Sixth Form Personal Learning and Development

Developing your character
We want students to leave the University of Birmingham School with the skills, personal qualities (or virtues) and experience that employers and higher education institutions admire. We believe that active participation in all that the School has to offer will allow each student to achieve this. 

Our core curriculum is supported by our daily Personal Learning and Development (PLAD) Programme, developed in liaison with the world leading Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues

The PLAD programme aims to develop skills which will benefit your A level work and also support a successful start to higher education, employment or professional training. These skills will include how to use an academic library, effective research methodology and appropriate referencing of written work.

Our School enrichment programme provides five timetables sessions of personal development each week. On Monday and Friday afternoons, one hour is allocated for activities including, but not limited to: politics and debating; psychology society; film club; chess; running club with Olympic athletes; drama; DJing; DIY; sports programmes based around current sporting events; music; yoga; and philosophy. As the School grows, the number and range of opportunities we offer will grow with us. We also offer a thinking skills group, which helps with preparation for selection tests (UKCAT, BMAT etc.) for some of the most demanding courses at university. On Wednesday afternoons, we run an extended enrichment session. After lunchtime students can take part in more time consuming activities. Sixth Formers are able to arrange their own volunteering or work experience placement both within and beyond the School; to take part in outdoor and survival skills programmes, to become digital leaders for the School and to practise cooking and budgeting in preparation for life at university.

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Sixth Form students are strongly encouraged to contribute to the musical life of the School; our orchestra and senior choir rehearse weekly. We are currently looking forward to a choral concert in December 2015 and our first full school concert in April 2016. We know that we currently have some very talented instrumentalists in the School and we hope you will contribute to our series of instrumental evenings during the year, regardless of whether you have chosen to study music at A Level. We work with the Birmingham Music Service to ensure continuity in music tuition for those of you who would like to have instrumental tuition in School.


Sixth Form students are able to choose from a programme which includes rugby, hockey, fencing, badminton, yoga, running and netball on Monday and Friday afternoons. University of Birmingham School students benefit from University facilities and expertise and the School runs fixtures in major sports as well as internal, inter-college competitions. Sixth Formers are welcome to wear their own kit in year one but may wish to purchase sports tops in the colours of their College in due course. 


 Study Skills

We support students to develop all important study skills, using latest research to support our teaching and guidance. Sixth Form students undertake study skill seminars, delivered by experienced practitioners.

We recommend having a look at Six Strategies for Effective Learning, a useful revision and learning resource available from The Learning Scientists.

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Personal and Character Progression
We will expect you to contribute to your annual report by recording and reflecting on the many leadership, enrichment, sporting, artistic (music, drama dance) and cultural activities you will enjoy and which contribute to your character development at our Sixth Form. These reflections, alongside frequent conversation with your Form Tutor will support your application(s) to higher education, employment or vocational training.

Whilst most students in the Sixth Form arrange their own work experience placement(s), we will support you in planning, undertaking and learning from your placement and, where possible, utilise the alumni network of the University and its many business contacts.

Careers Information, Advice and Guidance
Advice on career opportunities is readily available in the Sixth Form via the Form Tutors, Head of Sixth Form, subject teachers and the University Careers and Employability Service. Students are encouraged to visit university and college Open Days as well as to attend courses designed for prospective applicants in fields not studied at A level (Law, Medicine, Engineering and Psychology). Speakers from the University give presentations and guest lectures and seminars to the Sixth Form to help with this.

The award winning Careers and Employability Service at the University of Birmingham provides specialist independent careers support for the School.

The Head of Outreach and Director of Admissions at the University of Birmingham provide specialist guidance about preparation for university application. This, alongside access to University undergraduate mentors and links with each specialist academic department, ensures that our Sixth Form students are fully supported in planning for higher education, employment or vocational training.

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