At a busy time for Year 11 students during mock exams, they are looking to the next step: what to do after GCSE. With this in mind, many attended the recent Sixth Form Open Evening to consider remaining at Heart of England school for A Levels.
The evening started with a welcome and presentation in the main hall. There were plenty of visitors and it was standing room only at the back of the hall as the proceedings began with our Principal Miss Jacqueline Hughes-Williams opening the evening and welcoming all.
“Tonight is about informing your choice with regards to the next step you take,” said Miss Hughes-Williams as she went on to explain that our school has a history of success when it comes to preparation for the “world beyond our walls.” This notable feature of our school was commented on by Ofsted in their recent inspection: “the head of Sixth Form prepares students well for their futures beyond the school.”
“This links clearly with our overall vision for the school – that of Creating Futures,” the Principal said.
The Voice of the Students
Our Head Boy Joe and Head Girl Annabel spoke next, outlining some of their considerations when choosing Sixth Form. “The first step is to decide if the demands of A Levels are right for you,” said Joe. They went on to talk about the quality of the teaching and support at Heart of England: “We have a supportive culture and outstanding teachers. These elements create an exceptional learning environment.”
Head of Post 16
The final presenter was Mrs Grace Theay, Head of Post 16. She said that the word choice will have been heard several times this evening and that the definition of choice is “an act of choosing between two or more possibilities,” and that Year 11 students now are deciding if A Levels are for them, what to study and where to study them.
“I’ve seen students come and go, and I’m proud to have taught top lawyers, engineers, educational psychologists, accountants, nurses and doctors and all sort of professions,” said Mrs Theay. “There is something about our Sixth Form which creates such potential and success in life beyond the school gates – pick the right place for you but you should certainly consider us to help you achieve your goals.”
Mrs Theay then outlined five considerations to help with making the choice:
- think about the future – do you need specific qualifications for a career, say a doctor or vet or do you want to keep your options open?
- take risks – explore everything, including subjects new to you and choose what you will enjoy
- Research: what does each course study and make sure you meet the entry criteria for the subjects you want to study
- ask questions: speak to staff and students who are already on the courses you are interested in
- Trust your child!: The final tip was directed at parents/carers. Your child has reached a point where they need to make their own decisions.
“I always image it much be the same feeling as when your child passes their driving test and drives off for the first time. They are in control of the car, they are in charge of their destination!”
With that, the students and visitors were invited to the Sixth Form block to experience it for themselves and talk to the teachers and to current Sixth Form students.