The two years spent in Sixth Form are two of the most important, interesting and rewarding of any student’s school career. They give students the opportunity to develop their academic potential to the full, to make firm friendships, to take part in many interesting co-curricular activities and play an important role in the whole school community.
Studying in the Sixth Form
Studying for A Levels provides students with the opportunity to identify and develop their own interests by concentrating on and studying in-depth the subjects they enjoy.
Learning at this level involves greater contribution from the students and small teaching groups (typically 4-7 students) allow full participation in lively and interesting discussions about the topics being studied. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work within a secure framework of support, encouragement and guidance from their subject teachers. Most students take three A Levels and also study for the Extended Project Qualification or other accredited qualifications as part of our enrichment programme. We offer a wide range of A Level subjects and pride ourselves on preparing students for their public examinations; Dunottar has an excellent record of examination successes at A level.
The emphasis at Dunottar is on providing personalised, tailored support and ensuring that each individual student achieves their full potential. In addition to the standard scholarships awarded at 16+, we have designed two innovative programmes which offer specialist career pathways for 'Future Medics' and 'Future Entrepreneurs'. Read more about these programmes here.
A Level Options at Dunottar
Life in the Sixth Form is not just about academic work and there are many opportunities to make a contribution to the school community. As well as developing their own skills and interests, many Sixth Formers gain a great deal from their involvement in organising clubs and activities for other pupils in the school. The School Captain Team makes an invaluable contribution and many Sixth Formers take on positions of responsibility.
Alongside their A Level subjects all students in the Sixth Form have an enrichment lesson where they are able to study different subjects in a non-examination led format. Some choose to use this time to take part in our active Community Service volunteering programme. The Upper Sixth follow a non-examined General Studies Programme to help prepare them for life after school. The programme is designed to extend and complement their academic studies and provides the opportunity to learn new skills. We also provide a varied programme from which Sixth Formers choose their options for their weekly Physical Education lessons.
The co-curricular programme gives our students the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities with a strong school tradition in music, sport and dramatic productions. Sixth Formers also take part in the well-established Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Educational visits supplement each student’s academic studies with field work, visits to art galleries and museums. There are also opportunities to explore further afield or join an expedition during the summer holidays.
Whether a student is new to Dunottar or coming into the Sixth Form from Year 11, the challenges and increased autonomy of life in the Sixth Form marks an exciting new start for everyone. Each student is allocated to a tutor and joins a group of Lower and Upper Sixth students who normally remain with the same tutor throughout the Sixth Form. The tutor/student relationship is an important one in the Sixth Form; tutors get to know their students well and act as a trusted supporter and adviser. The weekly tutorial period gives an opportunity for a useful interchange of ideas and is often a time of lively discussion. The tutors work closely with the Senior Leadership Team on all aspects of pastoral care.