A Busy Start for the Sixth Form

My first half term as Director of Sixth Form has flown by, and there has never been a single dull moment! It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know the Sixth Form pupils better and to see them ‘in action’ at various events: they have all thrown themselves into the term with gusto and determination, and I can tell we have an exciting year ahead together. Please enjoy these snapshots from the Sixth Form experience so far.

Mrs Jacky Tidbury
Director of Sixth Form

Lower Sixth Induction

The LVI arrived back to School full of excitement and enthusiasm for the Sixth Form. Following introductory talks by Mrs Duncan, Mrs Tidbury and Miss Jeans, a final flourish of summer weather encouraged us all to have a buffet lunch outside. In the afternoon, the year broke out into their tutor groups for a carousel of activities, including icebreakers, party games, crafts and an invigorating round of dodgeball. It was a wonderful way to welcome new pupils into the School, as well as the LVI more generally into the Sixth Form.

Lower Sixth Quiz

On 9 September, the LVI took part in a highly competitive quiz in their House teams. Questions included a challenging round of stills from films, a music intro round, as well as some ‘Only Connect’ style link questions. Knowledge of countries of the world containing only one vowel or of the allotropes of carbon was necessary for success, as was the judicious use of a ‘Joker’ which could double a team’s score in a particular round. In between rounds, Big School became a disco as Mr Murphy was convinced to play DJ. Favourite tunes included the Cha Cha Slide and the Macarena. After one or two quibbles during the marking process, one of the teams from Pitt came out as winners and were awarded a pizza night.

Lower Sixth Communications Conference

On 21 September, pupils in the LVI took part in the Communications Conference. In the morning they were inspired and informed by Chris Maughan and Victoria Smith, who spoke with great authority on the skills necessary when responding to a media crisis and controlling the story. We all learnt quickly that these skills are vital to every profession. In the afternoon, these skills were put into practice as the pupils broke out into 13 teams. They then responded to a variety of disasters as PR managers of a fictional ice cream company. Some took responsibility for the social media response, others took great care in drafting precise press releases to get ahead of the story. Four girls in each group were also then interviewed by Chris and Victoria, who pulled no punches in their questions. Prizes were handed out to the best team and strongest interviewees at the end, and all left with a greater appreciation of communication skills.

Upper Sixth Academic Forum

The UVI took part in the annual Academic Forum in September, an event designed to expose them to university-level principles. They worked across different subject areas to respond to a variety of challenges. In the morning they used software to practise interview skills, while our medicine applicants approached a variety of interview questions under timed pressure. They then proceeded to the Object Discussion task, where interdisciplinary groups were required to consider an inanimate object, such as a rubber duck or an American football, from their different specialities. After lunch, we were delighted to welcome Liz Tanner to speak to our pupils, as well as Year 13 students from the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School and Westminster Academy. Following this enriching talk, pupils attended subject-specific seminars led by Wycombe Abbey teachers, followed by a highly challenging and competitive quiz based on past admissions test questions. It was a hugely enjoyable day, which sought to inspire pupils from a range of schools to aim high and enrich their academic profiles.

Talk by Thalia Jervis

On Friday 15 September, Thalia Jervis, the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Bucks, came to deliver the first Carrington Talk of the year to the Sixth Form. Thalia is a Wycombe Abbey Senior and her professional life embodies the School value of Service. Having studied History at the University of Cambridge, she has enjoyed a varied career which began in the Civil Service and led to a position working for Network Rail followed by her current position at a local charity. She spoke with great passion and detail about the invaluable work her charity was doing to provide guidance to people living in poverty in the local area. It was particularly heartening to see the number of questions at the end, as well as the line of pupils asking about ways they could help. It was an inspirational start to the year, particularly as many of our Sixth Form embark on their placements at our Partnership Schools.

Upper Sixth Life-sized Monopoly

The day before school started, Clarence pupils enjoyed a trip to London to play Monopoly Live – a life-size game where each location on the board is a puzzle room where you try to win the rights to that plot by completing the puzzle. Girls really enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of the games, and many expressed their love for the dance competition room! The Monopoly fans among them enjoyed the chance card quizzes that tested their Monopoly knowledge. The lively hosts were also an amazing part of the experience with their enthusiasm and colourful costumes truly immersing us into the world of Monopoly. The girls had lots of fun and were very glad that there were enough get-out-of-jail-free cards for everyone to make it back to the bus! 

Global Schools Conference

At the end of September, the Heads of Houses went to the Global Schools Conference: Inspiring Future Female Leaders at Benenden School. Pupils received valuable advice from a wide range of Benenden alumni speakers, including an ex-Olympian, a member of the UN, HRH Princess Anne, and many other inspiring women. Topics covered included teamwork, how to lead under pressure, public speaking skills, entrepreneurship and humanitarian leadership and finding ways to apply the techniques learnt to leadership roles in School. The speeches were predominantly centred around being a woman in a leadership role; an area which is an extremely relevant one for Wycombe Abbey pupils as they move on beyond Wycombe Abbey. The girls are excited to take forward all the valuable pieces of advice they have learned into their roles as prefects and in their Houses.

Leadership Training

On the fourth weekend of term, training events were held for the new prefects. Through talks and sessions organised by teachers and the Head Girl Team, pupils learnt about key aspects of leadership, and put ideas together for the year ahead.

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