Moving to the Sixth Form can be challenging. It is a time of transition as boys grow into young men and develop a passion for the subjects they have chosen to study in more depth and, if they have not already, start to think seriously about their future plans beyond school.
Our expectations of Sixth Form pupils are understandably high; we expect them to lead, mentor, and be exemplary role-models for younger pupils. They are required to demonstrate high standards of conduct, dress and general demeanour. This is coupled with high expectations for academic attainment and progress. In the Sixth Form boys must be motivated to study more independently and become more responsible and accountable.
It is perhaps not surprising then, that, for some boys, the transition from Fifth Form into the Lower Sixth can be quite challenging, especially at the start. We held our Sixth Form Induction Conference this week, not only to set expectations, but to provide support and helpful advice on how to make a positive start in the Sixth Form.
Mrs Smith, our Sixth Form Academic Year Head, stated that, “Bedford School’s Sixth Form has a strong sense of collective identity; we are fortunate to have such a vibrant Sixth Form community. It was a privilege to welcome our new Lower Sixth boys into this community and encourage them to be forward-looking, anticipate and enjoy the challenges that lay ahead, as well as the benefits of taking a conscientious approach beyond their school years.”
During the day, the boys were privileged to learn from the wealth of experience of our keynote speaker, Guy Richardson, a graduate of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and officer in the British Army for twenty years, Team Manager on two British and Irish Lions Tours, a lecturer on leadership and high performance teams at Durham University and the University of Bath as well as a founder of his own business.
After an enjoyable lunch the newly appointed Senior Four: Dan Smith, Ryan Apps, Novo Ukiri and Mike Catt gave an address on how to make the most of the Lower Sixth year from a student perspective. In the final interactive session, the boys were given the chance to reflect and discuss the key messages, as well as commit to three individual objectives to achieve during their time in the Sixth Form.
Lower Sixth Former Jamie Norris told us, “I found the tips from the Senior Four to be helpful as they offered honest advice from the position of people who had recently gone through and experienced first-hand the challenges and the subsequent advice they received. Additionally, the talk from Guy Richardson offered a unique perspective on various, contrasting areas of life and how to make the most of all the opportunities we have.”
The boys took away some excellent advice, as well as a copy of our new Sixth Form handbook, before enjoying a short social to celebrate the start of their exciting Sixth Form years.