Choosing from the 22 subjects on offer is the easy bit. The big challenge many students face when joining Sixth Form is meeting the demand it imposes on their ability to work on their own. The process of encouraging independent learning begins when pupils are studying for their GCSEs, but up in their purpose-designed space atop the Senior School building, new Sixth Formers soon have to learn to perform without the safety net. Over the next two years they will need to find and develop new inner resources: the motivation, drive, application and mental toughness that will enable them to take responsibility for their own learning and their own lives.
Strategies supporting this transition to active learning are consciously built into the Sixth Form DNA. The Sixth Form team and Form Tutors sit at the heart of our mentoring system both pastorally and academically. Thanks to the vertical structure of forms – 14 Sixth Form classes, each containing 12 students who share subject interests drawn equally from both Sixth Form years – Lower Sixth students are able to turn to their Form Teacher for help as well as drawing on the experience of older students in their group. A strong and diverse support network underpins this structure. Whenever they need it – when they are choosing courses or filling out UCAS forms – Sixth Formers are able to draw on the specialist knowledge provided by 22 Heads of Department and teachers from right across the school.
The Sixth Form’s convivial and comfortable atmosphere and uniquely supportive, caring and close-knit ethos reflect and feed into the identity of the whole School community. Sixth Formers and Prefects are role models, serving as mentors and buddies in Prep and Pre-Prep every Thursday as well as helping at Whole School Assembly every Wednesday. Sixth Formers also take the ‘Harrodian Spirit’ beyond the School boundaries through annual initiatives that raise money for charity.
Results continue to improve steadily and diverse leaver destinations include art, design and drama schools, Oxford and Cambridge and Russell Group and overseas universities in the USA, Canada and Europe.