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An honest reflection by new Sixth Former Kevin Zyka

“A-Levels are going to be 5 times harder than GCSEs.” This was the phrase that was in the back of my head for the first few days, keeping me constantly focused and prepared for any valuable information. However, the school was able to provide any vital information clearly over the first few days, while easing the students into the sixth form centre. The school did an outstanding and exceptional job to make all of us feel as welcome as possible. I feel comfortable and relaxed walking around the school as a sixth former and it is because of the hard work the school put in to help settle me and the other sixth formers in.

Wednesday the 6th of September was my first day returning back to Finchley Catholic. I was no longer a boy. I was a young adult walking back into the school as a sixth former. I felt elated, excited and eager to get to school. However, I did feel slightly nervous and worried as to how I would cope with the jump from GCSEs to A-Levels. We then had our first assembly as Year 12s, where we met our form tutors and we went through the plan for the day. The assembly was also a good opportunity to meet our new headteacher, Ms Arnull, who was very enthusiastic to meet us and warmly welcomed us. We then went to our form (12Fibonacci) and we spent an hour with our new classmates and our form tutor, Miss Aloysius. We played ‘2 Truths, 1 Lie’ as a way to get to know each other since some of the students were new. This was very entertaining and I found out many interesting things about my classmates that I didn’t know. Then after our break, we were divided into groups to talk to the sixth form staff. First, we talked to Mr Crosby, who went through the expectations with us extremely clearly and set us high expectations as young adults. Then, we talked to Mr Prendergast, who spoke to us about our independent study and how to organise our time. This was extremely helpful, especially since it helps me to organise my time so I can enjoy some free time whilst being able to keep up with my studies. Finally, we talked to Ms Turner, who helped us think about what opportunities we want to create for ourselves as students. This was very insightful and gave me an opportunity to reflect on what I want to achieve as a sixth former at Finchley Catholic. This concluded an eventful and enjoyable first day.

On Thursday, we received our timetables, which was highly anticipated and quite exciting. The first lesson I had was Supervised Study. We were in the Sixth Form common room, where it was a relaxed working environment. This allowed me to quietly and quickly finish my work without any disruptions. In my opinion, supervised study is an incredibly useful lesson to help me complete work and keep up with all of my subjects. My next lesson was Computer Science, where we got a clear indication of what our lessons would be like. I enjoyed it as it was very intriguing. I then had another lesson of Supervised Study. Finally, we had Maths, which I enjoyed as the lesson was very engaging and we were clearly taught different methods to use. Thursday was not as busy as the previous day, however, I felt I had a good taster of what lessons were like at Finchley Catholic. I enjoyed them and knew that I was going to enjoy the rest of my time at the school. Then on Friday, I went on the retreat for the day. On the retreat, we did an activity called ‘Human Bingo’, where we went around the room finding people that met certain criteria. This was a great way for me to find out more about some of the new students joining the school and I felt very engaged by the task, partly from my competitive nature and mostly from the excitement of being able to meet some people. I enjoyed this activity very much. We also attended a mass, which was very insightful and we also did a few more activities together. However, because of the rain that was pouring down and the issue of traffic, there was not enough time to complete all of the activities. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and one that I won’t forget in a hurry.

Overall, my first week as a sixth former at Finchley Catholic was generally good. My worries were reassured and I felt more confident about being at the school with each passing minute. I felt that I was warmly welcomed and because of this I look forward to the upcoming two years with the school.