A - Level At Greensteds
The Sixth Form is an important time for academic study and as preparation for and requirement of university entrance. Many boys and girls will have been at Greensteds for some time prior to entering the Sixth Form but quite a number join us from other schools in and outside of Kenya. It is important that the Sixth Form is able to provide a different and altogether more adult experience, not just an extension of what has been provided before.
Why Greensteds for A - Level
Entry to our 6th form
The chief requirements for successful A level study are academic ability, self-discipline and the motivation to succeed, and it is the school’s aim to develop these qualities in our students so that they will achieve high standards in the 6th form and at university. We expect that students will gain a minimum of 5 A* - C grades at IGCSE to enter in to our 6th form and ideally, to achieve a minimum of a B grade in the subjects they wish to take at AS and A2 level.
Teachers are always ready to assist and advise students on the choice of subjects. The time-table is constructed to meet students’ wishes as much as is possible each year.
Sixth Form studies at Greensteds are centered on AS and A-levels. These qualifications are well-known and widely accepted by universities and employers all over the world. Most of our Sixth Form usually take four subjects to AS level in Year 12 and a combination of AS and A-level studies in Year 13.
AS level examinations are taken at the end of Year 12 in May/June; the remaining A2 examinations at the end of Year 13 May/June. The minimum requirement for university entrance being completion of three subjects to A2 level although some universities accept a combination of fewer A2’s and some AS qualifications, depending upon the subject course and the university. It is possible for some students to continue with four A2 subjects in Year 13; some might only be capable of embarking on three AS level subjects in Year 12 and again, we are flexible enough on the timetable to allow some students to start a new AS level subject in Year 13.
The Head of Year, dorm tutors and form tutors monitor academic progress of each student under their care. Every four weeks an effort number 1-6, and achievement letter A-E, is given for each subject indicating the progress achieved in that four week period. Records are kept and this information is distributed to parents, students, teachers and tutors in order to effectively track progress made and to quickly identify when things are going wrong. In addition, tutors ensure that a healthy balance of academic work and extra curricular activities is maintained. Parents are encouraged to develop a close working relationship with dorm, form and Head of Year tutors through e-mail, or phone. In addition, formal and informal meetings between parent and teachers are arranged. Detailed reports are published and sent to parents with the students at the end of each term.
Our expectations of study and conduct are clearly defined for each 6th form student. 6th form is the final pre university preparation and so responsibility for achievement and progress must be undertaken by the student in the first instance. To assist those who require additional help, subject tutorials are arranged each week. Individuals or small groups attend these tutorials to help students achieve their full potential. For those identified as “Gifted or Talented” there are extension activities and additional programmes.
We give prep to provide students the experience of working by themselves, without immediate recourse to the teacher or other students, to consolidate work covered in class, and to develop the habit of private study. We try to ensure that the environment for Prep is conducive to quiet and effective work.
Each A-Level student must be prepared to spend a minimum of 5 hours per A-Level subject each week out of time-tabled lessons. Further guidance is available in the Sixth Form booklet.
The whole school is networked with 24 hour, 7 days a week internet access available. All Year 12 & 13 students are expected to have a laptop in lessons and specifications for this are provided by the IT Department. Increasingly, work is mailed from staff to students and vice versa plus, students are encouraged to use their lap tops during normal lesson time.
Students are recommended to undertake work experience in a field which is related to their chosen degree course. This usually occurs once the AS exams have been completed and before the student returns for Year 13. Evidence of their work experience strengthens a student’s university application and it can be arranged by the student and undertaken from home or, the school will assist in placing a student on a work experience placement in Nakuru or Nairobi upon request.
University Application and Admission
It is our goal to work towards 100% of Year 13 leavers achieving admission to university. It follows that virtually every student at Greensteds, who wishes to have a university place, can have one – provided that a sensible application to the right universities, in the right country, is made at the right time.
Advice is available to you from your Sixth Form Tutor, teachers and from the Careers Service throughout your time in the Sixth Form. All Year 12 complete a programme, which will provide ideas about appropriate careers, courses and universities in response to their declared interests and aptitudes.
In Year 13 each student is allocated a ‘Personal Tutor’ who assists and guides them in the process of university application to ensure that they are successful.
Mr. Ken Winstanley
Head of A - Level