Top Tips for Sixth Form

Posted: 1st August 2018

Useful Advice

How to use this summer holiday to prepare for Sixth Form

The long holidays after GCSEs are a perfect time to prepare for sixth form life! After spending some time relaxing and taking a well earned break from the stresses of GCSE exams, teachers and students turn their thoughts towards September. August is a time for prepping and planning, with the excitement of a new term ahead of us, we are all keen to hit the ground running!

Students will be busy buying new stationery, new clothes and new books! International students will be thinking about moving to a new country and meeting new people. Life at Westbourne is busy, so it is a good idea to think ahead and plan what you will need.

For international students, whose English is an additional language; spending time speaking, listening and writing in English is highly recommended. This will help you develop your skills in order to prepare to study in school.


Cardiff Study


Recommended reading is available from International Baccalaureate Coordinators Mrs Barber and Ms Phillips. Teachers have compiled a list of books that will help prepare sixth form students in their subjects, some of our top tips include:


  • Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson – an amusing introduction to the English language, its history, character and probable future.
  • Man is the Measure, by Reuban Abel – an exploration of the uneven landscape of human knowledge, good preparation for Theory of Knowledge discussions next term.
  • A Short History of Everything, by Bill Bryson – an energetic and humorous journey through time, bringing the marvels of science truly to life.


A sixth form handbook is also available; this has been emailed to all IB students. This guide will tell you all you need to know about sixth form life.

Thinking about which subjects you wish to study at IB is also important; beyond the three core elements of the Diploma:

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

there are six areas to choose from, so it is time to pick those options. You will need three higher level and three standard level subjects from the option categories.


  • Studies in language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Maths
  • The Arts


Start to think about what you may like to study at university, look at some courses online, and find out the requirements needed, the UCAS website is a useful tool, particularly for those considering Higher Education in the UK. This will help you select your six subjects.

One of your core elements of study will be the Extended Essay, a research essay on a topic of your choice! This is a great way to link your work to the course you may want to study at university; it is also a wonderful way to impress admissions tutors at interview in university!

Life at Westbourne is not just about study, there is time for fun too! As part of your IB Diploma Programme, you will be required to participate in CAS (Creativity, Action and Service). This enables you to pursue hobbies and interests outside the classroom. So whether it is sport, dancing, music, art, charity work or any other activity that you have always wanted to do, now is the time to plan it!

Top IB School UK

Finally, it is important to spend time with family and friends, enjoying your summer holidays, as from September school will be very busy! The IBDP is an intensive course, with lots of study, activities and deadlines. Teachers will be on hand to support you every step of the way.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Westbourne!

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