The study programmes fully meet the principles of the DfE's 16-19 Study Programmes by providing clear progression routes into and out of the Sixth Form; stretch and challenge; GCSE English and Maths where necessary; work experience and high-quality input on CEIAG, PSHCE/wellbeing/study skills content and voluntary work. All courses are 2 years’ in duration.

Students’ programmes of study are developed around their interests, skills and aspirations.  Some students may start Y12 with 4 subjects but almost all will focus on 3 by October half term.   Anyone without a grade C or 4 at English/Maths GCSE attends compulsory classes and re-sits in November and June.

The Form Tutorial Programme is designed to incorporate the principles of the VESPA (Vision Effort Systems Practice Attitude) programme based on ‘The A Level Mindset’ by Steve Oake and Martin Griffin.  All students have an A Level Mindset workbook around which activities are designed.  Alongside this there is a weekly school focus which is adapted in an age-appropriate way using TEDtalks (or similar), fortnightly Sixth Form assemblies, a weekly current affairs quiz and dedicated time for Y12 to engage with ULAS whilst form tutors meet with Y13 students around UCAS/progress/applications etc.

A number of students pursue extra-curricular/enrichment opportunities such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, AfriTwin trip to South Africa, ski trips, school production, Art gallery trips etc.

Careers advice and Guidance

Students receive an excellent diet of CEIAG. We place equal weight on both Higher Apprenticeships and university as high quality progression routes.  ULAS (an online, integrated careers and university platform) has been used for the last 2 years and has been firmly embedded this year.  All students use ULAS to build up an individual profile showing their interests, soft skills and experiences it also allows them to search careers information, courses, vacancies, build CVs, write personal statements etc.  Year 12 use ULAS weekly in form time.  Staff use ULAS to monitor engagement with the platform and also career aspirations to help planning for CEIAG opportunities.  

Career interviews are given as a priority to Upper Sixth students between September and December. Year 12 all visit the University of Chester, the University of Liverpool and the UCAS HE exhibition in Manchester.  They all take part in two ‘Pathways’ days in July which comprise talks from universities, the ASK apprenticeship programme, local employers and broader wellbeing content such as St John’s Ambulance, sexual health, driver safety and stress input.  Students can opt-in to other CEIAG opportunities held in school such as the Oxford & Cambridge student conference, ‘So you want to be a...?’ talks, UCAS clinics, CV workshops and higher apprenticeship mock assessment centre sessions. A parent/carer evening session on post-18 options was well-attended and supported by the University of Chester, the ASK programme and the National Careers Service.  A bulletin is produced fortnightly and sent to students/parents/carers via email and Twitter detailing upcoming university open days, discover days, higher apprenticeship vacancies, internship opportunities etc.  Work experience has been developed this year to be 5 days of authorised absence (outside of exam periods) throughout the year to increase flexibility with work places.  

Leadership Opportunities

We have an energetic, expansive Sixth Form Leadership team that formally applied by letter and were interviewed by the Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher and the Student Voice leader.  

They arrange regular charity events (Cake sales, Whitby Christmas Market) and represent the school at key events in the calendar such as open evenings and presentation evening. They help to run the Houses and a number of Sixth formers help with Student Voice, Sixth Form Committees, Peer Mentoring as well as reading and literacy with Year 7.  Students are all encouraged to commit to a ‘community service’ activity on a weekly basis, for most this is working within a lower school class supporting younger students in their favourite subject.