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Foundation Studies

The King Edward’s Sixth Form General Studies program was created to enhance the student’s experience of school, exposing them to new ideas and skills.

The Sixth Form can sometimes seem dominated by examinations, coursework and predicted grades. Although examination success is rightly valued, it is too easy to see the content of our studies as an obstacle to success, when in fact it is the encountering of new ideas which is important and not the assessment.

Our program consists of two parts; Open Forum and Foundation Studies.

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.

Foundation Studies

Lower Sixth

The Lower Sixth Foundation Studies programme consists of a series of short courses designed to equip students with the key skills necessary for Sixth Form success and to help prepare them for life after school.

Upper Sixth

In the Upper Sixth, Foundation Studies is less about the delivery of what we judge to be vital key skills and is more about offering students the chance to learn something new whilst enjoying a break from academic work. Depending on other timetable commitments, students may undertake as many as five Foundation Studies courses in the Upper Sixth year. Each course usually takes place over a period of four Tuesday afternoon sessions in the Autumn and Spring Terms. Students choose courses from a wide range; some are practical in nature and some more intellectual, but they all are intended to be stimulating and fun.

The courses on offer this year include cookery, dance, digital photography, team and leadership skills, Japanese, Computer Coding, Philosophy, Power-boating and self-defence. 

Recent Open Forum Speakers

  • 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.

Foundation Studies Sessions

  • Presentation Skills
  • Exploring Health and Social Issues
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Introduction to Politics
  • Reading for pleasure and research
  • Road Ready; a guide to car ownership
  • Applying to University
  • Into work; getting a job
  • First Aid
  • Living Sustainably