Embarking on their sixth form studies is an exciting time for all our students as they select the subjects they wish to take beyond GCSE. Students at City typically select four A levels (or Pre-Us in the case of German and Chinese), and then have the opportunity to drop one of these subjects and complete three A level subjects of their choice. The timetable is built around these selections, so there is no expectation to choose a set combination of subjects. In addition to the subjects studied at GCSE, we also offer government and politics, economics and classical civilization as new subjects. Towards the end of the autumn term of year 12, students also can embark on the extended project qualification (EPQ).
Outside of the classroom, the sixth form provides students with a wide range of exciting opportunities. We offer a general studies programme where students select four courses of interest to them, such as photography, first aid, sign language, cooking, medical ethics and astronomy. We ask that students undertake a community service placement during their lower sixth year, whether this be assisting with, or running a school club, gaining work experience in a hospital, or befriending a local elderly person. A number of our sixth formers also mentor younger students, both at City, and in our local partner schools.
We run a weekly speakers programme in the sixth form and the students hear from a range of eminent speakers, such as journalists, lawyers, scientists and authors, to name but a few. Many of our speakers are alumnae and it is always a joy to hear about their lives and careers since leaving City.
The students in the sixth form act as superb role models for the rest of the school. They have the opportunity to establish their own clubs and societies, put on plays, conferences and charity events, and undertake a huge range of leadership roles.
A significant part of the sixth form experience is the UCAS programme designed to support and guide students with this process. We have a higher education evening in February of year 12, a UCAS day in June, an interview package in the autumn term of year 13, and enrichment lessons run on a weekly basis.
Many students comment on the fact the sixth form feels like a very different experience from the lower and senior schools. Smaller classes, free periods, use of the sixth form centre, own clothes and greater independence and responsibility all contribute towards this feeling. We also welcome approximately ten new students to the sixth form and the induction days held at the end of year 11 and the start of year 12, accompanied by our buddy system, help to make this transition as smooth as possible for students joining City at sixth form level.
The opportunities available to students in the sixth form aim to equip them with the intellectual curiosity and confidence for university life and beyond. City students never cease to amaze me with all they do, and all they achieve, but most importantly, they really care – about each other, their wider community and the environment – and all of the staff at City teachers aim to support them in pursuing their interests and passions.
head of sixth form