Sixth Form Learning

The BOS is a small school. For all of our students this is a huge advantage. In terms of classes, it is likely that sixth form students will rarely find themselves in a class of more than 6 students. In many cases, there will be far fewer students.

When compared to classes of thirty or forty students, small classes present clear advantages.

Students have the chance to ask questions, to seek help and to receive more personalised attention. Teachers have the chance to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, to offer specific advice and to build constructive relationships with all of their students.

Furthermore, our students are working with some of the most experienced and committed teachers in the city. Our Heads of Department bring years of experience from the UK and all over the world. They are experts in their subjects areas, but more importantly, they are experts at preparing students to take exams successfully.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Of course, our students don't only learn in a classroom. Our teachers take the opportunity to use all of the resources available in Karachi. This might mean going out on trips, or bringing guests in to visit the school. We also encourage students to participate in a wide range of enrichment activities.

While academic study is clearly important, a great deal of personal development takes place on the pitch, the track or in the pool. Sport, and other enrichment activities, give students the opportunity to test their own limits, to lead and to play their part in a team.

Learning about Themselves

Top universities are not only searching for academic excellence. They want more. They want students who have developed the skills and qualities needed to contribute to university life, and to excel in their chosen careers.

These include:

Ambition to lead Making sound decisions Exercising responsibility
Working as part of a team Flourishing under pressure Confidence to lead effectively
Communicating effectively Bouncing back from setbacks Determination and commitment
Organising complex projects Understanding others Contingency planning

Most of these skills are not developed in the classroom; they are developed through the additional opportunities and responsibilities that we make available to all of our sixth form students. Once again, the size of our sixth form matters.

Institutions with very large sixth forms are forced to select the students who will have the opportunities to lead, organise and shoulder responsibilities. Too often this means that events, duties and opportunities to shine are reserved for the students identified as high-fliers: those who are expected to gain the top grades, apply to the top universities and enhance the school's reputation.

At the BOS students come first. We are not seeking to enhance our reputation; we are committed to developing and improving our students. All of them.

Learning from Responsibility

Like most schools, the BOS has positions of responsibility available to sixth form students. They include:

  • Head Boy and Head Girl
  • House Captains
  • Prefects

The purpose of these positions is to give students the opportunity to carry important responsibilities throughout their sixth form careers.

Through their responsibilities sixth formers work with the whole secondary school - 150 students. They learn to lead, to motivate and to organise students of all ages.

They do so through break duties, uniform checks, assembly duties and running the Student Council. They begin to appreciate the importance of authority, respect, communication and understanding others.

Of course, office holders also work with staff members. They establish strong relationships with the Principal, the Head of Sixth Form, Heads of Department and subject teachers as they play vital roles in the daily smooth-running of the school. They learn from us, and we learn more about them, which helps us to compose constructive and supportive references for their university applications.

Learning by Doing

During a single academic year sixth form students take the lead in the organisation of a number of events.

Model United Nations Sports Day Film Festival
Careers Conference Team building Workshop Flood Relief Campaign
Beach Clean-up Football Night Leavers' Ceremony

Our events are always on a large scale, with quality a priority. They call for detailed planning and careful execution. Sixth form students take the lead in organising them all. They work with staff, students and parents to create a vision of the event. This helps them to understand the need to balance the requirements of diverse stakeholders as well as to practise the art of the possible.

For its execution they liaise with external participants, suppliers and contractors on the organisation and logistics of every event. As they do so, they learn the importance of time management, decision-making, clear communication and negotiation.

The path to a successful event is fraught with difficulties. Our students learn to solve problems. And, while we are always there to give support, we want our students to be determined, resilient and calm under pressure. In our experience, students rise to meet challenges. We give them the opportunity to do so. All of them.

Learning from the Community

All of our sixth form students are expected to undertake voluntary work, externships and internships. We expect them to leave the bubble of school life and interact with the real world. We want them to understand the demands of a career and of the work place.

Of course, for many universities such experience of the outside world is not simply desirable, it is absolutely essential. Admissions tutors for the most competitive courses, at the most prestigious universities, demand this of applicants.

Therefore, most of our students will spend part of their vacations undertaking internships in their chosen field. In the past they have covered many fields, including medicine, law, engineering and business. In addition, we encourage all of our students to participate in charitable work, which gives them an opportunity to understand and contribute to the wider community.

Learning from Each Other

An important part of all student's experience at school is learning from each other. It is the duty of senior students to pass on their knowledge and experience to those who are following in their footsteps.

The primary event allowing students to learn from each is the University Applications Workshop. Organised and hosted by Year 13 students, it provides an opportunity for other sixth formers, and students in their GCSE/O level years, to learn about the admissions process for British, American and Canadian universities. Students in their final year with us, having successfully completed the processes, take the younger students through a step-by-step rehearsal of what lies ahead for them. Clearly the Year 10 and 11 students benefit from this guidance, but the older students also have another chance to brush up their presentation and public speaking skills.

Every Year 12 student has a mentor from the senior year to help them to overcome their difficulties, build on their strengths and nurture their talent.

Sixth form students learn from each other. Every year we hold a team-building workshop for sixth form students so that they can learn what is expected of them, about each other's strengths and weaknesses and to trust each other. This is reinforced by our mentoring system.

Learning From Advisors

Our sixth form students benefit from the unrivalled attention they receive from their Form Tutor and University Admissions Counsellor, Ms Minhal Malik.

Minhal works closely with all of our sixth form students: academically and on their personal development. She brings immense knowledge, experience and energy to her work. She constantly challenges students to improve, but her advice is grounded in common sense and realism.

A graduate of the University of Manchester and the London School of Economics, Andrew Williams joined the BOS, as Principal, in February 2006.

Prior to that he had enjoyed a highly successful career in UK independent sixth form colleges. He is an expert on student admissions to competitive universities and courses, such as medicine and law.

For three years he served on the medical admissions panel at University College London. He specialises in applications to UK universities.