Sixth Form

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Gemma Caines

Head of Sixth Form
[email protected]

My name is Gemma and this will be my first year at HeadStart. I am from the UK and grew up in the seaside town of Southport in the North West of England. I did my undergraduate degree in History at Cambridge University and then returned to the seaside to do my Masters at Sussex University. After that I worked in Colombo, Sri Lanka as a history teacher for 2 years, where I had my first Sixth Form tutor group. When I returned to the UK I spent three years as an educational project manager, working for The Sutton Trust. I realised that I missed my time in schools and so decided to go back to the classroom. I then worked at St Paul's Girls' School, a highly academic independent school in London, for 8 years. I had a busy time there, teaching History, working as Higher Education Co-ordinator and eventually becoming Assistant Head of Senior School. After deciding to go back to international teaching, I worked at Harrow International School Beijing as Head of Sixth Form as well as teaching History and History of Art. My last 5 years have been spent at The British School Kathmandu in charge of the Sixth Form and Safeguarding. I love working with Sixth Formers - it's such an exciting and dynamic time for students. However, I know it can also be stressful, for them and their families. I'm looking forward to helping develop the support networks that can make HeadStart students' final years in school positive and help them move on successfully to the next phase of their life, whatever their ambitions. I'm also looking forward to swapping mountains for the sea again!

Students in the Sixth Form at HeadStart have amazing opportunities and privileges that set them apart from the rest of the school. Our aim is to prepare students for further study in universities around the world and for their future life. The Sixth Form at HeadStart provides an environment where students receive direction whilst being given opportunities for independence both through their studies and in their contributions to the school.

In their academics we want to inspire our students to be curious, independent and motivated to gain deep understanding of the subjects they choose. Students follow Cambridge Assessment International Examinations A level courses. These courses are recognised worldwide as college entry courses used to identify students suitable for university study. Cambridge qualifications are recognised for admission by UK universities (including Oxford and Cambridge) as well as universities in the United States (Stanford and all Ivy League universities), Canada, European Union, Middle East, West Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in other countries. HeadStart Sixth Formers can choose up to 5 AS levels including mathematics, English language & literature, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, business studies, history, geography, French, art, physical education and music. Global Perspectives can be taken as an additional AS level. In the final year of school students narrow their choices down to 3 or 4 subjects to complete the full A level. Unlike many other schools, HeadStart gives its Sixth Formers free choice of subjects, allowing students to create a personalised academic programme that best suits them. You can find out more about our courses here and read about our academic successes here.

At all levels, all of our subjects and courses are taught by highly qualified subject specialists.

As well as academic success, what happens outside the classroom is of great importance. HeadStart provides a holistic education to produce well rounded young adults. In addition to their A level programme, all Sixth Formers also have compulsory physical education and independent study time. All students in the Sixth Form also participate in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. In addition, students are encouraged to take on leadership roles including leading one of our 4 houses, being a Prefect or Head Boy / Girl. Sixth Formers have full access to HeadStart’s extensive enrichment programme and this provides an opportunity to develop personalities, leadership skills, community spirit and self-confidence. There are abundant opportunities to participate and compete in Music, Drama, Sport, Service and other activities.

Our key aim in the Sixth Form is to ready our students for life beyond school. This not only requires developing study skills and achieving academic results, but also gaining independence and skills that will help them reach their aspirations beyond HeadStart. If you are in Phuket, please come and visit us by booking a tour. You will be able to meet some of our Sixth Formers and I’m sure you will be impressed with them and what we have to offer.

Thinking about HeadStart for Sixth Form Study?

HeadStart welcomes students who wish to join us for the Sixth Form and experience the Cambridge A level curriculum. If you will have completed your IGCSEs by August 2019 then transferring to the A level programme is straight forward. However, students do not need to have studied IGCSE to be able to complete A levels with us and many other school programmes provide a solid foundation for A level study. Cambridge qualifications are the single most popular international qualification in the world, serving more than 10,000 schools in 160 countries, double that of the International Baccalaureate. If you’d like to find out more about Cambridge A levels or life at HeadStart, please do contact admissions who will be delighted to arrange a visit.

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