Students quickly discover that there is a world of difference between the approaches to GCSE and A Level study. The transition to new approaches to study will not happen overnight, but it certainly must occur if they are to derive the greatest possible benefit from their lessons in the Sixth Form.
Classes are smaller and more intimate than those in lower down the school, and this places a much greater emphasis on a student being actively involved in the lessons. In the Sixth Form, the role of the teacher is not to spoon-feed, but rather to direct, advise, stimulate and encourage. It is highly unlikely that many lessons will be confined to ‘teacher talk’; most will be characterised by discussion and exchange of views.
Students must arrive for each lesson interested and involved; reading ahead is of course a precondition of active and informed contribution to classroom discussion.
The habit of making your own notes in class is key, as new information and ideas emerge in the course of discussion.
Support for learning
Working with the internationally recognised company Elevate, the students attend a Study Skills course. It covers essay and report writing, reading strategies and examination and revision techniques. In addition to this, targeted support is offered to identified students on a short term basis. This may involve, for example, help with organisation, note taking and memory strategies.
In addition, our Study Advisor, Mrs Hunter works with students to identify strategies that work with individual students.
Establishing a routine
If a student needs help, we recommend they take a look at their timetable and decide in advance when they will do Independent Study for each of their subjects.
Below is an example. we would suggest they add their intention directly to their timetable. It’s simple, but effective.
Added benefits are less time wasted trying to remember what they were supposed to do, less time thinking about having to do it, less likely to forget to do it.
The Aspire Philosophy
Attendance - Be here, there is a noticeable drop in attainment for those students with attendance below 95%.
Self-reflection - A process of self reflection is key to success. Setting targets and reviewing how well you have done is important in aiming for the best.
Personal best - Be your best in everything: attitude, dress, motivation. Make it a habit.
Indepedent Learning - This is key to success at A Level. Study (non-contact) periods are not free periods and should not be wasted.
Resilience - Dont be quick to give up when it seems difficult. Ask for support and advice.
Enrichment - When it comes to personal development - we want students to be the best they can. Enrichment sessions and volunteering provide a rich opportunity of experience that only the foolish ignore.