All students attend philosophy lessons that examine the great questions which have been addressed by humanity throughout history. The Citizenship Programme also develops in the Sixth Form. The St James Senior Girls’ and Senior Boys’ Schools meet each year to take part in a St James Model United Nations conference which always leads to lively debate!
Sixth Formers have the opportunity to go on a number of trips to support their academic studies. These include a geography ﬁeld trip which is undertaken with Sixth Formers from the Senior Boys’ School (in 2019 students from Year 12 visited Slapton Sands). Year 12 biologists go on a 2 day ﬁeld trip to study biodiversity. Students of art and history of art have the opportunity to visit the galleries and cultural sites of Florence and Rome. In 2017 history students visited Berlin and in 2018 we offered an interdisciplinary trip to Iceland. Year 12 visit Krakow and Auschwitz (World Heritage Site) as a year group during Activities Week in June.
Sixth Form students have one afternoon of sport a week. In addition to our main school sports of lacrosse, netball, athletics and football, our Sixth Form students have the option of taking part in a wider range of physical activities including kick-boxing or using the facilities of a local sports club.
All Sixth Form students have an optional weekly singing lesson and the opportunity to join one of our choirs. Many Sixth Formers continue to play a musical instrument and can also join one of our orchestras. Students can take part in regular productions whether on stage or behind the scenes. In December 2017, we staged ‘Les Miserables’ jointly with the Senior Boys’ School and in 2018 we staged a production of ‘Dido and Aeneas’. The biennial school musical is open to all students from Years 10-13.
Each year, the Sixth Form organises a musical evening to raise money for their Leavers’ Ball. Most recently they have organised a Best of British Night, a Night at the Movies, a Golden Oldies Night and a Legendary Ladies Night.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
Many of our Sixth Formers take the opportunity to pursue The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to Silver level. As well as being a fun and rewarding initiative, many universities and employers look favourably on students who have taken the Award as it promotes physical ﬁtness, self-discipline, practical leadership and the ability to work successfully as a member of a team.
Community Service is a very signiﬁcant feature of our school. Year 12 teach Latin and act as mentors to Year 6 at our local primary school and assist as reading buddies at the local primary Academy. They also plan and fundraise for their community service project abroad in South Africa in July where they trek in the Umfolozi nature reserve and spend time undertaking community projects in a Zulu village. In the past, a group of Year 12 and 13 students also travelled to Kolkata, India, where they provided practical support to the Future Hope charity.
Sixth Form Dinners are held in the Autumn and Summer Terms. Year groups take it in turns to invite an Amazing Alumna (one of our St James Old Girls) who gives an inspiring presentation on their career. This is followed by a delicious dinner and the opportunity to ask questions. Apart from being immensely enjoyable occasions, these events teach students how to organise and conduct themselves at a formal dinner. Guest speakers have recently included the former Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham; the Founder of the Art Academy, Tanya Russell, Dr Amasanti, textile and calligraphy artist Rosalind Wyatt, Art Documentaries Producer, Naomi Wright and molecular biologist Dr Sarah Aldous.
There is also a Dinner Dance each year for Year 12 and a Quiz Night for 13 students in conjunction with the Sixth Form Boys. At the end of the Summer Term, a Leavers’ Dinner is organised and a Leavers’ Ball is hosted by Year 13 to thank parents and teachers, which is funded by the students’ own efforts.