About Vandyke sixth form

Our subject specialists at Vandyke offer excellent teaching and have supported students to achieve exceptional examination outcomes over the past few years (see later).  Students are allocated a tutor/mentor to provide individual support and guidance through a carefully designed tutorial programme.  We offer a wide range of traditional subjects at A Level. We also offer a number of vocational orientated courses which have become increasingly popular (see later).

Our students make excellent progress during their time in our Sixth Form, with a high percentage going on to study academic subjects at top universities.  Others choose to secure places on Higher Level Apprenticeship programmes and employment with top companies such as Ernst and Young, VW Vauxhall, Allen and Overy and BE Aerospace, to mention just a few.

Our Sixth Form provides many opportunities for learning and development beyond the classroom, including the Extended Project (EPQ), enrichment activities and sport and social pursuits.  We pride ourselves on our students’ organisation and participation in various fundraising, sporting and social activities.

Our teachers at Vandyke Sixth Form are very experienced and many have industry experience in fields such as science, engineering and law and recognise the importance of embedding employability skills. Our focus is on personalised active learning with an emphasis on improving literacy, numeracy and IT skills.

Most of our students join our Sixth Form having completed year 11 at Vandyke, but we also welcome applications from external candidates.

“I came to Vandyke from another school and I quickly realised that expectations were very high but my teachers, tutor and the sixth form office team were really supportive in helping me to meet them. I love it here.”

SUBJECTS

We have an increasing number of students who combine both academic and vocational options. In addition to the core subjects such as English, maths, sciences and humanities, we also offer additional subjects such as psychology, law and health social care which are very popular.  Students must achieve at least 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, including a grade 4 in maths and a 5 in English language or English literature.  Our Sixth Form Team dedicate time to each individual student to make sure they are on the right course and path for them.

ENRICHMENT

In the Sixth Form at Vandyke students are encouraged to challenge and develop themselves through a range of opportunities, such as:  youth speaks, mock trial competitions, debating club, community sports leader award, Duke of Edinburgh, engineering education scheme, young enterprise, charity committees and a range of sporting and performing arts activities.  We have a Senior Student Team that plays a key role in supporting school and charity events, organising the annual senior citizens' Christmas party and the summer ball, as well as leading on large projects such as our annual SMILE Malawi charity week.

Our Sixth Form subjects also provide a wide variety of trips and visits which take place through the year and enhance the curriculum.  These include trips to criminal courts, museums and galleries, the theatre, a range of businesses, universities and even the zoo! There are a number of trips abroad to countries such as Germany, France, Poland, USA and China.  We also utilise a wide variety of guest speakers who provide advice, workshops and valuable links for students with prestigious companies and organisations.

CAREERS ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

We recognise that every student has individual needs and aspirations.  We offer a range of activities designed to enhance students’ career prospects and employability skills.  Tutors/mentors work with students throughout Year 12 and 13 to give them individual guidance and support when making choices about university, employment or training opportunities.  They also provide support and guidance in relation to CVs, written applications and interviews.  In addition, we have trained careers advisors on hand to advise students about the range of pathways available to them and to encourage them to think about their future in the long term.

4YP autumn 2017 newsletter

“Students receive high-quality support and guidance when preparing applications for entry to university.  This helps a high proportion to be successful, with some securing places at highly selective universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.  Guidance and support is also of a high quality for those who decide to enter employment or undertake further training.” (OFSTED 2015)

ATTENDANCE

Attendance at Vandyke is currently excellent.  It is an expectation that year 12 students attend school for the whole day regardless of where non-contact periods fall and this promotes further study and independent learning.  The Sixth Form Team monitor attendance very closely and complete regular reviews of attendance.

“The behaviour of sixth form students is good.  Students attend regularly, and attendance continues to improve.  Students are punctual and make good use of the periods of time when they are not being taught to complete independent study.” (OFSTED 2015)

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

Sixth Form students are treated as individuals and given every opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of their needs and abilities.  Achievement and wider participation of enrichment is monitored by our Sixth Form Team to ensure that all students are included and given opportunities to develop.  We are given a bursary fund which we allocate a significant portion to students who need additional help for trips, travel and resources.

SAFEGUARDING

At Vandyke Sixth Form we are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students .  We have a Safeguarding and Anti-Bullying policy in place to ensure that our students remain safe. We also have an appointed Safeguarding Officer and members of our Sixth Form Team are trained to deal with any issues that may arise.  We have additional services such as counselling and sexual health advisors who are available to help. We provide students with regular reminders about keeping safe on-line.

“Students in the sixth form feel safe, secure and well cared for.” (OFSTED 2015)