Your Sixth Form Experience

Download our Sixth Form Prospectus

Our Sixth Form Prospectus is available to download here. Take a look to read more about our School and Sixth Form offer, and find out what current Sixth Form students think.

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Choosing a Sixth Form

Making the choice about where and what to study in the Sixth Form is a big decision. If you are considering applying for University in the future, then our School will give you a great start. Our Sixth Form has up to 200 students in each year group and offers a wide range of A-Level subjects and enrichment activities, many of which geared towards enhancing your UCAS and job applications. To find out more about making an application, please visit our admissions pages.

Sixth Form Curriculum

Our emphasis is on academic achievement at a high level, targeted towards university entry, and as such we offer a broad but focussed range of A levels, emphasising the core disciplines preferred by Russell Group universities. Each subject entails nine taught hours per fortnight at AS level. Each student is expected to study three/four subjects at AS level and continue to study three of these subjects at A/A2 level. Find out more about specific subjects on offer here and read the Russell Group's Informed Choices guide which includes external advice on the best subject combinations.

Our extended School Day also allows for a rich Personal Learning and Development Programme, with opportunities for sport, music, careers, and enrichment activity available for everyone.

Links with the University

A key characteristic of our Sixth Form experience is the involvement of the University of Birmingham. Subject specific master classes, guest lectures, cultural day events and specialist teaching sessions are integral and integrated into our curriculum and students are encouraged to use the resources of the University (libraries, archives, art collections, laboratories etc.) to enhance their coursework. STEM students specifically benefit from University-sponsored competitions and challenges within the College of Engineering and Physical Science.

Beyond our core subjects, University and School staff work together with our students to enhance the general Sixth Form experience. The Guild of Students and their representatives from the University work with School students as mentors and coaches, using University specialist facilities where appropriate. The University Careers and Employability team also support us with the provision of expert advice and guidance, and we can consult with admissions tutors in students' preferred subjects to provide advice and guidance on University entry.

Facilities

In addition to the whole School facilities available to all students, we have a dedicated area for Sixth Form students, linked to the new School building, in the Orchard Learning Resource Centre. This includes both study and social space; a careers office; and seminar room. You will also have access to the whole School building, including the Library.

Support

When you arrive at the University of Birmingham School, you will be allocated a Sixth Form Tutor who will work closely with you and the Head of Sixth Form to support you in:

  • individual strategies to aid confidence and progression;
  • university entrance planning and applications;
  • career planning;
  • research and study skills;
  • target setting and monitoring of progress;
  • leadership and independence;
  • team work;
  • communication skills;
  • developing a healthy lifestyle and work/life balance.

You will be expected to take part in the Personal Learning and Development and enrichment programme, led by Ms R Tigue, the Senior Vice Principal (Director of Character Education), and facilitated each morning in your pastoral time by your Form Tutor. We have twelve forms of approximately 18-20 students in our Year 12; students are allocated to ensure each form is gender balanced and includes a mix of students from secondary schools across the city. As a result of the size of out forms, you Form Tutor will get to know you very well over the course of your two years in Sixth Form here. They will be responsible for writing references for UCAS or employment (in liaison with the Senior Vice Principal), as well as being available to support you on a daily basis.

Your subject teachers will guide and support you on an individual basis in your chosen subjects. AS and A Level Consultation Evenings are run to support you if encounter difficulties, where you and your parents/carers will be invited to meet your teachers and Form Tutor. 

You will also benefit from lectures and seminars from a considerable number of external speakers from the University of Birmingham and our Corporate Partners on a huge variety of topics. These are likely to include Study Skills, Managing your Finances, Applying for Courses/Jobs and Interview Techniques.

Mentoring and leadership

Our Sixth Form are given the opportunity to contribute to the leadership, management and on-going development of the School. This could be mentoring of younger pupils; fulfilling supervisory and representative duties; taking part in the College and School activities; being involved in the recruitment of teaching staff; and contributing to the development of teaching and learning. This list is not currently exhaustive and opportunities will continue to arise as the School grows to full capacity in 2020. If there are any opportunities you see when you arrive at the University of Birmingham school, we would like your input! 

Sixth Formers play a key role in the School's College system. Almost all internal sport is organised through the colleges, and we plan colleges competitions not only in a wide variety of sports, but also in drama, music, debating, general knowledge and mathematics. The school is divided into six colleges, which meet weekly. On arrival at the School, one of the first duties of Sixth Formers in each college is to elect members of the School’s College Committee.

Our expectations

The School has very high expectations of all members of our community. The Home-School agreement for the Sixth Form states that you will:

  • when fit to do so, attend every day expecting to work hard;
  • arrive at school on time, prepared and organised for all your lessons;
  • be ready for lessons, on time and with the correct equipment;
  • demonstrate  politeness,  care,  concern  and  respect  for  all  other  members  of  the  School and members of the general public;
  • follow the School’s Behaviour Policy and Dress Code at all times – in school, travelling to and from school, on school trips and residential visits;
  • do all your classwork and homework as well as you can;
  • do all the work set by the deadline and to the best of your ability, seeking to excel through additional effort, reading and research;
  • let someone at school know if you have any concerns;
  • take advantage of all opportunities offered to you by the School, both within and outside lessons;
  • adopt a positive attitude towards, and participate fully in, the life of the School;
  • play your part in keeping the School buildings, furnishings and site in good order, in particular, free from litter and graffiti;
  • take good care of the books, resources and equipment which you use, and;
  • be responsible when required, for taking communications to and from school.

The Sixth Form day

The University of Birmingham School Day is from 8.30am to 4.30pm and as a Sixth Former you will be expected to be present at morning and afternoon registration.  Students arriving late should sign in at the Main Office and inform their Form Tutors that they have arrived. You will be expected to follow the School’s Dress Code which is designed to meet the requirements of a professional office environment and also applies to staff.

As long as your academic work meets both our expectations of quality and deadlines for submission, you will be given the freedom to leave the School campus during the day and can leave for home provided you follow procedures for signing out and have no further School commitments that day. As a rough ‘rule of thumb’ you should expect spend at least five hours of independent study on each subject, each week.

Requests for known leave of absence should be addressed to the Principal. On returning to school after absence, a letter of explanation must be produced for the Form Tutor.  The student may write this letter provided that it is countersigned by a parent or carer.

Students may be granted study leave of absence around the time of external examinations, at the discretion of the Principal, in order that they may revise.  Parents/carers will be informed of these dates as they vary each year according to examination dates. We expect all students to return after their AS examinations and continue to study all four of their AS courses until the end of the Summer Term. As a result, the amount of study leave granted will be kept to a minimum.

 

 

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