Sixth Form Update

Examinations have been the priority for all Sixth Form students this term with the first exams starting in May and Year 13 students finishing their school studies at the end of June. We hope that all of the incredible work and effort that students have shown in the lead up to these exams is rewarded with results to be proud of, and to take students forward in the next stage of their plans for the future. As the exams draw to a close the students are looking forward with Year 12 contemplating their options after Holyhead and Year 13 reminiscing about their time here and preparing for their next step, whether that is a university, apprenticeships or moving straight into a career.

For the Year 13 students who have already begun their long summer holiday whilst playing the waiting game for their exam results, the future looks exceptionally promising. With a record 527 university offers (well over 100 more than the previous record), those students who are intending to continue their studies to degree level can look forward with optimism. With their Leavers Assembly on Friday 22nd, June and their Sixth Form Leavers Prom held at Highbury Hall in Moseley on Friday 29th June this fantastic year group have finished in style. Many thanks and plaudits should go to Sharan, the Sixth Form President, for her driving role in ensuring this final leavers event took place, both in terms of her fantastic organisation of the logistics and also her perseverance in getting everyone to pay up and bring their relevant paperwork in!

To continue their process of looking forward to the future, Year 12 students have attended a number of significant events which will provide them with important insights into what is available after Holyhead. On Friday 22nd June all of Year 12 attended the University of Birmingham Open Day to be followed two weeks later with Aston University’s Open Day, alongside the UCAS Convention which was held on Monday 25th June at the NEC, providing students with a view into not only the courses on offer, but also the chance to speak to employers and apprenticeship providers at the NEC. In addition to the university visits, Year 12 students will be taking part in their Work Experience week from 9th - 13th July with the focus being on gaining valuable and relevant perspectives into specific career paths, helping to inform decisions on those vital next steps which become such a crucial focus in Year 13.

Whilst building work-related skills are of great significance, so too is the importance of ensuring students are clear in the knowledge of how to keep themselves safe. Young Driver Safety has been a key theme through the year, including an assembly provided earlier in the year from West Midlands Fire Service and coverage of the topic through the Sixth Form Tutor Programme. On Wednesday 4th July, all Year 12 students took part in a workshop called ‘The Ripple Effect’, an initiative led again by the West Midlands Fire Service designed to develop an understanding of the consequences of dangerous driving beyond those in the vehicles themselves.

Competitive Courses Programme Year 12 Update

There have been even more successes for students taking part in the Competitive Courses Programme with places gained on summer schools, university programmes and opportunities to be mentored by current university students. Summer Schools are a fantastic opportunity for students to experience life at university before making the applications and we have students who will be attending summer schools all around the country from Cumbria to Oxford studying a wide variety of subjects.

The 10 students taking part in the Teach First Futures programme had an eye-opening experience on their Easter Summer School at University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. The next stage of the Teach First Futures programme is to be mentored and supported through their university applications by a professional mentor who is familiar with the university process and is successful in their current role. This is also a feature of the Social Mobility Foundation programme which 5 more of our Year 12 students will be continuing into Year 13 as well as having the opportunities for internships over the summer with leading companies in their chosen sectors.

Engagement in subject/pathway specific university programmes has been a feature throughout the year with 13 students participating in University of Birmingham Routes to the Professions courses in Dentistry, Medicine, Law, Finance and Engineering, whilst two students are continuing their work as part of the Aston Medical School programme. This summer we also have 5 students who are part of the Aston Progression Pathways programme who will be experiencing a residential at the university.

Exciting times with lots to look forward to over the summer and into 2018-19.