Individual programmes of study
Our Sixth Form curriculum is designed to maximise the potential of young people.
Working in partnership with students and parents, we will ensure every student follows a personalised programme of study that allows them to make progress and that will prepare them for Post-18 education and work.
This means that all our students will be enrolled on courses that are challenging and appropriate for their background and ambition. Students will receive guidance and support in Sixth Form. They will also be given the opportunity to engage with purposeful and meaningful non-qualification activities.
Students sit linear A-Levels in all subjects. This means that students will be assessed at the end of Year 13. Full mock exams will be sat by Year 12 students for each subject during Term 6. This will be used as the basis for UCAS references and to guide students regarding the dropping of subjects.
To take an A-Level, students must meet the individual subject grade requirement, which is generally 5 Grade 5s of more, including English and Maths, as well as Grade 6 grades in any relevant GCSE subject. More information can be found on individual subject pages.
All A-Levels are challenging, high-status qualifications, but some are particularly prized by universities and employers. These are called facilitating subjects and we encourage all students to study at least 1 of the following:
- English (Literature or Language)
- The Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- Humanities (History and Geography)
- Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish)
For more information, have a look at The Russell Group website and particularly their ‘Informed choices’ booklet.
BTEC lessons will be as practical as possible and will focus on preparation for application of skills in the workplace.
BTECs will be certifiable at the end of Year 12 and at the end of Year 13. Students will need 5 Grade 5s or above, including English and Maths to study BTECs, though exceptions may be made to this rule.
All students without a Grade 4 in GCSE English Language will work towards achieving this in Year 12. Students are expected to make progress, with a view to gaining a pass by the end of Year 13. Students will have four periods per fortnight for English Resit and will be taught as a Sixth Form class.
All students without a Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics will work towards achieving this and making progress against their starting point. Students who achieved a D grade in Year 11 will work towards a full resit in Year 12, while those below will access stepping-stone qualifications with a view to achieving a C grade at the end of Year 13. Students will be taught for four lessons a fortnight.
Non-qualification activities will help students develop as learners and as members of the community, as well as give them opportunities to build their CV and enhance applications to university and apprenticeships.
All students in Year 12 are expected to organise and complete 20 hours of volunteering before Easter. This can be in school or outside. Students will be expected to keep a record of their participation and reflect on how this can develop hard and soft skills.
All students in the Sixth Form will organise and undertake a week of work experience at the end of Year 12. The placement will help students:
- Develop ‘soft skills’ and their general employability
- Gain an insight into a field of work that interests them
All students going on work experience should complete the work experience placement form, which includes evidence of insurance. Students should have organised their work experience placement by Easter of Year 12. During work experience, students should complete their Diary (provided by the Sixth Form). This allows for daily reflection and for an evaluation by their supervisor. Students should then review work experience as a whole in Year 13.
Students will have the opportunity to work with charities, in particular running fundraising events at the school through non-uniform, fancy dress, cake sales, sporting events and other activities. This is overseen by the Head of Year 13 and the Charity Committee, which is elected from the Sixth Form student body.
Sixth Form tutorials and assemblies
We believe our students should have access to a range of different ideas and debates. During the academic year, speakers will be invited to present to students on a range of different topics, which can then be used as the basis for PSHE in fortnightly tutorial sessions, e.g. the visit of convicted criminal Erwin James, which was then used as the basis for discussion on the purpose of punishment and the possibility of redemption. During your tutorial session you will also work on the Sixth Form Mindset programme, which is based on a range of educational and psychological studies.
All our students will be encouraged to participate in enrichment opportunities outside the classroom, organised by the Sixth Form or subject departments. This includes overseas trips (like those running to Iceland and Madrid in 2017-2018) and broader opportunities, like the annual Sixth Form Christmas trip to London.
We work with several organisations that offer great experiences to young people.
We have a close partnership with Oxford Brookes University, particularly though the fantastic Brookes Engage Programme and the annual residential. We also support students through the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and many of our students also engaged in the National Citizenship Service. In addition to this, we encourage students to attend Open Days and to make trips to hear engaging lectures at Oxford University.
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