Year 13: Beyond A-Levels

School closures on 20 March signified the final day of schooling for many students in Year 13 across the country. However, at Surbiton High School, they have continued with their full timetable in a remote manner with ‘live’ lessons until they were due to start study leave in early May. Further to this, we wanted to ensure our students utilise their extended summer to prepare for life beyond A-levels. Our Sixth Form team and key staff have developed a ‘Post A-level Programme’; a seven-week programme which will provide depth to student’s previous studies, develop academic skills in preparation for university or higher education and also widen their interests.

The programme contains five elements:

1. Subject-based tutorials i.e. Psychology beyond the A-level, Geography Stretch and Challenge, Music Performance at degree level etc. Students will need to choose between one and three of these courses. Each tutorial will require between two and four hours of preparation and this should be considered when choosing the number of courses to take.

2. Non-subject based tutorials i.e. An Introduction to Sports Science, Research Skills for University etc. Students should choose between one and two of these courses. I would encourage all students to complete one of the Research Skills courses to help them prepare for university/high education.

3. A University Preparation Course, which will run every Tuesday during Period 4. This course will cover applying for student loans, managing money, settling in at university, accessing additional support etc. There will also be two, live online cooking courses to help students prepare for life away from home.

4. Alumnae discussion groups will be run every Friday lunchtime. We have over fifty alumnae from a range of backgrounds and careers who will be online to offer help and guidance on university life, applying for graduate jobs, career choices etc.

5. Mr McDermott and a team of staff will lead weekly small group supervisions via MS Teams, with, where possible, students broadly grouped by degree subject. These are designed to check-in on students’ pre-university studies and give guidance on further relevant super-curricular endeavours.

SUPER-CURRICULAR PROGRAMME

This programme is a bible of all things super-curricular – those academic activities that go beyond your curriculum studies. It contains links to MOOCs (free online university courses), academic podcasts, journals, websites with puzzles and problems (particularly in the sciences), amongst other things. It is arranged by general resources as well as subject-specific resources, from accounting to veterinary medicine.

We hope that it will encourage students to explore their subjects in more depth and breadth than they might have otherwise, and also explore subjects that are not offered in School. In so doing, it will eventually help students to make more informed choices about their university subject and develop the independent study skills so valued by universities. In due course, it will finally help students to develop the content that will help them write a compelling UCAS personal statement.

Please follow the Career Department’s new YouTube Channel for tips on exploring and using super-curricular resources.