Information, Advice and Guidance
We are extremely proud of our students’ outstanding academic achievements and work hard to support them. Sixth Form is a critical period of transition between school and higher education or work. When becoming a Sixth Form student there are a number of challenges: managing the academic adjustment from GCSE to A Level, taking more responsibility for independent learning and applying for university courses, school leavers’ programmes, higher apprenticeships or jobs. These issues may also coincide with social pressures, personal problems and emotional stress. We have a very well-established structure of academic teaching, individual pastoral care, higher education and careers guidance. We pride ourselves on this support, and ensure our students develop as young adults and leave the Sixth Form mature, confident, well-rounded and independent individuals.
For students joining the Sixth Form the induction programme and pastoral system is designed to ease the settling in period, and support is available from the Sixth Form team throughout the transition process and into the academic year. All new students are invited to join us for our Induction Days prior to commencing Year 12. Time is spent on taster lessons, team building activities and meeting Form Tutors and fellow tutor group members. Students settle quickly into the learning, the new environment and high expectations that form part of being a Sixth Form student at Herts & Essex.
Sixth Form Tutors monitor academic progress and general welfare. Students are allocated a highly experienced tutor for the two years and are part of a close-knit tutor group.
Tutorial sessions are held three times a week, when Form Tutors carry out pastoral work on an individual basis, or run a whole tutor group session. It is the Form Tutor’s role to have an academic and personal overview of each individual within their tutor group and to be the first point of contact between the student, or parent, and the subject teachers. In addition, Sixth Form students and their families can call on the Director of Student Progress: Year 12, the Learning Manager: Sixth Form or the Director of Sixth Form for help and support, both in academic and in personal matters. The school counsellor also offers confidential support and outside bodies can be called on to help if necessary. Sixth Formers with special learning needs work closely with their Form Tutors and the school’s Learning Support Department.
At this stage of education we recognise that communication with parents continues to be vital. We achieve this through regular Parents’ Evenings alongside tracking and reporting of progress throughout the year. More direct contact happens where necessary. We host information evenings for parents about Sixth Form life, explaining the university process, the transition from AS Level to A Level and how the school supports the students in these areas.
Our Sixth Form team works hard to ensure that each student has an excellent personal reference whatever their future ambitions. Students are given detailed advice and assistance throughout the UCAS process. Specialist advice is on hand for Oxbridge applicants and other highly competitive fields such as medicine, veterinary and dentistry.
We value our Sixth Formers as individuals and as leaders of our school community. Sixth Form students are encouraged to take up posts of responsibility and Senior Prefect roles, as well as to participate in the pastoral welfare of students in the main school as peer mentors or paired readers. Whilst the priority should always be either AS or A2 study, universities and employers are looking for balanced, well-rounded individuals who have not only achieved academic excellence, but have also contributed to, and benefited from, other activities. Some of these activities can be challenging, but ultimately we aim to make them enjoyable and personally rewarding.
Sixth Form Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education (PSHEE)
This programme aims to:
- provide a moral and ethical framework within which a student can develop and express their beliefs, views and values
- listen to and respect alternative points of view, thereby increasing students’ understanding of those around them.
- provide additional opportunities, beyond the formal curriculum, that encourage students to become independent, self-supporting, and active members of the wider community
In the Sixth Form PSHEE is delivered in the following ways:
- Form Times: discussions on all aspects of Sixth Form pastoral care
- Outside speakers: eg National Blood Bank, Millennium Volunteers, Community Police Liaison Officer, health charities, YC Hertfordshire, Herts Young Homeless, careers
- In-house speakers: student-led assemblies
- Former students: talks on careers, gap years, charities etc.
- Off curriculum PSHEE events: study skills, driving safety.
- Off-site events: eg Higher Education Convention in Year 12
- Active citizenship: every student contributes to the wider school community by becoming a Senior Prefect, undertaking paired reading or peer mentoring, undertaking work experience at local feeder schools, becoming involved with charitable organisations, hospitals or care homes for the elderly
- Enrichment: Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Young Enterprise, Debating, Interact, Model United Nations (MUN)
- Social events: theatre trips, ice-skating, Sixth Form barbecues, Leavers` Ball, residential trips eg India, Cambodia, Uganda, USA.