Life at Key Stage 5
The Sixth Form team is in place to lead, advise and support Years 12 and 13. This is an exciting time for all students and staff alike: we will be maintaining high standards, but at the same time developing and raising the profile of the Sixth Form as a centre of excellence within our school community.
With numbers in the Sixth Form continually rising and the choices of courses on offer increasing, students’ needs are diverse.
We respond to the suggestions and ideas that emerge from meetings held with students. We are developing the following 4 areas:
Right Student/Right Course:
A Levels are very demanding and we believe that for students to be successful, it is essential they follow the correct courses based on their interests and academic ability.
Additional specialist support in UCAS and careers is needed together with closer monitoring of the process.
We believe that a well-structured and well-resourced environment is the foundation for our students to build their education upon.
Part of the success of our Sixth Form is due to the constant monitoring of performance and targets. All students get together with their tutor at several points in the year to discuss academic progress and anything else relating to study and future plans. Additionally, students may want to approach one of the Sixth Form team to discuss academic issues. At regular points throughout the year, Data Collections are sent home which provide students and parents with details of academic progress and attitude to learning. We also provide parents with access to live data on a web-based site called Go4Schools which provides information on grades achieved in homeworks and tests in each subject.
We expect our students to attend school regularly and this is carefully monitored because there is a direct correlation between attendance and progress on courses. Attendance at all timetabled lessons, including tutor time, forum, assemblies and all special study days is compulsory. We will contact parents if a student’s attendance is of concern.
We pride ourselves on the extensive programmes we put into place to prepare our Sixth Formers for their futures. We run Futures Days throughout both Year 12 and 13 where we focus on both UCAS (University) and EA (Education and Apprenticeship). These days provide valuable information on writing personal statements and CVs whilst also having keynotes on other aspects of life such as finance and budgeting.
Kingdown provides an extensive academic programme which allows all students to achieve.
Most students taking Level 3 (A Level, BTEC and Cambridge TEC) courses will take three subjects over the two years; a small number of students opt to take four A Levels. Please note that most A Level courses are now ‘linear’ meaning the course is taken over two years, with terminal examinations at the end of the course. We no longer offer AS Levels in the majority of subjects.
Staff are very approachable and keen to assist students outside the lesson times and the system of target setting and regular tracking not only motivates students but also helps the sixth form team of staff to monitor progress and identify potential problems as well as particular talents. Academic work is enhanced by a range of co-curricular activities which broaden the educational experience: including outside speakers for Futures days, University Fairs and the Extended Project Qualification for those with aspirations of Oxbridge or Russell Group Universities.
The structure of the Sixth Form
Moving into Sixth Form can be quite daunting at first; it is very different to what you’re used to. You have more freedom in your subject choices, time outside the classroom is used differently and all of this whilst balancing the desire to find a job or relevant work experience.
We know this and that’s why we have made sure that support and a helping hand is never far away. Our dedicated Sixth Form Team are always available to help you overcome the challenges which A-levels inevitably create. Getting to know you through the two years of your A-level is a vital step in being able to support you effectively to the right pathway after Kingdown, whether that be university or apprenticeships. To this end, your head of year will follow you through A-levels from year 12 into year 13.
We operate an open door policy, and encourage students to pop in with questions and concerns, or just to let us know how things are going.
Mr Humphrey– Head of Sixth Form
Mr Humphrey is responsible for monitoring student progress and liaising with parents. He works closely with the Heads of House to ensure that Sixth Formers retain a significant role within the vertical tutoring system.
Mrs Hooper – Head of Year 12
Mrs Hooper oversees students in Year 12 for the 2020/21 academic year.
Mr Phelps – Head of Year 13
Mr Phelps oversees students in Year 13 for the 2020/21 academic year.
Miss Spicer is the teacher in charge of the Extended Project, a qualification taken by some students that is equivalent to half an A level.
Ms Gale – Careers Officer
Ms Gale supports students throughout the school, but is an essential resources for students in the sixth form, advising on all aspects from university/college courses, employment and apprenticeships.
Who to contact
If you have any questions about Key Stage 5, please contact Mr Humphrey, Assistant Headteacher, Head of Key Stage 5