Academic enrichment 2024

Academic Enrichment

In the Sixth Form we believe that students benefit enormously from engaging with more than the A Level syllabus of their chosen subjects. Academic and personal development is enhanced by learning new skills, sharing experiences and striving for ambitious goals.

We want our students not just to succeed in their examination courses but also to look beyond Sixth Form to undergraduate study, professional qualifications and career pathways. We encourage our students to think about where they would like to be in 5 years or 10 years and how they can achieve these goals. We have created an academic enrichment programme that offers students plentiful opportunities to both hone fundamental skills, push the boundaries of their intellectual world and experience entirely new fields. There are 4 elements to academic enrichment in the Sixth Form with each element providing a different way in which students’ formal education is complemented by less formal learning. 

Open Forum

Open Forum is a programme of presentations, usually given by guest speakers, to the entire Lower and Upper Sixth. These take place in the Dobson Theatre throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. The Open Forum guest list is continually updated to provide a mixture of reliable favourites and exciting new speakers. Informative, entertaining and inspiring, Open Forum provides students with the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of some extraordinary individuals.

Recent Open Forum speakers have included:

  • John Wood - Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Laura Dodsworth - body image 
  • Paul Drinkwater - University Admissions
  • Professor Jim Smith - Chernobyl 
  • Luke Benali - Building a business, being an employer and interview tips
  • Josh Coombes - 'Do something for nothing' founder
  • Natasha Devon - Body image and mental health campaigner
  • Ms Gorbat - talking about travelling as a solo female
  • Angela Findlay - Author 'Creating Change'
  • Nick Gazzard - Hollie Gazzard Trust
  • Jeremy Thomas - Mental Health talk 
  • Emma Cole - 'Providing HIV Education since 1991'
  • Claire Fuller – Author and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2021.
  • Lucy Shepherd – Arctic Explorer.
  • Mike Hurst - Guitarist and pop producer.
  • Francis Benali - Saints legend.
  • Darren Swift – Double amputee Snowboarder and Ski diver.
  • Laura London – Magician and sleight of hand artist.
  • Erwin James - Former convict now a successful writer and prison reformer.
  • Emma Cole - Living with HIV for nearly 20 years.
  • Chris Lubbe – Nelson Mandela’s former body guard
  • Rick Finder - War photographer

Open Forum

Photo: Chris Lubbe – Nelson Mandela’s former body guard

Foundation Studies

Lower Sixth

Enabling our students to make a successful transition from GCSE studies to A level studies and from adolescent to young adult is at the core of our Foundation Studies programme in the Lower Sixth. Here, all students participate in a series of three week courses throughout the whole academic year. These cover areas linked to academic engagement, wellbeing, citizenship and planning for life after the Sixth Form. These courses are delivered by teaching staff who have particular interest and expertise in these areas as well as some external providers.

  • Academic Research Methods
  • Presentations
  • Health & Sexual Wellbeing
  • Politics & You
  • Student Finance
  • Living Sustainably
  • Essential First Aid
  • Introduction to UCAS
  • Gap year planning

Upper Sixth

The enrichment courses on offer in the Upper Sixth aim to give students the opportunity to try entirely new activities or return to those that they’d like to brush up on. By engaging in creative, physical and practical challenges students will enjoy a different type of learning and push themselves to embrace the unfamiliar. We offer over 20 different courses from which students select 5 to participate in during the Autumn and Spring terms. Each course runs for 4 weeks apart from Japanese and Mandarin that last for two terms and are certificated. These courses are delivered mainly by King Edward’s staff with a particular expertise in that field although we also work with external experts and professionals..

Languages: Japanese • Chinese

Arts & Culture: • A Bluffers’ Guide to Culture • Photography • Holiday Italian • The Story of Film • Dungeons & Dragons

Sport & Fitness: • Powerboating • Strength & Conditioning • Self Defence • Navigation & Seamanship

Mental Wellbeing: • Resilience – turning pressure into performance • Mental Health First Aid Kit

Community: • Science Roadshow • Forest School • Volunteering

Practical Skills: • Touch typing • KESTED • Survival Cookery

Foundation Studies - community

Photo: Science Roadshow - Sixth Form students teach engaging Science lessons to pupils at local Prep and Primary Schools 

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

All students have the option to undertake the Extended Project Qualification which is equivalent to half an A level once completed and assessed. Students choose a research topic in the Lower Sixth and are supported to frame this into a specific line of enquiry that they commence research for in the Summer Term. Students are allocated a supervisor who will guide them through initial research in the Summer Term and the writing up process in the Autumn Term. The EPQ culminates in a presentation evening in the Spring Term when students will present their research to the KES community. Each supervisor is responsible for a small group of students enabling them to build strong working relationships and give personalised guidance. In recent years the topics researched have been hugely varied: land reforms in Zimbabwe, the biodiversity of the New Forest, and the effects of blue light on sleep, gene therapy as a treatment for macular degeneration, human rights and secret courts, contemporary Japanese literature and sustainability in fashion.

Full details of this course can be found here