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Introduction

This has been a very strange time for all of you and the ‘new normal’ seems to be a life in lockdown, away from the usual fun and excitement of being a student at The Windsor Boys’ School.

However, even though you were not given the chance to finish off Year 11 or Year 13 in the usual way, it is important for all of you to think about your futures… Rest assured, the school is still here to support you!

For some of you in Year 11 and all of you in Year 13, the future will take you away from school – to start a job, an apprenticeship, or a course at college or university – but the time between now and the next step in your journey through life need not be wasted…

The material found in the folders below is for you to use. It will help you to find a purpose and to focus upon the future (your future!) in this difficult time. This is a time for you to prepare for life beyond school or re-direct your learning so that you are ready to start ‘normal’ academic life in September, fully prepared for the challenges ahead.

How to use this material

The package of materials in the folders below is designed to help students in Year 11 and 13 plan for the future.  The wide range of resources should also give you something interesting, enjoyable and engaging to do during this strange and uncertain time away from school (NOTE: included in the package of resources is a useful document about managing stress and anxiety – see ‘UNIFROG Docs’ folder).

Look through the resources and choose something appropriate to work through – choose as many as you like. There should be something for everyone, whatever your plans for September:

  • Year 11 students who are about to go into post-16 courses at college, or start an apprenticeship (the ‘UNIFROG’ and ‘Preparing for the World of Work’ folders will be very useful)
  • Year 11 students who will be joining the 6th Form (at TWBS, or elsewhere) – there are ‘bridging the gap’ and academic enrichment resources and ideas to help you prepare for your studies in September and get ready for advanced level learning (see the ‘PiXL Progression’ folder).
  • Year 13 who are going to university – the resources will help you to get ready academically and emotionally (see ‘Year 13 – Supporting your progression to Higher Educational study’ folder).
  • Year 13 who are planning on getting a job or an apprenticeship – there is guidance and advice to help you prepare for the world of work (see ‘UNIFROG Docs’ and ‘Year 11 and 13 – Preparing for the World of Work’ folders)

 

Project Future Planning

What it is:

  • A set of progression sheets which help students study content to get ready for post-16 or post-18 work.
  • A balance between academic material and a focus on helping to adjust and prepare for September.

How it works:

  • Students select a progression sheet that interests them, and they choose tasks to complete.
  • There are subject specific sheets and wider skills sheets focusing on social and emotional progression.
  • They complete the ‘Progression Log’ which logs what they have learned and their own next steps.
  • They create a portfolio (online or in a folder) which shows some of their thinking and work.

Unifrog

All TWBS students have a Unifrog log-in – check your school email inbox if you haven’t logged in yet.  Use this log-in to access the UNIFROG website online.

  • Use the ‘UNIFROG Docs’ folder to focus your work and research on the Unifrog website.

 

Whatever your plans for next year, the wide range of resources on Unifrog will help you to plan for next year and beyond, whether you are returning to TWBS, or going off to college, university or starting a job or an apprenticeship.  There are loads of things to look at, research and work through, as shown below:

Once you have done some research, I would recommend that you work through the ACTIVITIES, COMPETENCIES and INTERACTIONS sections:

You can save all your work in UNIFROG and come back to it when you next log in. If you keep scrolling down the page there is lots of useful information about APPRENTICESHIPS, UNIVERSITIES (in the UK and overseas) and also a section to help create the perfect CV.

So, there is plenty to do!

MOOCS

Finally, what about completing a MOOC?

For those that don’t know, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.

  • MASSIVE because literally thousands of people worldwide can be participating at the same time.
  • OPEN because you don’t have to be a student at the university offering the MOOC.
  • ONLINE because the internet is all you need. You can stop and start them anytime and go at your own pace.
  • COURSE because they have a beginning and an end and you end up with a qualification.

 

Why should you do a MOOC and what are the benefits?

  • MOOCs will improve UCAS application forms and job, college and university interviews
  • MOOCs will allow you to broaden the understanding of subjects you may wish to study in future
  • MOOCs give you access to new ideas, topics and resources outside of your current scope
  • MOOCs will make you feel more comfortable with the transition from school to University
  • MOOCs improve learning techniques and styles, such as ‘flipping the classroom’
  • MOOCs help to bridge gaps that currently exist between GCSE and A Level, and A Level and University

If you are interested, you can access a MOOC via the UNIFROG website:

The majority of MOOCs on Unifrog are free! Most platforms charge a small fee for access to certain tests and a certificate to prove you have completed one of their courses, but you do not need a certificate to mention taking the course in your university Personal Statement or job application.

So, even though you might feel that your time at The Windsor Boys’ School is over, there is a whole world out there for you (once lock down is over, of course!) and the time between now and the next step in your journey through life need not be wasted! Please pick and choose from the wide range of resources provided for you and use this time to focus on your future. Now is the time for you to prepare for life beyond school or kick-start your learning so that you are ready to start ‘normal’ academic life in September, fully prepared for the challenges ahead.

Stay safe out there and Uno Animo!

Mr Rooke