As the competition for university places around the world increases, the importance of considering what a Sixth Form can offer a young person also increases. 21st Century students need to be well rounded global citizens, but this takes support and nurturing. Finding a school that can offer the ethos and values to be able to help your child to grow into a mature, resilient and versatile undergraduate is an essential part of their educational journey.
Academic and Pastoral Support
As a parent, you expect your child to be guided through the curriculum, for new concepts to be taught and for their work to be marked. However in a Sixth Form setting, students need more than these basic levels of support. A Sixth Form of quality will be offering much more. For example: small tutor groups; individual support plans; quality study support; and up to date facilities that allow for quiet study and the option to collaborate and share ideas.
Strong Relationships Between Home and School
During a student’s Sixth Form journey, they are faced with some overwhelming and life dictating decisions. These cannot be taken lightly, or individually. Finding the correct pathway requires a lot of open dialogue and your chosen sixth form should be offering this through the services and expertise within their sixth form team. Parents need to be able to ask questions and share their thoughts whilst feeling well informed. This experience can be enhanced when the staff working with your child have built up a trusting relationship. It is essential that students are guided by staff that know them well and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses, as well as your aspirations as a family.
A quality Sixth Form education offers more than an academic experience. Young people need to be exposed to opportunities to develop their soft skills and build their confidence in a safe environment before leaving these comforts and making strides in the world alone. These opportunities can come in many shapes and sizes, the titles bestowed on them are of little relevance, what is important is that your child has the opportunity to develop and grow as a person. For some, this might mean leading a sports team, planning and delivering a motivational speech to younger students, leading an after school activity or even organising a bake sale to raise charity funds. These invaluable experiences all build character.
The fortuity of those who have been educated within the international sector cannot be ignored. A Sixth Form seeking to offer excellence will also be seeking to ensure that students are aware of the privileged position which they are in. An understanding and appreciation of this advantage empowers students to make a difference in society and acknowledge the positive impact they can make on the world. Your child’s Sixth Form experience should support them to see opportunities to give back to wider society and take their position as a global citizen seriously.