Hundreds attend Virtual 6th Form Induction with Greg James & Tom Ryder

Date published: Mon 6 Jul 2020   Author: HLH/RHS   Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email

6th Form Induction

This has been a very tough time for Year 11 students. Not only have we had a global pandemic to contend with but there are huge levels of anxiety generated by the cancellation of exams plus the difficult choice of choosing where to study for Sixth Form.

At The Bishop’s Stortford High School (TBSHS), our Sixth Form Induction is very much a highlight in the school calendar and we take great pleasure in hosting our Induction where we bring prospective students, Year 12 students and staff together to sample our ‘Black and Gold’ Spirit.  

Obviously things had to be very different this year as we were not able to have huge numbers of students on our school for site for good reason - but I fundamentally believe a school isn’t about the physical structure or building – it’s very much about the culture, ethos and people within its organisation. As Head of 6th Form, and part of a wider team of  6th Form Management and Tutors, we have seen how students across all year groups have found the last few months a significant challenge and I’m grateful for all the support that the 6th Form Pastoral team and teachers have provided the students.  Furthermore, I’m proud of the diligence and resilience that our Year 12 and Year 13 students have shown during this period of lockdown. Therefore, our Sixth Form Induction was not only an opportunity to showcase our school to prospective students but it also gave everyone within our school a much needed positive boost through our Online Induction – all on Zoom!

Broadcasting everything live to hundreds of people was both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience especially when nobody had ever heard of Zoom in March. However, we were very keen to upskill and take on this challenge and our Online Induction consisted of a range of small to large-scale sessions on Zoom with our largest gathering numbering well over 300 people. Prospective applicants were given the opportunity to meet their prospective teachers, sample A-Level Lessons and talk to future classmates. The Sixth Form Management Team delivered presentations on the ‘Black and Gold’ Spirit, the challenges of transitioning from GCSE to A Level and what we think makes TBSHS a unique and wonderful community. Arguably, one of the most important and rewarding aspects of our two day online induction was witnessing our current Year 12 students host a series of large presentations discussing the reasons for why they enjoy our 6th Form and their thoughts on the Curriculum Enhancement Programme and our highly regarded extra-curricular provision.

That being said, the most memorable aspect of the two days was our first ever Showcase Live from the Zoom Room! Our amazing and dedicated Head of Religious Studies & Citizenship, Simon Etheridge, coordinated our superb Mini-Showcase. This is a long-standing tradition at TBSHS, where the two day Induction ends with a student variety show. However, this year we had our first ever Showcase on Zoom!  Our special guest star was former student (and Deputy Head Boy), Radio 1 DJ Greg James. Greg kindly found the time in his busy schedule to join us on Zoom and was interviewed by a student panel from our school’s fundraising group Interact.  Our conversation with Greg James was then followed by some terrific performances by current students: George Haddon, Freya Demmon and Sadie Kightley all singing and performing live on Zoom - a far from easy task. We also welcomed back former student Tom Ryder; a great friend of the school through his work with ReTune – a group which inspires young people to improve their mental well-being through creative outlets such as music and the arts. Tom performed his wonderful song Key Worker in front of hundreds of participants live on Zoom. I want to thank Greg, Tom and the rest of our performers for bringing lots of positivity and cheer to so many people and helping to contribute to our ‘Black and Gold’ spirit.

It was the first time we have ever put something like this together and although it was a lot of hard work and lots of time spent looking at a computer screen, I am absolutely thrilled that we helped to bring a taste of TBSHS to prospective students. But crucially, it has been so rewarding to bring lots of different people together as part of our school community.

Mr Rob Stark
Head of Sixth Form