Having worked in a variety of Sixth Form settings both in the UK and internationally for over fifteen years, Ms Sarah McCaul is delighted to have recently taken up the post as Head of Sixth Form at DBS.
We are at an incredibly exciting moment for the Sixth Form here at DBS as we complete our ‘all through’ journey and Year 13 embark upon their final year at school. During my last two years with DBS, I have seen exciting changes as the school grows and develops, and the dedication and hard work shown by our oldest students in the school have led them to this pinnacle of their school careers.
Whilst, without a doubt, the A-Level programme is challenging and thorough, they are highly regarded, well-respected ‘gold standard’ qualifications. The courses themselves offer rigorous study of specialist subjects, led by highly qualified staff with a passion for the course they deliver. Indeed for me, this is one of the factors that first drew me to DBS when I first learnt of the school three years ago; the staff’s genuine care for the students.
To support the demands of our A-Level programme, our approach in the Sixth Form is underpinned by ideas and practices from Sixth Form settings all over the world, in particular, drawing on ideas from ‘The A-Level Mindset’, developed by Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin following their extensive research into what makes an A-Level student successful. Their compelling evidence suggests that academic success is not simply ensured by academic ability, but instead, by students’ grit, drive, motivation and focus. In essence: students will get out of Sixth Form what they put in.
It is my fundamental belief that students should leave their Sixth Form ready to enter higher education, feeling prepared both as an academic and as a person. In a rapidly evolving world, it is not only academic knowledge that students need, but interpersonal skills such as resilience, determination and even the ability to take care of themselves when they leave home, and embark on their next chapter.
I also firmly believe that each student in our Sixth Form should be valued as an individual, each with their own unique talents, interests and goals. It is our aim to help grow and nurture the gifts that each individual has to offer, to support happiness, wellbeing and success.
So, as Year 12 prepares to face the exciting opportunities that lie ahead of them in the Sixth Form, and Year 13 begins their momentous final school year, I am excited to see the successes that the year ahead holds, and am filled with pride for the young people that make our Sixth Form the wonderful place that it is.