Your Lower Sixth timetable is made up as follows:
11 class periods in each of your 4 AS subjects
4 periods of Games
1 period of Open Forum
2 periods of Foundation Studies
9 periods of Private Study
Five of your Private Study periods appear as blanks on your timetable, four of them have the subject name, your teaching set code and DS1 or DS2 instead of a teacher or room. DS stands for Directed Study.
(Those of you taking Maths + AS Further Maths will have 12 class periods for that subject and only 8 Private Study periods).
The aim of Private Study is to provide time for you in School to build on what you do in class in a relatively independent manner – by reading around your subjects, researching topics in depth or preparing written or other assignments. Of course it’s not expected that you will spend every minute of every such period working: you need to take time to have a break and have a coffee, read the paper or talk with friends. But you will be expected to manage your time sensibly and organise your independent work effectively. You will find the Sixth Form study area and the Library & Resources Centre are good places for this kind of study. If you want to make use of other areas, eg Art, DT, Music or IT facilities, make sure you check with staff that this is appropriate or convenient.
The difference between the blank Private Study periods and the subject-designated Directed Study periods is that your teachers will have specific expectations about what you will do with that time. They may set you particular pieces of work to be completed in those periods or expect you to have done some reading or research in them (or in their equivalent in terms of time). The key thing is that they – and you - will expect there to be an outcome, which might be a completed piece of work or evidence that you have increased your knowledge or skills.
The teacher-guided nature of the Directed Study periods will help you manage the rest of your Private Study time independently and effectively. If you are uncertain about how best to manage your Private Study time, you should discuss it with your subject teachers or your tutor.