The Sixth Form Principal of Harrogate School emphasized the importance of attending open events prior to applying.
Attending open events gives students the opportunity to make informed decisions, said Ben Tewchin, of the Sixth Form at Harrogate Grammar School.
This is the first time that students have the freedom to choose what they study, and this decision will help determine their future. In order to do this in the most informed manner, it is really important that they engage in open events.
This is the best way for students to develop an understanding of the Sixth Form culture, and to discover important information about the courses and facilities on offer, in order to support them in making the right decision about their next steps.
Whether you are a parent or a student applying to the Sixth Form, there are several ways you can make the most of open events.
Here are some top tips on what to ask for and what to look for.
1. Do your research
Before attending open events, do your research and make a list of any questions you have, as well as a list of the priorities you look for in the sixth form. This will be helpful if you talk to the staff about your training course.
While it is important to be open-minded, being prepared will help you ensure that you get the most out of your open event.
2. Don’t be afraid to move
This year’s sixth course at Harrogate Grammar School welcomed over 120 students who had previously attended different schools.
Mr. Tuichen said:
It is really common for students to join us in the Sixth Form, and they add to the liveliness and diversity of the school. The Sixth Form provides a fresh start for all of our students, and students quickly feel settling into our community.
Transportation doesn’t have to be a hindrance either – the sixth form at Harrogate Grammar School is well served by public bus services, and also offers dedicated bus services to help students travel to and from the school from the surrounding area.
3. Check the results
When considering post-16 options, look for consistently excellent results rather than just one year. Harrogate Grammar School has been a record-breaker in the exam with an average of 60% of A Level grades being A*-B for eight consecutive years.
4. Look at the topics presented
As mentioned, Sixth Form is the first time students have a real choice in what they study, so it is important to look at the range on offer.
Professor Twechin has the following three tips for future students:
Select a topic that you really enjoy.
Select a subject that you are also good at because you can then make significant progress and develop into the higher academic level expected at A-level.
Third, be sure to select a topic that will allow you to progress beyond the sixth form to the next stage in your life.
5. Look beyond the topics
It is also important to consider the other opportunities that Form VI offers to help students develop and prepare for the next stage of their lives.
Are there active student-led communities, leadership opportunities, and a wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer?
No matter where your passion is, whether it’s sports, art, drama, music or the academic side of school life, there’s always something extra to get you involved at Harrogate Grammar School.
6. Think about progress
What happens after the sixth form is critical, so check for a clear path to university, further education or vocational training. Find out if a successful alumni visit inspires current students and if there is an active work experience program.
Mr. Tewchin said:
The main thing to look for is also whether the Model VI has a Quality Award in the Job Standards that recognizes excellence in professional education, information, and counselling. The sixth form at Harrogate Grammar School has been awarded this careers award and encourages excellence for all of its students in 40 subjects, taught in first-class facilities.
7. Look for strong pastoral and academic support
The step from GCSEs to A Levels can be difficult at times. It is important to know how to support students in developing strong independent study skills that are essential to success in the Sixth Form.
A strong pastoral team and a demonstrated commitment to student well-being are key elements to consider when choosing a study destination, especially for students who have had a disruptive school experience over the past two years.
Student leader, Olly Black, commented:
At Harrogate Grammar School the staff really help create a nurturing environment not only academically, but they also have genuine care for the pastoral wellbeing of students and provide great guidance.
Harrogate Grammar School holds the Carnegie School of Mental Health Award, and Sixth Form has an experienced and dedicated team of staff who are there to support students throughout their Sixth Form journey.
The Afternoon Open on Saturday, January 29th will give prospective students and parents/carers the opportunity to experience a tour of the Sixth Form and First Class facilities as well as meet members of the Sixth Form team who will be on hand to answer any queries. You can also watch a welcome video from Mr. Twitchin and Headteacher Mr. Renton on the school’s website. To attend the open afternoon, reservations must be made in advance via: www.harrogategrammar.co.uk
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