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Sixth Form Update - Spring 2

This half-term has been a rich and varied one and marks the last one before the examination season launches for Year 13. Our excellent students in the Sixth Form have done a great deal – and have again been a pleasure to work with and a credit to you as their parents.

As you know, we have 3 data points throughout the year and this half-term saw the completion of Data 2. There were many positives but, as ever, there are “Even Better Ifs” or EBIs: 


Subsequent to the publication of this data, we have:

  • Initiated our SIT (School Improvement Team) process to support those who are not yet on-track for personalised targets to improve performance – this covers both the academic and pastoral and is student-centred
  • Sent Praise Post to those students who have performed particularly well – either in terms of top-level attainment or progress
  • Undertaken a Tutor Time reflection process for all students so they can all action plan for enhanced outcomes

In addition to this, we have recognised the highest performers in terms of progress and with words of high praise and offerings of pizza undertaken a Rewards Event:





Our commitment to World Class Basics encompasses areas such as attendance, punctuality, adherence to a Dress Code and high expectations of commitment to study. The vast majority of our students are excellent in subscribing to standards around these areas. However, we have sought to better ensure that all students subscribe and help role-model for their peers and younger students – a key part of what a school-based Sixth Form does for its community.

In terms of:

  1. Dress Code: irrespective of any personal views, please actively encourage your child to adhere to the published dress code - Uniform Policy  
  2. Attendance: please do check Go For Schools and discuss the data on this. Basically, anything under 95% is a cause for consideration and parental discussion will supplement what we do as a Sixth Form: we celebrate >95%; Tutors investigate reasons and intervene for 90-95%; Mrs Thomas intervenes at 80-90%; Mr Piper, Mr Schofield or Mr Taylor support with the very few <80%
  3. Private Study: students should be undertaking a working week and doing 6 hours per subject of additional study each week – more if they are doing a double or triple award BTEC. This may manifest itself as follows:
  • Reviewing notes
  • Transforming notes – making them visual and diagrammatic, for example
  • Doing set homework
  • Reading around the subject and beyond the demands of A-level or Level 3 BTEC – also known as the super-curricular
  • Exploring material posted by teachers and others: past papers, Chief Examiner Reports


Last term, we launched Work Experience with Year 12 – which is w/c July 10th. This can be very competitive in terms of securing a placement with a provider because most local Sixth Forms launch at the same time with their Year 12. We have provided students with guidance and also 3 forms which need completing and returning to Mrs Short in the Sixth Form Office. The original deadline for submissions was the end of this term but we are extending this to the end of April and we will provide those who still need to source a placement with a register of potential providers.

The process should be self-directed by students but we appreciate this can be difficult. Any support from parents in terms of active encouragement will be of further use so that students secure great experiences. These experiences are of use in-and-of-themselves but also enhance C.Vs and applications as well as provide food-for-thought for possible future pathways.

This term’s P.S.H.E programme for Year12 covered intimate relationships. It has been great seeing and hearing students responding so maturely to issues which can be complex. In our Deep Dive process (whereby senior staff and subject leaders gauge the quality of learning experienced by students) feedback on Sixth Form lessons in this area was extremely positive.

This term’s P.S.H.E programme for Year 13 covered unhealthy relationships. As with Year 12, it has been heartening seeing and hearing students responding so maturely to issues which can be challenging in their nature. As said above in relation to Year 12, the Deep Dive process feedback on Sixth Form lessons was extremely positive and a reflection of terrific student input.

The P.S.H.E programme draws to a close for Year 13 and time is being given over to students applying the time to their studies. With this in mind, we share here what we have included for our students as initial phases of preparation for the demands of the Exam Season. The premise for this initial phase is that there are 17 days over Easter and begins with the question: How can I get the most out of that time?

Coverage and key messages included:

  • The importance of structure: York University’s recommendation of 8 hours for you, 8 hours for sleep and 8 hours of structured study
  • Creation of a revision/study plan – basic but vital
  • How to stay motivated: Self-Talk, using the 8 hours of “you” time, planning effective use of time – as per the study plan
  • How to revise effectively: not avoiding the more challenging questions, “transforming” notes so you actively process information – rather than simply reading

Aiming for 3e…


Last week, our Sixth Form student College Leaders supported Year 7 and Year 8 with some off-timetable, College-based events. Mr Foxon commented on how brilliant the student College Leaders were and these images give a sense of the fun and engagement.


In the last week of this term, student College Leaders have helped to drive the Tutor Time curriculum experience for the main school by facilitating a session for their younger peers to engage with. It has been a real pleasure to see this sense of community at play amongst our students.

This term, we have been interviewing next year’s prospective Year 12 cohort. Applications are at a record high and the number of external applicants has risen sharply. We need to thank the current Year 12 students who have been involved in this process and represented the school so well: Lucy, Holly, Luis, Issy, Harriet, Ruby, Sanjeev, Shingai, Archie, Jacob, Ben, Sofia, Ned, Ellie, Seren, Lucy-May, Emma. These students helped with the logistics but, more vitally, were there to welcome the applicants (who would naturally have been nervous) and to offer a student perspective on the Sixth Form here at NLS. So many applicants made lovely comments about the students without any prompting at all – a really lovely thing to hear.

It is for your child’s efforts that the NLS Sixth Form is the local institution of first choice for so many!

Our recent Year 13 Subject Evening was a great success - with the highest proportional turnout of the year from any year group, so many thanks for the support. It was lovely for teachers to be able to share so many positives with you about your children as highlighted above, academic progress is on track for record outcomes but it was great to also talk about all the many other aspects of the Year 13 cohort that makes them the terrific, well-rounded people that they are.

As has been referenced in the latest parent letter, the questionnaire was a great source of feedback and the information there was hopefully of real use. As always, we will ensure we avoid complacency but it is nice to share some statistics that complement the responses given in the letter to your developmental feedback:

  • “My child is happy at NLS”: 96%
  • “My child does well at NLS”: 95%
  • “I would recommend NLS to another parent”: 97%

Following the entry point Year 12 survey, we will look to offer a Year 13 exit point survey next term.

Just a reminder from previous communications of some of these key dates…

  • Year 13 will go on Exam Leave Friday, May 12
  • All things considered, this is the most inclusive and supportive date which can be identified
  • There will be a Celebration Day element to that Friday which is TBC but it is likely P3-5 will be off-timetable for some events
  • Year 13 Teachers should be available in timetabled lessons until the last exam for their subject is complete
  • Year 13 Tutors should be available in timetabled Tutor Time until the last Year 13 exam is complete for any pastoral support
  • Students need to be available until Wednesday 28 June for any exam contingency days – those which are used for any postponed exams etc – so have been told to not book any holidays until then. You will recall this date was shared with parents previously
  • Year 13 Prom is June 30
  • Year 12 will have Progression Exams in w/c June 26 – this will provide a good insight in to progress and help inform next steps for individuals. The information above re ‘How can I get the most out of that time?' may be useful

Thank you for all your contributions and kind words as we work collaboratively to support your children.
We wish you and your families an enjoyable Easter and look forward, as always, to all the many positives after the break.

Mr Taylor