Greater responsibility, independence and freedom are given in these final two years of the school as boys make their transition to full adulthood. We aim to enable them to achieve a smooth transition from school to university.
School uniform gives way to smart office dress. Boys study four or five subjects that they enjoy and are good at. This changes in 2016 with the new linear A Levels at Pre U to be taken in History, English and Theology. All courses, heavily subsidised by subject specialist staff are academically challenging, providing pupils with greater scope for independent research and work, and teaching takes place in small groups (average 8-10 boys, maximum 15), affording great opportunities for learning.
Each year, around fifteen boys join the school at this level. Of course, this year also sees students thinking about university choices: by Easter, in Year 12, all will have seen a university advisor and have some idea about which type of course they would like to study.
Beyond the classroom, societies, clubs and school magazines flourish. Over half the year group is involved in the Voluntary Service programme, a quarter of the boys taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme (Gold). Many boys assume either significant roles in the school’s sports teams or leading roles in clubs, societies, charities, drama and music.
Year 12 closes with examinations and preparation of UCAS personal statements. When it comes to the latter, each boy will probably have a good idea as to where his academic heart lies, but will also want to highlight the achievements and fun this year has brought him: most have too much to write.
Most boys drop a subject at the end of Year 12, resulting in greater specialisation, more in-depth study and the chance for wider reading. A larger number of free periods also results and each individual now has to take charge of how he uses this time. A sizeable common room with computers and study rooms attached, as well as leisure facilities, is provided for the Upper Eighths’ sole use.
Ten from each of the top two year groups, elected by their peers, run the School Council, forming a bridge between the whole student body and senior management.
The Prefects, numbering about 25, are chosen from this year group democratically - elected by their peers and staff. The High Master has the power of veto, but it is rarely used.
Not surprisingly, particularly with the school’s vertical tutor system, students at this level are expected to act as role-models to the younger boys and they take this responsibility seriously. We’re proud of what they achieve and what they become.