Sixth Form is a critical period of transition between school and university. Students face a number of challenges at this time: managing the academic adjustment from (I)GCSE to A Level, taking more responsibility for themselves academically and, of course, applying for university courses. These issues may coincide with social pressures, personal problems and the emotional stresses sometimes associated with high achieving students. We take pastoral care very seriously to ensure that students can make the most of their abilities.
Our Higher Education team, based in the Sixth Form Centre, provides a first-class service. We give students informed and detailed advice and assistance throughout the UCAS process. We have specialist advice for Oxbridge Applications and other highly competitive fields such as Medicine. We also make the most of our proximity to Cambridge University by welcoming visiting speakers on a regular basis. Our team ensures that each student has an excellent application to give them the best chance of securing offers from universities.
We have a tutorial system in the Sixth Form. This means that each student is a member of a form for their two year A level career and their tutor is the person who is responsible for monitoring their well-being and performance. In addition, we have two Sixth Form Heads of Year who take overall responsibility for the pastoral welfare of the Lower and Upper Sixth respectively. They are led by the Head of Sixth Form and supported by the school’s Senior Tutors, both of whom are experienced counsellors.
We also recognise the importance of regular feedback and communication with parents. This is achieved in a number of ways: we have formal Lower Sixth Tutorial and Parents’ Evenings, regular grades and academic reporting, emails, telephone calls and personal meetings where necessary. We also have a programme of Sixth Form Parents’ Forums where parents can meet staff in an informal ‘Question Time’ format and raise issues of concern or ask questions. Our two most recent forums focused on ‘Managing the UCAS Process’ and on ‘Adapting to Sixth Form Life’.
There are a huge range of exciting opportunities available to our Sixth Formers. In addition to the school’s first rate sports facilities and coaching, state of the art music facilities and excellent track record in drama, our students can benefit from several extra-curricular options. We have a timetabled enrichment session where Sixth Formers participate in a non-curricular activity. Typical examples are involvement in the Perse Exploration Society, volunteering in the Community Service Programme, or work in the creative arts.
We are proud of our students’ academic achievements and work hard to support them. Sixth Formers with special learning needs benefit from working closely with their tutors and the school’s Learning Support Department. When required, we also produce student specific action plans to support anyone experiencing academic or organisational issues.
We value our Sixth Formers as individuals and as leaders of our school community. Our pastoral provision aims to ensure that their transition from school to university is a happy and successful one.