Moving up to Sixth Form is a huge and exciting step, one which allows students to study the subjects they enjoy in greater depth and to make decisions about the future.
Sixth Form is also a time to develop the life skills we need to succeed in the world – and this is every bit as important as academic qualifications.
Whether they are going straight into the workplace or moving on to further education, young people need the resilience, adaptability and confidence to stand out. They also have to be able to think creatively, work in a team and handle responsibility.
A tall order, perhaps - but our approach to helping young people achieve that aim is very simple: we help each student create the right study and co-curricular programme for them, and find the rest falls into place.
Whatever their aims, every Pocklington Sixth Form student benefits from personal support, including one-to-one interviews with tutors and specialist advisors to help them make the right choices. In following courses they find enjoyable and stimulating, they have every chance to grow confidence in their ability, as well as to secure their best grades.
Whatever their strengths and aptitudes, whether they have their sights set on university, a vocational course or entry straight into the workplace, we value every student as a powerball of potential which it is our privilege to guide.
We are lucky to have the breadth and depth of teaching expertise to support a wide academic programme. Alongside A levels, we also offer the opportunity to take BTECs, specialist work-related qualifications which combine practical learning with subject and theory content.
The range of study we support pupils in is reflected by the continued success of past students in a diversity of subjects. This year 15 OPs graduated from university with First-Class Honours degrees in specialisms as diverse as Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Fashion Contour, Physics with Theoretical Physics, and International Relations and Global Development.
Employers tell us the rapidly-changing workplace means traditional qualifications are no longer enough. Many careers still require specialist knowledge and the focus evidenced by rigorous academic study, but applicants also need to show they can communicate well, think on their feet and adapt to change.
The ability to work as part of a team is crucial. Employees who make their mark are confident enough to contribute and take the lead, but are also open to new ideas and willing to encourage others in working towards a common goal.
These skills are developed through extra-curricular activity – which, incidentally, also helps preserve the health and wellbeing of Sixth Formers during what can be a stressful time.
We are extremely fortunate to have the facilities on our 50-acre campus to accommodate a dizzying variety of co-curricular activities. Whether students enjoy sport, the outdoors, music, drama or debating, there is plenty of opportunity to shine.
One of the most valuable experiences our Sixth Formers enjoy is leading the inter-house challenges. These enable students to develop their ability to work within a group, with all the discussion and compromise that involves, to mentor younger pupils and learn about project management and delivery.
We measure our Sixth Form success in terms of helping each student develop personally and take the right next steps for them. Our effectiveness in recognising individual talents and nurturing them towards the right pathway is reflected by the fact that this year 88% of our students achieved entry to their first choice of university and 8% into their second choice.
We want Sixth Form students to enjoy their time here, to be stretched and challenged inside and outside the classroom, and to leave us having not only achieved their aims, but also well-equipped to make their mark on the world.