Sixth Formers at Oakwood Park Grammar are granted eight days per year away from timetabled lessons to enable them to enrich their understanding of the world, gain further qualifications and attend academic conferences that will enhance their university or job applications. OPGS is lucky to have a strong and developing network of parents and alumni who offer high level work experience to Year 12 and Year 13 students. In addition to our parents’ careers network, in 2018 OPGS directly arranged for students to do work experience at a wide variety of locations including the new Google building at Kings Cross, Benenden and Maidstone Hospitals, Kent County Council and countless other smaller firms catering for architects, designers and public service interests.
We have links with top universities who provide exclusive workshops and lectures tailored exclusively for specific groups of OPGS Sixth Formers such as History workshops and lectures at The Churchill Archives, Cambridge University.
Subject departments also run a wide range of Enrichment activities. With London on our doorstep, there are many trips to conferences, galleries, theatres and museums. Politics students spend a day in Parliament and at The Supreme Court. Psychology students spend time researching animal behaviour at London Zoo. The Spanish Exchange departs annually for Valencia. Theatre Studies and English Literature students have their horizons broadened by a residential trip to Stratford upon Avon and regular trips to the theatre. Science students visit the hadron collider in Cern. Our proximity to the Channel makes day trips to Europe possible, for example History and French departments combine for a trip to visit the World War 1 memorials at Ypres. Additional trips planned for 2018 and 2019 are departing for Washington and New York, Chile and India.
Students at OPGS are keen to engage in the variety of extra-curricular activities on offer. Clubs range from Debating Society (SE champions), Science Club, Drama Improv and many sports opportunities. We have frequent drama productions, art exhibitions as well as rock and classical concerts.
OPGS has been identified as a leading school for the Extended Project Qualification via which students gain both UCAS points and the basis of an interview portfolio. As well as students gaining exceptionally high results, we have been congratulated for the wide variety of projects our students undertake. Many students choose to make something such as an EP, recorded and mastered in our Music Tech suite, self-publish a novel, construct a robot-arm, a stage lighting computer programme, a new fashion range and a water treatment plant. Others choose to undertake investigations or to write a more traditional style dissertation connected with their university course. Students are currently working on dissertations entitled ‘Are China’s ghost cities a success or failure?’, ‘Were the UN guilty for not preventing the genocide in Bosnia?’ and ‘What is the most effective cure for schizophrenia?’.
As well as the academic development of students, OPGS takes very seriously its duty to prepare our young people for the challenges of living independently. This involves addressing the serious issues involved in sexual and mental health, road safety and finance.