The achievement of our students at KS5 has been one of our key strengths at BCHS during recent times. We believe in a comprehensive sixth form and consistently achieve great results for students across the full range of abilities. Consequently, our Sixth Form has grown hugely in recent years; from around 200 in 2011-2012 to 275 in 2016-2017. It is a truly exciting time to be a part of our Sixth Form.
We have two Sixth Form leaders, Helena Lambert-Clarke (enrichment leader) and Andy Rayner (academic leader). Jacqui Coultish, our sixth form support officer ensures that everything runs smoothly and that our students are supported on a day-to-day basis. Responsibility for standards in the Sixth Form rests with one of our assistant headteachers, Neil Arnould, who is the member of the Senior Leadership Team with responsibility for the Sixth Form.
We believe that our Sixth Form play a crucial role in our school as learning adults. We therefore believe that many of the privileges enjoyed by our staff are also enjoyed by our students. We have four adult workrooms (with computing facilities) where teachers and students work together in a purposeful working atmosphere. This atmosphere is more akin to a university environment than a school. The largest of the three is our newly renovated Mezz study area which is a large area devoted to private study and computing access. This will enable our sixth formers to develop the self-study skills that are necessary for the highest possible levels of success.
During the summer months of 2016 we have upgraded the common room facilities and the fully integrated kitchen is now ready for our students to enjoy from September. Our common room facilities have plenty of comfortable sofas, perfect for relaxing during breaks and after school.
Our post-16 provision includes A-level and Level 3 BTEC courses; building on the wide ranging curriculum of the first five years at BCHS. We offer a huge variety of A-levels and BTECs for students who would like to continue their studies on a traditionally academic pathway or a more practical approach to learning; or even a combination of the two. A-levels are designed to provide a broad educational basis for further education or for moving into employment. BTECs are designed to accommodate the needs of employers whilst still allowing progression to university. They provide a more practical, real-world approach to learning alongside a key theoretical background. Students are given the option to follow the Pre-University course in 'Global Perspectives' which enables them to develop a range of skills that can be transferred to help raise performance in all of their A level subjects and prepare them for university or the workplace. Students are also offered the chance to extend their Mathematical studies beyond GCSE with the new Core Maths qualification. This wide range of courses provides all our students with the curriculum required to either access their chosen university courses or to move on to employment/an apprenticeship after Year 13.
At BCHS, we understand that choosing the correct subjects is one of the most important aspects in being successful at KS5. This is why we give students the chance to trial four A-levels until they can be confident which three to specialise in. Parents, students, teachers and form tutors will collaborate to support the student in making their decision. At this point students are able to drop the subject that will no longer make up their study plans.
We do place significant expectations on to our sixth formers as our most senior students. Year 12 and Year 13 students are required to dress in smart business dress and to wear their personal identification lanyard at all times. These expectations are the same as that for staff members and reflect the status of sixth form students at BCHS. Sixth Form students have dedicated form tutors who can support them with UCAS applications, personal statements, study skills, and time management through a regular mentoring scheme which acts to promote achievement and individualized support. For two days each week, our year 12 students have a variety of community based responsibilities which they can choose from; including running form time activities with younger students in our vertical tutor groups, mentoring year 11s through exam-time, supporting literacy for year 7s and year 8s and many more. These activities not only allow students to learn the benefits of working with and for their community but could set them apart from other candidates on a job or UCAS application. We also like to provide our students with regular enrichment. TED talks take place fortnightly. These range from university admissions tutors to inspirational speakers in the form of survival experts! Study in the sixth form at BCHS is more than simply the A-Levels and BTEC courses which fill the academic timetable.
The two years of the sixth form are the time during which students can move from the school environment of Years 7 to 11 through to being adults ready for the next stage of their life beyond BCHS. We assume that there will not be any problems regarding behaviour, attitude, dress code, time keeping, homework or indeed any of the things that are sometimes issues with students before Year 12. If you choose to be in the sixth form then you have personally chosen to be part of the BCHS community and therefore our expectations of you are adult expectations which we have no doubt you will be able to meet.
We look forward to working with all students in the Sixth Form, whether you are continuing your education at BCHS or are joining us from elsewhere after your GCSEs.