Boarding gives you time to cement old friendships and build new ones, to balance work and extra curricular commitments, to develop your time management skills, and to take on leadership roles.
Above all you will develop your independence, supported by staff and peers, and you will be prepared for whatever awaits you as you move on to life after school!
In addition to the Speech Hall Library, the Senior School Library also provides excellent support for pupils in the Sixth Form. The library takes a selection of national newspapers and magazines including the Economist, The Week and Spectator. We also subscribe to an impressive list of online services. The library also has a school membership to Surrey University Library for all Sixth Form students.
There are many opportunities to participate in sport at different levels of competition in Sixth Form. Girls are able to represent the School in various sports for the Senior teams. Practices take place weekly and with extra frees in your timetable, you are able to manage your time more effectively.
Every week an afternoon is devoted to physical activity. The whole Sixth Form comes together to take part in activities which include yoga, trampolining, badminton or a session in the fitness suite. The PE staff also allow girls to take part in a chosen sport outside school if it is not offered during the allocated time; for example, rowing, golf or horse riding.
The D of E award
Gold 'D of E' is not only a fantastic achievement but also an amazing experience. If you have completed Bronze and Silver already you should have no problem with Gold. You still need to have a skill, a sport and a service, two of which you need to do for one year and one of which you need to do for six months. For Gold you also have to complete a residential trip, which can range from cookery courses to foreign exchanges.
Lower Sixth students have the opportunity to set up and run their own private limited company as part of the Young Enterprise’s ‘Company Programme. ’ Students elect their own management team and allocate roles and responsibilities; design and produce a product of their own; raise start-up finance and finally, wind up the business, producing an end of year balance sheet and profit and loss account. The Company Programme is designed to be run over a school year. Students meet once per week and help is provided by Mr Watson and Miss Brooke.
There are many opportunities to continue with or take up a variety of instruments and play in musical ensembles. Girls are able to take on roles of responsibility, whether that is leading Camerata, our elite strings group, or coaching orchestral groups in the Prep. School. This year the Chamber Choir and Camerata went on their biennial summer tour to Vienna. A highlight of the Lower Sixth year is the Sixth Form musical, which is directed, produced and choreographed as well as performed by members of the Sixth Form after their AS examinations.
Jennifer Bate Organ Scholarship
This is an exciting and valuable opportunity for a girl who plays the organ and would like to develop her all-round performance expertise. Jennifer Bate is an internationally acclaimed organist and a world authority on organ music.
The JBOS is open to any student who meets our academic standards for Sixth Form entry and who can show she has the potential to maximise her talents through this Scholarship which is awarded in conjunction with Guildford Cathedral. A full bursary place may be available to support the Scholarship.
Raising money for good causes is a very important aspect of life at St. Catherine’s. The Sixth Form Charities Board aims to promote further awareness of and maintain links already established with schools and projects in Afghanistan, Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam and also works to identify other areas where it feels it can offer help. The Board organises three major events a year, decided and agreed upon by the students. In the past the girls have arranged very successful fashion and talent shows, African themed dinner dances and jumble sales and raised between them in excess of £6,000 each year. Sixth Form students have been able to take the money out to some of these link projects to see with their own eyes how the money can be used to benefit the children.
Discussion & Debate
We host regular discussion evenings within the 'Dialogue' programme where the Sixth Form choose and introduce topics which are as far ranging as they want them to be. There are also opportunities for debating inside and outside school. Eminent speakers are invited to address the Sixth Form on important issues of the day.
Some girls decide to take a gap year and apply for their studies under a system which is known as PQA (Post Qualification Application). St Catherine’s provides extensive support via the PQA Tutor for these applications including drop-in-sessions during the Autumn Term after A Level examinations.
The Sixth Form Lecture Series is a well-established programme of talks, arranged especially for our sixth form students, designed to engage and inform their interest in a wide range of topics. It is a wonderful opportunity for the girls to be exposed to a range of highly prestigious speakers from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines. The lecture programme allows them to engage with subject areas that they may no longer be studying and to have the opportunity to hear from academics and commentators of the highest calibre. Such well-known and inspirational speakers are a wonderful way of allowing our students to see just what can be achieved in so many different fields and of encouraging them to think that anything is possible with enough passion and dedication. Inspiration and aspiration go hand in hand! With the opening of the Auditorium and the Anniversary Halls, the opportunity arose to embrace the parent body, alumnae and wider community and the Sixth Form Lectures are now open to others to attend and thus a new dimension of sophistication is added to these important educational events for the most senior girls, who also learn from taking their place in question and answer sessions alongside adults in the audiences.
We are delighted to have hosted the following speakers at St Catherine’s:
- Lucinda Hawkesley - A Dickens Family Affair - the man behind the novels
- Jacky Wright - Chief Digital Officer at HMRC
- Nicky Moffat - The Art of Motivation
- Dr Mark Wright - Giving Nature a Voice
- Helen Rappaport – Caught in the Revolution
- Jane Garvey – Presenter of BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour
- Jo Salter - First Female Fighter Pilot
- Shami Chakrabarti - Human Rights
- Isabel Hardman - 2015: the year of topsy-turvy politics
- Baroness Susan Greenfield - Challenges faced by women in Science: How insights from brain research affect us all
- Charles Emmerson - 1913: The World before the Great War
- Germaine Greer - 40 Years of Feminism and Fun