Sixth Form

Why Join St Mary’s Sixth Form?

 

The Sixth Form at St Mary’s is a very special place to complete your school education.Katie Cork

We provide students with an excellent academic education, strong pastoral care and a wide range of enrichment and leadership opportunities. You will choose to study three (occasionally four) subjects from a total of 24 A levels, as well as one BTEC in Food and Nutrition. With such a large choice, you will be able to study the subjects that you are really interested in. We guarantee small class sizes, which means you will receive personalised learning from passionate teachers who love their subjects. All students in Year 12 have the opportunity to study for the Extended Project Qualification, a supported, independent project worth half an A Level.

Read Katie Cork’s Full Welcome

Excellent A Level results

Our Year 13 students achieve consistently impressive A level results. Their strong results mean that the vast majority achieve entry to the university of their choice, including many of the top Russell Group universities.

Other students are increasingly choosing to apply for the highly competitive apprenticeship schemes and their strong exam results mean that they are being offered places on programmes such as the Microsoft Degree Apprenticeship. Please click here to see our Destination of Leavers.

Wide range of subjects

You have a wide choice of subjects for Advanced Level study: Art & Design, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Dance, Drama & Theatre, Economics, English, Food Science & Nutrition, Geography, History, ICT, Languages, Media Studies, Maths & Further Maths, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Philosophy & Ethics and Sociology.

You are asked to choose three A Levels from a total of 25 subjects. If you wish to study for four A Levels you may be able to do so, if your GCSE results suggest that you will be able to achieve success across all four subjects. Universities only offer places based on three A Level grades, and so it is important to be sure that taking a fourth subject has a purpose, and will not affect the results you might achieve in the other three. All girls in Year 12 have the opportunity to work towards the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a stand-alone, independent research-based project which is worth half an A Level. This is a great opportunity for you to explore in much greater depth a topic which you are passionate about, or which will develop your knowledge and skills in a subject related to a potential degree or career. The EPQ is highly regarded by universities, and in some cases you may find you are offered lower entry requirements on the basis of a strong EPQ. You can view our 2020-22 Options Booklet here.

Purpose built Sixth Form centre

Our Sixth Formers enjoy the benefit of their own modern purpose built Sixth Form block, with classrooms reserved for use solely by the Sixth Form students. There is also a quiet work room, for your independent study, as well as a large, airy and lively common room, with its own kitchen area and comfy sofas and bean bags.

Unsurpassed pastoral care

As a Year 12 or 13 student, you will be placed in a vertical tutor group with a tutor who will get to know you really well and stay with you throughout your two years in the Sixth Form. Your tutor will work with the Head of Sixth Form to ensure that you are well supported both socially and academically throughout this demanding period.

Your weekly PSHCE lessons will cover a wide range of topics on relationships, health, and preparation for independent living, including how to manage budgets and finances ahead of going to university. We firmly believe in the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy mind in a healthy body and Wednesday afternoons provide you with the opportunity to try out a number of activities to keep you fit, from Pilates to football. There is something to suit everyone, and if we don’t currently offer a sport that you are interested in, we welcome suggestions for additions to the programme.

 

Tutorial style teaching

You will benefit from individual attention in relatively small class sizes. This enables your teachers to ensure that you understand all of the topics, to push you to the next level as soon as you are ready and to offer additional support and challenge when necessary.

It also means that they are able to recognise if you need further support on an emotional level as well as an academic one. This tutorial style of teaching will fully prepare you for university life and you will gain experience of working independently and presenting your work to your peers in seminar presentations and discussion.

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership is crucial to success and we aim to give you as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate and develop the skills of leadership during your time in the Sixth Form. In school you will lead many of the co-curricular activities which we offer as part of the Sixth Form St Mary’s challenge. You will be a Prefect, Head of House or even a member of the Head Girl Team. However, most importantly you will be a role model to the younger girls in the School.

From Nursery, where girls will gaze at you in awe, to Year 7, where girls will need your guidance and support as they settle into Senior House, all the way through to Year 11 where girls will turn to you for advice on everything from A level choices to how to cope with exam pressure. You will work as part of, or even lead, a team in Young Enterprise, Model UN, complete Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, go trekking in Peru and raise endless sums for Charity, whether for Children in Need, Sports Relief or for your House’s chosen charity that year.

Work Experience

St Mary’s Futures Programme Our Futures programme will help to prepare you thoroughly for life after school. In addition to the structured careers programme available as part of the curriculum throughout the Sixth Form, you will have coaching in the so-called ‘soft skills’: presentation, negotiation, ICT and interview skills, all so important as you prepare to enter the world of Higher Education and eventually work.

Through the weekly Enrichment sessions in Year 12, guest speakers will open your eyes to the wealth of opportunities available to you, and you will have personalised advice on your choice of course and university from people with sound experience and an excellent track record of getting you to where you want to be. We also support you in finding work experience at the end of Year 12.

Dedicated Support

Dedicated support for post A Level choices The options open to you upon leaving school can appear quite daunting. At St Mary’s we will guide you through the alternatives, discuss what your aspirations are and assist you in making those crucial decisions. We have a dedicated UCAS coordinator, who will lead you through the

university process, should you choose this route, and the weekly PSHCEE sessions include discussions around UCAS and a wealth of opportunities to ensure that you are in a position to make the right choices for your individual future.

Scholarships

You may wish to apply for one of our Sixth Form Scholarships. These are awarded in recognition of all round academic potential or strength in Performing Arts, regardless of financial considerations.

They are open to any girl from any school who hopes to enter the Sixth Form at St Mary’s in the next academic year. See Scholarships and Bursaries for more information.