1. Wide Choice of Courses
Students in the Sixth Form can choose from a number of different vocational courses and 19 different A Level courses.
Vocational courses are more work related in delivery and have few, if any, exams. Assignment work is completed by the student and submitted as unit evidence for assessment by the subject teacher. The unit of work is then moderated by an external visiting Moderator.
Students usually take 3 or 4 A Levels through to the end of Year 13.
Students may combine vocational and A Level courses at St. Wilfrid’s.
2. Suitable Progression
Students are very well supported in the careers guidance they receive, both before commencing courses and during their time in the sixth form. In recent years, the large majority of students progressed to higher education, employment or training (Ofsted 2018).
3. Teaching Staff + Post 16 Students
Leaders have established a culture of high expectations in the sixth form. They use rigorous systems to drive improvement by keeping a very close eye on how well students are doing. They intervene with alacrity when necessary to get students back on track. (Ofsted 2018)
4. Modular Assessment
At the start of Year 12 each student is given target grades for every vocational and/ or A level subject they study. These take into account for their own GCSE and vocational results in Year 11. Ten weekly Modular Assessment continues at Post 16 and gives students and parents/guardians, the opportunity to receive regular updates on their current performance in their chosen subjects. It also helps students judge whether or not they are on course to achieve their target grade in that subject. Self- analysis of their Modular Assessment data is encouraged and facilitated by 1:1 interviews with your pastoral tutor. This process continues throughout Year 12 and Year 13.
5. Pastoral Care
A strong feature of the Post 16 provision will be the Pastoral care you will receive as a student: Here is a comment from our last inspection by OFSTED:-
“There is always someone you can ask for advice, like your tutor”
“The pastoral care students receive is of a high quality and results in students, irrespective of ability or background, making vastly improved progress both academically and personally.’ OFSTED Report 2013
Students will stay with the same tutor in Year 12 and Year 13. This means there is always someone who has a good knowledge of your skills, strengths and weaknesses and is best placed to advise you on career options and work habits.
6. Enrichment Activities
Year 12 students will take part in an Enrichment Programme. They have a range of options which they choose to participate in over the course of the year tailored to their core aims.
Typical types of activity (but not limited to) are listed below:-
Community Placement: an opportunity to complete a placement of your choice at a local Primary school, in-class support or at Help the Aged.
RE: we look at various moral issues such as capital punishment, genetic engineering from both a religious & non-religious perspective. We also study a variety of world religions. The programme involves teacher input and also the opportunity for students to develop their independent learning, group and presentation work.
Sport: a chance to get fit and look after your mental health using the school’s own fantastic sports hall and Temple Park Leisure Centre.
Culture: an opportunity to visit local galleries, museums and explore other cultures.
Peer Mentor: a chance to receive top quality training and guidance to become a Peer Mentor for pupils in school.
At the same time students will be encouraged to get involved with a range of enrichment activities throughout the school year.
‘I like the way that you can work by yourself in your Independent Study time and that we have privileges so you are able to feel more like an adult in school’
Sixth Form students are expected to act as ambassadors for the school at all times and are therefore given more responsibility within the school environment as we try to prepare them for more independence at university or in employment. They each sign a Student Learning Agreement that outlines our expectations of them as a student in St Wilfrid’s RC College Sixth Form. At the same time we state what we will provide for them in order to help them complete their education successfully in the sixth form.
8. Private and Independent Study Time
Sixth formers attend 5 teacher-led lessons for every A Level or 6 unit vocational subject they study. This means that they have a lesson of un-timetabled, independent study time. This gives students the opportunity to start homework or complete directed study time tasks in school using the sixth form facilities. Alternatively, if students are up to date and on track with their studies, they may work at home during this period.
9. Post-18 Careers Advice
We want all our sixth form students to be aware of the choice of opportunity their qualifications will give them. So very early on we start to actively encourage them to think about what careers they are interested in and how to achieve them. They all receive a careers interview in Year 12 and Year 13.
‘They are always trying to help you to plan good and achievable careers for the future’
We extend our Enrichment Programme in the Summer term of Year 12 to look at all the Post-18 options available. As a result every student will get the chance to visit local universities, attend open days, participate in taster days and hear from a range of guest speakers from real working environments.
10. RESULTS! Last, but certainly not least…
St Wilfrid’s is the highest performing sixth form in South Tyneside for student progress – something which we are very proud of! This is achieved by the hard work and dedication of our highly committed and experience staff, working closely with our students. See our latest results and comparison with other sixth form colleges in South Tyneside here