Why Year 11 Should Be Looking Ahead Now
In our latest blog, Year 13 student and Sixth Form Communications Committee Leader, Jess Bassil, shares her experience of transitioning from Year 11 into Sixth Form and advises current students on why they should begin exploring their options right away.
Over to Jess …
When I started Year 11, the last thing on my mind was Sixth Form. At the time, I was mostly just worried about GCSEs and getting ready for the new school year. In fact, I managed to miss almost every Open Evening except the SGGS one! In retrospect, this was probably not the smartest move, but I was always pretty certain I wanted to go to Sixth Form here.
I was hoping to stay at SGGS because I’d heard that the departments for my subjects were really good for A-level (I take History, French and RS), and I wanted to have the best support possible. I’m also naturally quite shy, and I liked the idea of staying where the teachers knew me and knew that, even if I’m not always the loudest person in class, I still genuinely enjoy my subjects.
Making the right choice
Staying at SGGS for Sixth Form was absolutely the right choice for me. I’m really enjoying my subjects here and my confidence in lessons has grown massively. My classes have been really good fun, and the teachers are more than happy to help you with any areas you’re struggling with (I’ve spent multiple breaktimes pestering the RS department about the topics we’re studying and they still somehow manage to look pleased to see me when I turn up).
I’ve also benefited from the independence you get in Sixth Form, from free periods to having the Manor as your own space. I’ve had lots more time to read around my subjects and find out what areas interest me, and I’ve got a lot better at motivating myself. There’s a great sense of community in Sixth Form here, especially as my classes are quite small, and it’s really nice heading to the library with my friends to work on a topic together, or going for a chat and cup of tea in the Stables to relax.
Beyond the curriculum
I’ve also been able to get involved in lots of extra-curricular events here, like the Jazz Band New York Tour, running the Creative Writing Club and learning to cook in Stretch and Challenge every Wednesday afternoon, which has been really good fun (aside from being mercilessly bullied by my family when I came home from school with a box full of 1cm thick brownies).
My advice to new Year 11 students
Try not to stress too much about your post-GCSE options, but don’t just ignore them entirely. Year 11 is a busy year and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin, but it’s definitely worth keeping it in the back of your mind, looking out for Open Evenings and talking to people at different colleges and Sixth Forms about their experiences. It’s important to find out what works for you, but I’d definitely recommend SGGS Sixth Form (remember, we get all the best snacks in the canteen).