The 5 aspects that distinguish Virtus from other British Schools

In today’s educational landscape, certain aspects make British schools stand out for their commitment to academic excellence and the personal development of their students. Here are five key aspects that make Virtus, The British Sixth Form College, unique compared to its competitors.

Quality of Teaching

Having qualified teachers, holders of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), is a recognized standard and an indispensable requirement in British education.

This qualification not only ensures that teachers have received rigorous pedagogical training but also are prepared to face the challenges of teaching in the classroom.

However, Virtus goes beyond mere academic qualification. The real challenge, and where Virtus truly distinguishes itself, lies in attracting and retaining those teachers who, in addition to being highly qualified, possess an innate talent for teaching.

At Virtus, we recognize that talent in teaching transcends the ability to transmit knowledge; it includes the ability to awaken curiosity, foster creativity, and cultivate a learning environment where students feel valued, understood, and challenged.

Each member of our teaching team has not only been trained at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, such as The London School of Economics, University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, University of Cambridge, and University of Oxford, but they also embody a diverse set of specific talents that they have developed personally over time.

Among our teaching staff, we have finance enthusiasts, programming experts, and psychology specialists, to name just a few areas.

We believe that inspiration and the transmission of fundamental values are essential pillars in quality education. Our teachers play a crucial role in this process, not only imparting academic knowledge but also modelling and fostering a love for lifelong learning. Many of our teachers therefore continue their own education with PhDs, Masters degrees or becoming examiners for A level Examination awarding bodies such as Pearson Edexcel.

Personalisation of Education

In our classes, we have an average of 5 students and never more than 10. This exceptionally low ratio guarantees unparalleled personalised attention, allowing our educators to devote significant time to each student.

Totaling 90 students in the school, Virtus positions itself more as a united community than just a simple school. This carefully managed number reflects our philosophy that the quality of education is enhanced in smaller and more focused environments.

It allows our teachers to know each student not only in academic terms but also in terms of their interests, aspirations, and individual needs. This structure significantly contributes to the success of our educational model, where personalization is not just a goal, but a daily reality.

At Virtus, our vision goes beyond providing excellent education; we cultivate an environment where every member feels part of a large family.

This is manifested in several aspects of school life. From the close and personalised interaction between teachers and students to the collaboration and mutual support among students; every aspect of Virtus is designed to reinforce the sense of belonging.

The Mentoring Programme

Through the Mentoring Programme, the mentor provides individualised guidance and constant support throughout the two cohorts at Virtus, ensuring that each student receives the attention and resources necessary to reach their maximum potential.

The programme is structured to adapt to the individual needs of each student, taking into account their interests, objectives, and learning styles. Mentors work closely with mentees to establish clear and realistic goals, both short and long term, in the academic, career and personal development spheres.

For example, in weekly meetings the mentor supports the student in the creation of weekly study plans; allocating and organising the workload, as well as reviewing recent results in examinations and subject tests. Often the mentor helps students research university pathways and recommend engagement in areas which helps the student develop personally: be it in the areas of confidence, motivation or organisation for example.

If a Virtus student requires academic support beyond the classroom, it is provided through individualised and weekly tutoring sessions, ensuring they receive the necessary guidance and reinforcement at each stage of the course.

The support sessions are led by the teachers themselves and allow for the identification and addressing of difficulties in real-time, ensuring that students not only overcome academic obstacles but also strengthen their confidence in their learning abilities.

Specialised in access to Top Universities

Being a Sixth Form College means we are exclusively dedicated to the final years of British secondary education (A-Levels), allowing us to concentrate all our resources, experience, and attention on the specific needs of this crucial stage.

This specialisation is reflected in several key aspects of our educational offering. Firstly, it allows us to offer a curriculum designed not only to meet the rigorous standards of the A-Levels but also to provide comprehensive preparation that goes beyond the exams.

The Co-Curriculum at Virtus plays a crucial role in preparing our students for university, focusing on the acquisition of tangible experiences and the development of skills and competencies essential for the 21st century.

Additionally, participation in co-curricular activities stands out in university applications, demonstrating to admission committees that students have a commitment to learning and personal development beyond academic requirements. For example, students wishing to access Engineering as a degree may participate in Python Coding in their co- curricular offer, whereas students wishing to pursue a business career may join the Young Enterprise programme where they start their own business.

In addition to the above, extensive opportunities to stretch and challenge students also characterises Virtus´university preparation. For example, partaking in Internationally recognised competitions such as the British Biology Olympiad, or completing the internationally recognised EPQ, or Crest Award, and representing the school in National MUN competitions are but a few ways in which Virtus students build a strong CV and university applications.

Educational Innovation

The curriculum at Virtus is distinguished by its flexibility and holistic approach, ensuring that our students not only receive top-tier academic education but also develop a broad spectrum of personal skills and competencies.

Through the International A-Levels, we adopt a modular teaching and assessment system, an innovative strategy that aligns with our students’ needs and learning paces.

  • Flexibility in assessment: The modular approach to teaching and examination of the International A-Levels allows our students to spread the examination load throughout the year, with sessions in January and June.
  • Comprehensive curriculum: Our curriculum design reflects a commitment to the holistic development of students. Beyond the rigorous academic standards of the A-Levels, Virtus places special emphasis on areas such as performing arts, public speaking, and technological skills.
  • Development of vital skills: The inclusion of performing arts and public speaking in our program aims to cultivate students’ self-confidence and communication skills, crucial elements in any professional and personal realm.

The A-Levels allow students to choose from a wide range of subjects, from traditional sciences and mathematics to humanities, arts, and technologies.

The possibility of concentrating on three or four subjects also means that students can devote more time and attention to each area, deepening their understanding and honing their analytical and critical skills.

The best tools in the educational sector

Incorporating the top tools of the educational sector is crucial for providing an exceptional learning experience and preparing students for success in the modern world.

  • Technology in the Classroom: The integration of tablets and interactive whiteboards into the classroom promotes dynamic and participatory teaching.
  • Specialised Software: Virtus provides access to specialised software used in specific fields, such as design programs for Media Studies students or simulation tools for science and engineering.
  • Innovative Teaching Methodologies: Methods like project-based learning or flipped learning are fundamental in our teaching practices, allowing students to apply knowledge in real situations and develop vital skills for the 21st century.
  • Continuous Assessment and Constructive Feedback: Assessment at Virtus goes beyond traditional exams. We use a variety of assessment methods, including projects, presentations, portfolios, and self-assessments, which offer a more comprehensive view of student progress.

A positive learning environment

At Virtus, we firmly believe that a positive learning environment is essential for the academic and personal development of our students.

Instilling responsibility in our students is a primary goal at Virtus. Through a learning environment that encourages autonomy and personal commitment to study, students learn to take control of their own learning process.

Virtus provides a safe space for students to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from their errors in a constant support framework. We encourage students to explore their interests, question established knowledge, and find creative solutions to complex problems.

Cooperation is vital in shaping students who excel academically and also become understanding and collaborative global citizens.

Virtus actively promotes teamwork and collaborative projects, where students can combine their talents, learn from each other, and achieve common goals.

The DRIVE values at Virtus are fundamental pillars that guide the culture and ethos of our institution, reflecting our commitment to the holistic development of our students.

These values are Discipline, Resilience, Integrity, Vision, and Enthusiasm.

  • Discipline: At Virtus, we understand discipline as the constant commitment and dedication towards personal and academic goals.
  • Resilience: Resilience is the ability to face adversities, learn from failures, and come back stronger.
  • Integrity: Means acting with honesty, fairness, and respect for others and oneself.
  • Vision: We encourage vision as the ability to look beyond current circumstances and dream big.
  • Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is the passion and vigour with which we approach learning and life in general.

Independent British School

Virtus stands out as one of the few remaining independent schools, a feature that underscores our commitment to educational excellence and the freedom to innovate and tailor our pedagogical approach to the individual needs of our students.

  • Curricular Autonomy: This allows us to create study programmes that not only meet the highest academic standards but are also enriched with innovative subjects and pedagogical approaches.
  • Personalised Educational Environment: Our independent status facilitates the creation of an educational environment that centres everything we do around the students.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Virtus has the freedom to experiment with emerging teaching methodologies and advanced educational technologies, allowing us to lead in pedagogical innovation.
  • Strong and Committed Community: Being one of the few independent schools also strengthens our sense of community. At Virtus, students, parents, teachers, and staff form a united support network, working together to create a positive and stimulating learning environment.
  • Excellence without Compromise: Our status as an independent school allows us to pursue excellence without compromise. From the selection of our teaching staff to the implementation of student welfare programmes, every decision is made with the aim of providing the best possible education.

Virtus, The British Sixth Form College

In conclusion, Virtus is not just a British school; it is an institution that prides itself on going beyond the traditional boundaries of education, offering an environment in which every student is seen, heard, and valued.

At Virtus, we prepare our students not only for academic success but for a life of learning, discovery, and personal fulfilment.

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Virtus The British Sixth Form College

Virtus The British Sixth Form College

Virtus, The British Sixth Form College is an innovative Sixth Form College devoted to academic excellence and holistic education. We specialise in A-level with an average of 5 students per class.

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