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A*s Are Important, But What Else Should You Expect from a Modern Sixth Form Education?

A*s Are Important, But What Else Should You Expect from a Modern Sixth Form Education?
Sixth form is a pivotal time in any young person's life. It's a time of intense academic focus, crucial decisions about the future, and, let's be honest, a fair amount of stress. But amidst the pressure to excel in A-Levels and university applications, it's important to remember that a well-rounded sixth form education should offer [...]

Sixth form is a pivotal time in any young person’s life. It’s a time of intense academic focus, crucial decisions about the future, and, let’s be honest, a fair amount of stress. But amidst the pressure to excel in A-Levels and university applications, it’s important to remember that a well-rounded sixth form education should offer so much more than just top grades.

Achieving excellent grades is important. They open doors to top universities and competitive career paths. But in today’s rapidly evolving world, simply being a bookworm with a string of A*s isn’t enough. Employers and universities are increasingly seeking graduates with a broader range of skills and experiences. They want critical thinkers, problem solvers, and individuals who can thrive in a collaborative, dynamic environment.

So, what should you expect from a modern sixth form education that goes beyond the A*s? Here are five key qualities to look for:

1. A Curriculum that Ignites Curiosity and Passion

Gone are the days of rigid, one-size-fits-all curriculums. Modern sixth forms offer a diverse range of subjects that cater to individual interests and aptitudes. This could include vocational courses, creative subjects like music and art, and even cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence and robotics. The focus should be on fostering a love for learning, encouraging students to delve deeper into their passions, and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen fields.

2. Opportunities for Real-World Application and Experiential Learning

Rote memorisation and textbook learning have their place, but they shouldn’t be the sole focus of a sixth form education. A modern approach emphasises real-world application and experiential learning. This could involve internships, work placements, volunteering opportunities, or even student-led projects that tackle real-world challenges. By getting hands-on experience and applying their knowledge in practical settings, students develop essential skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork, making them more prepared for the demands of higher education and the workforce.

3. Nurturing Essential Life Skills Beyond Academics

Academic excellence is crucial, but it’s not the only measure of success. A modern sixth form education recognizes the importance of nurturing essential life skills that go beyond the classroom. This could include communication skills, time management, resilience, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. These skills are vital for navigating the complexities of adult life, regardless of chosen career path.

4. A Supportive and Inclusive Environment that Fosters Individual Growth

Sixth form should be a time of personal growth and development, not just academic pressure. A modern sixth form fosters a supportive and inclusive environment where students feel valued and empowered to reach their full potential. This means providing access to resources like academic support, career guidance, and mental health services. It also means creating a diverse and welcoming community where everyone feels respected and heard, regardless of their background or beliefs.

5. A Focus on Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility

In today’s interconnected world, it’s more important than ever to raise individuals who are aware of global challenges and committed to making a positive difference. A modern sixth form education should equip students with the knowledge and skills to be responsible global citizens. This could involve incorporating social responsibility projects into the curriculum, encouraging participation in community initiatives, and fostering intercultural understanding and empathy.

Choosing the right sixth form is a big decision, and it’s important to find one that aligns with your values and aspirations. By looking for these five key qualities, you can ensure that you’re not just getting an education that prepares you for exams, but one that prepares you for life.

Remember, A*s are important, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. A truly modern sixth form education will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and experiences you need to thrive in the 21st century, regardless of your chosen path. So, go forth, explore your options, and find the sixth form that will help you not just achieve academic excellence, but also become the best version of yourself.

Additional Tips for Finding the Right Sixth Form:

  • Talk to current students and alumni. They can give you firsthand insights into the school’s culture, academic programs, and extracurricular activities.
  • Attend open days and events. This is a great opportunity to meet with teachers, staff, and students, and get a feel for the school’s atmosphere.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about a sixth form, the better equipped you will be to make a decision.
Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

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Mark joins Mensa!

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Students Mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Our son is engaged and cheerful, getting on with the tasks which are diverse, interesting and meaningful for him.  It’s a big enough workload to keep him busy but not to overwhelm.
Thank you so much for all you are doing.
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