Sixth Form

We would like to wish you all a very warm welcome to Great Barr Academy Sixth Form.   We are delighted that you are considering joining us and we most certainly hope that you choose our Sixth Form in which to embark upon your Post-16 educational journey.

I hope that the information on this page and our Prospectus will help you to make an informed choice about where you wish to take the next important steps in your education and personal development.  I am sure that you will be looking for a Sixth Form which has firmly established structures for:

  • Supporting students in all aspects of their studies
  • Guiding students through the difficult transition from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5
  • Helping students develop the independent study skills, self-confidence and personal disciplines necessary to take full control of their learning, achieve success in their courses and prepare themselves for university or continuous professional development in the workplace.

Our Sixth Form has all of these.

For those students who were with us through Key Stage 4, there is the additional advantage of knowing the quality of support we give to all students and for those joining us from another school,  you will be welcomed and supported by our highly skilled and dedicated staff and by our friendly students.   All students are guided and supported in their transition to new ways of learning and on to their chosen pathway in life.

The Sixth Form has been rated as “Good” in the last three Ofsted inspections.   This is because the progress of Sixth Form students is good, we offer a wide range of academic and vocational subjects,  we have excellent pastoral support,  with students having a personal tutor to guide them through their KS5 studies.   We also have an excellent record of getting students to university,  90% in fact, significantly higher than the National Average!

Click here to find this years key dates →Yearly Planner 2019-20

Click here to find contact details for Sixth Form →Contact Details

Click here to find our dress code →Dress Code

Click here to find our Sixth Form Induction Booklet → Sixth Form Induction Booklet (2019)

I am confident that in choosing Great Barr Sixth Form, you will be choosing a solid path to success.

Mrs J Garvey
Director of Sixth Form

Click the headings below to learn more about what you can expect from Great Barr Academy:

Year 13 Examination Results in 2018

Academic Qualifications
Overall Pass Rate 95%
Average point score per A level entry expressed as a grade C-
Academic Value Added Score -0.15
Academic Retention Rate 94%
 
Applied General Qualifications
All BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma Entries at Distinction*/Distinction 56%
Average progress made in English 0.17
Average progress made in Maths 0.21
Applied General Retention Rate 100%

Destinations:

Students staying in education or employment for at least 2 terms after 16 to 18 study (2016 School Data).  (National average for 2016  – 89%) 90%​

  • 90% of students who applied to university were successful, many to the UK’s top (Russell Group) Universities.
  • 85% of students said the enjoyed the sixth form and enjoy learning in all or most of the lessons.
  • 90% of students said that teachers helped them to do their best in all or most lessons.
  • 87% of students said that teachers gave them work that challenged them in all or most lessons.
  • 79% of students said that the behaviour of other students in their lessons was good.
  • 92% of students said they felt safe in school all or most of the time.
  • 90% of students said the school encouraged them to be independent and to take on responsibilities
  • 87% of students said that they were encouraged to respect people from other backgrounds and to treat everyone equally.

Sixth Form Student Destinations 2018:

  • Students who applied and got into university:  90%
  • Students accepted to their 1st choice university:  53.2%
  • Students accepted to their 2nd choice university:    20.9%
  • Students accepted through clearing to university:   25.8%
  • Students who went to a university in the Russell group:  17.7%
  • Students that went into an apprenticeship programme:  8.5%

For more information about university and how to support your child with their higher education choice, click on the link here → UCAS Parent Guide (2019)

The following guides also contain useful information for parents:

PDF_download  Prepare to Perform Parents – Please click the icon to view the file
PDF_download Parent Pack – Please click the icon to view the file
Here are some key websites to help you:

unistats.direct.gov.uk includes official data for undergraduate courses on each university and college’s satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey, jobs and salaries after study and other key information for prospective students.

www.which.co.uk/university a new website designed to help students make more informed decisions about their higher education choices. It’s free, independent and takes no advertising – and it’s brought to you by the people at Which?.

www.prospects.ac.uk provides careers advice and job and course opportunities to students and graduates. Providing a range of advice and services, our aim is to help students and graduates to make informed choices about their career options.

www.push.co.uk – This site about student life is based on information and opinions of students and recent graduates.

www.skill.org.uk the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities provides information and advice about applying to higher education.

www.educationguardian.co.uk (click on ‘interactive guides’) for university league tables.

www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk the latest set of league tables and rankings, plus impartial contributions from a wide range of HE guidance colleagues, organisations and other relevant bodies on all aspects of choosing university, UCAS, student life and finance, including 2012 information.

www.aimhigherwm.ac.uk/for-learners-02/16-plus/higher-education-help-hub we know that there is loads to think about and there are some huge decisions to be made. To put your mind at ease, we have collated lots of useful information from our partner universities and colleges and sourced some great advice from other websites to bring all the support you need into one place!

www.gov.uk/student-finance find out more information about Student Finance, whether you are eligible and how to apply.

Money Saving Expert – a very helpful article about student loans.

Alternatively an apprenticeship may be an alternative way of forging a long term career path.  They are a real job but allow your child to continue their education up to degree level.

www.getingofar.gov.uk will help you find out what an apprenticeship is and where it can take you.

Many teenagers will be attending their first big festival this summer and whilst personal safety might not be immediately on their mind, the Festival Safe website offers lots of very good information for first timers and hardened veterans. This excellent resource includes information about the fun side, but also about alcohol and drugs, crime, what to do in an emergency and how to stay sexually safe.  The website can be found here: https://www.festivalsafe.com/

Students strive for excellence, making outstanding academic progress.

  • Students have a focussed approach and a love of learning.
  • Students have high aspirations whilst at sixth form and for their futures beyond. They are supported in achieving/exceeding these fully

For more information about the planning and delivery of the 16-19 programme of study, see click this link: Requirements and Principles of the 16-19 Study Programme

Each Sixth Form student is required to sign a copy of the Sixth Form Learning Agreement and to adhere to the undertakings they have given throughout their time in the Sixth Form.

At Great Barr Academy Sixth Form students are encouraged to progress to new and different activities outside of their academic studies.
Click here to find a copy of our Personal Enrichment at Great Barr Academy Sixth Form booklet →Personal Enrichment

To foster leadership skills, Sixth Form students are encouraged to apply to join the Sixth Form Student Leadership Team. Please click the link for more information.

We are committed to providing you with the highest quality sixth form experience to achieve your goals in work and life. In return, we expect you to meet certain standards of behaviour and attitudes including: Outstanding attendance, Work completed on time and to the best of your ability, Full participation in the learning process, Act as an ambassador for our sixth form at all times.
“Imagine a future where young people transition into well-rounded, mature individuals, Where they have developed having experienced a wealth of opportunities, Young adults embark on a considered curriculum that is tailored and bespoke to their individual aspirations, that opens doors to a plethora of professional occupations, and where the pursuit of the highest standards and the most ambitious progression routes is excepted for all. Imagine a future in which there are wide-ranging enrichment opportunities Here, teachers and mentors work together bring about the highest academic achievement. This is a place where a strong common purpose is upheld and all members of the community operate in a culture of mutual respect, honesty and trust, where all feel safe and valued. Imagine your future, here at Great Barr Sixth form, where we understand, support and challenge you to meet those high expectations and succeed. We look forward to welcoming you for the next stage of your educational journey.”
READY to learn, to progress to the next stage of our academic journey, to play our part in the GBA community RESPECTFUL of ourselves and to be the best we can be, of others within our school community to ensure all can succeed and respectful of the wider community. SAFE not participating in activities that will jeopardise ourselves, our community or our future

When you are considering what to do after Sixth form, it is important to be aware of all of you options, what the subject requirements are for the course you are interested in, the steps you need to take as part of the application process and key deadlines.

Applying for a place on a Higher Education course at a University or College takes a lot of preparation. There are around 300 institutions offering over 50,000 courses in the UK, and you must narrow that down to 5 (4 for students applying for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Science). You will only be able to do this by taking time to do the research required. It is worth noting that the percentage of students who do not make it to the end of their first year in the UK is as high as 20% at some universities, and the main reason given by students is that they didn’t know what the university or course would be like.

The following document contains lots of useful information to help you with your decision and understand the steps you need to take.

Please click the following link for more information about applying to University and apprenticeships →  Life after Sixth Form – what next?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What do I do if …

I am struggling to cope with my studies or meeting deadlines…

Speak to your tutor or Mrs Garvey.  It may be that we can organise additional supervised study sessions for you or arrange a 1:1 meeting with a subject teacher to provide additional support and guidance.  We may also arrange an informal meeting with the Miss Austin to discuss your courses, study skills and the demands being placed upon you.

I am having a tough time and it is affecting me and my work…

Speak to your tutor or Mrs Garvey as soon as you can.  They will be able to assist you and provide appropriate support and advice to you.

I would like to change or drop a subject…

Arrange a meeting with Mrs Garvey or Miss Winwood to discuss the options available to you and the implications of your course changes.  After the initial three week period, it will be extremely unusual for a student to change courses due to the amount of work that will already have been completed by this stage.  If the decision is made that you are going to discontinue a subject, all involved parties (student, subject teacher, parents, Director of Sixth Form) would need to agree that this was the most appropriate course of action for you.

I am struggling with the demands of a piece of work…

Speak to the subject teacher as soon as possible and ask for additional guidance.  Staff will be happy to help you and may suggest a short session with them, or some additional reading/materials that could help you.

I need some careers advice or guidance…

Speak to your tutor and make an appointment to meet with them and discuss it.  You can also speak to Miss Hackett who will be able to guide you or provide the most appropriate contacts.

I want to leave Sixth Form…

You will need to make an immediate appointment with Miss Hackett.  If you do leave you will receive support and guidance from your tutor, Mrs Garvey, Miss Winwood or Miss Hackett, who will be able to assist you in your transition to an alternative post 16 provider.

At Great Barr Academy we see education as a moral purpose. Sometimes students cannot continue with courses due to a variety of reasons, and so, the Work Related Learning Team and the Sixth Form leaders will work with parents and students to explore other post-16 options. In 2017-18, the retention rate (the number of students who reach the end of their main programme of study) in Year 12 was 83%, a lower figure than normal which we have addressed by making improvements to our recruitment processes and admissions requirements. The retention rate in Year 13 was 97%.

What is the 16-19 Bursary Fund?

The Government Bursary Scheme is designed to help the most vulnerable 16-19 year olds in full time education. The scheme is funded by the Education Funding Agency to provide assistance to those students whose access to, or completion of, education is inhibited by financial constraints or barriers. The scheme is made up of two parts: a ‘Guaranteed Bursary’ payment of £1,200 to a small group of the most vulnerable students and a discretionary fund for schools, colleges and training providers to distribute.

The Guaranteed Bursary

A Guaranteed Bursary of £1,200 a year is available for young people in the defined vulnerable groups: in care; care leavers, young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit; disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own name.

Discretionary Award Bursary

Discretionary awards will be available to those young people who face the greatest financial barriers to participation; awards are used to support for example, the costs of transport, meals, books and equipment required for their Post 16 studies and other costs directly related to a students learning (e.g. help towards a field study programme, course textbooks). Our full Bursary Policy is available to download. Please contact the Sixth Form Centre – if you would like further information.

The following document from the Education Funding Agency contains advice for young people about the bursary: The 16-19 Bursary Fund – Your Questions Answered

Use the following checklist to help you plan how to spend your bursary in the best way to support your studies: Bursary Checklist

Stress Management

Studying A levels can be a stressful time for anyone. But there is lots of help available!

PAUSE
Pause is an emotional health and well-being service for under 25’s in Birmingham. Pause is open 7 days a week.
• Pause offers drop in mental health and emotional wellbeing support for young people, parents and carers
• No appointments necessary – drop in only
• 1:1 sessions and group workshops are available
• They provide advice, guidance, signposting and strategies to help young people improve and manage their wellbeing
• They also provide support for families and carers on how best to support their young
• person
• Please be aware that the service is available for those who have a Birmingham GP
Pause can be found at 21 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6BJ, and our opening times are as follows;
• Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-6pm (Our last one to one session ends at
5pm)
• Wednesday 12am-8pm (Our last one to one session ends at 7pm)
• Saturday & Sunday 11am-4pm (Our last one to one session ends at 3pm)
More information can be found at www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/services/13-pause

MOODJUICE
Moodjuice is an Internet site developed by the Adult Clinical Psychology Service, NHS. The site is designed to offer information, advice to those experiencing troublesome thoughts, feelings and actions. From the site you are able to print off various self-help guides covering conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, panic and sleep problems. In the site an individual can explore topics that may cause some distress and on the press of a button can obtain information on organisations, services and other self-help materials such as Self-help Guides, that can offer advice, support and information. For more information visit http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/About.asp

SHOUT
Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
If you’re struggling to cope you can text “Shout” to 85258 24/7 and access an army of volunteers there to help you go from crisis to calm and signpost you to others places for support

MIND
Mind is a mental Health Charity providing support advice and guidance to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They have a range of services as well as information on a huge range of mental health topics. For more information visit www.mind.org.uk/

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