The ASPire programme
(the Advanced Skills Programme for the Sixth Form)
In a world where so much emphasis is put on exam success, we have designed the Advanced Skills Programme (ASPire) to enable the development of the whole student.
Our guiding principle is to provide students with opportunities to learn that goes beyond the curriculum, to gain experiences outside their day-to-day lives in the classroom and to develop skills that will set them up for the future.
With the application process for university and for jobs becoming even more competitive, we also believe that the ASPire programme will help them to stand out from other applicants by being able to demonstrate learning beyond the curriculum and a wide range of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
The ASPire programme is here to provide students with something different and to enable them to have fun whilst learning and developing their skills.
An overview of the ASPire programme
ASPire in the Lower Sixth
In the Lower Sixth, the ASPire programme consists of two parts:
A certificated course
Students are able to choose from one of seven programmes of study. These have been designed to cover a range of interests and result in a certificate which can then be included on UCAS applications and CVs. We encourage students to consider completing the Extended Project Qualification. Alternatively, students can choose to take on a fourth A Level or choose from one of our specially selected courses, which include: Computer Programming; Gold Arts Award; Introduction to Financial Services; and, Leadership and Management.
AN ENRICHMENT OPTION
The enrichment programme for the Lower Sixth is designed to take students out of the usual classroom setting and to learn, develop and apply skills in new settings. This is an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and try something new. During their enrichment, Sixth Formers can coach younger students by becoming mentors on our Outdoor Education programme (‘Terriers’) or be part of the school’s outreach to the local community by volunteering in the community service programme. Other activities on offer include: creative writing; debating; the Engineering Education Scheme; filmmaking; Green Power Racing; learning to sign; Philosophy, Culture, Ethics and Society; QCSL; and, theatre design.
These sessions are interspersed with lectures provided by guest speakers. There are approximately three lectures every year. Some of the speakers have been selected to talk on topics relevant to the life choices the students may face, while others have been chosen in order to broaden their understanding of the world. Students also participate in three internal workshops during the year to address a range of wellbeing and personal development needs.
ASPIRE IN THE UPPER SIXTH
In the Upper Sixth, the development of the whole student continues in the format of a carousel. Our aim is to enable students to take on the challenges that they may face after they leave school through providing them with a tool box of skills upon which they can draw.
Over the course of the year, students take part in ten workshops. To deliver these workshops, the programme draws on the expertise of a wide range of tutors, including experienced members of the Sixth Form team, the school nurse and our Director of Post-School Pathways and Academic Guidance.
The workshops currently provided include topics such as: student health issues; banking and budgeting; student cooking; eating healthily on a budget; conflict resolution; and, the ladder of acceptability.