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  • An international school with a local feel

    We provide a high quality international education in the historically-rich city of Nanjing

    An international school with a local feel

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    Students inspire and flourish at our school, becoming the best versions of themselves

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    Our professional community of teachers and staff shape our achievements

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    We offer an enriched English national curriculum with a global outlook

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Sixth Form

What does it mean to study in the Sixth Form?

As you progress through the British education system, the number of subjects studied diminishes somewhat! Many people are puzzled by this and ask how can this be? In Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) students study 12 subjects that make up the full curriculum. In Key Stage 4 ( Years 10-11), students start to specialise studying 8 IGCSE subjects, 3 of which are compulsory and the rest selected according to the student’s personal interests and abilities. And then when students are 16, they join the Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13) at BSN.

Sixth form life is really quite different from what has gone before. So how does it differ? This is the time for students to become very selective in what they study. They specialise by studying three different subjects at A level (Advanced level) and if they are really determined, the timetable will allow a fourth subject to be studied. In addition, students are encouraged to take Extended Project which is a piece of independent research on a topic of their choice. This research is undertaken over an 18 month period and can cover anything - from whether England owes reparations to India to how to develop tourism in Kyrgyzstan, from the geometrical patterns found in nature to whether it is possible to build a Dyson sphere. These projects are inspiring pieces of work and result in very knowledgeable young people who become confident speakers.

Sixth formers are given considerable responsibility for their own learning and this is quite a challenge to manage in itself. Students will find that they have some non-contact/self study periods on their timetable and they must decide how should these be used. Many find their way to the quiet workroom and they review notes, read around the subject, research and write essays, complete exams questions and more. Others will find the environment of the common room more conducive for thinking whilst having a drink and sitting on the sofa!

To help them be recognised as senior members of the school body, sixth formers are allowed to dress according to the same standards as teachers wearing smart business clothes. Of course this means they should conduct themselves as role models for younger students too. Their conduct should be something that all students aspire to.

In Year 13, sixth formers make their applications to universities across the world as A levels are globally accepted as high standard courses. Many apply to the UK through the UCAS system managed by the Head of Sixth Form. Early applications are well received by the universities and this year we are proud that two of our students have already been selected for interview by Cambridge University and Imperial London. Students in Year 13 have already received offers from Durham, Warwick, Bath, Queen Mary College London and we are eagerly awaiting many more decisions. Closing dates for applications is January 15th 2021 so our students are well ahead. Every new offer is met with excitement as the options for higher education grow and grow!

Sixth form is the bridging gap between IGCSE and university. It is the time for students to flourish in their chosen subjects, to become independent learners who are self-motivated, to seek out leadership opportunities and to gain the life skills needed that will ensure success at university when they move away from home for the first time.

It is not always easy and there are always hiccups along the way, but our sixth formers are good at sharing daily inspirations to stay positive - The Sixth Form is a great place to be.

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