Looking back over the last two months in the Sixth Form, it is clear that our students have spent much of this time looking forward.
In February, Year 12 Parents were welcomed to an Information Evening which explored the process of applying for, and funding, Higher Education once their daughters’ A Level studies come to an end. Both students and parents enjoyed the insights of Rob Evans, Head of Admissions at the University of Sussex, into how best to plan for a future involving Higher Education. Year 12 students have also benefited from guidance on how to safeguard their mental health and well-being, when making the transition to university, provided by Dr Emma Till of the university of Winchester. The whole Sixth Form, meanwhile, attended the RAP Project’s Big Leap Presentation, which explored ‘the dramatic transition from school to university’, with an emphasis on staying safe in an environment that offers new opportunities, freedoms and challenges.
The Year 12 Life Skills and Choices Programme has seen students preparing for work experience and the possibility of a GAP year, whilst also providing opportunities to practise ways to effectively manage stress as end of year exams approach. A number of Year 12 students have also taken a significant step toward the kind of independent study required at university by delivering presentations based on their own research conducted for the Extended Project Qualification. Topics have included ‘The Role of Prisons’, ‘Alzheimer’s and the NHS’ and ‘Child Development – Nature vs. Nurture.’ Year 13 students, of course, find themselves near the end of this process of preparation for Higher Education, a GAP year or employment, and many of them have been finalizing their ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices for the institutions they hope to attend next year.
As well as thinking about the future, Sixth Form students have also been encouraged to stay rooted in the richness of the present moment. Jan, our school counsellor, has provided all students with an introduction to mindfulness, which involves cultivating the habit of attentive presence in the moment, and which has been linked compellingly to improved mental health and well-being. Actively cultivating positive mental health was also the subject of a Sixth Form assembly delivered by Old Girl Gemma Dawkins, who will continue to champion mental health through our Elective programme next term. Well-being, of course, is also something that can be discussed and promoted at home, and the evidence-based Five Ways to well-being is a great way to continue this dialogue: https://fivetothrive.net
One notable way in which our students have being living fully in the present moment is through the making of music. Four JCG students were PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year finalists in March, and two Sixth Form students, Julia (voice) and Lydia (brass), claimed the overall prize and the Jersey Symphony Orchestra award respectively. Sixth Form students, and a number of their teachers, also played their part in the outstanding community choral performance of Carmina Burana.
In March, Year 13 enjoyed the famous ‘Jelly Beans’ assembly, in which the sweets (whether or not they survive the whole assembly!) are used to visualize the number of days we have to seize, enjoy and make the most of in our schooling, and in our lives beyond that. As Year 13 are urged to ‘carpe diem’, they prepare to hand over roles of responsibility to Year 12 as they take the final steps in their own journey through the College. This half-term has seen students interviewed for the various roles on the Senior Student Leadership Team and, whilst the process of making selections from such an incredibly strong field of applicants is a difficult one, we are enormously excited about announcing the new team on the last day of term.