We are a small sixth form and our curriculum is focused on GCE advanced level qualifications in a range of academic subjects. The majority of our students go on to study at university and a significant proportion of these go on to Russell group universities and highly competitive courses. In addition to our A’ level offer, students also have the opportunity to work towards the Extended Project Qualification which a number of students complete each year with excellent results.
The majority of our students will study 3 A’ level qualifications, however in some cases students may study 4 A’ levels (subject to academic performance both at GCSE and during the course). In exceptional circumstances, some students may study less than three A levels.
The sixth form operates a 2-week timetable and students receive 11 x 50 minute lessons for each A’ level per fortnight. In addition, all students attend form registration for 20 minutes at the start of each day. This time is used for assemblies as well as tutor mentoring and other activities to support students’ development. Students also receive 1 x 50 minute lesson of Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) per week and, for those not studying Philosophy and Ethics at A’ level, 1 x 50 minute lesson of General RE per week.
For students to flourish during their sixth form study it is important that they are happy, safe and motivated within school. The pastoral care offered to students ensures that this is the case.
All students are a member of a form group of around 25 students. Their form tutor will meet with them every day and is their first point of contact for information sharing, answering queries and dealing with issues that may arise.
Besides the sixth form tutors, the team also includes the Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Head of Sixth Form and the Sixth Form Administrator. The team monitors students’ welfare and progress and intervenes whenever issues occur. Monitoring takes place through academic performance, attendance and punctuality data and teacher feedback. If intervention is required, students will often meet with the Head of Sixth Form and a plan or support be put in place. We value the support that parents play in their daughter’s education and we involve parents where appropriate. We also have the services of a school counsellor that can be used by sixth form students.
We believe it is very important that students have the opportunity and are encouraged to go beyond their taught A levels and take part in a wide range of opportunities. Indeed, a key part of our Catholic ethos is that education should develop the whole person and not just focus on narrow academic outcomes.
To enable students to grow in this way, we have a wide range of activities available to sixth formers. Activities will often include the lower school and therefore enable sixth formers to take a more leadership based role. The opportunities available include, but are not limited to; sport sessions, music lessons, volunteering, school trips, university visits, work placements and many more.
At the outset of sixth form study, students complete a questionnaire about their interests and background to aid us in targeting opportunities to students. Whilst we do not take time out of the academic term to complete work experience at a set time, a large proportion of our students do secure work experience in a wide range of settings and complete this during the holidays or, where this is not possible, during term time with prior agreement from the Head of Sixth Form.
Towards the end of Year 12, students who want to develop their leadership skills further and take a very prominent role within the school community are able to apply to serve as prefects or as a member of the Head Girl Team.