Although moving into the Sixth Form might seem daunting at first, we believe that the friendly atmosphere, great support system and fantastic boarding houses at St Mary’s Calne create a unique learning experience that helps to make the transition into
Sixth Form smooth and enjoyable.
What’s boarding like?
Our boarding system is horizontal, meaning we live in a house with our whole year group, which allows strong friendships to develop. Both Sixth Form houses are inter-connected to easily integrate the two years, helped by our UVI-LVI Form mentoring system and frequent weekend activities involving both year groups, such as our barbecue at the start of the year. We each have our own room and en suite bathroom, and very much enjoy the spacious kitchens and common rooms on each floor – the only downside to such luxury is that university accommodation might come as a shock!
What do you do on weekends?
For the UVI Form, there are no formal lessons on a Saturday, while the LVI Form benefit from the ‘Motiv8’ programme, which includes yoga, mindfulness, critical thinking, and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) lessons. These sessions provide the opportunity for individual research and group discussion, beyond the curriculum, helping us to discover new interests and develop the skills that will be necessary when we make the transition to university. In the afternoon, some of us have sports matches and there are optional craft sessions put on in house. For the UVI Form, the Sixth Form bar is open on Friday and Saturday evenings, where snacks, soft drinks and alcohol are served. On Sunday, there is always a number of different activities on offer, from shopping, cinema trips and socials, to bubble football and trampolining. Additionally, cooking supplies and pamper packs are provided for those who prefer to stay and relax (or work!) in house.
What extra-curricular activities do you have?
From Cookery, Foreign Film Club and Fencing to Photography and Model United Nations, the large number of clubs and societies on offer means that there’s something for everyone. We are also encouraged to take the initiative and start something new ourselves – there are lots of clubs run by girls in the Sixth Form, such as Dissection Club and Debating Society. Many of us enjoy volunteering at a local specialist school for children with autism, ADHD and other learning difficulties, which is both a fun and rewarding experience.
Do you get to go on many school trips?
Whatever subjects you enjoy and choose for A Level, there are lots of trips on offer to a diverse range of places around the globe, which are a really fun way to expand our learning beyond the curriculum – the Classicists have been to Pompeii, the Biologists to Costa Rica and the Artists to Berlin, to name but a few!
What’s the support system like?
The increased level of academic depth at A Level comes with increased support: our small class sizes and six hours of contact time each week per subject allow for a strong focus on the individual and our personal progress. Beyond the classroom, each evening at least two Academic Tutors are on duty in each house, which are rotated throughout the week to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to ask for help in their given subject, outside of lesson time. More specifically, each girl is allocated an individual Tutor, relevant to their subject and university choices, whom they meet with each week to discuss both academic and pastoral matters – they are always available for a chat should we need it. The same is true of our House Staff who are extremely willing and able to deal with the highs and lows of Sixth Form life.
Do you feel prepared for university and life after school?
We regularly get a taste of university life through our Sixth Form Lecture Programme on Tuesday nights, as well as through frequent opportunities to cook for ourselves, such as during our Friday night Supper Clubs. Many girls in the LVI Form enjoy taking part in in the Young Enterprise competition, where we design, manufacture, promote and sell our own product – another very valuable experience for the future.
Head Girl’s Team (2018-2019)