We are delighted to be sharing a great feature written by our Head of Sixth Form, David Hallen, which appears in Wiltshire Life's Independent Schools Guide March 2020. Read the full article below.
New boarding facilities for Godolphin’s expanding Sixth Form
The benefits of boarding are clear – independence, resilience and deep, long-lasting friendships. There is no doubt that boarding plays a vital role in shaping students’ progress for life after School and enables them to adapt to new situations. Boarding emphasises the value of a successful Sixth Form and highlights the importance of guiding students through the transition of leaving school and moving on to bigger things.
Sixth Form students who board are given the best of both worlds with the academic support they need to achieve their best and the caring environment for them to feel at home in a safe and positive space. Support from Housemistresses and pastoral staff encourages this ‘at home feeling’ and builds a strong sense of community within the school. One Upper Sixth student explains that “The boarding house has an extremely supportive staff team who help with all of your issues. Being in the houses also means that you make great friendships with the people around you.”
Boarding at Godolphin also allows students to focus on their co-curricular activities which encourages them to grow and progress as a person. Being able to stay and take part in anything from CCF to cookery, Mandarin or peer mentoring to lacrosse and Zumba makes an immense difference to their mental health and wellbeing. Being able to replace travel time with activities also gives them the opportunity to complete their academic work, focus on studying and enjoy the boarding lifestyle and environment.
Godolphin Sixth Form has gone from strength to strength and with numbers set to continue to climb in the coming years, Godolphin is delighted to announce that the Jerred Study Centre will be re-purposed into a weekly boarding house from September 2020. This significant and forward-looking investment will allow the school to accommodate all full, weekly, mid-week and flexi-boarders, as well as provide integrated study spaces for day students across both Sixth Form houses.
Not only does boarding in the Sixth Form allow students the time and space to really focus on their studies and co-curricular commitments, but it also provides a supportive and dynamic environment that best prepares our students for life after Godolphin.
Jerred House will become a weekly boarding house and will see a significant investment in redecoration and resources, matching the significant improvements already made to the ground floor, which have been so successful for the last three years. School House will remain the house of choice for our full Boarders, but also welcome some weekly Boarders and Sarums, ensuring that both houses are fully integrated. By September 2020, both houses will share a fresh and welcoming look, ready for our growing Sixth Form to enjoy.
Head of Sixth Form, David Hallen, said “Central to this success is the dynamic learning environment in which the students can achieve their best, in a warm and supportive setting. By investing in this development, I feel as though we are hitting an excellent balance between giving our students the facilities they need to succeed and allowing them the educational and individual freedom that young people need in a Sixth Form.”
As numbers continue to grow, more members of the community will be able to engage with and benefit from the exceptional Elizabeth Godolphin Award and Bright Futures programmes.
The Bright Futures Resource Centre, based in Jerred House, is the hub of our school-wide careers initiative, and every day students make use of the resources to help them develop their ambitions and aspirations. Visiting speakers, in-house expertise, a wide range of resources and an investment in every individual student are at the core of this programme. Bethan Ferguson, Head of the Bright Futures programme, comments that “It is vital that students have access to up-to-date advice, resources and role models as they move through the school, and especially in the Sixth Form. Our Bright Futures programme brings our students together with Alumnae working in exciting and forward-thinking industries, the arts and culture, health and STEM environments as well as providing a wealth of directions when it comes to career, university and employment options.”
The strength of the Sixth Form at Godolphin isn’t just rooted in the fabric of the buildings, but in the philosophy that by teaching the students how to reflect on their experiences, helping them to identify their ambitions and giving them the resilience to achieve their purpose, the school offers every individual student an education for life. At the heart of this is the Elizabeth Godolphin Award, a scheme in which every student participates, and which really defines the Sixth Form experience. Anything from lessons in budgeting to car maintenance or student cookery to CV writing, volunteering with local and national charities, health education and seminars, inspiring lectures and workshops from visitors such as Sir Simon Schama, John Perry and Bold Voices can form the core events throughout a term. And, according to David Hallen “it is this depth and breadth of opportunity that is the hallmark of a Sixth Form education at Godolphin”.