Sixth Form Update - Summer 2
This half-term is, of course, the last one before we disembark for the summer holidays!
Our excellent students in the Sixth Form have done a great deal once again– and, as always, have been a pleasure to work with and remain a credit to you as their parents/carers.
As you know, we have 3 data points throughout the year and this week saw the completion of Data 3. There were many positives but, as ever, there are ‘Even Better Ifs’ or EBIs.
Year 12 Progression Exam data was strong and will serve as an effective platform from which to ‘kick on’ in to Y13. Where a handful of students struggled to realise their potential, we have undertaken meetings with clear action points and support in order to bring those students more on-track for success.
Subsequent to the collation of the end-of-year Data 3, we have:
- Sent Praise Post to those students who have performed particularly well – either in terms of top-level attainment or progress
- Had our celebration assembly this Wednesday where we recognised high performance in these categories (attainment and progress) but also in areas of attendance, reward point allocations and positive attitudes to learning
In September, we will undertake our regular Tutor Time Student Self-Reflection process so all students can action plan for enhanced outcomes. We will also initiate our SIT (School Improvement Team) process to support those most behind-target to be on track for strong results as well as positive destinations and to feel safe, happy, confident and successful.
As you know, 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. We are pleased that, with reference to our dress code, the vast, vast majority of students support the Sixth Form and wider community by adhering to this increasingly diligently. If parents can continue to be supportive in reinforcing this.
It’s also testimony to your children’s commitment to the needs of the wider community that they are sticking so well to the need for devices to be away when they are out of dedicated Sixth Form spaces. It is another part of their role-modelling responsibility that they generally fulfil admirably.
Our push on punctuality to complement the strong attendance (which is the 2nd best in the school out of all year groups and second only to Year 7) has had a positive impact. While we want to of course treat Sixth Form students as the intelligent young adults they are, it’s also important that we have systems to support those who may struggle to meet requirements for punctuality – systems which support them as individuals, the culture of the Sixth Form and school but which also prepare them for the demands of the world beyond NLS. We are really pleased that the issuing of detentions (see previous communications) has been kept to a bare minimum and know parents will continue to support us in supporting your children.
Last term, we saw Work Experience with Year 12 launch fully. As said previously, this can be a very competitive process in terms of securing a placement with a provider because most local Sixth Forms launch at roughly the same time with their Year 12. It is, then, an absolute accolade that 115 of the 126 Year 12 secured their own placement and that we were able to support the remaining students with on-site experiences or other opportunities!
We have had students undertake a myriad range of opportunities: teaching and nursery placements, work in the equestrian industry, consultancy shadowing, engineering insights, physiotherapy, care provision… These experiences are of use in-and-of-themselves but also enhance C.Vs and applications as well as provide food-for-though for possible future pathways. One terrific testimony related to Freddy (above, left) from the Royal Fusiliers Museum, Warwick: “We would like to thank Freddy who was on work experience with us last week. He did an impressive job supporting different areas of museum work including collections management, exhibitions, learning resources and marketing. Freddy hopes to join the RAF after finishing his education and we wish him the very best for his future career.”
Our Future Pathways (including UCAS) Launch took place on June 8th. Formerly referenced as UCAS Launch Week, we felt that a mild re-branding better-reflected the holistic approach we have always taken: namely, that we offer information, advice and guidance (IAG) on a range of Future Pathways such as gap years, apprenticeships, employment (including the armed forces and uniformed services) as well as UCAS. 95% of our students pursue the latter option so provision was skewed towards that but we believe we have offered good exposure to a range of pathways as well as options with those: for example, within the UCAS IAG, we offered bespoke sessions for Oxbridge, Conservatoire and High-demand subjects such as medicine.
It was flagged previously in a separate communication, but please recall the parent IAG here:
We hope to emulate the extraordinary outcomes of last year whereby so many students secured fantastic positive destinations. These graphs demonstrate the percentage of students achieving their particular pathways in 2021-22:
On a slightly lighter note, our alternative Sports Day for Year 12 took place this Tuesday. A range of ‘silly’, fun sports were on offer and – to satisfy the more competitive urge of some – these were interspersed with some more traditional, ‘serious’ events like the 100m sprint.
A great deal of fun was had but we also got to experience the lightning quick capabilities of some of our uber-sporty types. The event was based on College affiliations and the winning team was Binswood – who narrowly pipped Manor by a single point!
As said before, Year 12 effectively become the new Year 13 as of now – more to follow on the new Year 12 below. The exiting Year 13 are by no means forgotten, though, and will always remain part of the NLS Sixth Form alma mater. We sent off the Year 13 in terrific style at the Prom event on Friday, June 30th.
Students and staff attended the event at the Woodland Grange Hotel just down the road from NLS - a fitting venue in terms of proximity but also because the picturesque setting was appreciated by all in attendance. Ms Short did a brilliant job working with the Hotel to ensure that everything ran smoothly and looked super. The whole event was a fantastic celebration of all the students’ achievements over the last 2-7 years! Having hired limos, Hummers, tractors and the like 2 years previous (and having got the urge ‘out of their system’), most Y13 students eschew the grand entrances of their Y11 counterparts. That said, it was lovely to see the young people we’ve been privileged to work with for so long arriving in such grand style: boys suited and booted, girls dressed very elegantly, everyone with a terrific smile on their face.
After a lovely meal and a couple of (mercifully brief) speeches from the Sixth Form Leadership Team, the students and staff spent the next few hours reminiscing, congratulating and dancing.
The Y13 cohort left us in style and will be much-missed.
The New Year 12 Induction process is already in full-swing. We are delighted that we have had a record number of applications to the NLS Sixth Form and our Induction Day on Thursday, 13th July saw a very strong turnout. It was a great opportunity for students to experience:
- An orientation assembly
- Taster sessions for indicative subject choices
- An insight in to the Tutor Time curriculum
- Team-Building - and especially for the very many students who have applied to NLS from other schools
With the latter point in mind, our ‘strength-in-depth’ was very evident in the recent applications to school leadership posts: over 60 students applied to the posts available to them and the quality of applications was superb! After an exhaustive interview process, we can proudly celebrate the fact that Shingai Choto and Grace Huitson-Smith have been selected as Senior Student Leaders for 2023-24.
Our other posts will be filled in due course and the student voice at NLS will continue to be well-represented by such great students.
We wish you and your families an enjoyable summer and look forward to 2023-24.
Mr S.A. Taylor
Senior Assistant Head-teacher (Including Head of Sixth Form