Sixth Form Life
By tradition, the Sixth Form Social Calendar has always been very eventful. The social occasions that are organised throughout the year allow those students who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company, to spend time with their peers. This also gives students joining the school from other schools the opportunity to meet the existing students on a more relaxed social basis. The end of Year 13 is marked by a Leavers’ Ball, a glittering occasion marking the end of school life and the beginning of annual reunions.
The decision to continue with further education is a commitment to working hard and possibly preparing for university. However, the Sixth Form at Valentines High School is not just about academic learning, but also about broadening the experiences and interests of our pupils.
VESPA – The A-Level Mindset
At VHS we invest heavily in our students developing what we call ‘The A-Level Mind-set’. In order to achieve this, our PSHE curriculum offers the VESPA model (Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice, Activity) giving students the opportunity to complete a series of activities designed to support them in making the successful transition from GCSE to A-Level.
Careers and Work Experience
The School’s policy of establishing close links between staff, students, parents and the local community is further developed in the Sixth Form. All students in the Sixth Form receive Careers Education as part of their PSHE Programme delivered by their Tutor. Careers’ Consultants work closely with students and staff. Form Tutors are responsible for small groups of students. They meet both as groups and on a one-to-one basis. The tutor monitors the progress of the students and is the first point of contact for advice and support on academic and other issues. Parents’ consultation evenings are used to formalise communication between home and school. Careers’ Consultants are attached to the school and work with the students to produce action plans for entry into Higher Education or into a particular career.
The PSHE programme also provides help with:
the preparation of University applications, CVs and the completion of job application forms. In the penultimate week of term, all students in year 12 embark on a weeklong work experience placement tailored to their own individual career aspirations.
There are close links between the school and many Universities. These are made full use of to the benefit of students in their progression to higher education. We have long standing relationships with several Russell Group Universities including Queen Mary, University of London. These partnerships include visits to the universities and expert advice on completing university applications. Our students also participate in mock interviews and workshops with Imperial College London and St George’s University of London.
Sixth formers have weekly enrichment sessions and complete 15 hours of voluntary work. The Curriculum Enrichment programme gives all Sixth Formers the opportunity to participate in a range of activities as part of their weekly timetable.
The enrichment curriculum enables students to take leadership roles, work in teams and develop communication skills. Sixth Formers who successfully complete the Curriculum Enrichment programme receive certificates for their efforts. These collected experiences and skills will play an important part in forming social awareness and in developing citizenship skills. The opportunities that Valentines High School offers will help prepare pupils for their transition to higher education, the world of work and adult life.
Some of the opportunities include:
- Working alongside Valentines staff and the lower school students in a range of lessons.
- Taking an active part in school events such as open evenings for parents.
- Helping younger pupils in various lunchtime and after school clubs.
- Working with our primary feeder schools.
- Discussion groups and conferences with Redbridge council regarding issues that concern young people.
- Community and Sports Leadership Award.
- Sporting activities and teams.
- Extended Project (EPQ) An accredited AS level qualification. Students embark on a self-directed project to design a product. This may include a research based report, a production, piece of art or designing a computer game.
- NCS Challenge.