How to Win Friends and Influence People

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

As you embark on this new journey with us in just a few days, we want to ensure you have everything you need to succeed in life well beyond #CastleSchoolSixthForm (I hope you have noticed how Ms Madni has researched new trends and mastered the hashtag!)

‘How to win friends and influence people’

You may not have heard of this business gem first published in 1936 but as, according to Wikipedia, ‘one of the best selling books of all time,’ it would seem that it appears to have many of the solutions to living our ‘best life’. Dale Carnegie, it's author, was unaware at the time that he would become part of the self help phenomenon that would hit our bookshelves in the last 20 years. He sought to help business people improve their interpersonal skills in order to assist their progress in the business world. It is a testament to its content that in 2011 it was number 19 on ‘Time magazine’s’ list of the ‘100 most influential books’. No, this is not a reading recommendation for any of you about to start Business BTech but it does point to that desire we all have to know, through an instructional manual, the solutions and ways to best achieve success in life. Perhaps in the same way that you decided to read this blog because of its rather enticing moniker?! A tall order.

I am certainly not Dale Carnegie but I am looking to give some advice of my own here about how to succeed in the Sixth form. So, knowing that this is about to be one of the most exciting periods of your education, I have to be careful not to dampen that enthusiasm with one of those dreaded lists of ‘what not to do', rather the Carnegie pattern of an ‘action book’- be it blog with some ideas to begin thinking about that mind - set needed for the unique experience you will have at #CastleSchoolSixthform over the next two years. I have honed it down to the ubiquitous ‘Top 10’, knowing that next year’s posting of this advice will be updated by Cohort 2021. I wonder what you will be moving, removing, changing or adding to this list?


of subjects is important. You chose them because you felt passionately about the subject or had an interest or surprised yourself with your result in that subject at GCSE. It may well be that taking Business BTech, (worth 3 A grades) and one other A level will suit you better than 4 separate disciplines. The content and focus needed in subjects at Advanced Level is very different to GCSE so you may find the project - based assessments which are a part of the BTech will better suit your thinking. In the same way it may be that choosing similar Humanities subjects may not give you the variety of thinking and reading that you like. Or perhaps you already know what subjects are needed for your undergraduate course or job you have in mind. The student that makes reasoned choices is likely to be a committed one.


and read and read. Read widely in order to gain a breadth and depth to the subjects you are studying. A levels are best earned by the student who does not only study texts and ideas prescribed by the syllabus but reads beyond. Challenge your tutor with the new ideas and questions that you have discovered because of your reading.


on the weaknesses. We all know how much easier and initially more pleasurable it is to study what we understand and find easier. Consolidating and revising and relearning the areas we find more difficult will reap dividends. Tutors will guide you but self assessment of what needs the extra push will be an essential skill.


your study and time. The timetable you receive will guide when and for how long to study, (5 hours per week per A Level subject) However having the self discipline to move through tasks and meet deadlines will mean that using your Google Calendar will be essential. Set an alarm when you set a deadline.


does not stop at 3:45pm. Study periods will enable you to consolidate your notes and test yourself so use them wisely. Perhaps you are an early riser who will have completed extra study at 8am before lessons begin or a night owl who prefers working in the evening after supper?


the ‘do not disturb’ mode on your mobile phone. Mobiles are not allowed during timetabled lessons so this would be the time to rethink your relationship with your device across the whole day.


to your peers as you study. Timetabled at the same time means that sharing and teaching your peers how you understood or solved a new idea or concept will underpin the best kind of reciprocal learning. There will be online conversations to be had on your subject forums as well so you will be able to discuss learning with online peers as well. Talking through your learning with your teachers will enable them to understand how well you are progressing as well.


of the questions you have about your subjects before each day and seek the answers to them by being proactive and asking a member of the Sixth form staff. The enquiring student is the one that makes the best progress.


your commitments outside of school very carefully. Extra curricular activities and a part time job show commitment and a wider set of skills. However, remember that those qualifications are the most important focus. The grades you achieve will be longer- lasting than the extra hours that you may sign up to in your evening job.


good relationships with all of your peers, tutors and teachers that you will meet.

This is a Sixth form and as such we will meet occasions that may be challenging - you will need the support you will be able to receive at #CastleSchool . Time spent building good positive relationships with everyone in our Sixth form is time well invested.

So finally, from C20 business speaker to a C19 writer, Oscar Wilde had a good many jibes to make at the expense of education and educators (feel free to read around this statement!) However this provides me the opportunity to requisition ones of these recusant observations for the good of our next year at #CastleSchoolSixthForm.

‘Schools should be the most beautiful place in every town and village-so beautiful that the punishment for undutiful children should be barred from going to school the following day.’

You won’t want to miss out!

To find out more about Castle School Sixth form, just drop us a message on the website or on our Facebook page:

You can also contact the school on 01437558010. We have very limited spaces for Year 12 and 13 for the September 2021 intake.