Twickenham Academy’s new sixth form opened its doors two weeks ago.
Students are thriving at Twickenham Academy’s new sixth form after it became the borough’s first sixth form provider.
It opened its doors two weeks ago, with the whole Academy moving to a new £22.5million building in April.
The decision to open the sixth form this year, instead of after the move to the new building, was made after strong feedback from students who wanted to stay at the Academy.
“It’s a fantastic challenge we’ve had to face to be able to have a group of people studying where they want to study with the choice they’ve not had before,” said Nick Jones, Principal of Twickenham Academy.
“I’m really looking forward to these students being our pioneers, and we really want to give them a personalised approach to learning.”
He said the school is really pleased with the sixth form, and its comprehensive nature across the age range.
Students now have the option to receive further education at a school rather than a college, and stay on at the Academy if they want to.
“I have more faith in the sixth form than the colleges. I feel very comfortable and it offered everything I wanted to do, with the staff I already know so well and it was a brilliant opportunity,” said Kyle Kinsella, 16, a student studying media, history, product design and applied business.
“It’s a lovely advantage to stay here, and the teachers make us feel like adults.”
The students are excited about the move to the new building, where they will have their own private area.
“It’s good because you’ll feel like you’re part of the sixth form instead of just another year group of the main school,” student Charlotte O’Drascoll said.
“It’s more personal now because you actually get to know the teachers on a first name basis.”
As part of the students’ curriculum they undertake an internship one day a week. This has been a big draw to the academy for many students.
It was included in the curriculum because of the practicalities of youth unemployment and jobs being increasingly hard to get and the classic catch-22 of having qualifications but no experience.
The Principal said he hopes this will help students have the extra lift and support to stand out.
“I feel like in sixth form they really care about you,” Courtney Jenkinson, 16, said.
She said that she was excited to start the internship as part of the course, and it has given her more confidence organising it herself.
All sixth form students were given tablets to enhance their learning and give them access to the online learning facilities.
One of the English teachers has set up a creative writing blog for students to share their ideas, and is very enthusiastic about this aspect of the teaching.
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