Year 12 Comments - Autumn 2018

 

Helena Ray

For the past 5 years I have studied at St Albans High School for Girls, however, due to subject choice and wanting a change of environment I decided to move to St George’s for sixth form. Despite knowing very few people here initially, I immediately felt better when I found out from the Head of Sixth that there were 70 external students joining in my year. It was reassuring to know that many people were going through the same transition into a new school and I knew that they would be feeling as nervous as I did. Having said this, I would honestly say that I have found the most amazing, genuine friends who have all been here since Year 7. It felt as if I had known them all for ages as they were so welcoming and within the first 6 weeks I felt that I had fully settled in. Additionally, the teachers are extremely caring and will do everything they can to help you feel at home at St George’s.

The transition from GCSE’s to A Levels is understandably going to be a challenge, although I knew that I was ready to learn new skills and expand my knowledge on subjects I was greatly interested in. The independent learning structure does require you to stay on top of your work but it also enables you to have more responsibility which I believe will prepare me well for university.

There are a vast amount of opportunities available to every student in the School which is another great way to interact with people from all the different years. Events such as House Music, Cross Country and the School Play are just a few of the many extracurricular activities on offer. I know I made the right choice to join St George’s for sixth form and I am very excited to be spending the next two years here.

 

Ed James

Starting Sixth Form at St George's has revealed to me a whole new scope of learning, responsibility and independence. Through the study periods or independent learning; a profound sense of freedom and passion for my studies has arisen.

Since Year 7, I have slowly noticed the pressure of work and mounting expectations increase, but starting sixth form, where every hour counts, feels like it has built up to these two paramount years. Fortunately, our every qualm is appeased through the vibrant, diverse, yet supportive, upper school community. From the Head of Sixth Form to the tutors, teachers are there to guide and establish a foundation for our future lives. Fortunately, the ‘open door policy’ of Mrs Priestland allows students with any issues that they may be faced with to receive advice and support at any time. For many, this policy extends throughout the School’s structure making St George’s feel all the more unique.
For me, duties such as mentoring and in-class support provide an opportunity to use my experience and knowledge to help the younger students with their studies and acclimatise to the new environment which at first, can seem intimidating. However, the one-to-one mentoring allows the Year 7s to establish an exclusive relationship with an older student.

Even as an existing student at St George’s, it felt daunting starting sixth form with the impending pressure of A Levels and the countless new pupils joining our close-knit social circles. However, within a few days, new friendship groups have formed and everyone has been made to feel welcome. The induction day and particular events such as the sixth form social and inter house competitions help students to bond. Nerves have been dispelled, friendships made, subjects are challenging and sixth form is fast becoming the best part of my St George's education.

 

Natalie Jarvis

Having been in many schools in different countries throughout my life and experienced different types of education, I can be sure when I say how much of an honour it is to be part of the Sixth Form at St George’s. When I first arrived at the School I immediately felt welcomed by all the teachers and students. Things where very different where I came from but as soon as I arrived everyone kindly offered their help whenever I needed guidance, which allowed me to adapt to this School with great ease and comfort.

One of the things that I was the most worried of when I first arrived was for A Levels to take up my life and to not have time to do other activities. Luckily, I was wrong to think that and St George’s proved to be the best place to keep up with my hobbies. Sixth Form offers a great amount of opportunities to get involved with many different activities and House Events, the more you get involved in the school life the more friends you get to make and the more time you get to spend doing great activities.

I also have the privilege to be a boarder, which has made my time at St George’s the best experience of my life. The facilities I get for education are all an A Level student could wish for, living in the School grounds allows me to stay focused and extend my abilities as much as possible. Being a boarder also makes me feel like am always in a very home-like environment, which is very nice and comforting seeing as A Levels can be stressing at times.

 

Joe Middleton

St Georges Sixth Form is a suitable place for any student who would like to receive a brilliant education, is ready to work hard, enjoys being part of a school community and is optimistic in their goals.

For 5 years I have been a pupil at St George’s; when I first joined I was scared about what the school would be like and if I would fit in as I did not know anyone. However, I soon learned I had nothing to worry about, within the first few weeks I had many friends and St George’s soon became a second home to me.

During Year 11 I had to think of where I would like to further my learning after I had completed my GCSEs; for me, there was only one place I wanted to study A Levels and that was here at St George’s. I knew that A Levels are hard, but I also knew that the highest grades are achievable here at St George’s due to the excellent standard of teaching and the resources provided to the pupils by the School. Although, this wasn’t the determining factor in my choice; St George’s is a community, not just a school, it has been an amazing 5 years for me and I could never have thought of wanting to go anywhere else.

In Sixth Form, it is a big change from Year 11; you are given a huge amount of freedom to become an independent person, which is extremely beneficial as it prepares you for the future when you leave school. A Levels are definitely a step up from GCSEs and require dedication in order to succeed in them; expect large amounts of study outside lessons but don’t panic as all the hard work is most definitely worth it in the end.

If you are new to St George’s, you have nothing to worry about. Everyone in St George’s is extremely welcoming and you will become a part of the community within no time. There are so many opportunities for new students, these include, participating in House events such as drama, music, chess, or any sport, becoming part of the rugby or basketball team, becoming a House prefect or captain or even becoming part of an in-school club. St George’s is a brilliant school full of amazing students, I can guarantee you that you would not regret coming here.

 

Maksym Uzwyshyn Jones

Sixth Form for me had always seemed as a time in your life where everything comes crashing down. No time for a social life, an impossible workload, stressing over exams and incredibly difficult work. However, after a few weeks I integrated into the St George’s Sixth Form community, I can already say that I am thoroughly enjoying myself and am able to carefully balance school life with my other activities.

After being a student at the School since Year 7, I had no doubt that I wanted to come to St George’s for my sixth form. I heard great praise from pupils, parents and my brother who recently left for university. But, I was afraid I would not be able to keep up with the consistent landslide of work that would come my way especially after being told it is a huge step up from GCSEs to A Levels.

The large workload was a struggle at first considering I am taking four A Levels; I get considerably fewer free periods than other students. However, the staff and my classmates made my transition easy helping me to integrate myself well in my new school environment. I really enjoy my studies and St George’s is the perfect place for me! That is, I am able to balance my studies with extracurricular activities and I receive positive support from everyone with the tutor base system providing even more personal help. In addition, the teachers of my subjects and the School infrastructure will guide me into making the right university and choices going forward in life. Even more, my parents (as they tell me) rate St George’s due to the good communication with my teachers and the School puts on helpful presentations to help them understand my school environment.

Being a Georgian, I am proud. The School motto to 'Aim Higher' is something I always aspire to live up to.

 

Michelle Githua

Having joined St George’s as a Year 12 student, I feel that my life has been turned upside down. Everything I thought I was going to experience, feel and learn was not the reality that this School has given me. Only halfway in the year, already the discipline that is expected from me by the School has made my work ethic, for instance, propel in comparison to how it would have been had I stayed at my old school.

St George’s evidently strives for excellence holistically in a student. On induction day, they told us: ‘not to come to St George’s if…’ the statement alone was shocking in the fact that at other schools’ induction days they perpetuated the school’s academic excellence, whereas this school said ‘…if you aren’t willing to get involved in school activities such as House music.’ The concept of House music was lost on me but the message that I would be expected to interact with school events with a competitive spirit excited me. However, it was only after a few weeks of attending the School did I realise how competitive it really was here both education wise and clubs wise. This is not a bad thing, I felt that my competitive nature and want for success was being channelled properly at this School.

I wasn’t nervous to come to this School as it had been a dream of mine since I was in Year 8, I suppose I was excited and ready! Though that feeling of nervousness or insecurity in your social ability isn’t something that I think should make any interested student push away from the School because the opportunities this School provides both free and paid is abundant. Moreover, the people here are ready to know you.

The people I have met and the friends I have made (from across the globe) is incredible, I won’t tell anyone not to come, rather, I would urge any student looking for a place full of bright like-minded individuals to apply as a new student to the School, I can tell you this has been the best decision of my life!

 

Issy Winter

My St George’s Sixth Form experience so far has been very different yet challenging, to say the least. The complete change in subject matter, higher work load and an increase in the content difficulty, coupled with extracurricular activities like lacrosse and netball; and other school opportunities such as DofE Gold and EPQ has been a challenge. However, all worries should be put aside because St George’s offers many resources, support and help which allows all students to keep on top of the workload and thrive, as well as doing clubs and extracurricular activities. The free periods throughout the day have given me the opportunity to fit in the required study hours outside of lessons. We in the Sixth Form have gained a greater respect and received enormous support from all of the St George’s staff who are always there to help.

The reduction in subjects to just three that we have chosen allows all students to be passionate about their education and take responsibility for their own learning; through taking on our own future we are given the opportunity to develop our skills in organisation and time management. Our social skills are also developed because of the new external students, the close-knit mixture of the Year 12 and 13s and the various clubs such as lacrosse provide a way for us to get to know people from other years.

As an ardent Monk House member, getting involved in House events is very important to me. The House system for all students is very prominent and imbedded in school life; the sense of pride achieved when representing your House and also St George’s in events is inspiring and gratifying. These competitions give an opportunity for all students to get involved and show off their talents and skills, as well as creating friendships, which makes the whole Georgian experience more fun.

In conclusion, I believe that focusing solely on your grades is not the best use of your time here at St George’s. Getting involved within and outside of the School definitely maximises the school experience and will make lasting memories. I have enjoyed my Sixth Form transition and believe that St George’s Sixth Form was the best choice for me.

 

Genevieve Wigley

The prospect of settling into St George’s was most definitely scary, but more than that exciting to me. Coming as an external student, settling into a much larger Sixth Form as well as a new country and home at the boarding house was daunting, but from the first week I feel as if I’ve been here since Year 7. My peers have been amazingly inclusive and I found so many other students were also external. The St George’s environment has put me at ease from the very beginning and I don’t feel new anymore.

Adapting to the Sixth Form routine has been a welcome change. The workload definitely is a significant step up from anything I’ve previously experienced, but in that respect, it's the same for everybody, and it certainly takes some getting used to. However, by studying only the subjects you’ve chosen, and with study periods, more freedom and greater independence it is all manageable. Another aspect, which has made me feel so much more comfortable, is St George’s enthusiasm to participate in House events. House Music has introduced me to so many people and helped me build my confidence.

 

 

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