Personal Development - What Makes a Good Sixth Former?
There is no doubt that excellent teaching and learning are a huge part of the success of our sixth form at East Dulwich.
We understand that this success does not come from teaching and learning alone but is also as a result of the personal development of the student.
Our personal development curriculum results in well-rounded young people who are confident, capable of study and who realise that as well as success in their subjects, they should be grab as many opportunities that come their way in Sixth Form to make the most of their two years with us. This can include volunteering, work experience, student leadership, the Harris Experience programme, external programmes such as Sutton Trust and K+ and attending enrichment opportunities and trips. Tutor time covers:
- the Post 16 bulletin and prep time on Mondays
- UCAS, Careers and Next Steps on Tuesdays
- Assembly on Wednesday afternoons
- and PHSE in tutor time every Thursday.
In terms of study habits, we have a consistent dialogue shared by students and teaching staff. Outside of lessons and homework, we expect students to spend around five hours of independent study each week, per subject.
To help secure these successes we use tutor time to develop our young people. Our tutors set the expectation that all contribute verbally in order to set ourselves up for success in the future.
A key part of tutor time is PSHE and we use this time to have our young people understand the importance of being an active citizen who contributes to and questions their society - to be someone who is well equipped for the challenges and situations that life in a city in the 21st century might throw at them. We also use tutor time to make sure that students are developing their understanding of Post 18 destinations and what skills and experience they need to have to access them.
Clubs and societies
Our commitment to cultivating development in young people goes beyond tutor time. Our students lead a number of their own groups which teaches them about leadership and collaboration, and gives them an outlet to do something that they care about and value.
We currently have a student Debate Society and Film Society running, students volunteering weekly to support Key Stage 3 readers and events planned to raise money for a range of charities.
The Discover programme
Each year we run the DISCOVER programme with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The programme looks at how to manage stress and worry.
Dr Sclare, a clinical psychologist who leads the programme across a number of Harris Sixth Forms with great success, meets with the Head of Sixth Form, to discuss the impact the programme has had on our students each year.
We have always seen excellent results, and this is another method we use to support our students and identify where there may be concerns we would not normally see on our average day.
The DISCOVER team have also helped us identify additional ways to support students who are struggling to cope with high levels of stress.
The reason we do this is because of the continuing increase in pressures placed on our students in the Sixth Form and nationally. It is a tough – and very fast – two years where students are required to study very challenging courses, without the extensive support they received in Year 11.
They are to become mature, independent and highly resilient young people almost overnight once they start in order to prepare for either university or the outside world of work – it is a significant jump from Year 11 to university/employment in merely two years and we are here to support them all the way.