Welcome to Year 12
Being in the sixth form is one of the most productive, exciting and challenging times of a student’s academic career. Suddenly you are wearing a different uniform, have different expectations made of you and have a different kind of pressure . Over the two years that you are in the sixth form, you need to develop the skills, knowledge and personal qualities that will prepare you for the world of work or further study.
The school expects all students in the sixth form to attend all lessons on time, correctly dressed, with the right equipment and ready to study. Attendance must be above 95% at all times.
The dress code in the sixth form demonstrates a more mature attitude and approach to work, life and learning. You are no longer expected to wear the “Loxford Blues” but must turn up to school every day dressed in a suitable manner for business. You may choose your own clothes within the dress code, but they must reflect the serious and work-oriented approach that we expect of you.
But you are not just “year elevens in suits”. The dress code signifies a whole approach that you must adopt in the sixth form.
YOU are responsible for your learning in a way that you may not be used to from your GCSEs. You must make sure that you manage your time well, attending all lessons on time and ready to work. When you do not have a timetabled lesson, it is essential that you decide which of the school’s study areas is the most appropriate to work in. Using your study periods well is essential if you are to gain good grades at this level.
Even in lessons, you will find that the teachers expect you to find out things yourself and to think for yourself, forming your own opinions, much more that they did at GCSE. Successful students at KS5 are INDEPENDENT LEARNERS!
Whatever you have achieved so far, however easy (or not) you have found your studies-things are about to get a lot more challenging.
Study at Level 3 (AS-levels or BTECs) is intended to stretch and develop you far more than anything you have encountered so far.
This is a GOOD thing. We hope you will develop many new skills and character traits during your time in the sixth form.
Some of the key skills we want you to develop are:
Independence – to read widely, to pursue topics deeply and follow your own interests
Students who achieve top grades do NOT do what they did at GCSE and expect to get the same results. Turning up to lessons and doing the set homework alone will not get you a decent grade. You need to read extensively around your subjects. You are expected to complete seven hours of private study per subject per week in addition to your lessons. Students on A Level courses are expected to complete nine hours of private study in addition to your lessons and to manage your time effectively.
Resilience – to enjoy difficulty, to embrace challenge, to learn from feedback even when it hurts!
You need to develop a growth mindset.; a state of mind which sees difficulty as an opportunity to learn and grow and which welcomes feedback, even negative feedback, as a source of useful information which can lead to improvement. This is one of the hardest things to do but is key to successful learning and a fulfilling life!
Assertiveness – to ask questions, to challenge (sensitively) other’s ideas, to ask for what you need to succeed
It is not enough to sit passively in lessons, making notes and never saying anything. You need to contribute and you need to ask questions. At level 3 you are generally in smaller groups and your teachers will expect you to be much more active participants. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers to go over difficult concepts, to clarify points or to give you time to practise difficult skills. Adult learners do this far more readily than teenagers and it helps them to make progress. Be assertive – as politely and maturely as possible!
Responsibility – to realise that YOU are responsible for your own learning and success and manage your time accordingly
You have NO free periods. You have STUDY periods. During study periods you must be in one of the study areas. The study areas are the Library, The Silent study room, or the Quiet Study Room or the canteen. If you are anywhere else you are in the wrong place and will be challenged. You should think about which room you should use depending on the kind of work you want to do: there are no computers in the canteen, so only work from books and work in groups can happen there, computer work is best done in the Library or Silent Study Room, but these are silent rooms so only independent work can happen there. All privileges – to manage your own study time, to leave the building to study etc. are dependent on you demonstrating the maturity to act responsibly. Those students who show they are not yet responsible enough to deal with this will have their study time supervised.
To be truly successful at this level, you should have a clear view of where you want to be in two years’ time. You should be clear about the grades that you are likely to get. You should also start to explore universities: where would you like to go? What are the entry requirements? What courses are on offer? Are there any open days, summer schools or taster lessons that are on offer from the university of my choice.
Volunteering and Extra Curricular Activities:
In addition to your studies, the sixth form offers you the opportunity to develop skills and experiences that will equip you for further study or the world of work. Over the first few weeks, we will be looking for all students to get involved in the life of the school. This may be taking part in a sporting or cultural event, representing your class on school councils or at year meetings, volunteering to help younger students read or taking responsibility for managing an area of the year group (such as media manager, newsletter editor). We also encourage students in year 12 to take advantage of as many extra curricular activities in and out of school, such as sports, arts, drama, music. These opportunities are essential to help you succeed in university, college and job applications.
There are many opportunities for students to participate in university taster days, summer schools, evening lectures and mentoring schemes. These should usually happen in your own time: requests to attend activities during school time will only be granted if there is a clear link to your chosen career path, if the activity cannot be undertaken out of school time and if your attendance is above 90%.
AS Citizenship and Extended Project Qualifications
The majority of students on A Level and BTEC courses will be expected to study a course in Citizenship, following the AQA AS Level syllabus. These lessons are compulsory and form part of your contract of attendance with the school. Some students may also be offered the opportunity to complete and Extended Project Qualification, an independent research project which is equivalent in UCAS points to a half A level. Student who are interested in doing so must prove their suitability for this kind of work during year 12 and will be expected to complete much of the work during the summer holidays between year 12 and 13.
I hope that every student starting year twelve has a productive and enjoyable year.
I look forward to working with each of you.
Mr D Monk
Achievement Team Leader