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Ridgewood School

Ridgewood School

Student Support

We pride ourselves on creating a learning culture and supportive environment where all students are encouraged to maximise their potential.

Teaching and learning in the Sixth Form

We adopt a Quality First Teaching approach in all our lessons which ensures that engagement, inclusion, participation and challenge is seen throughout. Students are supported in making progress through timely assessments which allows for feedback, reflection and target setting.

The learning experienced in the Sixth From may be very different from what our students have experienced in schools previously. For example, while they study fewer subjects their work load may be greater. Students will also notice there is more of an emphasis on independent learning. We recognise this is a large shift in the culture of learning for our students therefore, we help our learners by:

  • Having smaller class sizes so monitoring and supporting our students is more personalised.
  • Explicitly teaching metacognitive strategies in order to inspire organised, skilful and mindful learners.
  • Modelling and developing a variety of study skills and revision techniques from which students can employ.
  • Advising on academic literature and other study materials e.g. blogs and vlogs
  • Signposting students to relevant course and examination materials
  • Encouraging a culture of peer-on-peer support
  • Developing an ethos of continuous improvement, and the celebration of success

Standing out in a competitive world

We provide students with personalised support and specific enrichment opportunities to prepare for the most competitive courses, universities and apprenticeships in the country. This includes Russell Group institutions, Oxford, Cambridge, or ‘early applicant’ courses such as dentistry, medicine or veterinary science. In addition to the range of support within the Sixth Form, we work in partnership with the Sutton Trust to put in place a host of unique experiences designed to challenge students academically and support them in making a successful application. We offer:

  • Personalised application support based on the student’s individual subjects, university aspiration or progression route
  • Russell Group and Oxbridge subject specific Master Classes
  • Personal statement and application workshops led by university experts/professors
  • Oxbridge and Russell Group university interview guidance and pre-entry test support
  • University visits and guest speakers
  • Access to Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to enhance future applications
  • Support with internships or work experience
  • Expert advice and guidance on applying to Higher Apprenticeships.

Inspire Programme

Throughout their two years in the Sixth Form, students will take part in dedicated Inspire Programme sessions hosted by a range of visitors from across the spectrum of employment and academia. This includes representatives from Russell Group universities, the emergency services, the NHS, Members of Parliament, and representatives from industry and business.

In Year 12, the focus is also on developing study skills and effective revision techniques. In Year 13, students are prepared for their chosen career paths with presentations from a range of universities (including Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds and Nottingham) and apprenticeship organisations. These sessions are followed up during workshops and mentor periods with their Post 16 Mentor.

Interview Skills

All our sixth form students deliver presentations on political and social issues, as part of their preparation for university and employment interviews. In preparing their own presentations, each sixth form student will develop their skills of planning, public oracy and rhetoric.

Learning Mentor - Miss Armstrong

Whist at Sixth Form, students are able to benefit from the personalised support of a Learning Mentor who can assist them in a variety of ways. Miss Armstrong is able to offer support which includes:

  • Specific Subject Mentoring
  • Study Skills
  • Revision Skills
  • Organisation
  • University and Apprenticeship Applications
  • Personal Statements
  • CVs

Students are able to schedule one off or regular sessions with Miss Armstrong and drop-in sessions are also available. Miss Armstrong can be found in the downstairs library of the Faraday building.

Pastoral and Medical Support – Mrs Lester

Our student’s social, emotional and wellbeing needs are of the upmost importance to us and we recognise the demands on our students are quite different from those experienced in Key Stages 3 and 4. To this end our Sixth Form students have the guidance of Mrs Lester, our Pastoral Lead. Support is available on a drop-in basis, for ongoing support or to signpost to other specialist agencies. Mrs Lester can be found in the main reception area of the Faraday building.