A world of difference
Pupils always comment on just how different it feels to be a sixth form pupil at Pitsford School. The relationship with teachers is a collegiate one: sixth formers are expected to be independent and responsible, and encouraged to engage in dialogue with their tutors and subject teachers. Teachers will provide extra help as needed, and the classes are very small which allows them to be tailored quite individually to the needs and interests of the pupils.
Study time is quickly recognised as important time for being proactive and learning about those time management skills. The upstairs of the library and the sixth form centre provide spaces for sixth form pupils to have quiet time and social time away from the rest of the school, and various social functions also allow this in a more formal way: an activity day early in the year allows for new sixth formers to be integrated and later in the year there is both a formal dinner and a Sixth form Ball. This is combined with a more informal and impromptu social calendar.
All pupils are encouraged to undertaken individual research into an area that is of interest to them through the Extended Project Qualification. They are prepared for this through a Core Skills course and each pupil is supported by a mentor as they progress through their study. Pupils say that this is invaluable to their preparation for life after school, particularly for university where increasingly the more competitive courses are looking for evidence of independence and passion in their subject areas.