Why join our Sixth Form?
There is a poster that hangs in our Sixth Form Centre which encapsulates our philosophy, ‘Work hard and be nice to people.’ Our Sixth Formers do work hard at their studies, but they are also at the very heart of the school, playing a vital role in the wellbeing of both the school community and the wider community too. All of our students follow a rigorous academic programme and also find time to help others.
What does it offer?
We are a traditional Sixth Form based primarily on the ethos of high quality teaching, delivered by very experienced subject specialists, leading to excellent individual results for our students. This is backed up by our excellent pastoral system ensuring that students have the support necessary to achieve their highest potential.
Facilities are good, with specialist classrooms and laboratories, and a high level of equipment. The Sixth Form has its own Centre and study areas. Access to Information Technology is easy, and well supported, both inside the classroom and out. An Independent Learning Centre is available for exclusive use by Sixth Formers along with laptops which can be used in the Sixth Form Centre. A well-furnished reading room is also available for reading and individual study.
Outside the formal curriculum, members of the Sixth Form pursue a wide and varied range of activities. These include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Young Enterprise, Parents’ Association Challenge Awards, World Challenge, Operation Nepal, Operation Wallacea, sport, sailing, music, drama, public speaking, the speaking newspaper and much more. There are numerous theatre and other visits throughout the year, including opportunities to take part in activities abroad. In recent years, for example, these have included ski trips, Geology trips to Iceland and Italy, Modern Language exchange trips and Art Department visits to Barcelona.
The Sixth Form is encouraged to manage its own affairs through the Sixth Form Committee and the Sixth Form Social Committee. The Sixth Form Committee deals with issues covering all aspects of school life and feeds into the School Council. The Sixth Form Social Committee organises social activities for the Sixth Form including the end of year Upper Sixth Leavers’ Ball and the Sixth Form Yearbook. The Upper Sixth also play an essential and valuable leadership role such as Duty Prefects, Form Prefects, Peer Listeners and Subject Mentors. All Upper Sixth students are expected to take on at least one position of responsibility.
All in all, we welcome students who are eager to learn in a lively atmosphere where the emphasis is on individual development and encouragement.
At present, there are over 200 students in the Sixth Form, a number large enough to offer variety, small enough to feel comfortable. For many of them entry to the Sixth Form has been a natural progression from our Year 11, but each year a significant number of students join us from other schools. For all our students, the Sixth Form offers new challenges and opportunities, academically, socially, and in terms of their personal development.
All our students follow a full A Level course, so you do have to demonstrate that you are capable of A Level study. In practice, that means that you will need a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade 6 plus a further two at grade 4. The six subjects must include English Language and Maths. Please look at our course details to see more information on each subject we offer and their specific entry requirements.
As a member of our school, you will receive information through Careers lessons and tutor time about the process of joining the Sixth Form. You will be asked to complete an application form and indicate your choices of subject in the autumn term, when the wider options that are open to you are under discussion. You and your parents will have been invited to attend our Sixth Form Information Evening in November, and you will have the chance to discuss choices with senior staff during the spring term.
If you attend another school, you are also welcome to attend the Sixth Form Information Evening and will be offered the chance to come to one of our Sixth Form Applications Afternoons. This will give you the opportunity to see the school in operation, to speak to students who have joined us from other schools and to discuss matters with senior staff before completing an application form and indicating provisional subject choices. Your parents can come too, if you wish. Any offers of provisional places would normally be made towards the end of the spring term. Our Applications Afternoons will be held on:
WEDNESDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2019
WEDNESDAY 4th DECEMBER 2019
WEDNESDAY 15th JANUARY 2020
WEDNESDAY 29th JANUARY 2020
Please contact the school to reserve a place on these afternoons.
All prospective Sixth Form students are expected to attend our Sixth Form Induction Week, after GCSEs have finished. They will have a chance to: firm-up on subject choices, find out more about individual subjects, meet new friends and see just how the Sixth Form works.
All our students take three A level subjects in the Lower Sixth year, leading to examinations at the end of Upper Sixth. Although we cannot guarantee every possible combination of the subjects we offer, the option scheme is re-written each year to meet students’ needs, and only rarely are we unable to provide what students are looking for.
In addition to the three A levels, all students follow an enrichment programme over the two years. In Lower Sixth this includes one of the following: a fourth A level, the IFS Certificate in Financial Studies or Young Enterprise, plus Games and Careers lessons. In the Upper Sixth this includes one of the following: continuing a fourth A level, the Extended Project Qualification, Work Experience, (including the Pre-Teaching Qualification), or the Sports leadership Award. In addition, all students take Games and a Life Skills course.
The tutorial time provided alongside academic studies, offers important support at an individual level.
All students have a certain amount of private study allowed for in the school day; learning to manage study time is a high priority if they are to do well at A Level and beyond.
Students have personal targets for their A Levels which are agreed in consultation with staff. Based in part on prior attainment, these represent realistic but ambitious challenges for our students. Progress is assessed in relation to them, and students are clear throughout the course about where they stand and how close they are to achieving their ambitions.
Changes to A levels
Students now study linear A levels. This means that they no longer have any external examinations in these subjects in the summer of Lower Sixth. External examinations take place at the end of Upper Sixth and performance in these exams determines a student’s A level grade.
As well as Careers lessons in the Lower Sixth, the Careers section in the Library and Sixth Form Centre offers a wealth of information and tutors see students regularly to discuss decisions and intentions through the development of an Individual Learning Plan. Students visit the UCAS annual Higher Education Conference held at Lincoln University. Students also have the opportunity to take part in the Next Steps for Study programme run by Bishop Grosseteste University, designed to prepare students for university life. Most students undertake University Open Day visits and there are opportunities to take up work experience and work-shadowing opportunities as they arise. All students have the opportunity of a mock interview early in Upper Sixth.
Tutorial time is an important channel for the support offered by form tutors. As well as day to day advice and help, tutors help students to maintain and develop their Individual Learning Plan, as well as monitoring academic progress. Internal assessments are undertaken termly and reports yearly. In the Upper Sixth, students are assigned to academic tutors who assist with UCAS applications and career intentions at a purely individual level. This support is available even after A level results are known.
Contact details: Mr T Randman Head of Sixth Form
Mrs S Darwin Sixth Form Administrator
Phone: 01507 522465