From The Head of Sixth Form
Always maintaining the main focus on their academic achievement, Sixth Form life actively encourages team spirit and leadership skills, responsibility for themselves and others and a feeling of pride in their endeavours and those of their peers. Sutton Valence Sixth Form are encouraged to focus on their own independent learning, whilst enjoying the support of the School’s inclusive and caring community and, as Head of Sixth Form, I believe that they have a key role to play as leaders and shapers of the School.
We are proud of the excellent value added each student achieves in our Sixth Form. This is no accident. The entry requirement of five B grades at GCSE ensures that our pupils have the ability to succeed and build upon their success. Those who do particularly well at Key Stage 4 or equivalent may also qualify for our unique Westminster Scholarship. Students are encouraged to think for themselves, but we also realise that they need close support from a caring and nurturing pastoral team and highly-qualified subject specialists. They all have an individual personal tutor with whom they meet with at least once a day and who is responsible for their academic achievement. We also make sure that close contact with parents is maintained throughout the year, whether through face-to-face meetings, more informal email contact or our rigorous half-termly grading. This close and informed relationship with parents helps us to recognise issues early and promote happiness and success for all. As Head of Sixth Form I support the pastoral team of Housemistresses, Housemasters and tutors, along with Mrs Christine Carter who is the School’s Higher Education and Careers Advisor.
We prepare our students for their future. I am proud of the guidance we give them about choosing the right A levels, university and career options. We offer a very comprehensive service to each individual in the Sixth Form, so that they have the best chance of success in their chosen field. With over 65 applicants to university in 2016, no two Sutton Valence Sixth Formers have followed the same path. They end up all over the world, whether studying in American or European universities, in this country, or applying for a prestigious Higher Apprenticeship, or organising a useful and meaningful gap year.
Sutton Valence School has the benefits of being both a day and a boarding school. This allows for a bespoke provision, with many day pupils taking advantage of our flexible boarding opportunities. There are three senior houses, each with a common ethos, but a strong house identity. The Sixth Form are a major factor in contributing to the house spirit and are fiercely loyal to the boarding staff and to each other. The boarding community is enriched by approximately fifteen international students who join our Sixth Form each September. They may stay for the Lower Sixth or the full two year A level course and go onto study at university either in this country or abroad. As well as having day and boarding Houses, the Sixth Form enjoy the additional privileges of a designated Sixth Form study area and our Sixth Form café, TC’s.
Academic success is the main focus, but the School offers other countless opportunities. I firmly believe that encouraging our students to learn about themselves and others through a wide variety of experiences helps to provide them with the adaptability, skills and self-confidence needed for the future. We focus on our students, as individuals, being part of a community, learning the skills of leadership, team work and self-reliance. Whether this is by choosing to apply for the prestigious role of school prefect, trekking through the jungles of Borneo or organising the Sixth Form Spring Ball. Our Sixth Form are busy contributing and leading sports teams, the CCF, taking part in music and drama performances, house competitions, lectures, debates, prefect duties and a wide variety of co-curricular and super-curricular opportunities.
I believe that happy people are successful. I want the last two years of a child’s school career to be a truly enjoyable experience. You only have to look at some of the Year Book pages to see how fondly our students reflect upon their last two years at Sutton Valence School.
Mrs F Porter MA BA
Head of Sixth Form