Year 12 Comments - Autumn 2016

 

Keelan Moran

The decision of deciding to leave my old school and dare to settle into a new one was no easy decision, but it was one which St George’s made a lot easier for me.  Prior to joining I had lots of concerns about how people would react to my arrival at the School.  However, after my first week, I had myself wondering what I was ever worried about as I had felt like I had been there since Year 7 already.  Teachers and students are both very supportive, understanding and welcoming which creates a perfect working environment.

The difference in workload between GCSE and A Level is quite significant but nothing that can’t be managed and certainly nothing that isn’t worth the benefits it carries into the future.  This is also made easier by how helpful and open the teachers are which helps you know where you are at and what needs to be done.  Another thing is the House system at St George’s helps motivate students to get involved and find a talent in something in less academic which is very important for the future.  House events vary from Music to Rugby so the chance there is something for you is very likely.

As a Sixth Former at St George’s I often feel like a teacher at the best of times due to the respect and responsibilities given to us, which I think is important when it comes to working hard and preparing for the next step of your life.

 

Izzy Pankhurst

Moving to St George’s has been a huge change, but is has been an amazing journey so far, and it is really clear that introducing and settling new students has been a priority for the staff here.

I have been blown away by the House system here - the sense of pride shared by everyone at House events is incredible, and contagious!  I have recently taken part in House Music as a member of the choir and orchestra.  It was a huge event, and a memorable night (we won!).  Through this, I have met lots of new people who share interests with me, and this has helped me feel part of the community here.

I have also found a great sense of security in my tutor base.  We are mixed with the year above, something that I found initially daunting, but everyone has been incredibly supportive and friendly. Having a smaller group is really nice - you can get to know people who study completely different subjects who you wouldn’t otherwise mix with.

There is a strong support system in place, both for academic and personal issues.  Our Head of Sixth Form is very approachable, and always close by if we have any concerns.  Pastoral care is obviously an integral part of the St George’s ethos, and I feel comfortable in the knowledge that there will always be someone to help find a solution to any problem.

All in all, St George’s is an incredible school, and I know I will be very happy over my next two years here.

 

Matthew Mitchell

Having been at St George’s from Year 7, the change from GCSEs to A Levels is a challenging one to say the least.  The quantity of work increases and the difficulty in the content of the A Level courses made the workload the most daunting factor for me coming into Sixth Form.  However, the staff here at St George’s made it incredibly clear from day one that I would be able to receive the support and assistance I needed to manage the transition into Sixth Form.  The staff introduced us to the courses incredibly well ensuring myself and all my classmates were keeping up with the work and were quick to provide assistance when we required it.  This enabled me to quickly adjust to A Level work and enjoy the St George’s Sixth Form experience more.

The Sixth Form at St George’s is more than just working; it’s a community.  The opportunities to get involved in House events such as cross-country, rugby and inter-House music, gives us as Sixth Formers the chance to make lasting friendships and to take leadership roles within the School, giving us valuable experiences for later life.  The independence that Sixth Form provides gives us as Sixth Formers more privileges and freedoms and treats us more like adults, enabling us to develop essential skills such as organisation and time management.

The smooth transition between GCSE and A Level has enabled me to get involved in School events and enjoy the subjects I am pursuing at A Level making the Sixth Form a very enjoyable experience.  My advice to those entering Sixth Form will be not to get too stressed about the workload as you’ll quickly get used to it, and the more you put into activities, the more you will get out of the Sixth Form at St George’s.  

 

Jodie Shankland

I was a new student to St George’s at the beginning of Year 12.  However, I already no longer class myself as new because I have settled in so quickly.  Inevitably the first couple of weeks were challenging due to the number of changes, including moving from a small all-girls private school to a large mixed state school.  However I found that the House system helped me make new friends easily, as within the first two weeks, House music was a upon us, and it gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in the competitive atmosphere.  I was overwhelmed with how genuinely lovely and welcoming all the students were; they were extremely approachable, which meant I found myself fitting in much sooner than expected.

With regard to the transition from Year 11 to Sixth Form, as clearly explained by staff and Upper Sixth Form students, it is an increase in intensity.  The amount of independence given to us is difficult to handle at first, but the support from teachers helps, and I can tell it is good preparation for post Sixth Form.  I found it very difficult to cull eleven subjects to three/four when choosing my A Levels, but I would strongly advise to choose subjects you enjoy, because it is vital that you are driven to do the work as there is a lot of it!

I feel really proud to be part of St George’s, as it is a well‑respected school, which has reputable students and staff who have fantastic work ethics and morals.  I feel privileged to be spending the next two years here.

 

Barney Hope

As a Year 12 student new to St George’s School, the first thing I found was that this School is a lot stricter than my last.  Basic things like being late, mobile phone usage and missing homework deadlines are monitored and acted on more efficiently.  I have found that subsequently I have managed to cut out these problems quickly as I have adapted to these new expectations.  However, I think this is a good thing, because it means that you put more effort into your school work, for example.

The standard of teaching here is little different to that of my last school, which was private.  I strongly feel that I can do just as well here and would not be able to tell which was a private and which was a state school.

I have also found that I have fitted in and enjoy being around the other Sixth Form students.  I didn’t know anyone else when I started but already I feel that I have made good mates and everyone in the Sixth Form is someone I get on with.  There were some 50 other new external students who joined the Sixth Form and I have noticed that everyone has fitted in and no student has been made to feel left out.  I believe that this is the best of the 4 secondary schools I have been to.

 

Alice Slater

Having attended St George’s School since Year 7, I found that there is a significant difference between the rest of the School and the Sixth Form; however this has been a positive change for me. The freedom that Sixth Form life gives me, allows me to have time to do all my work without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  As someone that takes two arts, I have found that this freedom has been very useful when I need to use the art rooms and resources.  I also take Business and I believe that the freedom that Sixth Form provides is a good building block for the world of business and what that will bring.  The uniform of Sixth Form also is a key reflection of the world of business and helps me to create a personal and creative way of dressing that helps me express myself.  In addition to this, I have found that the study periods Sixth Form provide really help me complete my work to a good standard and allow me more free time at home.  Overall the jump from Middle School to Upper School has mainly been a positive step and I am looking forward to experiencing all that the Sixth Form has to offer.  Of course the workload has increased but I believe I am coping.

 

Andrew Pearce

All through my time at St George’s, I had heard great things about the Sixth Form here and towards the end of Year 11, I looked enthusiastically at the prospect of rejoining the School as a Sixth Form student.  Naturally, I’d heard about the heavy workload and independent studying but didn’t let that discourage me.  Having now begun my A Level course, it’s become clear why the Sixth Form here has such a good reputation with the endless opportunities and perks that come with being an A Level student.

One of the first things I noticed was the sense of freedom you have in all aspects of School.  Along with the freedom you had to get involved in extra-curricular activities from Years 7-11, you also have a certain freedom within how you learn your subjects and while independent studying can seem daunting, it gives you the opportunity to find areas of your subjects you really enjoy even if you don’t enjoy the subject as a whole.  You also find the atmosphere of this learning environment makes you feel as though you were a student attending lectures at university which is great preparation, teaching you the organisation skills you’ll need at the next stage of education.

The classes you attend will also be smaller which gives you the chance to build more of a connection with your fellow students and build confidence.  But building a friendly connection with other pupils is not limited to the classroom, the students, as well as the teachers, here are welcoming and willing to help newcomers, or even older students who have struggled to adapt to the system, with open arms.  St George’s Sixth Form has certainly had a positive impact on me, reducing the amount of stress I felt towards School and also helped me to express myself and my abilities within my chosen subjects.

 

Ramani Verl

Having gone to an all girls’ school for the past five years, the prospect of going to school in a mixed environment seemed very daunting to me.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adjust to a new school routine and be able to learn all the rules and expectations here at St George’s.  However, the teachers here are very understanding and give a little extra consideration to all the new pupils, as they know it may be hard for us to settle in.  They are all also very approachable and positively encourage us to seek them out for help.

Another one of my worries was that I’d get lost in the School or wouldn’t be able to do something due to my lack of knowledge of the School.  This I later found was just me worrying for no reason.  On the third week of School, one of my friends got her clarinet stuck in her locker (she was also new) and there was no one we knew in the corridor we could ask for help.  A Year 9 student (who neither of us knew) approached us and asked if we needed any help.  She spent time with us, teaching us how to open the locker and told us not to be afraid to ask anyone for help.

Although I’ve only been here for two months, I feel like St George’s is already changing me for the better.  Due to the extensive support and guidance I have received on how to study independently, and the range of resources my subject teachers have given me, I feel like I am already becoming more independent and am in more control of my studies and revision.

I am wholly pleased that I came to St George’s.  Although I loved my previous school, St George’s offered me the fresh start I was looking for, with a tremendous amount of support to ensure I settled in properly. They have set me up for an enjoyable two years.

 

Juan Rodgers

Even though I have been a pupil at St George’s since Year 7, the step to Sixth Form was an imposing thought; I was worried I would have too much work to do and not enough time. However after a few weeks I can comfortably say it is a large step up in terms of work and independency but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far in the Sixth Form.

One of my biggest worries was the fact I was taking 4 A Levels which would mean I would have a lot more work than everyone else, however I found the workload to be manageable with proper organisation.  The teachers have been very helpful in explaining brand new topics and are more than happy to help you outside of lesson time which has been a huge help, especially when you are stuck on a particular topic.  The class sizes are also good as they are small enough to query issues and ask questions or have in depth discussions.

The step up from GCSEs is significant as you go from being teacher-led in Year 11 to a lot of independent study in Sixth Form, you are expected to put hours into your subject outside the classroom as well.  However I believe this sense of independency is very useful as it gives you a taste of what university would be like in the years to come while still giving enough guidance to put you on the right path.

However with more independence come more privileges; the common room is a great place to take a break and I have found working in the study area very productive.  The School is not solely focused on the academic side of things; it offers a wide range of clubs and sports to partake in such as rugby, lacrosse, athletics and tennis.  I have found the transition to Sixth Form to be very smooth as the teaching is superb and the support and resources available are very good.

 

Eleni Christoforou

As a new student joining St George’s Sixth Form in Year 12, I personally found the experience relatively easy and comfortable.  I expected that joining any school for the first time would of course be a daunting experience, especially as I had spent my entire life at my old school.  However, everyone at the School including the students and teachers were more than welcoming and very quickly I felt myself also a part of the St George’s community.  The induction day was a great way for all students both new and old to get to introduce themselves and become friends, as we played many games which allowed people to get to know each other.  Moreover, I felt it very helpful being placed in a tutor base because it was an opportunity to become close to a group of people, as we meet every morning and afternoon for registration.

Furthermore, St George’s is a vast school and for the first few days of joining I found it difficult to find my classes, however students and teachers would kindly direct me to my lesson whenever I found myself lost and in no time I learned my way around.  I also was very impressed with the amount of facilities available to Sixth Form students, as there are many places to work effectively such as the computer room, and there is also the refectory which is a perfect place to socialise.  Also, I loved the concept of belonging to a specific House because it made me feel a part of a close community and House events such as House music brings the whole House together, whether you are taking part or supporting.  Instantly I felt a sense of House spirit.  Overall joining St George’s School was a smooth transition as everyone was extremely friendly.

 

Thomas Tallantire

I have been a student at St George’s since Year 7.  I realize that students may find the progression to Sixth Form a daunting process.  The expectation is that students will work independently and teach themselves part of the syllabus.  This does seem challenging at first, even adding pressure, but after adjusting to the work load, I can assure you that it is easily achievable.  Another big difference from GCSEs is the amount of effort required.  A Levels require 100% commitment and motivation to work independently.  Surprisingly this isn’t as difficult as it seems - students have study periods during the school day when you can further your study and use the library and all its resources.

The teacher student relationships at St George’s also changes when you move into Sixth Form.  Teachers empower students by giving us more responsibility but also respect our individuality and our differences.  This helps change the attitudes of students within the Sixth Form - students have a mutual respect for each other.  The Sixth Form Refectory is always a vibrant place, full of students helping each other to progress their learning.  A Levels are difficult, but this community feel encourages a really supportive environment and helps to make the transition from GCSEs easier.  Teachers encourage students to achieve their best, while helping and providing the information needed to succeed and hopefully to develop a real interest in a subject.

There are many extra-curricular activities run by the School to broaden our learning.  For example the School runs a Chinese club and many sports and specialist clubs that allow you to meet new people and develop interests.

I would really recommend St George’s Sixth Form, my introduction has been really enjoyable and I’m sure it will continue to be a supportive environment for me to learn and hopefully succeed!

 

 

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