Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page for the Sixth Form. This page contains all of the most regular questions we receive from parents,carers and students. We monitor requests regularly and add-in any questions that we feel need sharing here to support you. If you cannot find answers here please contact us here.
The page is quite long, so we have listed all the questions at the top of the page. Simply click on the relevant question to go directly to the answer here on the FAQ page.
- Can I combine courses from the Academic and Professional Pathways?
- Am I allowed to change or drop subjects?
- What are Independent Study sessions?
- What enrichment activities are on offer?
- What is the NASA Programme?
- Can Sixth Form students use mobile phones at the academy?
- Is there a dress code?
- What equipment will students need?
- What are the timings of the academy day?
- Am I allowed offsite?
Can I combine courses from the Academic and Professional Pathways?
Students are able to combine A Level and BTEC courses provided that they fit into the option blocks. Students can discuss their option choices during an advice and guidance consultation as part of the application process.
Am I allowed to change or drop subjects?
Once timetables are issued students will not be allowed to change or drop a subject unless there are exceptional circumstances. A form requesting to change or drop a subject during the first four weeks of term is available from the Assistant Principal (Sixth Form and Curriculum), and must be signed by parents/carers, and the subject Head of Department, before being returned. Following the first four weeks of term requests to drop or change subjects will not be considered.
What are Independent Study sessions?
Students will have Independent Study as part of their Sixth Form timetable. These lessons are planned to support students to achieve their very best. These should not be regarded as ‘free’ lessons but should be used to ensure work is completed to deadline, that work is being improved or revision or wider reading is being undertaken. Students will develop their study skills by completing the Guided Independent Learning (GIL) programme during term one, as well as through staff members timetabled into Independent Study sessions to support learning.
What enrichment activities are on offer?
We offer a wide range of enrichment activities both within subject areas, and through the Futures curriculum (Please see the Futures section of the website). University visits and taster days are well established with highly regarded institutions including Bristol, Exeter and Southampton. Students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the Academy community through our peer mentoring programme, running for Academy President as part of student leadership, or being involved in Inter-
House competitions as House Ambassadors. We also offer students the opportunity to tackle enrichment activities which could lead to additional qualifications such as the Extended Project Qualification and Massive Online Open Courses MOOCs. These can be focused around students’ particular skill sets or field of interest and are designed to be independent.
Each year, Year 12 students from each of the Aspirations group of schools are invited to apply for the trip. The trip lasts 10 days, first flying into Houston and then on to Florida. It really is an amazing experience where students can experience and understand what it is like to be working at the frontier of science and to meet engineers, scientists and astronauts.
Every day is incredibly busy with trips to both Johnson and Kennedy Space centres. Students are expected to record their experiences through diaries and photos, allowing them to share it all with the wider community on their return, hopefully inspiring students to apply for the next trip.
Can Sixth Form students use mobile phones at the academy?
Sixth Form students are permitted to use mobile phones in the Creator and Collaborator space (CCS) within the sixth form hub. Mobile phone use must not disturb other students, for example through the playing of music out loud. Mobile phones should be used primarily for educational research, and must not be visible at all on the rest of the Academy site, in order to comply with Academy policy.
Headphones are permitted within the quiet study area.
You must be smartly dressed at all times, as you would be if working in a smart professional environment. You are role models for the rest of the Academy and as such need to be smartly presented at all times. Identity cards with lanyards must be visible at all times and you must have your student diary with you every day.
What equipment will students need?
Students will need to purchase their own writing equipment such as pens, lined paper and folders to organise their notes made in class. These folders will be checked regularly by their Tutor and subject teacher so it’s important that they have the right equipment to keep their notes organised. They may also need to purchase textbooks specific to the subjects they’re studying. Reading and resource lists are available to view and download from the ‘essential information’ section of the sixth form
area of the Academy website. Students who are eligible for the Bursary Fund may request financial support for all of the necessary equipment and can download a how to guide and application pack from the 16-19 Bursary section of the Sixth form area of the Academy website.
What are the timings of the academy day?
Please see the link to the timing of the Academy day here.
Students are not permitted offsite during the Academy day, however the sixth form hub has its own kitchen area exclusively for sixth form use. Students are welcome to bring their own food in for storage and preparation. Sixth form students are responsible for maintaining the expected standard of the kitchen area and for exercising diligence and care in line with health and safety requirements.