St Peter's 13-18
Our current pupils and recent leavers share their experiences of Sixth Form at St Peter's School.
Join us for our Open Evening on Wednesday 29 September for an opportunity to meet our current pupils and hear about Sixth Form life at St Peter's.
Ben Dunsmore (Head of School 2020-2021)
Although St Peter’s is strong academically, what sets it apart for me is the range of extracurricular activities on offer.
Ben Dunsmore, Head of School 2020-2021
"Although St Peter’s is strong academically, what sets it apart for me is the range of extracurricular activities on offer - not just in terms of breadth, but also in terms of the extent to which you can commit to what you choose to do. In my case, this is the music. Since being in the sixth form, I have been able to spend more time in the music department, be it arranging songs for barbershop, working on my A level compositions or using sit-outs to practise my instruments. Speaking to other students, I know that they have been able to similarly pursue their interests, whether in art, drama or sport.
"Another aspect of the sixth form I’ve enjoyed is the more relaxed relationship with the teachers. This is largely thanks to the small class sizes and the greater amount of time spent with them each week which consequently allows for wider curricular discussion and more humour. This extends outside the classroom as well, such as the time my housemaster subbed into our 7-a-side team when we were short on numbers and came away with Man of the Match."
Hope Simpson (Head of School 2020-2021)
I feel the most unique aspect of the school is the great emphasis that is placed on creating a personal environment.
Hope Simpson, Head of School 2020-2021
"As a St Peter’s Sixth Form student, you are given the freedom to undertake a vast variety of activities alongside studying the subjects you enjoy most. For me, having unrestricted access to the art department is significant as it gives me the opportunity to dedicate time to my artwork. I also enjoy playing sports demonstrating how we are not confined to one particular interest. On a social level, activities act as gateways for you to meet a broad range of students - regardless of house, year group or subject choices. Undoubtedly, boarding has made it easier for me to take advantage of the countless opportunities available.
"Overall, I feel the most unique aspect of the school is the great emphasis that is placed on creating a personal environment. As a boarder in Dronfield, the House system has been central to my experience at St Peter’s. The strong sense of community is fuelled by inter-house competitions where Sixth Formers play a large role in bringing year groups together. However, I believe this feeling of belonging is most special when spending time together in House, and can be heard laughing from down the corridor!"
Throughout my time in the sixth form, I was able to experience many super curricular activities which took my learning beyond the syllabus.
"Throughout my time in the sixth form, I was able to experience many super curricular activities which took my learning beyond the syllabus. For example, the lectures held in school, featuring experts on a vast range of topics, gave me a chance to explore parts of my favourite subjects that I wouldn’t have been able to within the scope of my A-levels. I especially enjoyed the annual Science Society Christmas lectures where exciting demonstrations are combined with more advanced science topics, making for an entertaining and enriching evening.
In terms of extracurricular activities, St Peter’s offers such a wide variety and allows you to be flexible in whatever you choose to do. This meant I was able to be part of the Debating Society, compete in regional quizzes with the school team, and still enjoy active pastimes such as badminton and yoga.
Having left St Peter’s, my plans for the future include going on to study for a degree in Physics and hopefully lots of travelling too."
The way the school has combined the independence and freedom of sixth form with great relationships between staff and pupils makes it such a special two years.
“The way the school has combined the independence and freedom of sixth form with great relationships between staff and pupils makes it such a special two years. For me, being able to speak to teachers in a less formal fashion has been integral to my learning during sixth form so far. Smaller class sizes aid a brilliant relationship between pupils and teachers, and with that comes better and more enjoyable learning.
Before sixth form I had worried that I would have to cut down on my badminton to fulfil the work needed at sixth form, yet my teachers have been incredibly helpful as they have allowed me to manage my time in a manner that not only has helped progress in my badminton, but also academically as the work of a-levels continues. I know I speak for many pupils when I say that out of school commitments, from sport to drama, are well respected and valued by the school.”
The strong bond between us makes me feel like being in a huge family!
"Being a Sixth Form student at St Peter’s School, I appreciate the vast and unique opportunities the school has offered to me to proceed further in natural sciences and mathematics. Not only do I enjoy manipulating the fine practical instruments in all three science departments, but also discussion with teachers and classmates has given me more confidence. With the guidance from my experienced teachers and the academic environment the school has offered, I am able to achieve satisfying results in both internal exams and national competitions.
As an international boarder in Linton, boarding provides me time and space to relax and socialise so that I will not miss home so much. Our houseparents organise activities and trips for boarders frequently, where the entire house and even the whole boarder group can spend time together. The strong bond between us makes me feel like being in a huge family!"
For me, the greatest advantage of Sixth Form at St Peter's is the small class sizes, which allow for in-depth discussion of topics and a certain personalisation of the course.
"For me, the greatest advantage of Sixth Form at St Peter's is the small class sizes, which allow for in-depth discussion of topics and a certain personalisation of the course. I have found that this is especially helpful in subjects such as languages as there is sufficient time for individual practice of the language. I really enjoy the opportunity to develop the ability to study independently, which we are able to pursue in our sit-outs. Additionally, the independence afforded to us in subjects which involve coursework, for example, means I have been able to explore my own interests within the subject, helping to build my confidence and understanding of my A-level subjects.
The school runs an external lecture programme. This, together with the extensive and well-run library, offers the chance to both delve further into your A-level course and also to explore areas which interest you outside of the course through wider reading. The library constitutes a part of the plethora of excellent facilities offered at St Peter's, including the accessible and well stocked art department."
I love how inclusive the school is, especially on the creative side, we have a choir of over 100 students that anyone can come to and have a sing.
"I love how inclusive the school is, especially on the creative side, we have a choir of over 100 students that anyone can come to and have a sing. As well as this our drama productions have a huge cast from all year groups who come together in a professional environment, and the staff who guide us are second to none."
The beauty of St Peter’s is that you don’t have to go in knowing what your passion is or what your skill is (I certainly didn’t), because you will be supported in finding and pursuing it through the encouraging community and depth as well as breadth of opportunities.
"What really makes St Peter’s for me is the vast array of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom that you not only have the chance to pursue but that you are actively encouraged and supported in pursuing. These opportunities have given me the ability to develop many essential skills that I could not have developed from my academic work alone. I have honed skills in music and been exposed to groups and genres that I never thought I would be, allowing me to become an active contributor in the department, getting involved with as many of the groups as I can. Moreover, I have dedicated myself to debating and public speaking, and last year my partner and I reached the final stages of a national debating competition. During my time at St Peter’s, I have also been a member of the CCF, done DofE awards, been an active member of the boat club and taken part in many other activities. This has helped me develop my skills as a team player allowed me to empathise and engage effectively with others in everyday life. The beauty of St Peter’s is that you don’t have to go in knowing what your passion is or what your skill is (I certainly didn’t), because you will be supported in finding and pursuing it through the encouraging community and depth as well as breadth of opportunities. It is those opportunities that have given me a confidence that I never knew I had and that has been immeasurably useful in my role as Head of School this year."
"A huge part of St Peter’s to me is the community, which is unlike any other that I have ever been a part of. The sense of comradery is preeminent across the school and is always there regardless of your chosen academic and co-curricular pursuits. There is a strong feeling that the school is moving forward together as one, but at the same time allowing everyone to pursue their respective passion, which means you are encouraged to do what fulfils and inspires you. The St Peter’s community has given me a curiosity and sense of wonder that will stay with me far beyond school and I am very grateful for that."
"As I move on to university this year, I understand my passions, motivations and how to achieve what I want from the next period in my life because I have been able to develop the skills necessary to do that here. I am very proud to have come through St Peter’s and been a part of this thriving and encouraging community."
I joined as a boarder in Dronfield in the Lower Sixth, and the kind and friendly atmosphere made me feel instantly at home.
"St Peter's has provided me with the resources and facilities I need to excel in every aspect of life. The teachers are incredible and the vast variety of books available in the Alcuin Library is fantastic - this helps me to stretch myself academically.
The array of activities on offer means that there is something for everyone, whether that's debating, drama, rugby, orchestra or even yoga!
I joined as a boarder in Dronfield in the Lower Sixth, and the kind and friendly atmosphere made me feel instantly at home. The strong sense of house spirit within the boarding community is most passionately displayed during the inter-house competitions: from House Singing to House Hockey, everyone gets involved!"