What am I going to do now I’ve ‘finished’ Sixth Form?
As we find ourselves in the midst of extraordinary times, our usual advice to students upon completing their courses no longer applies. Given the early finish to your time in Sixth Form, employers, colleges and universities will want to know how you continued to educate and better yourself in the months of gained time. We have summarised below a range of activities that you should be completing whether you are planning on going to college or university, applying for an apprenticeship or securing employment.
Unifrog is our main hub for everything to do with careers and employability. Whether you’re planning on going to university (or Sixth Form/College for Level 2 students), applying for an apprenticeship or securing employment, unifrog has a wealth of tools to support you over the coming months. These tools include:
– Geek Out: a range of journals, articles, books, films and podcasts to prepare you for starting a course in your chosen subject
– MOOCS: these are online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. They give you the chance to study with top universities around the world. They enable you to gain knowledge in all sorts of areas and help you to develop career skills, prepare for other education, or explore a new interest.
– CV and Resume Tools: these are step by step guides that help you to collate your knowledge, skills and competencies and then draw them together in a a powerful CV and/or resume to submit to potential employers
Preparing for University (or Sixth Form/College for Level 2 students):
This section will help to ensure that your subject skills and knowledge are maintained and enriched so that you can hit the ground running on your first day in September.
- Go to https://www.unifrog.org/student/home
- Go to ‘Subjects Library’, click ‘go to tool’
- Under ‘search by keyword’, type in the name of the subject(s) you plan to pursue
- Click on ‘read the guide’
- Scroll down to ‘geek out’ and find a wealth of articles, podcasts, journals, MOOCs etc that you can study ahead of beginning your chosen course
Preparing for an Apprenticeship:
- Go to https://www.unifrog.org/student/home
- Go to ‘Apprenticeships’, click on ‘start’
- Read through the overview on apprenticeships then clicl ‘next’ at the bottom of the page
- Click on the ‘vacancies’ tab and start to search the available apprenticeships
- (Remember you can also use the ‘cv/resume’ tool on the following page https://www.unifrog.org/student/home should you wish to apply for one of the apprenticeships)
Preparing for Employment:
- Go to https://www.unifrog.org/student/home
- Go to ‘Careers Library’, click on ‘go to tool’
- Search either by keyword or by the subjects you have studied
- Review potential career suggestions
- (Remember you can also use the ‘cv/resume’ tool on the following page https://www.unifrog.org/student/home should you wish to apply for careers in any of these fields)
Online Learning Platforms:
There is a wealth of other online learning platforms that will enable you to develop skills that will boost your CV whilst making you a well-rounded individual. You can study courses in a wide range of areas and many of these courses are free (please make sure you check that there is no cost involved before enrolling). Whilst we recommend the use of unifrog, below are some additional examples of online learning platforms that you may wish to explore:
The Open University (O.U)
The Open University is a world leader in open and distance learning. Through ‘OpenLearn’ they offer nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. All of its ‘OpenLearn’ courses are free to study. Most of the courses are self-paced, interactive, have quizzes and track your progress leading to a certificate of participation. They also show you which OU degree they help you to prepare for.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They focus on maths, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. They are partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialised content. These are all free courses.
Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies, so you can learn something new anytime, anywhere. They offer hundreds of free courses (some have a cost attached, please check before you enrol) which give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums.
FutureLearn offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. It is free to join and study the majority of FutureLearn courses (please check that it is free before you enrol).
TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. They believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, you can find a host of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. By using TED recommends, you can say what yours interests are and relevant talks will be selected for you.
Sixth Form Recommended Reads:
This extraordinary period of time also allows you to take some time to rediscover a love of reading. If you’re looking for some inspiration, please go to our ‘Summer Reading Guide’ on the Sixth Form area of the website to find a host of subject specific recommended reads alongside a range of diverse reads that have something for everyone: https://emmanuelsixthform.com/students/summer-activities/
Sixth Form Super-Curricular Reading Guide:
Developing your non-fiction research and reading skills is one vital way in which you can prepare for academic study at a university level. More and more, universities are seeking evidence that applicants have explored their chosen subject through wider reading outside the classroom, which they can discuss in their UCAS personal statements. This sort of exploration is called ‘super-curricular’, rather than ‘extracurricular’, as it builds on and enhances what you are studying in school. Engaging with non-fiction texts will prepare you to critically write about your super-curricular reading in your personal statements.
We’ve compiled this guide to show you how to become an independent non-fiction reader, with the ability to read around the subjects you’ve been studying at A-Level and that you intend to study further. It is recommended that you critically read at least two texts to discuss in your personal statement. Even if you aren’t considering further education after Sixth Form, maintaining a good reading habit and furthering your vocabulary will ensure that your research and reading skills don’t fall behind those of your peers. Please visit https://emmanuelsixthform.com/students/summer-activities/ and click on the ‘Sixth Form Super Curricular Reading Guide’ to access the guidance.
Whilst society is being asked to stay indoors and socially isolate, it is important to take particular care of your physical and mental health. There are lots of things that you can and should be doing to keep happy and well during this time. Consider doing the following:
- Plan your days – your normal routine might be disrupted and that can be stressful. Take some time to write down how you want to spend your day. Creating and sticking to a new routine will give you a sense of order and normality and it will make your return to education or employment in the coming months feel much easier
- Stay connected – (video) call with friends or find a positive online community
- Feel productive – make a list of all those things you said you would do but never get round to, for example, sorting out your room. These tasks can make you feel productive and give you a sense of accomplishment. Tidying your living space can also make you feel calmer and more positive.
- Listen to music – never understand the psychological benefits of listening to tunes you love!
- Learn mindfulness – there are lots of great free apps (such as Headspace) that you can use to guide you through breathing techniques and meditation that can help ease your anxiety and clear your mind of anxious thoughts. You could also try some yoga as a way to relax and boost your mood. There are lots of YouTube videos you can use to suit your ability and level of mobility.
- Exercise – whether it’s a 9am online class with Joe Wicks or a brisk walk around the block, exercise is one of the most powerful ways to boost your mental and physical health
- Clean up your social media – you might be spending more time than usual scrolling on social media. But have you ever thought about how this could be affecting your mental health? Try unfollowing or muting accounts that make you feel anxious, upset or angry. Find positive accounts like @youngmindsuk that boost your mood and share your interests. For more tips on having a positive time online, visit our page on social media and mental health.
- Get outdoors – even if it’s sitting in the garden listening to music, the exposure to day light is important for your well-being. Remember this must not be with others outside of your family
- Read a book – getting away from screens and reading a book can help you escape for a bit. Why not re-read one of your favourites, or get your friend to recommend one? It might be difficult to get a new book, but you can access lots of books online. Audible.com are offering lots of free books at the minute
- Play online games with friends – board games can be a great way to spend time with friends or family while giving you something to focus on. You can play a lot of these games online, like Monopoly or Chess, or via apps like Words With Friends 2.
- Remember the quote we often use in Sixth Form, “attitude is everything”! Never has this sentiment been more important for your health and well-being
If you feel you are struggling with your emotional or mental health during this period of uncertainty, please tell someone. You can email the Sixth Form team for support; access the range of services we posted on Google classrooms on 18th March; or use Nottingham City Care Partnership’s new Text Health service where school nurses are available to support with a range of issues (just text 07480 635024 and they’ll reply back)
These strange times that we find ourselves in offer up an opportunity for you to pursue your broader academic passions. It is very rare that, in the midst of the busyness of life, we find ourselves with the time to explore the many things that inspire us, challenge us and open up our eyes to the world. Please use this time wisely to broaden your mind and your skills. Your future will be so much richer for having done so!
Take care and keep in touch
The Sixth Form Team