The transition from year 11 to year 12 is an exciting one for the majority of students, but this is also one of the most difficult transitions in a student’s educational journey; one that is filled with new challenges. There is a greater focus on the concept of self-study, independent learning, independent research and taking responsibility for themselves and their own levels of success. With this in mind, here at Woolwich Poly, there is the opportunity to effectively bridge the gap and ensure that students are making an informed decision that will impact their future.
Most sixth forms and colleges offer students the opportunity to take masterclasses in their chosen subjects – well we don’t think that is enough! Here at Woolwich Poly, students are given the opportunity to attend our sixth form for an entire week. Our current year 12 students will be out on work experience and the year 13s will have finished, so the space is entirely theirs. This is a prime opportunity to try out chosen subjects, meet teachers and peers and decide whether Woolwich Poly is the right choice. Details of Springboard will be sent to students following their interview and dependent on the success of this.
Students, who will be starting Year 12 in September, will take part in two days of induction to the Sixth Form. A mixed package of activities give them the chance to ‘taste’ some of the extra-curricular opportunities we offer, be inspired to accept the academic challenge and make new friends through fun team-building activities. For many of our students, this is a new beginning, meaning this programme is integral to the transitioning between year 11 and 12.
The transition from year 12 to year 13 is yet another milestone in a student’s academic career. Here at the Woolwich Poly Sixth Form, we support each step of the students’ journey to life ‘beyond the Poly’.
One of the key structures that has been developed to promote this transition is our ‘Beyond the Poly Week’ which takes place during the summer term, following the AS exams. This week is entirely dedicated to skills that will aid each individual student, no matter what their pathway: university, apprenticeship or employment. Each year, while the activities are tailored to the current cohort of students, there are main topics that remain the same: CV writing and interview practice, public speaking, image projection and overall physical and mental health. Utilising specialists in various fields and local London university venues, this week focuses learning outside of the classroom. This week is dedicated to furthering students’ skills for both university and the world of work.
At the Poly, we provide tailored support for each student by experienced 6th form tutors, UCAS Co-ordinator and Head of Year from writing personal statements to guidance on university choices and courses, along with taster trips to see what university life is like.
The destinations of our 2017 leavers include two students studying at the University of Cambridge and two students studying medicine. Almost 20% of our students went to Russell Group Universities, which is double the London average, this included students studying Engineering at Warwick, Physics at Imperial, Economics at Queen Mary’s and Politics at Leeds.
The university applications process is entirely run through the UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) website. Courses can be found on the following website: www.search.ucas.com. It is important when choosing courses to consider the UCAS points needed. Each subject a student completes will award them UCAS points based on the grade. Universities will base their offers on the number of UCAS points, typical offers can vary from 96 points (three Cs) to 136 points (AAB).
Students at the beginning of Year 13 may choose up to five university courses, after they have heard from all of them they can select one choice as a Firm place and a second choice as an insurance. The insurance choice should have a lower entry requirement than the Firm choice to ensure they are guaranteed a place at a university.
The government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) ranks all universities with a Gold, Silver or Bronze ranking based on their quality of teaching. Last year almost half of our students went to Gold ranked universities and three quarters went to a Gold or Silver university.
The website provides initial support for your research into opportunities beyond the Poly which may not include further or higher education.
Carry out your own research and look at services such as:
Additionally it is well worth your while to make direct contact with identified apprenticeship providers.
All of the services mentioned above give you the opportunity to create online profiles with step-by-step guidance; interview tips; CV and application form-filling support.
There are three levels of apprentice and these are described and known as: