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Ways to improve 6th form

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by cb700, May 14, 2010.

  1. cb700

    cb700 New commenter

    I am wanting to get ideas of what people do at other sixth forms. My school has a small sixth form and we are wanting to improve on the orgainsation and wanting to increase our intake (alot of students go to local college).
    What does your school do on the following issues:
    Monitoring sixth form behaviour
    Attendence currently students only come in for lessons that they do. I think it would be a good idea to stay all day.
    What methods does your school have for checking attendance? We currently have sims for taking registers.
    Clothing does your school have a clothing policy?
    Do you run a PSHCE programme and how often do students meet with tutors?
    Do you have a afternoon where students do leisure activites?
    What facilites does your students have for free lessons? Ours currently has a social area and a computer room.
    Try to find out what other schools do
    Thanks xxxxx
  2. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    quite alot here to answer. Have you considered visiting a Sixth Form in another area (where you won't be competing) that has gone through a period of successful growth?
    Just an idea?
  3. If you hope to compete with a local college, why are you even considering clothing issues and making students stay when they have no classes? You don't stand a chance if increasing your intake if you impose demeaning and humiliating rules.
  4. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    Are rules about clothing and attendance humiliating & demeaning? Students might appreciate a more structured environment.

    If you want to 'compete' with a college, it's no good trying to be like the college: you need a distinctive offering.
  5. I can answer your questions based on my own 6th form experiences which wasn't that long ago (4 years)!
    1) My 6th form was part of a small school (about 600 pupils) so behaviour was mostly monitored through word of mouth reported back to tutors and cause for concern sheets popped into tutors' pigeon holes.
    2) We all had to be in all morning but could leave at lunchtime if we had no afternoon lessons.
    3) No electronic system, just morning and afternoon registration.
    4) We were expected to model our dress on that of the staff i.e. no jeans or trainers.
    5) We met with tutors twice a day for registration and had a longer, more formal tutor time once a week. We did have a PSHE programme of one hour a week on a rotation between 3 different things (6 across the two years) which to be honest seemed pretty useless to us! It included things like "survival cookery", critical thinking and current affairs.
    6) We had "enrichment" one afternoon a week. Choice included first aid, helping out in younger year groups etc. We also had compulsory sport one afternoon per week.
    7) During morning free lessons you had to work in the library (which had computers also) but in the afternoon you were free to go home or stay in the 6th form common room.
    Knowing absolutely nothing about your situation, I agree with one of the other posters who said that you can't compete with the college whilst you are trying to BE the college. Think about what you offer differently. The obvious thing I would think is that being a school you are able to offer real positions of responsibility to your 6th formers in a way that a college cannot. Make these attractive and worthwhile, positions that younger year groups can aspire to hold one day.
  6. As a parent (who may suggest my child goes to your sixth form) I would be looking for them to stay all day unless permission given to leave. Exciting enrichment activities (relevant trips) and lots and lots of Un/careersi guidance for parents as well as students. Communication with school and home is v important (even at 6th form age) and is something which is less apparent in a college. I'd also be emphasising that the students will not be mixing with much older adults (also studying) at your place which is something that parents appreciate.
  7. Based on my own Sixth Form experience (4 years ago):
    Electronic registers were used in each class- attendance was of high importance and any absences had to be accounted for, though we had responsibility for that and parents were only involved if inattandance became 'problematic'. Outside of classes, we could come and go as we pleased, though we mostly stayed inbetween lessons and only left if we finished early. No one ever had a day with no classes.
    We could pretty much wear what we liked, though no offensive slogans or overly revealing clothes (though this NEVER stopped us trying to sunbathe in bikini tops every summer lunchtime).
    In L6, tutor time was run for 15 minutes daily in mixed year groups, with no PSHCE issues raised. We had a normal tutor and a senior tutor who would rear their heads for 'issues'. In U6, this was changed to an hour session a week, addressing issues the college deemed important, run by a senior tutor, having scrapped normal tutors. I preferred the former system.
    Clubs were run, half heartedly in most departments and usually at lunchtimes. We had sports teams who ran on Wednesday afternoons, as they had ever since the college was a grammar school for boys. There was a LOT of drama stuff going on too. In L6, we were expected to complete one enrichment programme per term, though this was not available to us in U6- a point I disagreed with.
    We had several social areas, open computing areas and a library.

  8. cb700

    cb700 New commenter

    <font size="4">Thanks for the advice defiantly useful!!! Keep it coming!! Good idea about visiting another schools 6th form i will try and arrange this when the exams finish. </font> What does anyone&rsquo;s school do about 6th form and behaviour and lateness ?? We currently have no policy&rsquo;s!
  9. hello. just wondering what 6th form is this?
  10. Histon Fan- it's actually against policy to reveal that info. You must not '[r]efer to individual schools, colleges or agencies - or their staff - whether by name, or identifiable by a pseudonym or any other means'. Just a heads up.

    With regards to policy, my sixth form (no secondary school attached) had very little behavioural issues. To be fair, they were shockingly high on the league tables and had very high admissions policies, so didn't attract too many trouble makers. That said, there were an awful lot of us with depression, self harm issues and eating disorders (a great deal of perfectionists taken from an environment in which we were the best and plonked into one where we were merely average. God knows WHY we had a train track nearby!) and these were usually referred first to senior tutors then to guidance team. Mostly people pulled out but a few were 'advised to leave'. Simply put, we utterly craved attention and the worst thing was to gain our teachers' disapproval. (NOT a healthy environment really.)
    I'd be inclined to assign evil essays. Cruel and unusual punishment. '2000 words on [insert evil topic here]'.
  11. oh ok i was just wondering if it was the one i go to.
  12. walby1993

    walby1993 New commenter

    At my brothers sixth form a certain proportion of their 'free' periods are allocated as study periods in which they are required to go to a certain room, register and study for that period. I think its a really good idea - too many 6th formers waste all their free periods.

    Also, my cousins sixth form requires that all students were business dress which means suits and shirts for the boys and smart trousers/skirts with a blouse for the girls. She says it works well and makes them feel more grown-up and responsible. Don't know how well it would work else where though - the local college is 10 miles away and all the 6th forms in the town have the same dress policy.
  13. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    Our sixth form has clear clothing rules, a shirt and tie and smart trousers for the boys, tailored trousers or skirt and blouse for the girls. Definitely no jeans for either sex and no revealing tops for the girls. I don't call that demeaning or unreasonable, neither do our students as we very rarely have any problems.
    Our students are strongly encouraged to stay in college as the reality is few of them have any where quiet to study at home. Again most seem happy with this as they have a common room, a sixth form library and can use the sportshall/ playing field whenever the PE department is prepared to let them (which in practice is most of the time)
    We have them volunteering in school to mentor younger students, coach teams ,listen to KS3 students read and again most of them seem to enjoy the responsibility
  14. OK I might be completely wrong here - just my opinion.

    Surely to improve and grow you should be getting your students good outcomes - places at good universities or preparing them for work.

    If you get the reputation the parents think "If my son/daughter goes to X VI form they will get into a top 20 uni" then parents will be fighting to get their child in.

    Have a look at what you do right, and the advanatages you have. A small XI form might appeal to some.
    The thing I hated about VI form (appart from the fact I was there) was that it was just more school. We had uniform (this was many years ago) and went to lessons, we had to be there 9-3.30 5 days a week but we had 1.5 hours lunch break.
    I'm old enough to be a parent on a 16-18 year old and I'd want my child to have oportunities to work, paid or voluntary as well as study. I'd want good advice on applying to uni and on which A Levels to take. We can be as PC as we like but Media Studies willnot get you into Oxbridge.
    I also think an extra GCSE or two does no harm. Now that the pressure is off for getting the school in it's league tables why not encourage a language GCSE or Maths at higher tier for those who did foundation - these can make a difference to uni applications.

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