Sixth Form life at GHS
The Sixth Form at Guildford High School marks a new stage in students’ education; it is an exciting and dynamic place to be. Our students are encouraged to embrace new challenges and opportunities in order to make the most of their two years. Alongside an outstanding academic record, they consistently astound us with their capacity to achieve in extracurricular areas too, all the while maintaining a great sense of fun.
As part of our academic enrichment we run weekly lunchtime lectures for members of the Sixth Form. Staff present on subjects beyond the curriculum, inspiring them to read around their subjects and develop a passion for their subjects. Additionally, tutorial-style, subject-specific reading groups are held to allow students to broaden their knowledge and interests and discuss ideas with other, like-minded individuals.
For those who enjoy debating there are plenty of opportunities on offer. We have a Senior Debating team which has a fantastic record at the European Youth Parliament and other local competitions and we are also involved in Model United Nations. For the past few years we have hosted our own conference as well as having attended others. In addition to this we have an annual Oratory Competition for Sixth Form students so that they can showcase their skills.
Sixth Formers are encouraged to audition for parts in dramatic productions and to become the mainstays of the technical/design team that operates behind the scenes. In Michaelmas Term, there is a play solely for the Upper School to demonstrate their talents and a major Senior production takes place in the Lent Term. Every two years we embark upon a joint musical with the Royal Grammar School which provides students with the opportunity to develop their musical, acting and technical skills.
Friendship and new experiences
Whether they are producing the Year 7 Panto, choreographing the annual Fashion Show, joining the Green team, getting involved with charities or helping to run the school newspaper, there is something which appeals to every individual. The teamwork, organisational skills and confidence which they gain from these opportunities stand students in good stead for university and for life in general.
An enjoyable and informative General Studies programme is run in conjunction with the Royal Grammar School, Guildford. There are more than 40 courses on offer. Subjects include discussion-based current affairs groups, creative courses such as song writing and music production, cupcake decorating and flower design and practical courses such as car maintenance, giving students the chance to acquire interesting new skills. Courses are selected by the boys and girls from both Sixth Forms and are run by staff at both schools.
General Studies also incorporates outside speakers. In recent years, speakers have included the eminent historian David Olusoga talking on Britain’s Black history and Alex Owumi, a professional basketball player, who spoke about getting caught in the Libyan uprising.
Leadership and Responsibility
Sixth Formers make a valuable contribution to the wider school community, taking on important leadership roles through the Senior Prefect Team, incorporating Head Girls, Deputy Head Girls, Heads of Houses, School Council, Charity Committee, the Green Team and Sixth Form Management. Staging the Year 7 Panto, organising the Fashion Show or starting their own clubs – there is something for everyone and it all contributes to the development of new skills and confidence.
The lively musical programme includes many concerts and opportunities to perform. The Senior Choir, a large, non-auditioned choir, sings at the Carol Service and major choral concerts. The auditioned Chamber Choir performs at a very high standard, as does the GHS and RGS Joint Chamber Choir. The Symphony Orchestra, String Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band and Wind Band impress audiences at numerous concerts and around 50 ensembles meet each week.
Out and about
Intrepid Sixth Formers embark on Gold Award Duke of Edinburgh and numerous fascinating subject-related trips take place each year, such as A Level Geographers putting investigative geographical enquiry techniques into action in North Devon and French students practising their language skills in Paris. Recent expeditions to far-flung destinations have included Nicaragua, Cambodia and Laos and Zambia where girls work with community projects, learn about local cultures and have a once in a lifetime experience.
Competitive sport is held in high esteem and senior Guildford High School teams are notably strong. There is ample opportunity in Sixth Form to enjoy competitive traditional school sports through a full and varied fixtures list, representing school at local, district, county and national level. For weekly games lessons an exceptional array of activities is available to allow girls to try out leisure activities which they will enjoy and continue beyond their school days. A well-equipped health and fitness suite is located in the Sports Centre and options including barre pilates, climbing, fencing, golf, ice skating, spinning, squash, yoga and Zumba are offered.
Our Sixth Form Centre, Morton House, provides Sixth Formers with the space they need to study and socialise. It comprises dedicated study rooms, a computer suite, social area and classrooms.
Greater independence is a feature of sixth form life. However, there is still plenty of support available: alongside a large Sixth Form team each student belongs to a tutor group of up to 12 students. Our tutorial programme is designed to help students make more of their time in the Sixth Form and prepare for life beyond.
Joining the Sixth Form
The best way to find out more about Sixth Form life at GHS is through our students. Watch our video below to hear from our Deputy Head Girl (2019-20) on her experiences and joining GHS in the Sixth Form.