their homework and think that is enough. To provide students with guidance on what they should do on top of their homework, subject staff have compiled the following guidance, which has been issued to students and will be revisited in the New Year. You can find this on our website HERE.
Students are hopefully beginning to think about what they may wish to do when they leave sixth form, so to support students in making decisions about their futures we are holding an Apprenticeship Evening on Thursday 31 January 6-7:30pm. I would recommend that all students come along to this event and it would be equally beneficial if you could attend too. The event will explain the vastly changing apprenticeship landscape, which is becoming ever more competitive and will allow you time to talk to individual apprenticeship providers.
Year 12 is already moving quickly so I must stress how important it is for students to attend all lessons and supervised study periods. For clarity, students are expected to attend from 8:25am until 1:15pm daily, only being allowed to sign out at lunchtime if they do not have a timetabled lesson/supervised study period during period 5. Those students who choose to miss lessons or form time will be placed in the sixth form office hours after school, meaning they will be expected to make up for lost time.
To further support students during their study time we are introducing a no phone rule in all of our supervised study periods from January. Students will no longer be able to listen to music during these sessions either, as we feel recreating the exam conditions now will support their ability to recall information in their external exams. Students are of course still able to use their phones during social times.
Students are also reminded that they must attend school each day in full business dress, which includes wearing their jacket and appropriate footwear (no trainers). Whilst we do not want to send students home for dressing incorrectly, we seek to maintain our high standards and will do so. I ask that girls wearing skirts to school check that these are an appropriate length, as some of these are becoming too short and may need replacing; girls can of course wear trousers instead.
I look forward to working with you and your son/daughter during his/her time in the sixth form. Please do not hesitate to contact either myself or any member of the sixth form team if you have concerns of any kind.
H JENNINGS (Mrs), Assistant Headteacher, Head of Sixth Form
Important dates for your diary
Monday 28th January – Friday 1st February – Year 12 Assessment Week
Thursday 28th February – Year 12 Parents’ Evening
Monday 17th June – Friday 21st June Year 12 Mock Exams
Monday 24th June – Friday 28th June – Year 12 Work Experience
Thursday 4th July – Year 12 Mock Results Afternoon