COLUMN: Why should Derbyshire pupils choose sixth form?

Lady Manners School, Bakewell
Lady Manners School, Bakewell
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Young people approaching their GCSE examinations have a fair amount on their minds. Amidst the hard work required for next summer’s exams, they also have to decide upon their next step in education.

There are several possible pathways. Students can choose between school and college sixth forms, specialist or further education possibilities, or an apprenticeship or traineeship. So why choose sixth form study?

Lady Manners School, Bakewell

Lady Manners School, Bakewell

School sixth forms provide a supportive environment in which to study whilst introducing more independence for the student - a gentle transition to adult life. There is usually a wide array of subjects available. Here at Lady Manners School we offer a range from English to music, from biology to media studies and from psychology to more vocational options such as engineering. We encourage our students to strive for high achievement and our exam results are consistently good.

But this is not all that sixth form offers. There is a vast range of opportunities for extra-curricular activities and experiences. For instance, we offer activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, many different musical groups, a full range of sports teams, drama productions, and a huge range of lunchtime clubs and societies. Students can also, in many cases, test out career ideas through work experience and internships. These opportunities equip young people with vital life and employability skills.

Sixth Form is the ideal environment to develop and test leadership and communication skills. This is made possible because of the sheer number of opportunities to get involved in the wider life of the school - elected positions such as school officer, helping younger students through lesson support, buddy counselling, charity fundraising, mentoring and sports leadership.

At Lady Manners School our students appreciate the purpose built Sixth Form Centre - particularly its snack bar, catering to sixth form tastes with paninis and muffins! Sixth formers have their own building within the school site, yet they are an integral and respected part of the school community. We find that students thrive in this environment and everyone else benefits too because they provide outstanding role models for younger students.