Wellbeing and Life in KWSixth
KWSixth wellbeing is our dedicated platform designed to support students aged 16 and above on their journey towards personal and academic growth. We celebrate and enjoy your individuality and uniqueness, encouraging you to be the full you, expressing your passions and aspirations on this journey. We understand that wellbeing is crucial to your success and our mission is to provide valuable resources and guidance to support you and help you flourish as we build your success, together.
At KWSixth you will be treated as a young adult and given the opportunity to hone both your academic and social skills, in order to make a positive difference in society when you leave the sixth form. Your teachers will nurture and guide you, preparing you for the next stage of your academic journey. There will be the highest of standards and expectations to ensure every student who enters our sixth form reaches their full potential. KWSixth will build on the unique and exceptional extracurricular opportunities that students have experienced and benefited from in the lower school.
We are aware of the pressures society puts on young adults and our aim is to support and help you navigate your journey. Below are some initial links to resources and tips to help across a range of challenges.
Although KWSixth is set in the school environment and the systems may be familiar to students, there are differences which can sometimes cause difficulties to arise. These difficulties may be ones which the learner has either not experienced during their earlier school years or ones they have been able to successfully manage, (sometimes with additional support), up to this point in their education. We have identified some potential challenges:
- The emphasis and expectation regarding independent learning at all levels of qualification. To thrive at KWSixth, a student needs to be equipped with good study skills particularly in relation to organisation of time and work, note taking and memorising techniques. The linear ‘A’ levels and BTEC qualifications demand strong memory retention and recall and the ability to disseminate knowledge within set time constraints, whether these be via assessment deadlines or exam conditions.
- The pace of the curriculum, particularly at level 3. The linear A levels and Level 3 BTECs have more extensive specifications, which must be taught, continually assessed and revised within a relatively short time span. Students will be expected to acquire the factual knowledge for a topic area via their independent learning. The classroom time is often used for checking, consolidating and practising how to use this knowledge in formal assessed work.
- The structure of the student’s timetable and the day which can remove them from previous, long term friendship groups, whom they may have previously relied upon for support and interaction.
- Some students may choose not to disclose their past SEND difficulties/differences though they are still present. This may be due to their desire not to be ‘labelled’, their fear that disclosure may be met with peer prejudice or the view that they have matured out of the need for additional support.
- Transition to a new setting can invoke strong emotions within some learners who struggle with change and fear the unfamiliar.
Anxiety in students may be general, social or in relation to learning and is often one of the key difficulties’ sixth form settings are asked to support. Learning related anxiety can be quite common. Challenges occur if a student experiences difficulties relating to speed of processing, working memory, time management and organisation. When they experience high levels of worry or anxiety and their threat response is triggered, working memory and the ability to process information will be further hampered as their brain shifts into ‘survival’ mode. This can add to the learner’s distress and feelings of failure which can then impact their attendance and performance in their courses.
Possible support strategies include:
- Being truthful and open with your form teacher about how you find the courses, the environment, the workload
- Referrals for counselling may be used as a support strategy.
- Providing a drop-in facility for students for help with generic study skills and emotional wellbeing.
- Providing transition support/programmes with a focus on the acquisition/development of the study skills and studentship qualities required for further education and higher education study subjects.
- Be aware of referral routes including Form Teacher, Pastoral Mentors, Mental Health Advisers, Counsellors and Safeguarding Leads.
Some Support Strategies:
- At KWSixth, we provide supervised/facilitated social opportunities/spaces on a regular basis which students know about and are comfortable to attend and participate in at whatever level suits them.
- We provide other spaces that offer opportunities for social interactions/connections – e.g. a zone for quiet work (rather than silent work). Often students using this facility begin to chat to others and form friendships.
- Peer mentoring – this might be an informal arrangement supported by the pastoral support team.
In addition, careful pairing and grouping within the classroom can encourage peer interaction.
Other useful resources available at KWSixth include our study strategies-practical tips, time management, effective note taking.
We also focus on Study Life Balance including tips and techniques to strike a healthy balance between academic commitments and personal interests, fostering a positive environment for your growth and Physical Health Advice on increasing or maintaining your physical activity, healthy eating and wellness practices to boost your wellbeing.
Additional links to resources:
Herts Young Homeless offers a mediation service for parents and young people who are in crisis: https://www.hyh.org.
As well as support in school, there are a range of support services and charities where you can seek help and advice. These are listed below:
My self-care plan: secondary and FE
A plan which helps young people identify activities that they can use to support their mental health.
The Wellbeing Service offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents (aged 16+) experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as: worry, low mood, insomnia and stress. You can self-refer to this service.
Adult Community Mental Health Services
Adult Community Mental Health Services work with service users to aid recovery and enable them to return to their full potential in day to day life. The service is for 18-65 year olds who have non-psychotic disorders including Personality Disorder and Neuro-Developmental disorders and those with a psychotic or mood disorder.