At the heart of the “Life in Sixth Form” session is a 30-minute filmed drama “Common Room”.
Made by the award-winning company Ten Ten Productions, “Common Room” highlights some of the key challenges and opportunities facing young people as they begin a new phase of life in Sixth Form. The film and follow-up session explores:
- Money and Work
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Pastoral Support
Common Room tells the story of four friends in their first 6 months of being in Sixth Form.
We begin in an A-Level English class where Jake is sitting a timed assessment. He is four months into Year 12 and the stress of work is getting to him. As the clock ticks, Jake can’t stand the pressure any longer and he bolts from the classroom, pursued by his form tutor, Mr. Moore. In voiceover, Jake tells us that life never used to be like this…
We move back in time to GCSE results day when Jake and his three best friends – Alex, Christiana and Zoe – all receive their results with differing outcomes. Whilst Jake achieved better than expected grades, and Christiana proved herself to be one of the most successful students in the year group, Zoe’s results were indifferent whilst Alex’s were deeply disappointing. Not only has he already fallen back one year, but his parent’s aspirations for him to follow in the family footsteps studying medicine have been dealt a severe blow by poor grades in the science subjects. As a result, each begins their life in Sixth Form with varying degrees of hope and expectation.
The story follows these four characters over the course of the next few months as they each face a variety of obstacles. Jake finds himself falling for Christiana, which diverts his attention away from his studies; to escape from the pressure of expectation, Alex turns to smoking cannabis, and tries to bring both Jake and Zoe along with him; Zoe finds that her desire for money and work comes into direct conflict with her studies; and Christiana receives devastating personal news which shakes everyone to the core. Throughout all of this, their Head of Sixth Form, Mr. Moore, is a constant presence, offering guidance, support and the occasional kick when it is needed.
Common Room explores some of the key experiences of life in Sixth Form. It provides an engaging and highly relevant story which will spark discussion on a whole range of topics related to students at the start of Year 12.
Following the screening of the film, students will be engaged in a discussion-based session to draw out the key themes and ideas presented in the story.
The discussion is broken down into six different parts: Friendship; Success; Money and Work; Relationships; Drugs and Alcohol; Pastoral Support.
We provide a variety of tools to help lead the discussion including a PowerPoint presentation containing selected clips, key discussion starters, worksheets for personal writing, and guidance for teachers on key ideas to draw out. Crucially, the follow-up session can be tailored to ensure that each school or college achieves its own desired outcomes through the session.
Sample PowerPoint screen:
– DVD of 30-minute film drama “Common Room”
– Teacher guidance booklet
– Follow-up discussion-based session
– PowerPoint with embedded film clips and key questions
– Student worksheets (photocopiable) for personal reflection
The Life in Sixth Form session can be used with subsequent Sixth Form Induction days.