After our first full week in school, our post-16 students are settling in well and have made a fabulous start in both year 12 and year 13. This term sees many changes in the sixth form not least of which includes an increased cohort of 165 year 12 students.
On Thursday, our post-16 student leaders delivered a fabulous assembly which officially welcomed our new year 12 students, and introduced them to the work of the various student leadership groups within school. They also highlighted the numerous different ways to get involved. To top this off, the student leaders then spoke from the heart about their experiences in year 12 and gave some sage advice to our new students and parents. With very little time to prepare, they did a fabulous job and brought a tear or two to both mine and Mrs Marklew’s eyes!
It was wonderful to see so many parents and students at the welcome evening and we hope that you left feeling informed about what we are hoping to achieve here in the sixth form, and positive about the journey ahead. We have already had some lovely feedback from parents and we felt it was a great event. Just in case you missed it, the presentation from the welcome evening can be found here.
You may have heard about our new V-Cops programme, which is causing quite a stir across the school at the moment. This is an amazing opportunity for all our post-16 students to get involved with the wider Beckfoot community, and to build their skills, experience and confidence ahead of applications for their next steps, be that university, apprenticeships employment or something entirely different. All students in sixth form will be working towards a nationally recognised volunteering award called a V50 or a V100 (depending on how many hours they put in). There are at least 46 activities in school which have been matched to particular career pathways that the students have identified with the help of their tutors. This really is a brilliant way for students to ensure they have that bit of something extra to help them stand out from the crowd, as well as strengthening the Beckfoot community as a whole. Please do talk to your son or daughter about this, as the experience they gain from helping out will be invaluable to them in whatever they choose to do next. You can view the directory of opportunities here, but it is worth noting that any voluntary activity, in school or out, will count towards the award. A great first step into this could come from helping at open evening on Wednesday – many of our sixth formers have already signed up for this, but there are still lots of opportunities to get involved!
We have tasked each tutor group with creating a current affairs quiz to do on a Wednesday. As well as encouraging a spot of healthy competition among the students, the idea behind this is that it will lead to our students taking more of an active interest in what is going on in the world around them. Again, this is vital for students to reach the highest grades in their A-levels and to secure their places on top university courses etc. Please do encourage your son or daughter to watch the news, to read widely and to discuss the stories that are broadcast as they unfold. This will really stretch and challenge them, and will help them to develop their critical thinking skills which are so important for success at A-level. We find that our young people often have really insightful views on these topics, but can sometimes lack the confidence to share their ideas or talk about them in public. This is something we really want to help them to overcome and we are so grateful for your continued support with this.
You will no doubt also have noticed a change to the structure of the school day for some students. We are now running a number of P6 sesssions to allow a little bit more flexibility on the timetable. (You can see the programme of events here) Many of our post-16 students will have subject lessons from 3-4pm and all year 12’s will have a session in the hall at this time on a Monday. This period 6 programme has been designed to incorporate 5 strands of learning which compliments the A-level courses your son or daughter is undertaking. Period 6 lessons are compulsory in the same way as any other lesson and full attendance is expected. Please could we ask for your support in ensuring your son or daughter attends these sessions, and in not making appointments etc in this time. If you would like a copy of your son or daughter’s timetable, please do contact the sixth form team, and we will arrange that for you.
Finally, we would like to say a huge thank you to all our students for making such a great start in terms of school expectations. It has been wonderful to see so many students working hard in their non-contact time and using the common room, the library and the breakout areas to do their independent study. It is also pleasing to see how organised many of our student are, and how well they are making use of their planners to ensure nothing is missed. Please do have a look at their planners and see how well they are using them to stay on top of their workloads. Additionally, we have been very pleased that so many students have had 100% attendance and have observed our rules about dress code, wearing lanyards and conduct around the school. They are taking their position as role models to younger students very seriously and we are extremely proud of them all. If you have any questions about our expectations, please have a look at the welcome evening presentation or feel free to get in touch via the email addresses below.