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 13 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. We hope you found the parents’ evening and the two sets of progress reports useful; these should 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 last week, 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 3.30pm 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. For those students following BTEC courses, many will have their first external examination in January so please support them in preparing for this.
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.
This year we have seen the vast majority of our students making an application to university and our UCAS process is almost complete. Although the official deadline is not until 15 January 2019, we are always keen to send off applications early to ensure students the best chance of securing competitive offers. I would like to thank you for your support during this process. I am sure many of you are now fluent in the art of writing personal statements and I am sure you share our relief once the applications were sent.
For those students who have decided not to apply for a place at university we are holding an Apprenticeship Evening on Thursday 31 January 6-7:30pm. I would strongly recommend that any student who has not applied to UCAS, or those who wish to keep their options open, 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.
Upon our return in January, students will be working hard to prepare for their mock exams. There are in fact only 32 teaching days until they sit these examinations. Teachers will prepare students for these examinations by ensuring that all subject content is complete before this time, so these mocks will give students the very best possible impression of what their examinations in the summer will be like. It is therefore crucial that students begin to revise now if they have not already. Time is going very quickly and their external examinations are almost in sight, 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 the remainder of his / her time in the sixth
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 25th Feb – Friday 1st March – Year 13 Mock Exams
Wednesday 20th March – Year 13 Mock Results Afternoon
Monday 25th March – Year 13 Re Mock Week
Friday 24th May – Year 13 Leavers’ Day
Thursday 4th July – Year 13 Prom