Sixth Form Personal and Social Development
Our aim at the Academy is to help all of our Sixth Formers to become happy, successful and well-educated young adults. We want them to achieve the best higher education destinations and career opportunities that they are capable of.
By the time our students leave Sixth Form at the end of Year 13 we want all students to have accomplished the following:
- Achieved examinations results which match or exceed their academic potential on joining the Sixth Form
- Developed a love of learning for its own sake which will last beyond school
- Developed sophisticated study skills which enable them to be highly effective lifelong learners
- Undergone a range of challenges which have enabled them to be resilient and to think creatively under pressure
- Had a successful experience of leading others
- Developed social skills which enable them to be polite and comfortable around new people and to interact successfully with people from a range of backgrounds
- Developed a strong sense of social responsibility
- Developed a sound understanding of the main issues affecting society on local, national and international levels
- Acquired cultural capital through encountering literature, art, music, history and experiencing the natural environment.
It is vitally important to us that our students have more to offer than just their A levels when leaving Sixth Form after two years of study. Our personal and social development programme ensures that all students develop new skills which promote their personal development and provide an opportunity for them to engage in extra-curricular and super-curricular activities.
This begins as soon as students start with us in the Sixth Form when they are timetabled into weekly enrichment activities. The current choice includes football; basketball; table tennis; badminton; cooking classes; creativity and careers; mental health first aid; cooking classes; and our super-curricular Sutton Trust 13 enrichment.
Alongside weekly enrichment, we run a detailed programme of personal and social development throughout Year 12, which includes the following:
- At least one whole year careers visit to UK University and Apprenticeship Fair and/or UCAS exhibitions.
- A range of careers-based talks to support students with their post-18 pathways. Talks so far this year have included a Women in Leadership event and a Deutsche Bank apprenticeship event.
- A focused careers experience day for all Year 12 students in July.
- A bespoke careers programme for all Year 12 students including one-to-one and group careers meetings with our in-house careers advisor.
- A trip to a place of worship.
- A financial literacy workshop for all students in Year 12 to prepare them for financial independence.
- JP Morgan employability masterclass.
- NHM Build a Museum.
- The Brilliant Club.
We recognise the importance of nurturing all student aspirations and have adapted our careers pathway to ensure a more varied approach to post-18 pathways and a move away from a sole focus on university, with a wider focus on university pathways, school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships. Student aspirations are tracked throughout Year 12 and those who wish to pursue a non-university pathway are offered tailored support to aid their application process for their chosen route.
Alongside the careers support we are fortunate to partner with HMRC to offer work experience to students in Year 12. In September, 10 Year 12 students spent a week at HMRC office in Stratford and another 5 students will be spending a week with the legal team in January 2024. In February, 60 students will also have the opportunity to gain valuable interview experience as part of the national interview week programme.
For those interested in pursuing a university pathway, we have a tutor and PSHE programme that supports our students in making aspirational yet informed decisions about their university courses/destination. All students have access to Unifrog to support with their decision making.
For those applying for Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry/Veterinary science there is also the additional support of the Harris Federation team and access to Harris Experience Advanced. Alongside this, students are identified and are offered the opportunity to register for the RG+ tutor group which begins in January of Year 12. This tutor group is tailored to those pursuing one of the above pathways and prepares students for the rigors of the application and interview process.
We actively encourage all students to commit to additional widening participation programs and track all engagement of applicants to these programmes. Recent application successes include: K+; Sutton Trust Pathways programmes; Cambridge Shadowing Scheme; LSE Thrive; EY Smart Futures; Ludus (Loughborough University); Target Oxbridge; STEM Smart and Team Up.
We want our Sixth Formers to learn about the world around them and to think about and discuss issues of relevance to themselves and their generation. The Academy has a strong moral code based upon the overarching principle of treating others as you would have them treat you. We want all of our Sixth Formers to actively abide by this principle in their daily lives in and out of school.
It is also important that our Sixth Form students have an understanding and appreciation of British Values. Students means possessing an awareness of how our democratic system works and appreciating its importance. Students are taught to value equality of opportunity, freedom of expression and the responsibility of all to contribute to how our country is governed.