In Sixth Form, the emphasis moves to independent study and being properly prepared for the post 18 choices that will be made during Year 13. There is also lots of opportunities for volunteering and to gain leadership skills, as well as a mandatory work experience week in Year 12. Leadership can include everything from being on the Head Team to leading on whole year assemblies, running after school clubs to mentoring younger students. Students are encouraged, and supported to ensure their work experience is targeted to their future career path so that it has value. Some students complete longer works experience such as the STEM Crest Award science placements or other internships. All students in Sixth Form are also invited to attend the Apprenticeship and Careers Fair that is held at the Academy in Feb/March as an opportunity for students to meet local employers, talk to current apprentices, colleges, universities and training providers.
In Sixth Form we have a dedicated UCAS Coordinator who supports the students through every stage of their university applications and, for those students not interested in university or who want to keep multiple pathways open, researching and applying to apprenticeships. They also have ‘open door’ policy should they need to see the Careers Advisor, over and above this. This includes attending at least one University Open Day, en-masse, and/or a University Fair. For Oxbridge/top Russell Group potentials, there is a comprehensive mentoring programme which links in to support from Oxford University, the UNIQ programme, the Social Mobility Foundation and various university scholarship and summer programmes. We also are lucky to have the support of other United Learning schools, in particular Surbiton High School, an independent school in Surrey.
Careers boards in the Sixth Form are devoted to Post 18 pathways and there is a careers library of prospectus’ and apprenticeship information. There is a full time Study Supervisor who is on hand to support and motivate students in how to revise and become more independent learners so they can reach those higher grades. Also, all students are given the opportunity to engage in the Extended Project Qualification to extend their research and critical reflection skills.
As part of the enrichment programme, we focus on employability skills of communication, team work and leadership: all students become involved with the community garden project at the local church; those on the Youth Work course support, and lead groups, at Key Stage 3 summer camps; students can partake in the Assessment Centre Simulation Day; and we run various masterclasses in CV writing and interviewing skills.