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Making the most of Sixth Form

Making the most of Sixth Form

How to make the most of your time at St Mary’s Sixth Form, Cambridge by Head Girl Aisling H.B.

  1. Put free periods to good use. Particularly if your subjects are essay-based as you’ll need as many free hours as you can get! Often you will find the work is more time consuming than challenging, so utilise free periods effectively. The risk of the independence that Sixth Form allows is time wasting – so getting time management skills nailed from the start is essential. It’s also good practice for university study in the future. Also free online courses, such as FutureLearn, are a great way of boosting your personal statement – they require very little work each week but help you expand on your favourite subjects.
  2. Go to catch up sessions. Many subjects offer lunchtime ‘catch up’ sessions and all our teachers are willing to go over areas you may be finding more difficult. It is far better to admit to not understanding something, and working to improve on it, than pretending you’re okay and suffering in examinations.
  3. It’s useful to visit the career adviser to see what is actually on offer for you. Even if you’re unclear of the exact career you want in the future, getting work experience in your relevant field (for example, at a museum if you want to do a History degree) is far better than not doing any at all. It also allows you to see what you might not want to do in the future.
  4. Balance between academic work and relaxation is the key to success. A good way of finding a balance is by participating in extra-curricular or lunch time activities, as many would have done during Senior School. Being able to highlight the clubs you’ve participated in is helpful for personal statements (particularly if they are relevant to the course you’re applying for – for example, I write and edit the school’s magazine and I am going to read English at university) but it’s also an important part of trying new things. Also, Sixth Form students are invited to start clubs, so if there is a club you really want to join but doesn’t yet exist – start it! I started a board game club.
  5. I recommend making the most of the Sixth Form trips! Throughout the year there will be weekend trips away and an opportunity to go to places like Iceland and Venice. Having been on the Venice trip, I thoroughly recommend it.