Category Archives: Sixth form

Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2018

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for our older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion and debate, creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students, and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

We offer a wide range of subjects, including medicine, law, science and mathematics, but here I would like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of our most popular events, all aimed at students with a keen interest in understanding more about current affairs, society, and the world around them.

Humanities and Social Science Highlights for 2018:

The Economics Summer School for students aged 15-18. Focusing on political economy and macro-economics, the five-day Economics Summer School will include seminars on a diverse range of topics, from financial and currency markets to an analysis of economic inequality and its potential remedies. We will also be looking at development strategies in emerging economies, and on the impact of Brexit on the UK and other economies. The focus throughout will be on debate and discussion, and on encouraging and supporting students to engage critically and actively with the material.

See more details about the Economics Summer School –

The Politics Summer School for students aged 15-18. This five-day course will look at both political theory and political science, giving students a great introduction to undergraduate level study. It will include seminars on questions of political philosophy – including human rights, representation, and civil liberties – workshops on what we as citizens can do to influence policy areas that we care about, and political science workshops on the emergence of populist movements and changing voter behavior in both the UK and US. The Summer School will conclude with a full day Mock Parliament, with participants taking the role of MPs, forming parties, making policy and debating legislation.

See more details about the Politics Summer School –

The International Relations Summer School for students aged 15-18. This course will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism and constructivism – and will look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, feminism and IR, and regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and at the European response to the migration crisis. Students will be encouraged throughout to consider their own responses to international affairs, and to engage actively with material through strategic exercises, policy briefings and debates.

See more details about the International Relations Summer School –

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2018. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


Study Options

Australian and New Zealand University Open Days

On Friday 17 March and Saturday 18 March, Study Options will be holding Australian and New Zealand University Open Days. These are free information events aimed at students (and schools) who would like to find out more about university options in Australia and New Zealand.

Representatives from Australian and New Zealand universities will be present at the events to speak with prospective students in person. Study Options’ Open Days are held twice a year, in March and November, and are a great opportunity for students to get more information and talk to representatives from the universities face-to-face. For the majority of the universities, these are the only in-person events they undertake in the UK.

Which universities will be there?

New South Wales, Australia

Queensland, Australia

Victoria, Australia

Western Australia, Australia

North Island, New Zealand

  • Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington)

About the events

The Open Days are open to students, parents and schools. Please register for a place at

Friday 17 March, 1.00pm-4.30pm

Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Saturday 18 March, 1.30-6.00pm

Australia House, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA

There is a lot more information available at regarding venues, opening times and how to register. Please do let us know if you have any questions or if there is any further information we can provide.

Please note this is an information event designed for international students (students who do not hold citizenship or permanent residency for Australia or New Zealand and who will therefore require student visas in order to study in either country).

Contact Study Options with any questions about the events or for free information and advice about studying in Australia and New Zealand.

Contact Study Options


Telephone: 0207 353 7200


Summer Schools 2017 – Booking Now Open

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes. It is an environment conducive to getting to grips with new ideas.

Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights of Summer 2017:

The Medicine Summer School for students aged 15-18 comprises a series of two-day events with specialist sessions on cardiology, paediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine and many other topics – enabling students to attend a wide-ranging introduction or select the sessions most relevant to their interests.

The Summer Law School for 15-18s, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal Law, Civil Law or International Law, or to attend all three Parts for a comprehensive introduction to legal study.

Our Physics Summer School is now in two separate five-day events, with Part One being relatively maths-light and open to all students from 15 upwards, and Part Two more mathematically focused, and reserved for students who will have completed AS Level (or equivalent) Maths by Summer 2017.

For keen Mathematicians we also have the Maths Summer School, which is a five-day course open to students who will have completed Maths AS level or equivalent by Summer 2017.

For those interested in the Humanities, we have Summer Schools in Economics, International Relations, History, and Politics, while Arts enthusiasts should check out the English Literature, Classical Civilisations, Art History, Critical and Cultural Theory, or Philosophy Summer Schools (all for students aged 15-18).

Last but not least, we also have a smaller number of courses available for younger students (ages 11-14) in Law, Medicine, Creative Writing and Science subjects.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2017. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at

There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Raise Standards in Year 11 with Smarter Decisions

In the run up to GCSEs, have you found yourself spending too much time keeping track of student progress across the year group? Collating reports, chasing progress checks from colleagues and making sure that all students were fully prepared for their exams?

Identify gaps in learning before they become an issue with Show My Homework. We’re the leading online homework software used by 1 in 5 UK Secondary Schools, providing Middle and Senior Leaders with everything they need to better support their students.

With all homework recorded online, and the ability for teachers to share and reuse best practice homework tasks, students are given quality homework that is always worthwhile, and that doesn’t impact on a teacher’s already busy schedule.

With separate student accounts, your Year 11s have access to all the homework details their teachers provide in class, whether they’re at home, in the library, or accessing their homework tasks on the move with our mobile apps.

Parents are also given visibility into the amount of homework set and teachers’ expectations, giving them the tools to support their child through this important stage in their education.

Increase submission rates, create confident, autonomous learners, and give every single student the best chance to succeed come GCSEs next year.

Start making a difference in your school today.

To learn more, click here.

Show My Homework.
More home, less work.

How can you help students, who find writing a CV an intimidating task, to write a CV?

HR Review has reported on the results of a survey created by Barclays LifeSkills which has revealed that 60% of young people in the UK find compiling a CV  an intimidating task.

So intimidating, in fact, that 39% avoid writing one altogether.

One reason for this is that a high proportion of students do not yet know which career path to pursue and thus find it difficult to create something for an end goal that doesn’t yet exist.

Nonetheless, by issuing your students with a Record of Achievement file in which they can record all that they have achieved thus far, your students will have something to base their CV on, making the task of writing their CV much less daunting.

School Smart regularly supply schools with customised Record of Achievement files.  Please see below product description:

Classic Record of Achievement (from £2.25) – A4 polypropylene files containing quality A4 plastic wallets with your school name and logo and the wording ‘Record of Achievement’ on the front in either gold or silver print. Choice of 10 or 20-pockets. Available colours – Black, Blue, Red, Green.  Further details can be viewed on our website

Click here to request a sample Record of Achievement file

If you have any questions or would like to place an order

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Layton

Download your free ‘Getting into Medical School’ student guide

Applying for a degree program can be a challenging experience, particularly for aspiring medical students. Although there are over 170 medical schools in the US, competition is fierce for every single one of them. Make sure your students are the ones that stand-out on their applications by passing on this email so they can download their free copy of our Getting into Medical School guide today.

Click here to download your free copy of ‘Getting into Medical School’ student guide.

I also wanted to let you know that Gap Medics now offer six new program types to inspire your future healthcare professionals.

Alongside our popular medicine, nursing, midwifery and dentistry internships, we now offer:

•          EMT / Paramedic
•          Radiography
•          Physical Therapy
•          Laboratory Science 
•          Physician Assistant
•          Community Healthcare

There are only a few spaces left on our hospital shadowing programs this summer! Any students who would like to join us for a short-term hospital shadowing internship in 2016 is encouraged to get in touch as soon as possible so they don’t miss out.

We offer group bookings as well as individual placements so if you would like to find out more about how Gap Medics can help your future healthcare professionals to achieve their dreams, give us a call on our toll free number below or email

Have a great day,

Marketing Manager

Gap Medics – Launching medical careers
Baltic Place
South Shore Road
Tyne and Wear
United Kingdom

US toll-free: 1844-340-4576 | .com |

How can you prove to prospective students that your sixth form is the right one for them?

It could be argued that it is harder than ever before to convince prospective students to enrol at your sixth form. Why? Because they want tangible proof that your sixth form will support them in achieving the highest A-level results they are capable of.

Indeed, the fact that your sixth form has a faultless mission statement, brand-new science facilities, and offers an extensive range of extra-curricular activities may not be enough.

So how can you prove to prospective students that your sixth form is the right sixth form?

Just one way that you can do this is by presenting your sixth formers’ exam certificates in a presentation folder, branded with your sixth form’s logo, colours and house-style.

This way, when your students are exhibiting their certificates of achievement to their friends, family, and future employers, it portrays the message that your sixth form is responsible for these achievements – this is the proof that prospective students are looking for.

Our presentation folders start from just 48p each and are available in four different styles – Lincoln (A4,1mm), Chester (A4,5mm), Oxford (A5,1mm), Windsor (A5,5mm) – and a choice of 13 different coloured cards with either gold, silver, black, blue, red, or green print.

You can see pictures and details of our examination certificate folders available on our website

Alternatively, if you have any questions or want to place an order you can

  • Email
  • Phone 01302 836777 or
  • Write to Unity House, 14 Durham Lane, Armthorpe Doncaster DN3 3FE.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Layton

Young Lawyers Summer School – additional dates now available

The Young Lawyers Summer School is an opportunity for students aged 11-14 who are keen to learn more about the legal world, and to have a go at arguing a legal case for themselves.

The four-day course will include games, and workshops, on diverse areas of law, from family to contract law, as well as lively debates and a full mock crown court trial.

This course will develop several important cross-curricular skills. The Mock Trial element of the Summer School, for example, develops vital skills of analysis, teamwork, public speaking and confidence (as well as teaching students about criminal law and the courts).

Highlights will include:

  • Criminal justice – from the moment a crime is committed to the point at which the offender is   sentenced
  • Debates and discussions on current legal issues
  • Advocacy skills – how to make speeches in court, question witnesses and build your case
  • Contract law – drafting a legal agreement and what to do in case of disputes
  • Human rights – balancing conflicting rights and defending your rights
  • Family law – how the law regulates marriage, adoption and divorce
  • Full Mock Crown Court criminal trial

You can view a full schedule for the course, details of tutors and lots more feedback from last year on our website –

Feedback from previous Young Lawyers:

Had a great time, learnt so much and met some GREAT people.

The Young Lawyers school is very interesting and effectively teaches students about the law in a fun and friendly way. The tutors are very nice and good at explaining the intricacies of the law.

I really enjoyed this course. Apart from helping me learn loads more about law I had loads of fun participating into the mock trial and the debates.

A really fun way to find out about law and life as a lawyer. I was surrounded by lovely people and have had a chance to express my views and listen to others. I now have a clear perspective on law and can see which parts I would enjoy and which parts I would like to work in in the future.

It’s a really good course for learning new things and building confidence. It is also very good for making new friends and learning to work in a team with people you don’t know. And all the teachers were really good and friendly.

I went from knowing very little about Law and the different types such as Family Law to feeling like I knew quite a lot! The teachers were very friendly and informative, and most importantly, made learning fun! I will definitely be coming back to more Debate Chamber courses! Thank-you!

Practical Details

This event will take place on 1st-4th August (and repeated 15th-19th August and 22nd-25th August).

The cost of the four-day course is £345 and will be held at the University of London in Bloomsbury (please note that this course is not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required).

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see for details.

Students can book a place by completing the online form on, or by calling us on 0845 519 4827, or by emailing Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Professional Yearbooks Delivered In 10 Working Days

Get your yearbooks in a flash and make sure your students never forget their time at your school!

It’s not too late to get your yearbooks before term ends and with Leavers’ Books it’s super quick and super easy.

With a huge range of designs and layouts to choose from, you can tailor your yearbook to suit your school. From traditional, formal layouts to fun, quirky designs like our new Superhero theme, there’s something for everyone.

  • Great value starting from just £7.99 with no deposit or pre-payment.
  • Professionally finished and printed in just 10 working days.
  • Service you can trust from your sidekicks at Leavers’ Books.
  • Create your yearbook using our easy online creator.

Request a sample pack and start your yearbook today!

What is the most effective advice you can give to a student on how to succeed at a university application?

You can correct in class and give hints and tips, such as:

  • Be prepared
  • Don’t waffle  
  • Be positive
  • Develop rapport
  • Remember your manners

But, unfortunately, you cannot be there to correct at the time.

We all know that when put on the spot and in nerve-racking circumstances all the advice we had stored in our heads of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ can quite easily vanish out of our minds, and we start doing all those forbidden ‘must nots’ like biting nails, tapping out drum beats, and generally making a fool of ourselves.

This is one instance where the old-fashioned way is best. IPads and interviews: the two don’t mix.  If you’re busily scrolling through an iPad, you are unable to make meaningful eye contact. A personal connection will never be made.

So, why not help students to build a file of their achievements (hard-copy evidence) which they can present professionally and which can be an extremely helpful back-up at the time of their application?

An opportunity for sixth form boys: Mentoring Male – mentoring work with boys and young men

How to effectively engage young males with education and provide routes into employment and socially responsible adulthood is a concern of many professions.

Education is also a recognised social determinant of health; boys and young men are consistently outperformed by girls and young women in schools and universities. Health improvement also means action on increasing educational opportunity.

Mentoring offers an evidence-based approach to work with young men –  helping young men to achieve their academic and vocational potential,  addressing  the new Ofsted framework and concerns related to problematic behaviours – and providing go-to support and signposting to other services.

Your sixth form young men

The Unit Award in Mentoring Boys and Young Men is a Level 2 award providing your sixth formers with an understanding of mentoring work. The unit considers:

  • the rationale for work with young males
  • a strengths-based approach to work with young males
  • the role of the mentor
  • qualities desirable in a mentor
  • primary tasks of a mentor
  • dealing with disclosure/safeguarding
  • setting boundaries in mentor-mentee relationships
  • building and sustaining mentor-mentee relationships
  • goal setting and outcomes

The outcome is that your sixth formers will have received training enabling them to peer-mentor boys in lower year groups. This not only strengthens their employability skills and student leadership within the school, but helps to raise the overall achievement of all boys and young men involved.

The workshop covering the award criteria is 4 hours long. Each sixth former undertaking the award will be provided with their own copy of the Mengage course book: Mentoring Male: A guide to mentoring work with boys and young men. A Level 2 certificate will be issued upon completion.

The workshop costs £495 for up to 15 sixth formers+ £45 per person for accreditation + reasonable travel costs.  Discounts for more than 15 sixth formers.

Mengage is committed to your school’s development; if this is something you would like to discuss or you have other concerns regarding the health or education of young men, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for your time.

Liam Kernan & Paul Hopkins
BEd (Hons)      RGN, MSc (Men’s Health)

01905 570180

Inspire your future doctors with a Gap Medics adventure this February Half Term.

You can help your gifted and talented students get ahead of the game and gain valuable experience, that is sure to help them stand out from the crowd, by talking to them about a Gap Medics experience.

Competition to get into medical school and university is fierce. Your aspiring doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives are invited to join us in Poland, Croatia, Tanzania or Thailand this February Half Term to find out what working in medicine is really like. But they will have to move fast as bookings close soon!

Our students receive 23 hours of shadowing by an expert mentor in their chosen field, alongside global health tutorials and experiential learning in small student groups. They will go on ward rounds, talk through cases and see treatment first hand in the operating theatre, delivery room or clinic.

Not only that, we run our own Gap Medics houses which means we are able to ensure that every student has a safe, secure and comfortable stay with us, while making friends to last a lifetime.

“Extremely valuable for so many reasons – the privilege of seeing and learning a lot, medically and culturally.” Student, 2014

To find out more, visit our website, give us a call on 0191 603 1111 or email us at We would love to hear from you.

The problem with a good problem is…

The problem with a good problem is…
everybody wants to be the one to solve them!

Lets face it things can (and often do) go pear shaped at work.  There is no perfect way to run a business.  Lessons unfortunately are often learnt and understood the hard way – when something goes wrong.  For some people this is a nightmare whilst some people will relish the thought of being the hero and saving the day.

In order that students might see how things can go wrong, and how they can be put right, we have put together a business exercise called The Safe Delivery Exercise which is designed to put the theory of solving problems into practice.

The exercise is suitable for KS4 and Sixth Form students. Students are divided into teams of six who each act as a manager in the business. They are given an individual brief which has information exclusive to that person. 

The Scenario – A fire resistant storage cabinet has been ordered that will house a new ‘server’ on which the essential financial information for the business will be stored.  It is now Friday afternoon and the cabinet is being delivered Saturday morning.  It must be installed in the General Office by Monday morning.  A detailed office floor plan of the building has been provided.  A meeting has been called so that the managers can sit down and work out how this job will be undertaken.

Teamwork, clear communication, problem solving skills and good maths are the key to success. A verbal jigsaw that needs to be solved!

This resource contains:
clear teachers’ guidance notes that explain how to run the exercise

– a teachers crucial information chart
– a memo that sets out the task for the students
– detailed briefs for five managers and one scribe
– a detailed floor plan of the office building showing the obstacles that need to be overcome
– the solution and a power point presentation showing each step of the solution

This super resource is available for only £50 and can be used again and again.

There are more details at…

You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using Paypal or you may wish to pay with a purchase order number. Please e-mail your purchase order number to: Your order will be dealt with within 24 hours.

Julie O’Brien
Creative Learning Events
07977 489779

FAO the Head of Sixth Form

Exams, relationships, driving tests, independence, money … It’s just the Tip of the Iceberg.

Are our 16-18 year olds being left out when it comes to supporting
their mental health and well being in school?
The national curriculum does not cover key stage 5 and there are no suggested PSHE guidelines, so this could mean that finding a budget or a gap in the timetable for such provision is near on impossible.  Also this situation means that there are few organisations out there offering projects for the complex needs of 16–18 year olds.

The PSHE Association’s Subject Advisor Nick Boddington says:

“I guess the bottom line is that PSHE education in Key stage 5 is your last chance to provide that learning that everyone needs but lies outside of the academic curriculum.  Not a bad way of planning is to look back on all the PSHE work you have done in years 7-11 and ask yourself by the time they walk out of our school gates for the last time what more do we need to provided or reinforce to ensure that they have the knowledge understanding, feelings about themselves and others, are able to say and do, and understand their responsibilities to lead productive, independent, fulfilling and safe lives?”

The topics that are relevant and important to key stage 5 pupils can also be difficult to address within school and especially in the classroom. There are endless projects on career opportunities, university and finance, but it’s much harder to find sessions exploring more personal topics like sexuality, pornography and relationships, or effective delivery at that age on risky behaviours and health – yet according to research done with older students, this is what they are asking for.  According to Ofsted research, when asked what would make PSHE education lessons more useful, pupils said;

 ‘Rape culture. What to look for in a healthy relationship.’ Female student

“The influence of the media such as porn on people’s views of sex and the human body.” Male student

It is the combination of need and lack of provision that inspired Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company to develop two projects specifically aimed at the 16+ age group that tackle difficult topics in an involving, entertaining and informing way.

Having worked directly with over 100,000 young people Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company strongly believe, from their experience working with sensitive and hard hitting issues, that the way to approach PSHE education should include a much broader look at our world – the internet, technology, the whole sex industry, and attitudes to risk – you cannot separate topics into small boxes or educate on these complex subjects in a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation. It is now more important than ever to create relationship, sex, internet and safety education projects that can be as compelling, as exciting and as influential as the media campaigns and products it is battling against.

“If you’re too ashamed to speak to children about sex, exploitative free porn will fill the gaps” Grace Dent, The Independent, Sept 8th 2015

From september 2015 Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company will be touring the following projects for years 12 & 13.

“Sexposed Britain” A 30 minute performance followed by an interactive workshop.

Based on our imaginary fly-on-the wall documentary “Beyond the Surface” the play is made up of clips from the programme, the reactions of different people watching it, as well as parodies of other T.V shows and adverts.  The format allows students to consider many aspects of a topic in a quick, recognisable and engaging format.  The play shows a vast range of people in varying situations, from university students to grandparents, the pub to the school playground, the ideas of the young to doctors and psychologists.

The “Sexposed Britain” episode takes a mature approach to the many attitudes, ideas and pressures experienced by all ages in regards to sex and relationships in Britain today.  The storylines include scenes around teenage pregnancy, sexual pressure, sexting, pornography, communicating feelings, self-esteem and self respect, marriage and sexuality.

In our workshops we use our performances as a springboard for pupils to examine their own attitudes, ideas and behaviours in relation to difficult, contentious and sensitive topics. We strive for students to learn something about themselves that will make a positive difference to the rest of their lives.

“What’s driving you?”An interactive project with performed scenes that explore personality types and road safety.   

The format and content of the workshop utilise corporate training techniques and aspects of personality assessment used in the world of management and staff development, which are then combined with live performances, videos and debates.

This experience has been designed to empower students to be successful, healthy achievers and as they are asked to examine their ideas, attitudes and concepts of self, the project can influence many areas of their life – and not just the journey in a car.  The workshop explores:

–          Confidence
–          Communication styles
–          Attitudes to risk
–          Decision making.

There are different delivery formats available from assemblies to full day projects.
Prices start at £550 + VAT

Please contact us for further information and an exact quote.

Hazel Ward
Schools and Performances

Tel: 07519593711