Head of Sixth Form’s Blog

We have very much arrived at that ‘final hurdle’ that so many of our sixth form students have been told about! Year 12 are just coming to the end of a rigorous period of exams and our year 13 have officially ‘flown the nest’, only returning to complete their A level examinations. It has been encouraging to see so many students staying late, arriving early and using our study resources in the run up and preparation for their exams.

With the UCAS process complete for year 13, many students have a clear destination in mind and know what they need to achieve in the summer in order to realise their goal. This undoubtedly will give them the extra impetus to be successful. For our year 12, they are very much at the point where they are shaping their decisions for life beyond Bournside, and with a focused week of Destinations fast approaching they will certainly be in a position to make an informed choice about their future.

The sixth form team are underway with the UCAS referencing process again, ready for our year 12 students to make their all-important applications. We actively encourage our students to visit potential providers that they are interested in; this can be as a university visit or work experience placement. Many students are already benefiting from this opportunity and I encourage anyone else considering this to come and speak to us. In the upcoming Education for Life (E4L) time, year 12 will be preparing for mock interviews, the UCAS convention, Destinations Day and their industry challenge day, all of which takes place in the week beginning 25th June. Recently, we had the pleasure of welcoming Alex Chalk MP to speak as part of E4L. He spoke to year 12 & 13 about his role as an MP. After speaking about his day-to-day role, students engaged in an extensive, and highly impressive, question and answer session discussing a range of topics, from tuition fees and law reform, to Syria and social care. The students were extremely engaged, articulate in their questioning and politically aware; they were a real asset to the school and certainly showcased our sixth form in the very best way.

Our recruitment drive for 2018-19 is pretty much completed, with just a trickle of late applicants still arriving at my desk. We currently have the highest number of applications for places in our sixth form places for September 2018 than we have had for a number of years; this is very encouraging and speaks volumes about the strength of the centre. I very much look forward to hosting our prospective students for their induction day on Thursday 12th July.

On Thursday 7th June we welcomed our Year 10 students for their ‘Post 16 Experience Day’. Students spent a meaningful day as a sixth form student and experienced a range of A level taster lessons, careers presentations and workshops provided by local colleges, the armed forces and local employers. The aim of the day was to kick-start the students thought processes for what they may want to pursue when they finish year 11.

Finally, it seems fitting to reflect on our current year 13 students; what a fantastic year group they have been! Commitment, coupled with a positive attitude throughout their two years in sixth form has resulted in a unique and successful year group. The student committee led by April and James, and their highly successful team of Prefects, have been integral to improving student voice, organising numerous charity events and supporting important school events. As a year group they have contributed so much to the school. As their time at Bournside comes to an end it will certainly be a time of celebration and reflection, the culmination of which will happen at the Graduation Ball on 13th July. However, before that wonderful evening the important things like the yearbook, leavers’ hoodies and prom dresses need finalising and ordering… and of course there is that little thing of their final A level examinations to complete first!

I certainly wish all students and staff the very best of luck for the forthcoming exam period.