Letter from Ms Marsland for Year 12 learners: 14th April

Dear year 12 student,

I hope that this message finds you and your family healthy and well during these challenging times.  At the moment, there is much focus on years 13 and 11 given the cancellation of final exams but I wanted to use this opportunity to contact you with some key information and thoughts looking forward to the months and year ahead.

This current situation will not last forever and it is really important that you remain motivated and continue looking to the future.  To get there, you need to be focused; acknowledge current concerns and fears, but keep your sights firmly set on the path ahead.  Regardless of where you want to be in 2021 – gap year, university or employment – the knowledge, understanding and resilience that you gain this year will contribute in ways we could never have foreseen.

I am well aware that it is difficult to maintain a sense of structure and normality when working from home, but it is so important that you work hard to achieve this.  As of yet, nobody knows for how long schools will be closed but the one certainty in this period of doubt lies in the fact that we will return, and it is crucial that you have used the time wisely.  Of course, nobody expects you to mirror a full working day every day but I do expect that you strive to achieve a workable balance between looking after yourselves, your families and others as well as studying.

You have all found yourselves with a lot of time at your disposal and it can be easy to slip into bad habits. Quite often, all of us claim that ‘we just haven’t got the time’ and, although challenging, now we have.  Post-16 success is firmly rooted in independent study so I urge you to make the most of this time in focusing on your studies.  Read around your subject.  Revise previous learning.  Perfect your notes.  Check your email daily.  Complete the tasks that your teachers are setting you.  Conduct wider research on the topics that you are interested in.  Create learning materials using different mediums that suit your learning style.

If you are reading this and feel that you haven’t quite found the balance needed to learn at home, then now is the time to consider how you can achieve this and start implementing it.

Your progression into year 13 will follow the same process as previous years.

  1. Progression from year 12 to year 13 will be based on your attitude to learning, commitment and attendance at sixth form. For the vast majority of you, provided you engage with the work that your teachers send, you will automatically progress into year 13
  2. For a small minority of students, progression into the second year of study will not be automatic. This can be for one or more of the reasons outlined below:
  • Poor attendance with little evidence of improvement over the year;
  • poor attitude to learning;
  • continuous breach of sixth form core requirements;

If you feel this may apply to you then there is still time to put it right by fully engaging and completing the work your teachers set with a high level of effort and commitment.

When we return to sixth form, there will be internal exams to ascertain levels of progress.  For now, you must be aware that this period of home learning is important as it will culminate in assessments.

Finally, I wish you all well.  Your teachers are doing all that they can to support your learning whilst the sixth form is closed.  Try not to worry and keep busy by following your teachers’ directions – it is important to maintain a high level of intellectual challenge to prepare for your second year of study.

Best wishes

Ms L Marsland
Director of Sixth Form