Sixth Form Enrichment


Enrichment Activities

All students are expected to do some form of Enrichment while in Year 12 although the amount that you do is, to some extent, up to you. You can either choose to do the bare minimum (see below) or to enjoy the options available to you and make the most out of your time in the Sixth Form. This will of course make you more ‘marketable’ for the future – for university and/or jobs. So, of course, its up to you to decide whether you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd or not.

Students do Enrichment in order to learn new study skills and to give them the ‘extra’ needed when applying to university, an apprenticeship and/or a job. As you leave school, you will see that this is more and more important as the competition is intense and those who are seen as ‘average’ will struggle to get on the ladder. Students also do Enrichment just for the sake of it, for enjoyment.

Some Enrichment will be in lesson time, other elements of it will be in your free lessons/after school/weekends or even holidays.

 

EPQ

Since all students in Year 12 at SWA are expected to take further develop their studies outside of their regular subject areas in order to enhance their skills base and gain further qualifications and to build upon their existing abilities. All will therefore either engage with EPQ and/or MOOCs and successful completion of one of these areas will be a consideration for further progression into Year 13.

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) allows students to investigate one area of their own interest in much further depth and involves choosing a topic and carrying out research into a chosen area of study, supported in small groups by a supervisor. This is then backed up with a programme of taught skills sessions to enable successful completion of the project. There is no exam but students produce either a dissertation-type essay or physical product together with a shorter report and is handed in at the end of Year 12.

The choice of topics is pretty much unlimited – you could choose to extend your studies in one of your current A levels, or combine elements of more than one of them. Alternatively, it could be an area that we do not cover in this school – past examples include Archaeology and Classical Civilisation for instance – or it could be about something from outside of school, an ethical issue perhaps, or something that affects you personally or that you care about, or just something that you want to find out more about. What it cannot be though is just re-hashing current or past work, we are not interested in that. It is worth pointing out that all work is scanned for plagiarism, just as it is in university.

The EPQ is all about the researching and developing of work, as well as actually producing it. It is very well regarded by both Universities and employers alike since it provides a raft of skills that are required post-secondary school and demonstrates a good degree of initiative and is worth half an A Level at A2 standard (ie more than an AS!). Students regularly have revised university offers made on account of their EPQ.


Useful Webistes

Use the links below to find out more...


Key Features

The Extended Project is being increasingly highly regarded by Universities as a major benefit to students preparing for the challenges of individual study. Key to this however is a focus on academic research that can focus on contemporary issues that have real relevance and significance to the lives of our students and areas of academic interest that they themselves would like to develop and explore.

Moreover, EPQ strives to:

  • Add value that can be put onto UCAS personal statements
  • Encourage thinking across specialist subjects
  • Develop students' ability to make inferences from data, images and documentary sources, to argue a case and draw reasonable conclusions
  • Foster enquiry and critical thinking about interconnecting issues.
  • The skills of communication, problem-solving and reasoning skills, analysis and evaluation
 

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’S)

Introduction and Importance of MOOC’s

During the first month of study in year 12 your son/daughter will have received a presentation/discussion session in order to inform them of a very important extra-curricular enrichment opportunity called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s). MOOC’s are delivered by many universities from the UK and abroad. Students can study a MOOC in any subject area where they have an interest. Samuel Whitbread’s sixth form prides itself on offering our students opportunities to study and enrich their academic portfolio by taking part in these initiatives. A MOOC is a fantastic opportunity to enhance their current A level studies and also to provide them the opportunity of being taught by leading university lecturers and research professors who can provide them with the most up to date knowledge. Below is an outline of some key benefits that studying a MOOC will bring to your son/daughter:

  • They are topic/subject specific and if a student knows they wish to continue with X subject at university then taking a MOOC course in year 12 and 13 to support their university applications will be of great benefit.
  • Support and adds an independent learning side to A level courses.  All MOOC’s are related to many of the A level and BTEC courses your son/daughter is taking at Samuel Whitbread.
  • Open source of knowledge and skills – there is no entry requirement for any MOOC.
  • Students get a chance to become part producers and consumers of research content alongside university experts.
  • Free – there is no charge to enter a MOOC course.  There is a small charge for the certificate of completion at the end of the course.
  • Interactive learning – they are not just lectures.
  • Each MOOC has a recommended number of learning/participation hours per week – the student can decide when they do this as there is no set time of day or the week.
  • Use of higher education skills and knowledge is enhanced.
  • Assists with ‘tasters’ of university courses.

The 6th form urges parents and students to view the following links so you can be informed as to how a MOOC works, when they can be taken and the benefits to your sons/daughters current and future academic studies. As parents/carers you can also take a MOOC alongside your son/daughter in the same subject area or with a different focus as MOOC’s are open to everybody.


Useful Links

If you have any questions regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact Mr Huckle on lhuckle@bestacademies.org.uk


MOOC Providers

Universities use the following organisations to provide teaching and learning as a MOOC.


NCS (National Citizenship Service)

The NCS is an incredible opportunity to develop your independent living skills and again is highly recognised by employers and universities because of the skills that you gain from doing this. It looks great to put on your CV and/or your personal statement for university application. Even better, it is largely funded by the Government and also gives you the opportunity to work for them and earn good money in the holidays after completion of the course.

It involves three weeks of your time, two of them residential and is a great chance to meet new friends and to learn new skills. Reports from Sam Whit students who have gone on this have been glowing!


Sports Leaders

We will be offering this after school, although not as an alternative to EPQ/MOOCs. The Sports Leaders programme allows you to work with middle and lower school children to develop both your coaching skills and their sporting abilities. While we do not put students forwards for the Level 2 certification of this, apart from the fun of doing this course, you will be able to talk about it on any application form that you do.


Duke of Edinburgh

The D of E programme is well-established here, at all levels. Last year we had a student have a (downwards) revised university offer made to her on account of her gold D of E award!


Oxbridge Society

If you aspiring to apply for Oxbridge or for other Russel Group universities, it would be really useful for you to join this group. In it you will enter into discussions and find out more about the very real benefits of going to a leading university and how best to approach directing your application towards this. There will also be a number of talks and university visits to help you in your decision making process.

The Sixth Form Oxbridge Society was set up in December 2015 by Mr L Huckle. The society is for students who have expressed an interest in making future applications to Oxford or Cambridge universities. The aim of the society is to provide support and guidance to the prospective applicants through the following methods:

  • Monthly discussion meetings where student get to share their own preparation with each other
  • Presentations by the Head of Year and/or High Attainers Coordinator in order to provide vital information on entry requirements, entry tests and what preparation needs to take place
  • Talks from ex Samuel Whitbread Students who are currently studying or have studied, at Oxford or Cambridge Universities
  • Presentations from admissions tutors/lecturers at Oxford and Cambridge Universities to give a more in depth insight into what is required

Two links have been set up in January 2016 and the aim is for these links to continue into the future as part of the society:

  • Wadham College, University of Oxford. Each county of the UK is paired with a college automatically and as Samuel Whitbread is in Bedfordshire, our liaison college is Wadham
  • Kings College, University of Cambridge. Mr Huckle has made contact with admissions tutors at this college

If you have any questions, or would like to join the Oxbridge Society, please contact:

Mr Huckle (Acting Head of Sixth Form) - lhuckle@bestacademies.org.uk


Teachers For Tomorrow

In the Teachers for Tomorrow programme (T4T) you will be working alongside a teacher to specifically help individuals with their learning. You would have to work with them to see where you have free lessons available so that you can get some regular time in with a particular class. This is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of entering the world of teaching, to see both the joys and the trials of getting ideas across to younger minds!


Performing Arts

Music clubs

Big Band!, Soul band, Choir and instrument lessons. The school has regular concerts and musicals, as well as lunchtime and after school sessions. All are welcome. Please see the Head of Music for further details.


Drama 

With plays and musicals being staged over the course of the year, there are opportunities for not only performers but also for those behind the stage – lighting and sound for instance. Please see the Head of Drama for more details. 


SPORT

Regular events, matches and training occur throughout the year in a wide variety of disciplines – please see the Head of PE for further details.


Roles Within The Academy

Deputy Head Boy and Girl positions, student council and prefects – the school is what you make it to be – these are positions of responsibility that make real changes for the better for the whole school. As well as these, there are also roles as house captains and leaders for a number of roles such as charities rep, sports rep and so on. There are also additional roles such as ambassadors for Students as Researchers, Students as Interviewers, Peer Support and College Council.