My day as an Ark Globe Academy Sixth Form student
Although next Summer, and its GCSE exams, still seems a long way away it is the time of year where Year 11s start to make important decisions about what they would like to study next and where they will continue their education.
What is it really like to be a Sixth Former and how is it different from being in Year 11? Our Sixth Form at Ark Globe Academy opened in September 2014 with its initial cohort of 38 students. We asked Ochuko, one of our students, to share his day with us.
My day – Ochuko Toweh, YEAR 12
My day starts at 7:45am. I like to get in early and work in the Sixth Form’s quiet study room before lessons. It's also a good time to see teachers if I didn't understand something from the previous day as they are always in early.
If it's a Wednesday we have assembly, but if not we have Learning Family Time. This is a chance to think more about what it means to be a Sixth Form student and discuss big issues. During this time, our Learning Family Leaders will also check our folders are up-to-date and give us advice on how to improve our study techniques. On Fridays, we all take turns to present on an article from ‘The New York Times’. The standard is pretty high so this is a big piece of work!
Lessons start at 8:45am and run throughout the day, sometimes to 4:30pm, depending on your options. If you don't have a lesson you work in the study room - this is our space and we try to use it well. Probably the biggest change from Year 11 to Year 12 is the emphasis on working independently. Even really hard-working students have had to step up as in Year 12 you have to take more responsibility for your work and put in lots more effort. It is really rewarding, but for the first few weeks it was a real shock to the system. If there is one thing you could do to prepare yourself for Sixth Form whilst in Year 11 it would be to learn good study habits as you go!
After school we sometimes have a careers talk or a masterclass which are both really useful. We have lots of opportunities for enrichment – we have already visited two universities, been on a residential and had several careers talks from lawyers, barristers, doctors, and even Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty! These are all really important in giving us the skills to do well at university and the confidence to belong there. However, they have to be balanced carefully against the amount of work we do each night - a minimum of two hours each evening. A-Levels are hard qualifications to get and the gap between GCSE and A-Level is the biggest in education, so if we want to be successful…it is going to take hard work.
About 6pm I head home, after doing as much homework as I can in school where the teachers can support me. I know it's a long day, but I feel better knowing the staff are here to help. Some students work better at home and email their teachers questions - it's nice to have a more mature relationship with them and that's a benefit of being in a Sixth Form rather than a college. Also, we know the school really cares about us and wants the best for us, so the hard work is a pain, but we know why we’re doing it.
When we applied to Ark Globe Academy Sixth Form we had to say what we thought was the biggest social problem facing our generation and what we'd do to help fix it. Ms Donachy and Ms Baldwin are very clear that our success in A-Levels isn't just about us, but what we offer and how we change the society we live in. I hope the hard work pays off for me and I'm looking forward to making my family proud when I graduate. When I’m successful in whatever I do, I'm going to come back and help other students do the same. It's important to leave a legacy.
Are you interested in applying?
Ark Globe Academy offers outstanding teaching and learning, an innovative enrichment curriculum including innovative partnerships with organisations such as Fulham FC, and personalised support and guidance that fully prepares students for the best universities. Globe expects its students to make a difference to their community and lead the way to a fairer society.
Applications for Ark Globe Academy Sixth Form are now open. To apply visit: www.arkglobeacademy.org/sixth-form/how-apply
Thank you to Ochuko, Charlie, Trae and Amy for helping with this article.