We sat down for a chat with three of our wonderful Sixth Formers, Myles who joined Bloxham School in First Form, Lele who joined in Third Form, and Heidi who joined in Sixth Form. They told us all about their Sixth Form experience, exploring all the various aspects of what makes these two years special.

tell me about your lessons – how do you feel you are encouraged to fulfill your potential?

Heidi: Lessons are really good and very well structured. Because I’m in subjects which have small class sizes, you get a one-to-one experience at some points during the lesson. I feel stretched by my subjects as I’m always learning new things.

Myles: I find that I’m encouraged to pursue more than just what the A Level syllabus covers. In Computer Science, for example, we go into topics in greater depth that the syllabus requires. We’re ahead in the course compared to where we need to be, which enables us to push deeper into the topics which is really interesting. I’m definitely encouraged to fulfil my potential. We do assessments when we join the school and then again in Third Form, and the targets they set me were higher than what I had thought myself capable of, and that has definitely encouraged me to push myself to achieve more.

Heidi: I joined in Sixth Form, but I feel the same as Myles – the school is really good at encouraging you to do more and to excel, and to reach your full potential. In terms of academic enrichment, in Lower Sixth I undertook the Public Speaking module which was great because it gives you UCAS points and teaches you so much about how to write speeches, articulate your ideas, and speak in public, which is useful both for uni and beyond.

Lele: Regarding the academic aspects of the school, I have had very consistent teaching from my teachers, who have always been supportive in my educational journey, and helpful when I tell them my problems. If there’s something I’m struggling with, I got to the drop ins for that subject. I feel that I have really good communication with my teachers and that I always know how I can improve further.

How does the broader curriculum programme help you in planning for university and beyond?

Heidi: Being in first team hockey has helped me become more confident. I want to carry on with hockey at uni so that’s really important for me. Sport is a good way for me to clear my head. I use my time at the gym to think about my week and plan what I’m going to do when, so I always leave with a clear head and feeling organised.

Myles: I think the clubs I’ve done throughout my years at school have changed quite a lot about me. I do Music Production, which I started in Second Form, and that has changed my life throughout my time at school. I don’t think my GCSE or A Level choices would have been what they are without having done that activity. I also do sport and that does help to clear your head, like Heidi said.

Lele: My personal interest in STEM subjects led me to join the Engineering Club in the Lower Sixth, which was a valuable experience. Through the club, I gained new technical knowledge, engineering experiences, and improved my teamwork abilities. Participating in the club definitely grew my skillset which will be so helpful for applying to university and beyond.

How have you been supported in starting to think about your career choices?

Heidi: I’m planning on doing Geography at university followed by a law conversion, and Mr Sanderson helped me work out that was what I wanted to do. He discussed with me what degree would be best for doing law in the long run, and we landed on Geography because of the opportunity to pick your own modules, so I can tailor that degree to the kind of law which interests me. After my Geography course, I’ll do a conversion into corporate law. I’ve definitely been supported with careers at Bloxham.

Myles: There’s been a lot of support for me. The Headmaster has been great, especially because I want to go to St Andrew’s and that’s where he went, so he’s been able to share lots of insights from his time there. I also dropped Mrs Guzenda, the Head of Careers, a message asking a question about careers, and she booked me in for a slot and I ended up there for ages just planning out everything – it was so helpful for sculpting what I want to do.

Lele: I found the Careers Fair very informative. It provided lots of information about work experience opportunities, which I am hoping to do with Norbar in Banbury before the summer break. The Head of Careers also suggested a STEM course last summer and that was very beneficial. She was really helpful and knowledgeable.

a levels can be a stressful time. How do you feel that Bloxham supports you?

Heidi: I feel very supported, especially by the amount of time all of my teachers put in. Anytime I’m struggling with something, I go to one of my teachers’ drop ins and they’re always so helpful. If I message any of my teachers saying I’m struggling with something, they send me good resources or tell me to come and see them and I’m back on track in no time. Also if I’m feeling stressed, I can always go to matron or my Housemistress and just talk through it with her.

Myles: I’ve also found that in house, having your tutor on duty one night per week is great, because you can just sit down with them and talk about school and they’re so good with helping you to manage your time or supporting you through anything you’re finding challenging.

Lele: I have a lovely tutor who I can always talk to openly. I share lots with my tutor and that really helps me to feel supported at school.

What would be your advice to a new sixth former?

Heidi: As someone who came in Sixth Form, I’d definitely say use the school – even if you’re new, don’t be afraid to go and speak to your teacher and go to drop ins. Take advantage of what the school has set up for you. The school’s really good at helping you in getting where you want to go.

Myles: It’s about enjoying yourself, but in a sensible way. In Lower Sixth, you have a lot more time on your hands, especially coming up from Fifth Form, and if you use that well, working on yourself and doing extra things, it can open a lot of doors ahead of going to uni. Coming into Lower Sixth, I put quite a lot of time into the school productions and that has opened a lot of doors for me. Use your time well because time is your most valuable resource.

Lele: Make good use of your free periods during Lower Sixth, join in, and experience as much as you can.