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Studying in TDA6

We look for students with the very highest aspirations, ones who are interested in their subjects and do not settle for anything less than the very best. Learning is a challenge especially when there are so many other things going on in young people’s lives. Here at TDA6 we are determined to help young people become outstanding, independent learners who are successfully able to navigate their way to life beyond sixth form.

When people tell you that there is a big step-up from GCSE to sixth form (level 3) study they are not exaggerating. There are three main challenges which you will face:

In terms of content, very rapidly you will be exposed to a plethora of:

  • ideas
  • theorems
  • dates
  • studies
  • concepts
  • learned opinions

Over the two years in TDA6 there is a host of academic skills you will acquire and hone in readiness for further study or the world of work, these include:

  • planning to tackle tasks in the most effective way
  • researching
  • problem-solving
  • applying your knowledge to a range of challenging situations
  • writing balanced or persuasive responses under timed conditions
  • prioritising – issues or solutions according to seriousness or significance
  • evaluating the quality, persuasiveness and/or pragmatism of arguments or potential solutions
  • referencing
  • presenting – ideas, arguments, evidence
  • communicating – both in writing and by spoken word

In terms of learning, there are a number of critical areas upon which you will need to focus:

  • studying independently
  • being responsible for your own learning
  • consolidating learning
  • taking notes
  • maintaining motivation
  • keeping your brain healthy
  • absorbing information
  • retaining knowledge and skills
  • recalling what you have learned as and then you need it
  • giving of your best
  • dealing with physical and mental distractions
  • organising notes, deadlines and extracurricular activities
  • managing time
  • revising in preparation for both internal and external exams
  • preparing – understanding key concepts prior to lessons
  • reading – both required texts and additional books or journals to extend understanding

In order to support you in your journey we have a fantastic study centre. Here, there is an excellent learning environment with computers, break-out rooms, study booths and silent study areas all dedicated exclusively to sixth form use. In addition we have our Study Support Officer, Mrs Jo Throne, who works one-to-one with learners to help them focus upon developing some of the key attributes outlined above.

In curriculum areas our dedicated teaching staff will provide additional, focused, intervention sessions for students who are yet to master key academic skills or are struggling with critical concepts. Furthermore, we have subject leaders and progress managers all of whom are closely monitoring progress towards the aspirational target grades which we set students at the start of the year. Attainment is formally measured at “check points” throughout the year when performance against target grades is measured – here is a further opportunity for the Sixth Form Progress Manager to intervene to help ensure that every student is working towards their target.

At the start of the year during personal development sessions, time is given over to exploring brain exercises, the dietary and other measures which can develop a healthy brain, and different ways of recording information from lessons. A major focus at this stage is the importance of “consolidation” – those techniques and activities which contribute towards developing “deep” rather than superficial learning.

Prospective Sixth Form students are encouraged to visit the UCAS Progress website to explore the range of sixth form courses available at Thomas Deacon Academy and other local Post 16 providers in the Peterborough locality.