We are Hayaat Karim and Isobel Jacklin, the Head Boy and Head Girl of Bingley Grammar School. We have put this together to give you an idea of what it is like to be a Sixth Form student and how best to use the fantastic resources and staff that Bingley Grammar Sixth Form has to offer.
At Bingley Grammar School, the majority of the Sixth Formers spend their days in the Hills, a block reserved specifically for Sixth Form study. Downstairs, we have a Bistro and Common Room Study Space with computers and several tables (which is also available to use during lunchtimes); upstairs, we have a large Study Room with computers and desks, a smaller Silent Study Room reserved for quiet work, two classrooms which can also be used for private study when they are not timetables for classes, and the offices of Mrs Booth and Mr Bridge.
If there isn’t enough room to work in one of the Study Zones, the library
is usually available for Sixth Form use.
Our Sixth Form Team comprises of four invaluable staff members:
Mr Greening, Head of Sixth Form: Mr Greening is a teacher of Law and Geography, but he also makes all the big decisions and is there to answer any questions you might have about the Sixth Form.
Mr Brown, Assistant Head of Sixth Form: As well as a Biology teacher, Mr Brown is in charge of Year 12 and is always available for a chat over any problems, be they academic or pastoral.
Mr Bridge, Student Support Officer: Mr Bridge is here for any problems you’re having to do with Sixth Form life, as well as any personal concerns. He also monitors student attendance to make sure that we are making the most of the study and lesson time we have at school.
Mrs Booth, Sixth Form Coordinator: Mrs Booth oversees all things UCAS – if you have a problem or query to do with higher education, she is the one to see! Mrs Booth has a lot to do with Year 13 in the university application process, but she can also answer the majority of questions that any Sixth Form student may have. Mrs Booth also deals with the Sixth Form application process, so she is the person to see if you’re a Year 11 student hoping to join the Sixth Form.
We have a large team of around 30 Prefects in Year 13, including ourselves, who set the standard for conduct in the Sixth Form. The prefects are split into three teams; Teaching & Learning, Enrichment and Charity - our duties include:
School starts for all at 8:30am. Morning registration runs from 8:30am - 8:40am, and this is where daily notices are given out.
Year 12: If you’re doing four subjects at AS Level, you’ll probably have around four non-contact periods in a week, and the rest of the time will be taken up with lessons. However, these non-contacts are not an opportunity to do nothing! Instead it would be useful to catch up with homework and notes during this time.
Year 12s and Year 13s have different breaks and lunches so that the Bistro isn’t overcrowded - Year 12 break time is 10:20am and lunch time is at 12:20pm. At the end of the day there is a twenty minute tutorial during which form tutors go through presentations concerning revision techniques, school events, opportunities and important events in the news, as well as sometimes providing an opportunity to do some work or create revision timetables.
Year 13: Most people drop to three subjects in Year 13, so the number of non-contact periods increases - most people have at least two a day. However, again, this is due to the amount of out-of-lesson work needed to achieve target grades at A Level, and it’s essential that these study periods are put to good use! Year 13 break time is at 11:10am and lunch time is at 13:10pm. During the twenty-minute tutorial at the end of the day, invaluable help is given by the form tutors with regards to UCAS applications and personal statements. Even if you don’t plan on applying to university, there is still a huge amount of support available for people applying for apprenticeships or employment.
Try not to take any time off as you'll have lots of work to catch up on when you come back.
Work as hard as you can from the very beginning - as well as doing homework, you should go over your notes at the end of each day.
Print off the specifications for your subjects and use this as a checklist of what you should be learning - also, looking at examiner's reports is always useful.
There are a lot of assessments throughout Sixth Form - no one likes them, but they are actually a really good way of checking your progress. Don't worry if you initially drop down a few grades from GCSE - the jump is massive!
Think ahead now about which subject is your favourite - before you know it you'll be applying to university! Be realistic - many courses such as Medicine have GCSE requirements so make sure that you meet these if you're planning on pursuing a specific career path.
If you think your subject choice may be wrong, see a member of the Sixth Form team as soon as possible. Make sure you are doing subjects for the right reasons, not because your parents or friends want you to do them. The Sixth Form Team have a lot of experience in this, so take their advice.
Always follow the dress code at school - there will be rules about what to wear in any workplace later in life, so it’s good to get in the habit now.
Communication is really important - check your emails at least once a day as staff use emails much more with Sixth Formers.
We hope that you find this useful, and if anyone wants to ask us anything about the Sixth Form please email us via the Sixth Form address: firstname.lastname@example.org.