SIXTH FORM CURRICULUM AND RELATED ISSUES
PRSE - Personal Religious and Social Education This involves 8 class units covering the following themes:
• The influences of popular culture on youth;
• Drug and Alcohol Awareness;
• Public Speaking Skills;
• Relationships and Sex Education;
• Responsibilities of the Road User;
• Stress Management;
• Third Level Choices;
• Women in Society.
These run alongside the Curriculum Enrichment Programme. The following are made available according to demand:
• Soccer (soccer coaching may also be available).
This normally takes place around Easter. Work Experience is an integral part of the Sixth Form Curriculum and is a most worthwhile exercise, from the point of view of personal development and career choice. Due to high numbers for placement we would ask for your assistance in providing a suitable placement for your son or/and offering us one for another pupil if you are in a position to do so. We do not allow pupils to be placed in their own family business.
• Preparation for University Life;
• Marriage and Relationships;
• Drug and Alcohol Awareness;
• Business Ethics;
• Catechetics (topics include Moral Decision Making, Philosophy and Religion, Examination of other Religions);
• Development/Third World Issues;
• Parenting, household issues/Stress Management;
At the beginning of Year 14 pupils go on a Residential Retreat for two days. This will be held in Dromantine Retreat Centre near Newry. This is an enriching and enjoyable experience and an appropriate beginning to their final year at school. Each pupil is asked to make a contribution of £25 towards the cost of the Retreat.
Years 13 and 14
Pupils are assessed under three headings in November and March. Examinations take place in December. These assessments will determine the assessed grade supplied by teachers for the UCAS application form.
Parent teacher meeting for Year 13 – February.
Parent teacher meeting for Year 14 – October.
Will be appointed in February of Year 13 to hold office for one year. Elections are held among the pupils and teachers. Prefects will carry a range of duties, (mainly corridor supervision and duties in the Careers Room). One Head Prefect and 3 Deputy Prefects will be appointed by the College. These pupils will be asked to represent the school on various occasions. Training for Prefects will be provided at the start of their term of office.
Research has shown that A Level results are adversely affected when pupils engage in excessive amounts of part-time work. Should it be considered necessary to be in part-time work at all then we would strongly recommend that it should not involve more than a total of six to eight hours per week.
Before bringing a car to school, pupils must complete the designated forms which are available from Ms P Molloy in the Office in the Senior School. Pupils must park their vehicle in the designated area ONLY. Pupils are not to park cars in the staff car park nor loiter in that area. Cars are parked in the school grounds at the owner’s risk.
Pupils are provided with a Pupil Planner. This should be used to keep a record of all homework assignments and other relevant information.
Sixth Form Centre
Pupils have access to the Sixth Form Centre at the following times:
Break Time Years 13 and 14
Period 5 Year 14 ONLY
Period 6 Year 13 ONLY
Pupils should not be in the Sixth Form Centre at times outside those listed above unless they have the permission of the Senior Teacher (Post 16).
Pupils will be timetabled for either the Library or Lower Study during their study periods. Pupils must attend the location to which they are timetabled. Attendance will be monitored by Library/Study staff and ALL absences will be followed up by the Year Head/Senior Teacher (Post-16).
Pupils must observe the particular rules/regulations for the Library/Study. They will receive also guidance on making the best use of the Library/Study facilities from their subject teachers and from the Library/Study staff.
The Library will remain open for pupil use until 4.30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. It is an excellent resource – make good use of it!
You will understand that the nature of study is different at A Level. Less time may be spent on homework given in class. Much more time is needed during self directed study. We would recommend at least fifteen hours per week in Year 13 and more in Year 14. To assist pupils develop the skills of an independent learner, study skills programmes will be delivered during the weekly Form Period. St Columb’s is also hoping to provide Year 13 pupils with professional training on developing independent study skills during the course of the 2009-2010 academic year. Remember, developing the skills necessary for successful learning in the Sixth Form will take practice!
Homework remains an essential part of your A Level preparation. The bottom line is that if you want to do well, you will have to put the work in! it is not just about the amount of time you work, but how effectively you use that time.
Here are a few guidelines to help you benefit as much as possible from the work that you do at home.
• Make sure you are familiar with any school/subject guidelines on homework;
• Nominate somewhere at home as a ‘homework area’. It needs a flat surface, a good light source and resources such as pens, pencils, rulers, dictionary and notebook to hand;
• Set up a daily routine. Plan a homework timetable so you know what you need to do and when (Your Pupil Planner will play a key role here);
• The individual sessions within your timetable should be about 20-25 minutes long;
• You should leave a 5-10 minute break between each session;
• Build regular ‘Review’ times into your timetable;
• It's a good idea if you have a break and something to eat before starting on homework;
• Turn off the television while homework is underway but do listen to music if you find it helpful;
• Do not copy (especially from the Internet) when you are asked to do research tasks.
You will receive subject-specific study advice from your AS teachers. Below are a few general points that you may find useful. At the end you will also find links to a few of the many websites with information on developing your ability to study.
Developing your skills as an independent learner will be of great benefit to you. It will be of even greater use at university. The guidelines that follow should help you develop these essential skills.
• Set yourself appropriate goals/targets;
• Follow up on skills practiced in class;
• Identify your particular learning style(s) and gather together appropriate learning materials;
• Plan ahead for what needs to be done;
• Make effective use of available time and resources;
• Ask for support and guidance from teachers, support staff and peers;
• Take on board formative assessment comments;
• Develop an ongoing revision programme;
• Practice examination technique.
REMEMBER, MAKE YOUR TARGETS SMART!
During the course of Year 13 pupils with be provided with information on the availability or otherwise of study leave.
Useful Study Skills Websites
Assemblies for pupils in A Level are as follows:
• Year 13 Wednesday Breaktime
• Year 14 Monday Breaktime
Counselling facilities will be available for any Sixth Form pupil that wants to make use of them. Further information can be obtained from Form Tutors or from Mr Mark McConnellogue, Head of Chaplaincy.
Extra Curricular Activities
Pupils will be provided with a list of available extra-curricular activities at the start of the new term. You are encouraged to get involved in a variety of these activities and so help yourself develop a healthy work-life balance.
Sixth Form Academic Detention
Any Sixth Form pupil failing to meet an academic deadline, failing to complete a pre-arranged class test or failing to submit satisfactory homework will be given an ACADEMIC DETENTION. This can only be imposed by the relevant Year Head or the Senior Teacher (Post-16) and takes place at the discretion of that individual.