The final weeks of this term have been busy and rewarding for the Sixth Form. As well as carol singing in St Helier for our House charities, Sixth Form students prepared 14 beautiful Christmas hampers for young residents of a shelter run by the Jersey Association for Youth and Friendship. The generosity and community spirit of our students suggests they may not have needed the moral guidance on such matters provided by the wonderful College production of A Christmas Carol; however, the show was a triumph and we are very proud of the Sixth Form students involved, on and off stage.
Just as impressive as their theatrical talents was the sporting prowess the Sixth Form displayed in the ‘Us vs. Them’ netball match against Victoria College. Even more important than securing a crushing victory (24-7!) is the fact our students raised just under £200 for Talitha Arts, our Sixth Form charity.
The Life Skills and Choices programme has continued to equip our Year 12 students to respond to a range of challenging situations throughout their lives. Recently, we have enjoyed a highly personal, moving and, ultimately, uplifting exploration of mental health presented by Dick Moore, as well as engaging with issues of body image and self-esteem with local charity You Matter. As the holidays drew nearer, we welcomed Philip Blake to offer a timely reminder of the dangers of driving (or being driven by someone) under the influence of drink or drugs.
When November gave way to December, the embargo on Christmas decorations was officially lifted and the Sixth Form Centre became a hub of festivity – including an awful lot of singing – within the College! It has been encouraging to hear the Sixth Form in such good voice since, as well as filming a performance for the BBC to use in this year’s Christmas lectures at the request of Old Girl Laura Voak, we are now preparing to end our term with the long-anticipated House Choir competition!
Amidst all the acting, singing and goal shooting, academic work has continued unabated. Students have been put through their paces in practice interviews for subjects ranging from Chemistry and History to Physiotherapy and Pharmacy. We have been grateful to so many members of the island community for offering their expertise to help with these. We are delighted to have sent students to interviews for places at Oxbridge, and for courses including Medicine and Nursing; regardless of the outcome, we are enormously proud of what they have already achieved.
With January ‘mocks’ appearing on the horizon for Year 13, it is important to remember that some commonly used revision strategies – such as re-reading, highlighting and summarizing notes – are not those which cognitive science and educational research suggest are most effective. For a concise and accessible summary of the approaches to revision which are likely to yield the best results, we recommend the website of the Learning Scientists: http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/8/18-1