Sixth Form starts here – guest blog by Erin Skelton, new Head of Sixth Form

26th May 2017

Firstly let me introduce myself to those of you who don’t yet know me. I have the great privilege of taking over the reins from Mrs Pip Flewitt as Head of the Sixth Form at NGHS as she retires in the summer, and I have been working with her since the start of this term as I get to know the school, the staff and of course, the girls.

Mrs Skelton with Deputy Head, Mrs Handford-Smith

I have been made most welcome by everybody here which has made my settling in period really enjoyable; I already feel like part of the family. Attending the Year 13 Awards Ceremony and joining in the festivities on their last day has given me a true sense of the place and its spirit, and made me feel right at home. I am here for the Year 13 girls as they sit their exams, and I will be here to help celebrate with them on results day, and offer support where needed, as of course I will for the Year 12 girls too. During my years of work in education I have gained lots of experience and expertise in lots of different areas, not just academic but also administrative and pastoral, all of which I bring with me to NGHS to help the Sixth Form strive for excellence and provide everything the girls might need. My vision for the Sixth Form here is in keeping with the overall vision of Nottingham Girls’ High School.

My aims for our Sixth Form are both brave and bold. Beginning in Year 10, I would like to foster greater links with our Sixth Form through an improved networking programme where NGHS girls and girls who are considering NGHS as their Sixth Form choice interact and have fun. Planning has already begun for various entertainment and networking events which will give prospective girls a flavour of Sixth Form life and ensure their natural progression into NGHS Sixth Form.

In Year 11, I would like to encourage the passion for enquiry and the love of individual subjects to be carried through to the subject choices each girl makes for her A-level study. I want her to look not just at future job titles and pay scales but also to look within herself to ensure that in her chosen path of study she is being true to herself, her interests and the aspirations she holds in her heart.

In Year 12, I wish to ensure that we have a robust pathway programme where girls get bespoke mentoring and enrichment opportunities to ensure that they fully understand the demands of their chosen career path. I wish to ensure that our girls carefully consider their university choices and make strategic UCAS applications. Each girl should carefully consider which course in terms of content and teaching methodology and which institution in terms of quality of teaching, location and appropriateness for their individual needs. I want our girls to have high aspirations, but also to make considered choices which are best for them, their aspirations and their future.

Within this will undoubtedly be consideration of and preparation for Oxbridge. Here our girls need to have a clear understanding of the differences of attending Oxbridge in terms of teaching methodology, the differences between courses at Oxbridge versus other Russell Group institutions, and invariably what life at a collegiate institution will entail. I wish to ensure thorough Oxbridge preparation which will include mentoring, greater enrichment opportunities and greater exposure to the Oxbridge interview process.

For those girls transferring from Year 11, the Sixth Form offers a seamless transition; new subjects and perhaps new teachers but an environment where girls are confident and at ease as leaders and role models. Our Sixth Form has an atmosphere of challenge and innovation and our skilled and supportive teachers will provide deep learning and teach the independent learning skills needed to prepare our girls for university and beyond.

Academically ambitious young women joining us for Sixth Form will rapidly feel at home here. We specialise in the education of intelligent, successful young women. Our Sixth Form has the needs and the wishes of girls at its very heart; they will be at the pinnacle of the student body, the ultimate expression of all that is achieved at this school.

Our Sixth Form is the stepping stone to the future. Whether a girl wants to be a surgeon, a poet, or an international sportswoman, she will be encouraged; her failures will be learned from and her successes will be celebrated. Students who leave us are confident, well-rounded, well-balanced and versatile young women who are excellently equipped to take their place in, and contribute to modern society; they are the leaders of tomorrow, and I am thrilled to be part of their journey.

With best wishes for the half-term break.
Erin Skelton

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