The Sixth Form offers many opportunities for involvement in extra-curricular activities. Performances in music, drama, sport and CCF are outstanding and both the Grensted and Debating Societies give opportunities for those so inclined to extend their intellectual horizons. The Voluntary Service Unit and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme also provide further opportunities for self-development.
The Economics Department has been appointed as an accredited training provider, for a course set by the Securities and Investment Institute that enables the students to obtain a professional qualification. It is taught at only a handful of prominent private schools including Westminster and Wellington. The Physics Department support student applications for Nuffield Research Bursaries and offer supervision of independently motivated research work that may be submitted for recognition under the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The History and Geography Societies create subject-specific interest and enrichment lectures are also offered on such diverse topics as Obesity, The History of Liverpool, the Slave Trade, the Normandy Beach Landings, the Works of Willy Russell and Money Management
Both staff and pupils participate in weekly five-a-side football competitions and we have termly tournaments in basketball and football for the whole sixth form. Money is raised for charity through the Sixth Form Running Club and students elect their own committee, encouraging their involvement in the decision making process.
Sixth formers have the opportunity to apply to be peer supporters in their L6 year. If appointed, their role includes mentoring pupils new to the school in year 7 in fortnightly lunchtime sessions for which they are trained. Those with commitments to rugby are assigned to year 8 forms to help form tutors deliver the PHSE programme.
A period of work experience is also organised for every student in Year 12, which is designed to give all students a greater understanding of the work place and the opportunity to work with adults other than teachers.
Standing for Gifted, Talented and eXtension; GTX is Merchant Taylors’ Friday afternoon enrichment programme. Many leading UK schools are investing time and resources in enrichment activities. GTX is designed to stretch our students beyond the confines of exam specifications. Whilst we will continue to focus well over 90% precious curriculum time on the core business of examination preparation, we believe there are huge potential gains in offering a portfolio of activities which can develop “soft” skills such as problem-solving and creativity, especially when it comes to UCAS applications to top courses.
Students typically opt in to three 10-week GTX sessions a year ranging from activities as diverse as beekeeping to robotics. They will learn new skills and hopefully unlock latent talents which might otherwise remain dormant in more traditional settings. Crucially, we hope that many will develop transferable learning skills such as stickability and resourcefulness which will trickle down into the academic curriculum. Sixth formers, if their timetable allows, can opt into any GTX course, often helping members of staff to effectively lead the activities. Rather like being a monitor or peer supporter therefore, it is a chance to develop leadership skills and, more importantly, it is meant to be a fun way to finish on a Friday!