Sixth Form News

Sixth Form Fire and Rescue Day

After a successful enrolment that saw us retain over 95% of those students who intended to return, Uplands welcomed back its sixth form with the time honoured tradition of our annual team-building day.

As has become custom, our new Year 12’s joined up with our returning Year 13’s and together they embarked on the day’s exciting programme of events.  This year, we were very privileged to join forces with several members of both East Sussex and Kent Fire and Rescue Services, and the Royal Life Saving Society.  The day itself saw a variety of activities underpinned in raising awareness on Road Safety, Fire Safety, basic CPR training and how to safely conduct a water rescue; during the course of the day, students not only had the chance to speak directly with many members of the services, but also to learn important, potentially life-saving new skills.  These we then took off-site, trekking across a stunning backdrop of the final hop-pick of the season and the fields and farms of the East Sussex countryside, before putting them into practice via live demonstrations.  By the culmination of the day, it was hard for the students to choose between the dramatic staging of a chip pan fire and that of a potential drowning, in terms of which one set the pulses racing most. 

Pup Upton the ESFRS Group Manager for Wealden and Eastbourne said, ‘The day was an excellent example of multi-agency working to raise awareness of the hazards that sixth form students may encounter, including  fire, water and road safety.  This was a fantastic opportunity for them to participate in interactive workshops and get hands-on experience, in a safe controlled environment.  Hopefully, they are now more aware of these hazards and the risks and learnt some skills that will make them and others safer, including CPR and other first aid skills.  A big thanks to James, the Sixth Form Head, for having the foresight to invite ESFRS and partners along to the Team building day.  It was a fun way of raising awareness and we hope to be able to do similar events in the future’.

In addition to the very clear real-life skills being developed, there were also the binding themes of team-building and developing outward-looking perspectives.  These will be core skills that will be demanded of, put to the test and honed by all our students in the year(s) ahead.  As they now take their next steps towards the final pinnacle of their Uplands career, these are the skills that will help steer them towards the success they ultimately will find under our care.

We can’t thank our visitors enough for their incredible generosity of time, expertise and for captivating our students throughout the entire day.  It is an exciting thought that the day may well go on to provide a blueprint for what could become a county-wide initiative for other schools.  Students and staff alike were agreed that it was a great privilege and a wonderful day to not only host but to be a part of.

All students involved are to be congratulated for the enthusiasm with which they approached the day and the activities – they were an absolute credit to both themselves and the school.  I am immensely proud of them – and already incredibly excited about where this sixth form is headed over the year(s) ahead.

Mr J. Cunningham
Head of Sixth Form

University visit

Our new Year 12’s took advantage of a beautiful September day to take their first taste of what University life could be like. Along with four of our neighbouring schools, the day was spent at the campus of the University of Sussex; during the course of the day, students had their first experience of how seminars differ to lessons, with topics covering life skills and superior study approaches, together with a comprehensive overview of all that undergraduate life offers. Perhaps the highlight of the day, however, was the tour of the campus itself. The ‘Student Village’ caused tremendous buzz, with its variety of shops, stores, eateries and, of course, the Student Union bar. The sense of independence was palpable, visibly affecting our young adults. Even more impressive was the library – an enormous space ranging over two full floors, giving our students a true appreciation of how the importance of study lay at the heart of all things.


Whether or not each of our students ultimately choose to progress to higher education, today was an important step in helping them make their own informed decision. It was particularly gratifying to see so many of them fully engaging with the course leaders and student ambassadors, asking so many thoughtful – and eager – questions. The whole year group represented both Uplands and themselves perfectly. It was a great day and I am immensely proud of them all.


Mr J. Cunningham
Head of Sixth Form