The step up from GCSEs and other Level 2 courses to A levels and other Level 3 courses is often thought to be more challenging than the transition to University. The aim of Study Support is to enable students to take this step confidently and effectively. We have an e-learning course that all students take on entry to the 6th Form that focuses on the skills and learning habits required for success in the 6th Form, and we have a dedicated 6th Form Study Support Mentor who works with students of all abilities on any aspect of their studies. We have a dedicated Study Support area that is equipped with desktops, laptops and ipads. We also hold text books for the different subject areas, and past papers with exemplar responses, and resources to help you see how those responses have been constructed. The Study Support Mentor is always on hand to support students individually or in small groups. If a more dedicated service is required students can self refer or be referred by a member of staff.
In addition we run a programme of peer mentoring that gives our students the opportunity of a position of responsibility, as well as concreting their own skills and understanding. For students being mentored, it is often useful to work with someone who has been on the same learning journey.
Students with Additional Needs
As a community we welcome students with additional needs, and we put a range of measures in place to support, depending on what the need is, and what is wanted. Although the primary voice will be that of the student, we welcome parent expertise and input in understanding how best to support students with additional needs, and we will seek to work in partnership to achieve the best outcomes for the student. We have a broad wealth of experience of working to meet a range of additional needs, and treat every student as an individual. This can vary from a personalised curriculum to support in lessons, out of lessons, and with exams. Students will join a tutor group, and participate in 6th Form activities. If students need a quieter environment at break times, this is available. We will work with you to develop a programme for transition into the 6th Form, and in taking your next step when you have completed your studies. We will also support you with accessing services, and funding
At South Dartmoor 6th Form, we believe that the whole person is important, not just their academic progress. We seek to cultivate strong relationships with our students through the tutor system, and we deliver a programme of assemblies on topics ranging from how to do CPR, to working with The Prince’s Trust. Tutors meet their students 3 times a week and will hold academic tutorials, as well as checking that they are happy and not experiencing difficulties. We have additional resources available for students in the form of 2 Year Heads, and a sexual abuse support worker. In addition, the local chaplain comes in once a week to be available to students. We want our students to always feel that there is someone that they can talk to. If a student is struggling with events or issues, we will put a programme of support in place for them immediately. Students can alert their tutor, teachers or any other member of staff that they need help, and in most cases will be seen that day. The 6th Form also has a bursary up to the value of £1200 a year available to some students to support with items such as books, trips and transport.
Teaching well being is about recognising that exam success is not the only or the most important factor in measuring a person’s success. That is also made up of our ability to form relationships, to cope with stress, to be healthy, productive, creative and develop our potential.
1. Physical Health: this covers information on the foundations of well-being: keeping ourselves physically healthy.
2. Positive Relationships: this aspect of the course explores what is arguably the most important aspect of well-being, namely our relationship with other people.
3. Perspective: this part of the course is concerned with building a 'psychological immune system', or grit and resilience. It aims to help develop the thinking skills that enable us to overcome adversity.
4. Engagement: this element of the course is concerned with recognising that humans are set up to be curious about and investigate the world around us. The unit looks at ways of staying engaged in the things we choose to do, and the things we have to do.
5. The world: this strand is concerned with looking at ways of living sustainably in a conspicuous consumer society and considering our place in the world and what our relationship to it might be.
6. Meaning and Purpose: this final aspect of the course is concerned with exploring meaning-making, which is a central aspect of working out, as Viktor Frankl would say, our response to the questions life asks of us.
In the 6th Form we will build on the approach to learning that was developed and applied from 11-16 in developing Learning Habits that equip our students with the tools to be successful at life. This approach equips students with the skills to persevere, be resourceful and overcome obstacles. The use of learning habits is nationally recognised as key to enabling our students to be entrepreneurial, form successful working relationships and to face challenges. Although it is not taught explicitly in the 6th Form, it is inherent in our approach to teaching and learning. We want our students to leave the 6th Form equipped for life. Our many success stories are a testament to the success of this approach.
Support for Exams
Exams can be an anxious time for students and some students find that their exam performance does not match with their normal daily performance in a subject due to the emotional stressors and pressure of a terminal exam.
There are many approaches to overcoming this that the Sixth Form supports students with including getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, starting revision early and maintaining a positive approach.
There are a few Apps that we recommend that can help to develop the skill of mindfulness to cope with or prepare for stressful situations. These include ‘Brain Wave’, ‘Headspace’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Insight Timer’.
Further to these recommendations a local hypnotherapist has offered some exam hypnotherapy resources specifically designed for our sixth form students that can be accessed here free of charge. Conversational Hypnotherapy is a safe and gentle process that can help shift limiting beliefs and perceptions. It is a potent tool for facilitating self–development and for helping people to reach their full potential. It is a completely safe process and students can relax and listen to the guided sessions sitting in a comfortable chair in a quiet space at home. During the hypnotherapy students will be in voluntary state of guided relaxation that they can terminate at any time.
Please access the resources using the following links: