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Passport to their dreams: how sixth form study programmes are helping students to get the courses and jobs they want

PUBLISHED: 15:46 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 25 September 2019

Annual Colour Run which the Charity Committee and Sports Committee organised to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Picture: Wymondham High Academy

Annual Colour Run which the Charity Committee and Sports Committee organised to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Picture: Wymondham High Academy

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Study programmes are giving students at Wymondham High Academy the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and leave Sixth Form with more than the necessary grades and knowledge. They can also build their confidence and focus on planning for their future careers or university applications.

As part of their study programme two students,  Etholle Hughes and Emma-Louise Cooling, volunteered at a local elderly care home. 
Picture: Wymondham High AcademyAs part of their study programme two students, Etholle Hughes and Emma-Louise Cooling, volunteered at a local elderly care home. Picture: Wymondham High Academy

Wymondham High Academy's director of Sixth Form, Claire Preston, explains how they are helping students in Year 12 plan for their future.

"Staff work with students to map out their long-term goals. This helps students get the very most out of their Sixth Form experience and ensure they attain their future aspirations," Mrs Preston said. "Students are given destination passports to help them keep track of these goals and get them started on the right path."

The study programmes cover work experience, volunteering in the community. Sixth Form committees, master classes, mock interviews and detailed specific guidance of their application. All work towards helping the students reach their goals.

The study programmes cover work experience, volunteering in the community, Sixth Form committees, mock interviews and job and university application guidance. Picture: Wymondham High AcademyThe study programmes cover work experience, volunteering in the community, Sixth Form committees, mock interviews and job and university application guidance. Picture: Wymondham High Academy

A taste of the future with relevant work experience

Some students begin Sixth Form with a clear goal, whilst others have no firm idea. Study programmes allow them to explore options to help them make informed decisions about their future.

The Sixth Form team includes Mr Pearce - head of pastoral support and university routes and Mr Sandall - head of study programmes and non-university routes.

Each student will have access to focused help and guidance. Taking part in work experience helps them adapt to real-life working environments and gives them a taste of what it may be like to work in their chosen field.

"Through our tutorial programme, staff can guide the young people and monitor their achievements and academic progress."

Student volunteering

Students are offered the chance to volunteer in the community and take on opportunities that may relate to the kind of career they want.

The befriending scheme is useful for someone considering a career in care - students work with local elderly residents. For those interested in teaching, assisting with classes at Wymondham High School can help them develop relevant knowledge and skills. Running weekly committees at the Sixth Form allows students to practise event organisation and leadership roles.

"The hugely beneficial Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is embedded in the culture of the school too. It allows students to add genuine substance to their applications, whether for an employment opportunity or university," Mrs Preston added.

Why career planning now can benefit you in the future

"We engender a culture of hard work, aspiration and encouragement at Wymondham High Academy. We're not an exams factory. We provide support based on individual needs," Mrs Preston said. "We regularly enable between five to ten students to secure places at Oxbridge or undertake medicine, dentistry or veterinary degrees. These results are achieved through determination from all and place us amongst the highest performing schools in Norfolk in terms of attainment - and in the top 12pc of schools nationally for progress over the last three years."

The setup for success

In their most recent OFSTED inspection, the Sixth Form was awarded 'Outstanding.'

"OFSTED noted our students' performance was significantly above average," Mrs Preston explained. "Student performance in computing and social sciences - like sociology and economics - was particularly strong. Fine art, music and drama achieved impressive results also."

"A student's time at Sixth Form is brief which is why the staff at Wymondham High Academy, encourage them to think about what comes next so they will be more prepared to graduate as successful, multi-skilled, employable individuals," Mrs Preston said.

Come and see for yourself what's on offer at Wymondham High Academy

For a first-hand look into what the Sixth Form can offer your young person, an open evening for prospective Year 12 students will be held on Tuesday 8th October from 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm, with a presentation led by Mrs Preston and the students every half an hour. Visit wymondhamhigh.co.uk for more information or call 01953 602078.

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