Giving pupils the best chance of successful entry into higher education
The Sixth Form offers a wide range of A levels, taught by subject specialists in smaller groups than those experienced in the Middle School. Students usually choose four subjects (some may take more), from all those available in the Middle School, but with the addition of Business Studies, Drama and Theatre, Economics, PE and Psychology, with Politics added as a new option from September 2019.
We try hard to ensure that students can take the subjects they want and our timetable has the flexibility to fit most combinations. Prior to entry into the Sixth Form, we spend time with students to discuss their choice of subjects to ensure that the combination works for them. Students should select subjects that they enjoy, they will be successful in and which will match their career/further education aspirations. See our blog for more details about making the best choice of subjects.
Teachers of A level subjects are highly dedicated specialists in their field. Our teaching in the Sixth Form is aimed at students across the ability range. We provide much support for those who find the transition to A Level difficult; we also try to extend the learning of the more able and run an academic excellence programme for gifted students.
“The Sixth Form at Ipswich School has a real buzz about it, with students being offered a plethora of opportunities to further their development as independent, confident and responsible individuals. At the same time they have the comfort of having a strong and committed team of tutors, careers experts, teachers, housemasters and mistresses among many others, allowing students to realise their full potential,” Zos Austin, Head of Sixth Form.
The Edge is an exciting new programme which will fill the gap that universities and employers have identified in the wider education of young people today. Linear exams have been introduced to increase academic rigour, but to succeed in today’s competitive world, education must mean more than just exams.
The Edge is designed to give Sixth Formers the opportunity to study skills for life, promoting resilience and the ability to thrive in the world beyond school. There will be whole year group sessions for careers, study skills, UCAS and other topics of interest. In addition students will take part in different six-week options on a rotation basis, with other students in their House, with topics including cooking, health and fitness and leadership skills.
Providing students with pastoral support
Students are in a mixed tutor group of Year 12 and Year 13 students in one of the school’s six Houses. There are around 12 students in each tutor group. Academic lessons are taught in similar sized classes, and there are usually between 10 and 12 students in them.
The role of the Sixth Form tutor is to be very involved in the day-to-day life of their tutees, assisting with subject choices, study skills, time management, co-curricular commitments and university applications. The Head of House oversees three tutor groups in their House and pastoral support is also given by the Head of Sixth Form, Ben Cliff and the Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Andrew Calver.
All this means that tutors and teachers get to know students as an individual and are best placed to help and to shape their teaching to suit each student’s needs.
“The class sizes here are just right. You get better debates with more people, but also here we get specific feedback and you do feel the teacher knows you as a person.” Sixth Form Focus Group
Weekly assemblies are held both by House and for the Sixth Form. The Sixth Form engage in a number of events held for them, these include their own play, concert, Christmas party, leavers’ lunch, leavers’ ball, graduation day, prefects’ dinner and other social events through the year. A residential week for Year 12 towards the end of the Summer Term sees them spend time at an activity centre where they not only enjoy the many outdoor events on offer, but work with teachers to develop their university applications. This makes for a very supportive and caring community.
The Sixth Form team in conjunction with the Careers Department provide thorough preparation and advice for students applying to universities in the UK and abroad. Students have discussions with tutors and their Head of House and are able to log into the Unifrog system, which provides information about all the different options available post A Level. For those students who are applying to the most challenging courses (Oxbridge, medicine, veterinary sciences) there is a parallel process whereby their applications are closely monitored and mentored by Zos Austin or Andrew Calver.
Throughout the process, heads of departments are on hand to give subject specific advice. The reference writing process is extremely thorough and references are produced in discussion with subject teachers, form tutors, Head of House, the Sixth Form team and the students themselves.
Every Sixth Form student takes part in Thursday afternoon activities and they can choose from a wide-range of opportunities. These include community service, through helping in Primary and Special schools and working with the elderly in Anglesea Heights as well as the Combined Cadet Force. Sixth Form students also run several clubs for younger members of the school and in this way can extend their communication, organisational and leadership skills whilst engaging in activities they enjoy.
All Sixth Form students are required to participate in sport one afternoon a week. There is a wide variety of options from which they can choose from Yoga and aerobics to Sailing. All the major sports are played to a very high standard and many of our Sixth Form students play at county level and above.
Leavers Video 2015
Sixth Form Leavers Video 2015. This video is best watched whilst listening to music as a soundtrack, to cover the absence of sound (removed due to copyright reasons).
Sixth Form Leavers Film 2016. This video is best watched whilst listening to History by One Direction as a soundtrack, to cover the absence of sound (removed due to copyright reasons).
Leavers Video 2017
Sixth Form Leavers Film 2017. This video is best watched whilst listening to Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran as a soundtrack, to cover the absence of sound (removed due to copyright reasons).