Royal High School Bath have launched a brand new specialised pre-university programme for sixth formers in their final year where girls can tap into a wealth of expertise and masterclasses. Designed to give them a valuable insight into university life, the programme is designed to support girls as they develop further learning skills to prepare them for the next stage of their academic lives.

At this time of year students in Year 13 would usually be revising hard for their final exams and preparing for the future and life after school – with lockdown still in place and no exams this year, the new programme has been developed as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic to fill the gap.

The programme, will see Royal High School students join girls from across the whole of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), which has drawn together experts from across their network of schools to run 130 courses including Astrophysics, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Medicine and Law.

Kate Reynolds, Head at Royal High School Bath, and former solicitor, is offering her expertise with a masterclass in Law. Kate said: “The legal team at the GDST are joining with me to share some of the skills, insights and challenges associated with reading Law at university.  This venture embodies the remarkable power and innovation possible through collaborative learning opportunities for our students.  I hope this may be a positive legacy we can continue with once the Coronavirus pandemic passes.”

As well as having an academic focus, there will be plenty of guidance and expert advice given on how to prepare for university life, including getting ready for an independent living experience.

Nick Hayward, Head of Sixth Form, said: “Students will have a very real experience, working with other girls and expert staff from GDST schools across the country. The idea is to give them a head start with learning skills, structure, habits and expectations of university life. There is a real chance that some of these girls may be at university together, and it is an opportunity to make friends and other contacts from across the network for life perhaps.”

Royal High School Bath is also providing a new programme for Year 11 called ‘Into the Sixth’ which was launched last week. Students who are moving up into the Sixth Form in September will have access to a special four-week course where girls can mix with new class mates and teachers for next year, and make solid preparation for what are a challenging couple of years prior to university.

Depending on their subject choices, students will undertake guided reading and discussion, problem solving, and critical thinking sessions, all designed to give them the very best chance to hit the ground running when they join the Sixth Form in September.

Deputy Head, Hadrian Briggs, said: “As teaching staff we always wish there was more time to support the girls with what is a very full academic programme in the Sixth Form, and whilst we may not choose to be in this current situation, it does present us with a wonderful opportunity to stoke the girls’ interest and help them develop skills to support their academic choices. We want the girls to come away from the course with a full reading list, enthusiasm for their choices, and a hunger for learning more in September.”