Induction days at Sharnbrook

Induction days at Sharnbrook are about:-

  • helping students to find out more about the courses they are thinking of following in September

  • establishing the manner of working in the sixth form

  • preparing students for the best possible start in September

  • subject staff working tirelessly to help students make informed subject choices

  • year 12 student helpers working collectively to ensure smooth running over 2 days

  • meeting existing friends and making new friends

  • fun and enjoyment packed in 2 days

  • happy memories made

It may surprise you to know that the process of induction commences during the autumn school term as soon as the year 11 6th form application process begins.  Online applications start arriving and, for some current year 11 and for all prospective students, face-to-face interviews begin to take place with senior staff and the sixth form team.  Every detail is read, cogitated and recorded.  More detail is noted, checked, double and triple-checked, to ensure the entire induction process runs smoothly with every student in mind.  More hard work is taking place in the background: the planning and organising of subjects into blocks and timetabling, rooms are being booked, staff cover is being organised and subject staff are volunteering to run induction lessons.  Parent, staff and student queries are being managed throughout induction.  Break time snacks and lunch, too, must be organised; everyone needs to eat!  If this were not enough, the offer of a provisional sixth form place is also made to some 400+ students.  All this even before the big 2 days arrive!!

La pièce de résistance – ‘induction days’ finally arrive in June, after many months of hard work and preparation!

Induction days are planned and organised with military precision – the devil really is in the detail.  This year, over 70 year 12 students volunteered to help, giving up their time over 2 days.  It is a big task managing 400+ students; in this regard, our year 12 helpers strategically stood outside the school car park, the 6th form block, the science block and the main school reception area.  Students were ushered into the sixth form study centre to collect their individualised timetables and other information.  More helpers were available in the 6th form reception area and on timetabling duty in the study centre.  Upon collection of timetables, it was off to the sixth form assembly after which students were escorted to their first lesson by subject staff and year 12 helpers. The same bank of helpers were around to assist inductees at break and lunch times. Summer holiday induction work was also set in class and made available on the sixth form website. 

Some positive induction feedback:

“I'd like to thank the school and the staff for yesterday as the school gave off a great impression to myself.”

“X thoroughly enjoyed her first day of induction yesterday! So far, so good, as they say.”

“X enjoyed her first induction day with you today.”

Once induction was complete, an electronic survey was emailed to all attendees to understand their induction experience. Only by knowing this, can we improve for the following year.  The survey showed that 78% of students found at least 3 of their A level/BTEC subject lessons interesting and challenging and 94% of students received summer holiday induction work.  Nearly 60% of students reported that the summer induction helped them to decide on their final 3 subjects and students had a better understanding of the A level/BTEC subject course requirements for the courses they plan to follow in September.  At least 50% of students gained a better understanding of the sixth form learning and behaviour expectations and a similar percentage gained a better understanding of the methods of working required for sixth form study.  These are encouraging results; we cannot rest on our laurels and, in the spirit of ‘chasing’ excellence on every level, the annual survey has become a core part of the sixth form induction programme.

Organising the induction programme, I see time and again staff members, students and parents working together to make it the welcome it has become for both our ‘newbies’ and for those returning to us – an impossible feat without everyone’s commitment and generous support.  It is this communal approach at the Sharnbrook Academy which makes induction incomparable, and unforgettable!

Success in 2017 and I am looking forward to 2018!

Written by Divindra Bains

Sixth Form Assistant Manager