The Sixth Form is an exciting time for students; it is a period of transition marked by subject specialism, increased responsibility and leadership opportunities, with a view to life beyond St Robert’s. As a Catholic college we believe in the importance of nurturing the whole person – academic, moral, social and spiritual.
The College provides a wide choice of A Level subjects so that students can start to specialise in areas which appeal to them. Every pupil is part of a Tutor group led by a tutor who will maintain a holistic overview of and, crucially, monitor their progress both academically and socially, encouraging involvement, commitment and high standards of work. Each pupil meets regularly with their tutor and in tutor periods students prepare for life beyond St Robert’s. This includes preparation for, and advice on, applications for higher education and careers.
Students are expected to engage with their subjects beyond the classroom. Some subject areas provide outside speakers or organise visits to lectures at local universities in order to engage and challenge students. These are designed to raise awareness of opportunities and issues in the world today and so are wide- ranging.
Students can take on the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme gaining new skills, volunteering and testing their limitations through the expedition. Sixth Form students can extend their challenge by taking part in our Leadership activity weekend to Derwent Hill in the beautiful Lake District. There are great opportunities to be involved in social projects through World Challenge or our own link with Zambia.
Many students from elsewhere choose to join Year 12 and this adds a new vitality to the peer group and ensures a richer Sixth Form experience for everyone. The current Sixth Form common rooms serve as hubs and is a place where students can relax together. Sixth Form students have their own café area, in addition to the main school dining area, serving hot food and drinks during the extended lunch period.
Naturally, with greater maturity comes responsibility, and there are many opportunities for students to give something back to the community whilst developing their leadership skills. Students can take part in mentoring with lower school students in subject areas, and oversee students from Year 6 who visit college on their transition days in the summer term. Sixth Form prefects assist college staff with lunch duties in the main school dining area. We have reinstated the positions of Head Boy and Head Girl.
There is a vibrant Sixth Form Council which discusses issues of importance to students in their daily lives in college. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Council, along with Head Boy and Head Girl, comprise the Sixth Form Leadership team and they meet regularly with the Head of 6th Form.
The college has a full time chaplain who works with the chaplaincy team to explore all areas of spirituality that are relevant to our Sixth Form students. Our chapel is open all day and available to students whenever they need quiet or time and place to reflect. Students can contribute to the local community through the John Paul II award which recognises the work that our students already do. One of the highlights of the year is the Sixth Form Carol just before we break for Christmas.
Therefore the Sixth Form experience at St Robert’s combines a stimulating academic curriculum with a full pastoral programme. This enables Sixth Formers to develop an appetite for life whilst gaining the best possible academic passport. By the time they leave, they will be ready for, and looking forward to, life beyond the College.