As mentors, we often hear the same message echoing throughout Year 13… “I wish I had worked harder in Year 12,” or “I can’t apply for the course I want because my predicted grades are rubbish,” despite admitting that they did not work hard enough for their mocks. The pattern repeats itself year on year so I decided to try and break this cycle. I asked current Year 13 students: if they could go back in time a year, what would they do differently? Knowing what they now know, what advice would they give to their Year 12 selves? And, for the ones who had a successful Year 12, how did they do it?
As we look to recruiting our next group of Year 12 students and our current year group mature, here are some of their pearls of wisdom to help you to have a successful Year 12.
Use your frees to start working earlier. At the end of this year, the stuff you’ve learnt needs to be solid because it gets harder in year 13 and there really isn’t time to recap 1st year content.
Get your work done as soon as you get it, otherwise it piles up fast.
Workloads become much easier to manage if you look after yourself first.
If you’re taking any essay based subject, especially those you have to do a coursework for, do an EPQ it’s a good way to improve your writing and useful for learning skills needed for coursework e.g. referencing. I’ve increased my grades by a whole grade after completing my EPQ just because I can articulate my arguments better. Although be aware, it’s a lot of work completing an EPQ and try and get it done sooner rather than later (especially the candidate log).
It’s OK to struggle, A Levels are not supposed to be easy and there is nothing wrong with struggling at the start so long as you do the appropriate work and get the appropriate help when things get too much. Talk to people about what’s bothering you and at the same time listen to those who need your help. Sometimes just getting things out helps a lot.
Pre-read. No matter what subject or topic it is, pre-read it, and it will make the whole topic easier, as you will be able to understand it so much better and quicker.
Don’t be afraid to double up if you need to. There is absolutely no shame in doubling up, and it will definitely help you improve.
Don’t be discouraged at first if your grades are completely different to GCSE grades. Eventually it will click.
Keep notes tidy and organised so when you come to revise you don’t need to rewrite half a book of work!
Use the silent study areas as much as you can do, don’t risk losing them.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can start today.
I’d say that you don’t have to stick to a certain type of revision, instead try lots of different things out so you know what the best revision methods are for you in year 13. Organisation is great but it’s more important to keep things varied than to worry about sticking to the same thing!
It ALL matters.
Don’t put off work till the last minute, do it when you get it so you can do it the best you can – predicted UCAS grades are decided on early in the year in year 13 and they’re based on your marks and effort in year 12. Be organised through year 12 and you’ll have an easier time revising in year 13!!
Article compiled by Jess Mares, Year 13 Mentor.
Home Study is the privilege afforded to Sixth Form students who demonstrate a mature and accomplished approach to their learning and maintain an attendance above 95% (or show consistent improvement when circumstances are beyond individuals’ control). Home Study allows greater freedom to students to tailor a bespoke Sixth Form experience, it also develops individuals ability to self-motivate and self-manage; skills crucial for success in employment and Higher Education.
Due to the changing nature and demands of A Level study, as a Sixth Form team we have listened to our Year 12 students and from January will allow students in Y12 Home Study – this is unprecedented in our Sixth Form. There is a Home Study agreement that must be signed by students and their parents/carers for Home Study to be granted.
Home Study is granted in the morning where there is a block of non-contact periods or after the last lesson of the day. Students are welcome to stay in school and study using the school facilities, but must ensure they have followed attendance protocols.
Home Study is a privileged and will be consistently reviewed to monitor the impact on individuals’ progress and year group attendance. With privileges come responsibilities and the expectation is that all students in Sixth Form will consistently model the high standards of dress, punctuality, attitude and behaviour that we expect.
How often do we hear ourselves say things like: ‘I’m such an idiot’ ‘I’m so bad at that’ ‘I’m a total failure’?? If we start to believe these words, over time, our confidence to do anything can reach rock bottom – and that’s a horrible place to be.
Maya Angelou’s quote encourages us to not only seek success in things we do, but also to pay attention to who we are, what makes us tick, what we are passionate about, and how we engage in the world. And what if we made a point of affirming – even if just to ourselves – what we like about what we see?
What if we said things like ‘I’m really good at…’ ‘I engage in things really well when I…’ ‘I get really passionate about…’? ‘I relate really well to people through…’ Wouldn’t that start to change how we see ourselves?
We may just find that we come to love the quirky, unique, gifted people we are. And we may begin to walk towards the most wonderful, and perhaps most rare type of success in our culture today – loving yourself, so you can be yourself, wherever you find yourself!
If you’d like to chat about this, or would like extra support with what you are facing right now, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
A team of students worked together to get their vision of a school newspaper up and running. The self-starting group have shown great determination and resilience to get together the content for their first edition, even meeting with a marketing and branding expert for advice.
The editorial team includes all year groups, but is led by one of our Year 12 students. This go-getting attitude embodies the attitude of our Sixth Form. Getting the first edition together has been a real accomplishment and we look forward to their second edition scheduled for release in February.
On Friday 19th October, Year 12 decided to take on staff in a charity football match, in memory of our amazing friend Emily Pattison.
We never thought the turn out would have been so good, we only expected a few from our year group and maybe a few in lower school to watch. The match was good-competitive, but ultimately our team of Year 12s won!
We had a bake sale and a crossbar challenge too, and there is a raffle organised for later this week.
So far, we managed to raise an amazing amount of £3,274. which is the most the school has ever fundraised from one single event.
I am absolutely gobsmacked and overwhelmed that as a school we have been able to achieve something so amazing. Emily was a very special girl, who touched so many people’s lives and this really does just show.
On behalf of Emily’s friends, I would like to thank everyone who donated, contributed and raised this much money for the incredible charities of Scott House and The Sick Children’s Trust. It really is incredible.
Article Contributed by Jade in Year 12
Year 12 Key Dates:
Info Evening & Tutor Consultation 25 October
GCSE English and Maths Resits w/c 5 November
KEVI Inspires 22 November
Post 16 Info Evening 10 January
Senior Student Elections 15 February
Parents’ Evening 4 April
Exams Begin (BTEC/CamTech) 13 May
Progression Info Evening 4 July
Mock Exams w/c 8 July
Work Experience w/c 15 July
Key Dates Year 13:
UCAS Deadline 22 October
GCSE English & Maths Resit w/c 5 November
Parents Evening 15 November
KEVI Inspires 22 November
Post 16 Info Evening 10 January
Mock Exams w/c 25 February
Photo Day 26 April
A Level Exams Begin w/c 20 May
Celebration Evening 23 May
Results Day 15 August
As a school we’ve worked hard in times of limited resource to provide transport assistance. For students who live ‘out of catchment’ we’re able to offer this as a one-off discretionary payment of £110. Apply with Susan in our Post 16 Student Support Office. Any student within catchment and lives more than 3 miles away should apply for a school bus pass from Northumberland County Council
Students in Year 13 can request an on site parking permit by completing the paperwork with Susan in the Post 16 office. The car parking permit applications process is now closed for this round. It will open again at the end of February for the next set of applications. 5 students will be allocated permits as soon as we come back from the half term break to run till end of February.
Please avoid parking on Cottingwood Lane where possible.
Hard to believe that Bridging Week has been and gone and we’re now all waiting with great anticipation and possibly a little trepidation the August results!
Those that attended Bridging Week made such a positive impression on the Sixth Form team and the teaching staff. Many teachers commented on the enthusiasm with which students approached their lessons and learning, and are very much looking forward to new cohorts of students starting in September.
We very much hope that Bridging Week, allowed students to get familiar with their new surroundings – making the Advanced Study Centre their new base. Begin to connect and establish burgeoning friendships and try out A Level subjects that will help them on their way to their desired destination. The aim of Bridging Week is to begin that journey of development and increasing self awareness and to make informed decisions about futures.
During the week we partnered with Live-n-Learn, who spoke to students about developing their A Level Mindset. The aim of these sessions, was to give an indication of the breadth and depth of our Enrichment and Personal Development Programme, which is unique to King Edward’s, whilst also offering practical tips, strategies and advice on the differences between school and Sixth From.
Year on year, comments from both students and staff relate to the transitional phase between Year 11 and Year 12 and how ‘big’ the jump is from GCSE to A Level. The enrichment sessions on Wednesday, demonstrated by being fully informed and prepared, as well as adopting a motivated and positive mindset, there is no jump. Instead there are a plethora of opportunities and possibilities to be grasped, used and exploited to ensure that dreams, goals and accomplishments are all realised within Sixth Form at King Edward’s.
Students, please follow the link below to provide your thoughts on the week: