Into Year 12
At the moment we cannot share with you the precise plan for enrolment, but we hope that we will be able to do this in person on the school site. We are fortunate that our application portal allows you to upload your statement of GCSE results online. If the situation requires we can then enrol you over the phone rather than in person.
If we are able to offer enrolment on site it is likely to be outside if the weather is fine with a contingency plan for poor weather. It is likely that you will need to book an enrolment slot with a member of the Sixth Form team to go through your GCSE results, and also to confirm your A Level options. For these slots you will need to have your statement of GCSE results. In addition if you are new to the school you will also need photographic ID such as a passport.
We will send out the final plan for enrolment via the application portal.
Pastoral reflection by Izzy, Derryn, Luke, Yusraa and Izzy
Transition to Year 12
When I joined Denmark Road sixth form, I had made a massive move, from my hometown in Devon to what seemed an overwhelming city of Gloucester. Not only was I getting used to a new life, I had a new Sixth Form to adapt to, Denmark Road welcomed me into their family, and I have never felt so confident in myself through an academic viewpoint. As much as I felt safe and at ease in this new school environment, I missed my old friends, my family and sometimes my life back in Devon. Luckily Denmark Road has such a good support system that I received the help I needed to bring my bubbly self, back to life. Mrs Harvey played a massive role in helping me and with the regular support from the schools counsellor, I am now at home, and I cannot thank the school enough. I have an amazing group of friends, I am on top of my studies and I am now part of the Senior Team.
Yusraa Bibi Khan
Change can be very scary and the transition to a new school for Sixth Form is undoubtedly a big change. I joined Denmark Road High School in September 2019 and to say I was nervous is an understatement.
Coming from a secondary school with only 14 students in my entire year group, joining a new, much larger school was quite scary. But I am very pleased to be able to say that the transition to Sixth Form was much better than I expected.
On my first day, we began with a fun game to get to know each other and meet new people. In my opinion, this was a great idea as it really helped with easing everyone’s nerves! We then got to meet our tutors who are all incredibly supportive. One of the best aspects of life at Denmark Road Sixth Form is the amount of support and help available from the tutors, Sixth Form team, teachers and fellow students. Everyone is always happy to help and very welcoming!
One of my greatest worries was making new friends in Sixth Form, but I was so surprised at how quickly I was able to make friends. Everyone was very welcoming and made me feel comfortable and happy in an environment I wasn’t used to. A piece of advice I would give is to do your best to socialise and speak to people. In a Sixth Form, everyone has different interests and its possible to find people with similar interests. More importantly, speaking to people and introducing yourself is the best way to get to know people. On the first day of Sixth Form, I was able to meet my tutor group and we did lots of activities and games to get to know each other better. This was helpful in making me feel more comfortable.
Year 12 Induction - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EPQ and how is it delivered?
The Extended Project Qualification is a great addition to the A Level offer we have at DRHS. The qualification allows you to explore an area of study you are interested in that sits outside your A Level specifications. It is worth the equivalent of half an A Level. The qualification is broadly liked by universities as the EPQ allows you to develop the independent learning skills that are needed to be successful at university. The course is delivered across Year 12 with a lesson once a fortnight and also tasks within the Tutorial programme. You will complete your final essay in Term 6 and conduct your presentation and finish your EPQ in Term 1 of Year 13.
How much independence are we given?
We endeavour to give you as much freedom as possible and the “privileges” enjoyed the by the Sixth Form are quite different to those in the rest of the school. You have the freedom to choose where you study in a “free” period, you can go off-site for lunch and you can leave school at 12.20p.m. if you have no periods or timetabled study time for the rest of the day.
What are the “Directed” study periods on my timetable?
Directed study is an important part of our Sixth Form offer. In Year 11 you will have had completely full timetables and your Sixth Form timetable will have more gaps. When making the transition to Sixth Form study and making friends having lots of “free” periods can be a bit daunting or distracting. The “directed” study periods are where you need to be working in the Independent Study Room in silence completing tasks that have been given to you by your subject teachers.
What are 9th Assessment periods?
You will have 8 timetabled periods of an hour for each subject. We really value the time that you have available in periods and want to maximise that time. Therefore all assessments are done outside of lesson time and are completed in your “9th Assessment” period which will be on your timetable. You will have an allocated period for each subject that you take. These sessions provide a great opportunity to continue to reflect on your learning throughout the year, and allow you to continually layer your learning. You will be set a variety of assessment tasks in these periods e.g. exam questions, preparing an essay or extended answer questions, an open book assessment or reviewing previously answered work and responding to feedback.
How is a “free” period different to a “directed” study period?
If you have a “free” period you can chose where you wish to study. You might want to work on a group project in the Group Study Room, quietly work on an essay in the IT room, prepare notes for a flipped learning task in the café or on the decking. You can chose the best place for you to work. In a “directed” study period you must be in the Independent Study room and be working in silence. You can listen to music on your phone/listen to podcasts etc in a “directed” study lesson. “Free” periods are completed in silence like you would for an exam
Can I leave school site if I have “free” periods
All students must be at school by 8.30 a.m. each morning. No student is allowed to leave the school site until 12.20p.m., and they can only leave then if they have “free” periods in the two periods after that time (periods 4 & 5). Students can of course leave the school site to go out for lunch, but the large majority chose to stay on site and enjoy things like coffees and paninis from the Sixth Form café.
I am worried about moving schools/making friends, is it hard to make friends?
Every year we have a number of students join form other schools and a small number of our existing students chose to move to other schools. Sometimes people worry that there will already be lots of friendship groups and they won’t fit in. That is really not the case. There is a real buzz about the Sixth Form in September as people all make the effort to get to know each other. The Sixth Form is welcoming and friendly. Everyone feels a bit nervous even if they were in the lower school at DRHS. During the first couple of weeks there will be lots of activities and opportunities to get to know your Tutor group, year group and also Year 13. The Sixth Form has a great reputation for being warm and friendly, many of our students talk about the “family feel”. At enrolment students are also able to fill in a “friend request” form so that we can try and match people in Tutor groups with people they know or vaguely know.
How much help will I get when making choices about my future?
There are many sources of information when it comes to making choices about your future. We have an independent Careers Advisor who will see every student in Year 12 at least once, and is also available for subsequent appointments if needed. Mrs Harvey is also a great source of knowledge about work experience, interviews and other option choices so you can always pop in and ask. We are really lucky to have specialist Tutors in the Sixth Form who through structured tutorial activities can help you to make decisions about your future choices. All students also have access to Unifrog which is a fantastic online Careers platform which is a wealth of information. We enjoy welcoming visiting speakers from different organisations to talk about careers and opportunities. A number of students also run clubs and societies for all students that are linked to particular careers e.g. MedSoc. Ultimately a key part of our Sixth Form offer is about presenting you with lots of opportunities to explore and develop skills that will allow you to flourish at University or in an apprenticeship.
What is INVEST?
INVEST appears on all Year 12 timetables for a Thursday afternoon. There are a range of opportunities for students to choose from that fit with skills they wish to develop or future choices e.g. Sports leaders, Arts, Mandarin, cooking on a budget, mindfulness/yoga to name a few. The majority of our students use INVEST to undertake regular work experience with local employers. It is difficult to know what Work Experience opportunities will look like whilst businesses start to emerge from the recent lockdown and social distancing is in place. The Sixth Form Team are busy discussing the impact this will have on the INVEST programme and we will be publishing details in the near future. We hope that we will be able to allow all Year 12 to have a week of work experience in June 2021.
What extra-curricular options are available?
There is a wealth of opportunities available at Denmark Road. There are lots of clubs and societies, if there is a club or society you would like to set up then we very much encourage you to do this! There are opportunities for Sixth Form students to take part in sport, music, drama, D of E and debating competitions to name a few. There are usually lots of trips and visits available such as World Challenge, Ski Trip and trips to New York. Given the COVID 19 restrictions it is difficult to know what these might look like during your time at DRHS but we will of course launch these great opportunities when we are able to do so!
Is there IT access during “free” and “Directed” study periods?
Hopefully you will have seen our statement about the development that is coming for Sixth Form IT. That is not to say it is bad at the moment! The Sixth Form are able to bring in their own devices and use the school Wi-Fi. There is also a dedicated IT room with a number of computers available. We also have two banks of laptops where students can borrow a laptop for a “free” period or a “directed” study period.
What social events are there throughout the year?
Our Sixth Form students are a very sociable bunch. The Senior Student Team organise events for the Sixth Form. We usually hold an “icebreaker” event at ATIK nightclub in October. The Winter Ball at Christmas is always a really fun, festive evening and is a “smart” event that is held at a local hotel. We often have a further ticketed social around Easter. The new Senior Team are busy thinking and planning events for Term 1 that will allow some socialising giving consideration to social distancing. It is difficult to know what social events might look like for next year due to COVID 19 but there will still be the chance to get to know both your own year group and also the Year 13 students.