At the Upper School, students remain with the same advisor for Forms 3 and 4, then change to a new advisor for Forms 5 and 6.
Self-awareness – Form 3 (grade 9) focuses on finding one’s place within the school community. As freshmen begin to recognize their academic strengths, they set goals for further improvement as they see themselves as members of a team, participants in a class, and citizens of a community. Advisors and students continue conversations about strengths and weaknesses throughout the Upper School.
Questions that arise include:
- What subjects comes easiest to me?
- What subjects are more difficult?
- How can I use my strengths in one area to help me with my weaknesses in another?
- How can I use my strengths as I present myself to colleges and future employers?
Making connections – From Forms 3-6 (grade 12), students work to form meaningful relationships with their peers, teachers, and coaches. As they progress through the Upper School, older students mentor and lead younger ones, both formally and informally. Students are encouraged to join clubs, make friends with upperclassmen or underclassmen, and to become a team or club leader.
Self-advocacy – The primary goal of the Upper School experience is for students to learn to identify when they need help and to ask for it appropriately. Students are asked to take care of themselves while managing all aspects of their school life; to do so effectively, there are times when students need to ask for help.
Ways that we encourage students to self-advocate include:
- Scheduling extra help sessions
- Discussing and moving deadlines
- Talking about their problems with adults they trust
Time management – In Form 3, students have study halls during free periods, providing them crucial time management support. As they progress, students are given the freedom to manage their time independently, knowing that adults are available to provide structure when needed. By the time students graduate from Kingswood Oxford, they know how to plan ahead and manage deadlines, without being overloaded.
Organization – Organizational requirements increase with each grade. In Form 3, students are asked to keep track of daily assignments, to check e-mail regularly, and to develop an effective personal system of organization. In Form 4, longer assignments are more prevalent, and students are asked to plan weeks, or even months, ahead. Juniors are expected to take responsibility for all deadlines and to fine-tune their organizational strategies to account for an increased academic and extracurricular load. Seniors take on leadership roles, which add another layer of personal responsibility and organizational demands.