Pocklington School

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Guest Headmaster's Blog - Why our Sixth Form is a springboard to success

One of the great pleasures of being the Head of Sixth Form is watching students blossom into young adults as they take on greater responsibilities and begin to plot a pathway beyond the school gates.

It’s a time of huge change as they weigh up next steps and what they have to do to get there. Equally, the opportunities available to them have evolved considerably in recent years. Alongside A levels, today’s Sixth Formers have the choice of taking BTECs. They might go on to university, an apprenticeship, gap year or other form of employment.

We work with every student to tailor an individual programme of subjects providing the academic rigour or vocationally-focused course they seek. But that’s just the beginning. During their time at Sixth Form, we also aim to help them become innovative, independent thinkers who are adaptable and resilient enough to thrive in any setting, be that university or in the workplace.

A recent CBI survey found around half of young people say school left them unprepared for work and provided too few opportunities to get a taste of it through work experience or school visits.  I am pleased to say we make every effort to ensure this is not the case at Pocklington School. 

We’re fortunate to have a thriving Old Pocklingtonian Association whose members extend to just about every career and span the world. OPs and OP parents are a regular source of advice and work experience. Our new Careers & Business Network (CBN), which exists for the whole School community, has already proved a useful insight into the world of work for our Sixth Formers.

OP Nicholas Pollard, Group Chief Executive of Cory Riverside Energy, told our latest CBN event that the values we promote throughout Pocklington School, of courage, truth, trust and the power of teamwork were the attributes which have enabled him, and the organisations he has worked for, to achieve extraordinary things.

He also said he believed “transparently connecting business and the professions with teenagers is vitally important. It is essential we inform and encourage them properly to consider their choices - who they want to be, what they want to do, the contribution they will make. We have a responsibility to help them shape their thinking on how they will lead their generation forward to build the world they want to live in and have their children grow up in.”

His sentiments chimed perfectly with our aim of empowering students with the confidence and self-knowledge to know where they want to be, equip them with the tools to help them get there, and to enjoy the satisfaction of making a positive difference.

We help develop skills for employability and successful adult life through a choice of leadership opportunities which will help them develop their confidence and collaborative abilities. And there are more than 70 different roles for students to fulfil. Visitors to our Sixth Form can talk to students about being school and house prefects, serving as CCF NCOs, running the charity committee, acting as a life guard, participating in the Lectern Society, and joining the Community Action programme. It is these extra curricular opportunities which help students towards the self-knowledge which informs choices about what they want to do after school.

All students have personalised advice and support to help them appreciate all the possible options available to them. If they’re aiming for university, the combined knowledge of our house tutors and subject specialists, plus the wider pool of experts we call on for specific advice, is superb. We’re also supporting current students applying to America and Canada, considering degree apprenticeships, as well as gap years to gain relevant experience of their chosen career paths.

Underlying all of this a continuation of the strong pastoral care we provide throughout the School. Teachers build strong relationships with students, offering them plenty of individual time and attention. Equally valued is continued two-way communication with home. We also hold a programme of talks and activities to help students develop skills and strategies to cope with the pressures of advanced level study. For example, students attend talks on resilience, stress and anxiety, and workshops on procrastination and time management. We also run sessions for parents on subjects like revision skills to ensure the key messages are getting across. The purpose of this programme is to offer a balance between prevention and cure - equipping students with the skills to stay on track, but closely monitoring them so we can make prompt, positive interventions where help is needed.

Whatever they choose, our whole focus in the Sixth Form is to help students progress their personal goals and motivations, their strengths and any areas of improvement. The breadth and depth of understanding and expertise at students’ disposal is such that, wherever they’re heading, they leave us well prepared for future happiness and fulfilment.

- Laura Powell, Head of Sixth Form and Curriculum Director

Up to 100% fee assistance available

If you think you would benefit from joining the Sixth Form at Pocklington School and have the potential to become a Pocklingtonian, we can offer financial assistance of up to 100% of tuition fees.

For further information about fee assistance to the Sixth Form at Pocklington School and how to apply, visit www.pocklingtonschool.com/scholarships-and-bursaries or call 01759 321255