The Sixth Form's Enrichment programme seeks to go beyond the confines of examination specifications, introducing the students to new and challenging ideas, and giving them a flavour of what subjects might be like should they decide to pursue them at undergraduate level.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an exciting opportunity for students to take charge of their own learning and is designed to contrast with the normal experience of studying in the A-Level classroom.
The student picks a subject focus that is based on his or her own interests and independent of any A-Level subject content. The end product may be an academic report or an artefact, such as a film, a concert, a painting or a website. The process of planning, researching, recording and reviewing is deemed just as important as the final result, and as a consequence the project is marked holistically, with each component being given equal weight. The EPQ is a stand-alone qualification and is equivalent to half an A-Level, graded from A*-U.
The students who pursue an EPQ have timetabled lessons in which they learn key skills that range from note-taking and time management to referencing and presentation techniques. These skills can then be deployed in the students’ own projects. The library staff are available to advise and facilitate research and can order appropriate reading material, and students are also assigned a teacher-supervisor who provides support throughout the process.
Completing an EPQ can be a rewarding academic experience in the Sixth Form, as well as an attractive addition to any UCAS application. Success in the EPQ indicates to universities that the student is an independent learner and self-manager, essential qualities both in a university setting and in the world of work. A successful project will also mean that a student is able to talk authoritatively about their chosen subject if called for interview at a university of their choice.
The University of Cambridge offers this consideration about the project: "We welcome the Extended Project and would encourage applicants to undertake one as it will help to develop independent study and research skills valuable for higher education."
Our programme of General Studies provides students with an opportunity to engage with a variety of topics beyond their A-Level courses. The aim of the programme is to broaden students’ understanding of, and stimulate their interest in, a range of social, cultural, political and world affairs. The programme also addresses issues associated with higher education and future career opportunities.
General Studies sessions are held every week for one hour and feature a variety of outside speakers. Students also attend presentations on PSHCE topics, including the responsible use of alcohol, drug awareness and personal and sexual health. Last year’s programme also featured a range of presentations from speakers from the arts, sport, politics, outdoor pursuits and the voluntary sector. Each of these sessions includes time for students to participate in discussions about the issues raised.
Lower Sixth Seminars Programme and Academic Societies
Students in the Lower Sixth are encouraged to participate in a seminar programme designed to explore areas of academic interest not covered by the examination courses. These seminars encourage discussion and debate and help students to develop the confidence and communication skills required in academic university interviews.
In addition, a range of academic societies enable students from both the Lower and the Upper Sixth to explore their subjects in all their diversity, often by means of attending presentations by speakers from the world of higher education. Fieldwork, theatre and concert visits and lecture courses all play a role in ensuring that Sixth Form academic life is vibrant, stimulating, varied and challenging.