My time at Sixth Form has genuinely been the most enjoyable time of my life so far. Yes, I have my A Levels to concentrate on (English Language and Literature, Geography and Business Studies) but sixth form is about far more than academic A’ Levels. I’ve enjoyed researching and writing some ‘Debate Mondays’ which my whole year group debates during form time. The topics change weekly and have varied from: this house believes that time does not exist to this house believes that historical films should be historically accurate.
I have really enjoyed my free time too. You are also given freedom as a sixth former and that includes the ability to sign out in your free periods. This allows you to go on that all important driving lesson, or to that urgent doctor’s appointment, or to just go home and sleep!
In November, there was a trip to the University of Birmingham, which was my first experience of a university. Upon arrival we were guided by student ambassadors, who took us on a tour of the campus, (which is surprisingly like a suburb of Birmingham!) with its own shops, banks, places to eat, and even a travel agent! We had a model lecture at the university on the study of the evolution of birds, which was a useful introduction to how university lessons would be completely different as there were models of bird skulls to interact with.
Then, at the end of March, the school minibus (with Mr Ward at the helm and Mr Nugent navigating) took us to Cardiff University’s undergraduate open day www.cardiff.ac.uk, www.cardiffmet.ac.uk. (If you follow our social media, you will have seen the pictures that we took of the campus and the city.) We made the most of the day, touring the campus and the city to find out what it would be like to spend 3 years of our lives studying here. There was also the opportunity to visit individual subject areas that we were interested in studying at undergraduate level. My belief is that you have got to visit the university before you form an opinion on it, and this open day trip did just that, and enabled me to compare it against the other universities I have visited: Birmingham University www.birmingham.ac.uk and Birmingham City University www.bcu.ac.uk .
Last week, the whole of Year 12 visited the UCAS exhibition in Worcester, where a wide spectrum of universities and apprenticeship services from all over the country had gathered. There were additional seminars about student finance, student life, and what students should consider when choosing a university to study at, which we were all encouraged to attend.
The sixth form staff also encourage students to apply for numerous taster course in their chosen field of study/work. Last month I went to Birmingham City University to understand how journalism is taught at university, something which I looked into further at the UCAS exhibition. While the University of Birmingham is a Russell Group university in Edgbaston, Birmingham City University is right in the heart of the city centre. This is beneficial for a journalism student, as BCU uses its location to send its journalism students out to find real-life stories, instead of simulated ones written within the university campus.
I have just started writing for an Australian sports website called The Roar, where I write match reports and analysis, as well as other comments on the world of sport. You can find my articles here: https://www.theroar.com.au/author/joshua-kerr/. So far, I have written about England’s cricket tour of the West Indies, the Australian Grand Prix, and England’s 5-0 hammering of the Czech Republic in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. I have also had letters published in Autosport, F1 Racing, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Sunday Times.
In February, I phoned in to BBC Hereford and Worcester as they were featuring a story about potential changes to GCSEs and A Levels and, at 7.40am on 11th February, I was live on air on Elliott and Toni at Breakfast. I am a regular contributor to the station www.bbc.co.uk/bbcherefordandworcester, so if you listen, you might hear my comments
Josh K Year 12