Head of Sixth Form’s Blog – December 2017

Term 3 has certainly started with pace and purpose! New year’s resolutions and strong starts have been the messages in the opening assemblies of the term. With the eagerly anticipated year 13 mock examinations just around the corner, commencing 19th February, a positive and purposeful start to 2018 is exactly what is needed. The mocks will provide us with a great opportunity to analyse how our year 13 students are progressing towards their summer target grade. We will use this information to structure appropriate intervention to help support students in achieving their potential.

With Christmas and New Year’s Day behind us, we soon found ourselves celebrating UCAS Day! The 15th January (UCAS Day) saw the culmination of months of work preparing students who wished to apply for university places. The vast majority of our students achieve qualifications relevant to their career aims and move on to sustained education, employment, training or apprenticeship and this year we have seen an increase in applications made. A total of 131 applications have been written, checked and uploaded by the deadline. Students will be keeping an eye on their ‘Track’ to see what offers are coming in and start setting their mind to their next destination. Now the application process has finished our ‘Education for Life’ (E4L) programme shifts its focus to preparing students for life beyond Bournside; ranging from lectures on where students may choose to live and how to shop, to awareness about radicalization and mental health support.

Our recruitment drive for 2018-19 certainly reaches a crescendo at the Sixth Form Open Evening on January 18th. I look forward to presenting to parents and students about sixth form life. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the staff and students who will be in school for those extra hours to support this important event; feedback tells us every year that it is the sixth formers themselves that sell our school and this year will be no exception. On the evening we will certainly come alive, showcasing what is great about sixth form life at Bournside. We estimate that around 500 visitors will come through the school doors and applications will be live on the 18th January, with a deadline of the 9th February.

I certainly look forward to leading our second ‘Sixth Form Health Check’ in term 3 and visiting numerous lessons to see the experience our students are getting, and pitching their progress and commitment against important accountability measures. I also look forward to seeing many of our sixth form students supporting and performing in this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. We are proud of all students who willingly give up their time to support the school production, on and off the stage.

As always, the sixth form certainly continues to move with purpose and pace. The ethos, drive and to some degree increasing demand and stress levels can be felt since the return. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the year continues to progress, especially now we are reaching the ‘sharp end’ with exam season fast approaching.

Mike Stratford (Assistant Headteacher).