Highfield has a successful, structured and vibrant Sixth Form. It operates in an appropriate and supportive manner reflecting the age and requirements of the students who are preparing for higher education and/or the world of work.
The Key stage 5 curriculum is a broad balanced curriculum giving students opportunities to develop their interests, knowledge and skills through studying 3 or 4 A Levels. To follow an A Level programme students need to achieve a minimum average GCSE point score of 4. To study Maths, English or Science the student needs a 6 in that subject and also if they wish to pursue Psychology at A Level, a 6 in English is required. Sixth Formers follow a two-year A Level course which could lead to university or college entrance, specialist training, apprenticeship or a job.
We are a member of the Consortium of Letchworth Schools with Fearnhill which enables students to follow one of their courses at another school, thus widening their choice of subjects, if their timetable does not fit at their host school.
Our A Level students achieve high academic success both in absolute and value added terms. The majority of our students go on to university, including Oxford and Cambridge, either immediately or after choosing to “take a year out”. Some use A Levels as a route into employment, an apprenticeship or further education.
All students are fully supported academically through regular progress reports, tutor mentoring, subject intervention, programme of self-evaluation sheets and structured target reports where appropriate. To support the students career exploration there is a balanced programme of support which include: outside agencies providing the knowledge and information on applying for universities, employment and apprenticeships; enrichment programme which include support and advice on the UCAS application programme and interview technique; and regular timetabled individual intervention through the application process for each form of career exploration.
Sixth Form tutors counsel students and monitor progress. The careers team helps with information about higher education and job opportunities. Youth Connexions provide a counselling, mentoring and information service to all students through structured interviews and drop-in sessions at lunchtimes. The tutor programme incudes debating, class and year presentations, keys skills delivery on important topics such as how to revise and exam wellbeing and individual support for their UCAS and/or apprenticeships applications.
All students take part in an enrichment programme which includes preparation for work and higher education and non-curriculum topics which have included resilience, mental health support, discussion on the monarchy, exam wellbeing, music appreciation and first aid. Year 12 students undertake the Extended Project Qualification in addition to their chosen courses which provides an important valuable qualification to support their application for further education or employment. Other opportunities have included The Duke of Edinburgh Award, a Debating Society, being a subject ambassador, running the school newspaper, working on the ball committee and supporting younger students with mental health.
Trips throughout the year have included a visit to the UCAS event at the Excel to support their UCAS/apprenticeship applications, Houses of Parliament, “Learn to Live” event to raise the importance of driving safely, University/Apprenticeship Fair, Subject conferences, and an Oxbridge visit to support students with their application and work experience in the last week of the summer term.
The Sixth Form has a Head and Deputy Head Boy and Head and Deputy Head Girl system. Sixth Formers are encouraged to become prefects and undertake a wide range of duties within the school. They are active members of a successful House system within the school. In addition there is a Sixth Form Committee who help the smooth running of the Sixth Form and plan and manage events such as the May Ball.
Students also participate in the Ambassador Scheme where they can volunteer to assist different departments, working with younger pupils. The activities provide essential experiences outside of their lessons and enhance their applications to higher education and work. Alternatively they can volunteer in the wider community, for example in a local primary school.
The Sixth Form common room is a bright informative working area with a clear focus on working during independent study lessons. The students are supported by their own vending machine, fully equipped kitchen area and enjoy a range of social events throughout the year which have included celebration events at the end of each term, Sixth Form Christmas and Easter quizzes, leavers assembly and a May Ball.