Preparation & Transition - Durham Johnston Sixth Form (September 2020 start)


Durham Johnston Sixth Form is a school community of approximately 350 students.  We are proud of our traditional, academic ethos and our outstanding track record of A Level success, which has received national recognition.  We are an experienced and supportive staff team that has consistently proven successful in helping students to perform at their best, making the successful transition to university and the world of work.


Durham Johnston’s Sixth Form students exemplify the very best of our school community.  They work hard, achieve well and leave us as socially conscious, informed citizens.  Whether it be charitable work, sixth form committee, the impressive range of our student-led societies or the school’s House System, our students flourish in an environment that nurtures the development of their character, their independent decision making and their academic capability.


“What did you do in the Great War Daddy?” was a propaganda poster with the aim of raising volunteers in 1916.  It was also a question asked many times in the years after WW1.  In future interviews, you will likely be asked what you did during this challenging time period (spring / summer 2020).


It is easy to feel overwhelmed and a little lost so we thought a concise guidance / advice sheet (with some relevant links) might be helpful.  This aims to get you started and provide a focused and structured approach. Please remember the importance of a routine that includes a healthy balance between academic work + activity + good nutrition + adequate sleep.


Mrs Lennon (Head of Sixth Form) & Mr Wilbraham (Deputy Head of Sixth Form)



Detail (& some links)


GCSE Subjects.  You should have followed all of the guidance given / work set by your teachers for all GCSE subjects.  Obviously, for any courses relevant to your A levels of choice, keeping familiar with the course content is even more relevant and sensible.

A Level Subjects.   Abraham Lincoln said “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe” Preparation is key to success at advanced level study and this unusual time period gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in some meaningful preparation.

See the guidance below for any course you are considering studying at A Level – your teachers here are experienced at providing the right foundations for your success.

Transferrable Skills

Use this time to build up a range of skills that will be relevant to A Level study, university and future employment.  Most of the areas below are covered by ISC - follow the links to the left of the front page on this website, for the ones you are interested in learning more about.

Academic Extras

  • Academic writing is confidently uncertain – we will have an assembly on this cross-curricular area next academic year.  Also – look at this from UCAS
  • EPQs – an excellent way to develop your research, independent work and communication skills – provides evidence of 100 hours of independent work.  Every year a number of sixth form students complete this well respected qualification.  You could use this time to complete a relevant Future Learn course that introduces how to approach EPQs.
  • Oxford University resources for all Key Stages – including: Maths, English, Sciences, Engineering, Computer Science and an ‘All Subjects’ section – check out the ‘Curious Minds’ section.
  • LIBF (Relevant for all – help you make better financial decisions for the rest of your life). See the worksheets below.
  • MOOCS – Massive open online courses.  I like Future Learn courses. Brilliant, interesting and specifically designed to be followed remotely – have a look if there is something for you.
  • Reading / watching / on-line lectures / virtual work experiences – are becoming available all of the time – look for something relevant and of interest to you.


GCSE to A Level Transition Documents