‘Students make an excellent contribution to the life of the school’
‘The vast range of thriving extra-curricular activities, including high quality opportunities in sport, music, drama, art and travel is a huge strength of the academy’ Ofsted 2014
At Burford we believe in preparing our students for the future by providing a range of opportunities to gain new experiences, develop life skills and pursue interests. In the Sixth Form we provide opportunities with and beyond departments to engage, inspire and challenge our students. In October 2017 we were awarded a prestigious Platinum Artsmark Award by Arts Council, Enlgnad in recognition of the arts and culture provision provided by the school from Year 7 right up to Year 13. Each year we have a rich programme of events which our students take part in including debating competitions, public speaking events, political activities, campaigning for Amnesty International, Senior Leaders, charity fundraising events and options within the compulsory Extension Programme. Enrichment activities are engaging, motivational and eagerly pursued.
Every year students join the Sixth Form from other schools attracted by the rich variety of activities beyond the curriculum that they can access. The Enrichment Programme falls into four key areas:
- Gifted and Talented
The Extended Curriculum
All students in Year 12 undertake one or more options from a range of extension opportunities. These include Cambridge IELTS, Level 2 Community Sports Leader Award, Level 3 Core Mathematics, AS Ancient History, AS Extended Project Qualification, AS Further Mathematics and Young Enterprise.
Young Enterprise is the United Kingdom’s largest business and enterprise education charity. Every year they engage 250,000 young people in learning about business and the world of work in the classroom under the guidance of a network of 5,000 volunteers from 3,500 companies.
The Young Enterprise mission statement is “to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.” Its guiding principle is to do this through “learning by doing”.
Under the guidance of one or more Business Advisers students set up and run a firm. Delivered across an academic year, the Young Enterprise team, make all the decisions about their company, from establishing roles within the team, raising the initial share capital, designing their product or service, to selling directly to customers and ultimately winding up the company and paying their taxes.
The experience demands commitment, co-operation and creativity. Students experience the practical aspects of creating a truly functioning enterprise, with all its highs and lows. Difficult situations have to be faced (when colleagues don’t pull their weight) and unexpected scenarios have to be managed providing students with opportunities to develop key skills for the adult world. During the year the team give a presentation to members of the business community who attend one of our Business Breakfasts.
Who is involved?
Young Enterprise is offered to all Year 12 students and due to popular demand there is always fierce competition to gain selection for the team. The Business Advisers at Burford School are Mr and Mrs Pitman who have over 30 years’ experience running their own business in Oxfordshire. See what the students say at: https://www.youtube.com
The Young Enterprise teams at Burford are always extremely successful and have been taking part in the competition for the past fourteen years. In 2014 and 2015 the teams reached the Regional Final and came away with the Award for Marketing.
Contributing to the wider school community
In addition to the options within the Extended Curriculum students take on additional responsibilities, supporting the wider community of the school. Some choose to support teachers in Year 7 or 8 classes, selecting a subject they are particularly comfortable with and enjoy. Some volunteer to help as Reading Buddies in Learning Support or help the Science Department on ‘The Acre’.
The role of Senior Leaders at Burford is to support the younger years. Students volunteer to help in a variety of ways. For example they may assist staff to patrol the school, to ensure all students are safe and happy during break and lunch times, or they may spend time on duty in ‘The House’ or the Library offering support to those who choose to spend the break times there.
The extra-curricular musical activities available include such things as our Broadway Musical, which is a large biennial production involving many departments of the school. In addition there is orchestra and a range of bands from rock, to jazz and classical.
Sport features strongly in the Sixth From. We regularly do well in District and County competitions and are visited by teams from Australia and New Zealand. Each year the highlight of the summer season is the U19s cricket match against a visiting team from the MCC.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award
We are fortunate to have staff that are trained to prepare students for their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Many students take advantage of this opportunity acquiring new skills and developing new friendships during the various activities and expeditions they are required to undertake.
Their success, of course, is rounded off with a visit to St James Palace, London to receive their awards.
Further opportunities within the Sixth Form include the many charitable events that are instigated by the students themselves; from SCCWID fashion shows to simple non-uniform days; coffee mornings to Amnesty International events. https://twitter.com/amnestyburford
The Sixth Form Enrichment Co-ordinator provides access to a range of further opportunities for students to develop and practice key skills which open up opportunities beyond school.
Politics in Action
Politics, whether local or national is part of all our lives and ‘Politics in Action’ gives Sixth Form students the opportunity to experience the nature of political argument in an environment that is both realistic and challenging. Students are required to structure and present an argument in support of a project that they believe would improve a council service or benefit the wider community. They are expected to take into consideration the financial pressures faced by local authorities and to present their argument at the council’s headquarters in Woodgreen, Witney.
Presenting before a cross-party panel of district councillors requires them to develop a range of skills including constructing a sound argument, presenting clearly and competently and answering unseen questions in a coherent and well thought out way.
Peers in Schools
‘Events in Westminster can sometimes seem very remote but it is vital that people understand what goes on and how they are able to interact with parliamentarians to promote and progress causes which are important to them. I hope that Peers in Schools can contribute to developing that understanding among school students.’
The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza
Each year the Sixth Form welcomes a Peer from the House of Lords as part of the ‘Peers in Schools’ programme. This is an opportunity to hear first-hand of the work carried out by Peers of the Realm, to ask questions on a range of matters and to gain an understanding of how the Lords contribute to the making of our laws and statutes. The visits are of interest to all students, particularly those planning to study law or enter politics.
Recent visits include:
2013 – Baroness Deech
2014 – Lord Borwick
Public speaking skills, research methods and speech writing techniques are the skills acquired through Youth Speaks. This public speaking competition, organised by the Rotary Club, gives students essential exposure to the demands of speaking in public and presenting an argument. Through this event students grow in confidence helping them to tackle interviews for university, college or employment with some level of experience.
Gifted and Talented
In the Sixth Form we aim to capitalise on the achievements of our Gifted and Talented students. We have high expectations for them and instil a determination to excel. To support this, a wide range of opportunities are available to help students realise the highest of academic goals.
Mrs C Rose is responsible for the Gifted & Talented activities in the Sixth Form.
Opportunities for Gifted and Talented students in the Sixth Form include:
Accelerated Learning Group
Gifted and Talented students meet regularly to take part in discussion and debate, aimed at developing thinking skills and encouraging independent thought on current worldwide issues.
Debating Matters is an extremely challenging debating competition, aimed at our Gifted and Talented students. The matters under debate engage with a broad range of social, scientific and ethical issues that society faces today.
Debating Matters believes that young people are intelligent and robust enough to have their ideas held up to critical scrutiny by adults, and tough enough to defend their ideas. Debating Matters judges are encouraged to be bold and challenging with the young people they meet, offering praise and criticism where it is due.
Targeted and comprehensive help with Oxbridge applications include:
- Oxbridge Conference – providing subject specific information on Oxford and Cambridge and giving students access to admissions tutors.
- Mock interviews with specialists to help prepare students for the rigors of any university interviews they may be called for.
- Visits to Oxbridge link colleges including a residential in the Easter holidays.
Sutton Trust and UNIQ Summer School
Individual help is provided with Sutton Trust and UNIQ Summer School applications.
- Guest speakers from leading universities.
- Targeted interviews monitoring academic progress.
- Academic mentoring from staff; this links students to teachers with common academic interests promoting wider knowledge of the subject outside the examined specification.
- Subject specific clubs, run by teachers, helping extend students’ subject knowledge to a deeper and wider understanding.
Burford is a recognised Exam Centre for additional university admissions exams. This covers potential Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry applicants.