Sixth Form

The Sixth Form at RSD is probably where the sense of a community is most obvious as the relationship between pupils and staff blossoms into a sense of working together for a common purpose. Young men and women in the Sixth Form are expected to accept responsibility and to learn to play the role of organiser and leader.

The teams of Prefects and House officials play a vital role in organising and administering a host of School events but their maturity and loyalty is simply indicative of a much broader attitude within the Sixth Form.

Life in the Sixth Form is in some ways similar to being a pupil lower down the School but there are also key differences. One of the biggest changes is that in studying four AS Levels in Year 13 and (usually) three A Levels in Year 14, pupils find themselves with ‘free’ periods. Making use of that time is crucial and Sixth Formers are expected to work independently and to show initiative in prioritising what to study and the resources to use.

The Library, the Murray Study, the Sixth Form Centre Study Area (known affectionately as the Box) are all available to help; and there are extensive ICT facilities as well as the opportunity to ‘bring your own device’. Pupils can also elect to spend some of their ‘free’ periods in the Sixth Form Centre and relax with a cup of tea or coffee as they plan the next big School event, such as the Formal, or organise teams, clubs and House activities.

The curriculum in the Sixth Form is traditionally academic as the vast majority of RSD pupils gain entry to university, including Oxford and Cambridge and the high performing Russell Group universities such as Queen’s University Belfast. A number of pupils also enter the newer universities, including Ulster University, to take courses which are often contemporary in focus and attractive to employers.

In recent years, the RSD curriculum has been extended, with more vocational or applied subjects added, and there is now a much broader range of options for A Level study.

A broader ‘enrichment’ curriculum allows pupils to study non-examination Religious Education, to participate in Physical Education and Games, help with charities, participate in the Young Enterprise scheme and work in the community, such as at Sperrinview Special School.

Add to this the regular visits to academic conferences, fieldwork trips and trips overseas, such as to Rome, Paris, Madrid and London, and it is easy to see why so many RSD Sixth Formers develop such a strong affinity with the School.

Take a look at the A Level subjects you can choose from.

Sixth Form News Articles

Celebrating Success | Louisa Gilpin

Many congratulations to our AS Geographer, Louisa Gilpin (Year 13) who has won a prize of £100 Amazon vouchers in QUB’s Planning ‘Placehack’ competition.

Year 14 Celebration Day 2022

Yesterday, we said goodbye to our Year 14s and sent them off to prepare for their final exam series at RSD. It was great to see everyone taking part in the day’s activities, enjoying the waterslide and bouncy castle on their last day as a year group.

Celebrating Success | Jorja Wilson

Congratulations to Jorja Wilson (Y13) who has recently been appointed to the role of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for the County of Tyrone for the coming year. We love to hear about all of our amazing students and their many accomplishments, both inside and outside school.

Easter Service 2022

What a fantastic way to end our Spring Term! Special thanks to all the members of Senior SU who organised and delivered our Easter Service and to Grant from Reach Mentoring for sharing with us. 

Celebrating Success | Chloe Acheson

Congratulations to Chloe Acheson in Y13 who was named as one of the top 3 students in NI in the Young Enterprise / Ulster University Assessment. Chloe attended the YEA22 black-tie awards event in Belfast City Hall to receive her award.

Major and Minor Honours | Spring 2022

It was lovely to celebrate the success and dedication of our students this morning in our special Honours Assembly. Students were commended for extra-curricular excellence in a range of areas, including sport, music, drama and debating/public speaking.

House Photography Competition

After coming through an era of lockdown, students are beginning to reconnect with family, friends, school and the wider world. Students were asked to show us what ‘reconnet’ (our pastoral theme for the year) means to them, in a single photo and caption…

Printmaking Workshop with Fionnuala O’Neill

Last week, our Sixth Form Art pupils had the opportunity to work with a local printmaking artist, Fionnuala O’Neill. The group enjoyed a very productive workshop, where they created a series of drypoint intaglio prints.

RSD Pupil Council Representatives 2021/22

Every form class is represented on our RSD Pupil Council, giving all students the chance to share their ideas with staff and leadership. Thank you to each and every  one of these representatives for making sure that student voices are heard in RSD…

A busy term for Senior SU

Earlier this month, thirty-seven of our Year 11-14 pupils attended the SU Inter Schools Formal in the Corick House Hotel. It was great to enjoy the food, epilogue, social games and dancing with young people from other SU groups.

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