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 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.
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 Sixth 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 Sixth 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 Sixth 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.
Every student has a dedicated Sixth Form Tutor, who coordinates their pastoral support and checks on their progress and happiness. Their tutor usually writes their UCAS and employment reference to help them gain the place at university or job they want. Tutors are usually also teach at least one of the subjects their tutees
Neil Whitelaw (Head of Year) provide additional or specialised support - including with OxBridge, Medicine, Veterinary, Conservatoire, Degree Apprenticeships applications.
Payman Jaberi (Deputy Head of Year) provides additional support, motivation and life skills coaching for students.
We recognise that in these uncertain times, ensuring that every student is fully supported with their academic work, emotional and physical well being is essential, it is point of principle that the Sixth Form team knows every student and we are confident that our outstanding pastoral team will provide this for each and everyone of our students, whatever challenges the future throws at us and our students
The Sixth 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.
VESPA and Learning Habits
Vision x Effort x Systems x Practice x Attitude
In the Sixth Form we embed the VESPA approach in our study skills and pastoral system. 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 Sixth Form lessons, it is inherent in our approach to teaching and learning. We want our students to leave the Sixth 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’.