Learning in the Sixth Form
"Written work from older pupils shows sophisticated, even elegant, control of language. They apply their very good mathematical and scientific understanding confidently across the curriculum..." INSPECTION REPORT 2017
In the Sixth Form, freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. In choosing to stay in full time education, it is assumed you will want to work hard. High standards of commitment are expected, as are punctuality, courtesy and respect for the needs of others.
The Head of Sixth Form and the Sixth Form Management Team monitor the progress of every individual very closely, reinforcing success through the Merit and Commendation system, while also putting in place extra supporting mechanisms if necessary. The team is headed by Mrs Katie Banks (Head of Sixth Form), Mr Patrick Winter (Head of Lower Sixth) and Ms Jennifer Taylor (Assistant Head of Sixth Form).
For an overview of the Sixth Form daily routine please refer to the Current Information Booklet.
Approach to Teaching and Learning
“The quality of teaching throughout the College is excellent. It plays a vital role in enabling the pupils to achieve high standards in their learning and meets the aims of the college to encourage and challenge each pupil to fulfil his or her true potential.” Inspection Report 2011
The style of teaching in the Sixth Form at Bishop’s Stortford College is different. Working in small groups, you will be encouraged to read beyond the curriculum, to work and think independently and be self disciplined in your study - essential skills for success at university and beyond. We recommend all Sixth Formers to take on some form of Independent Research Project during their time here. Study skills training is provided through our tutorial system to help you adapt to the new way of working. Academic standards are high, as our consistently strong track record at A Level indicates. The highly committed teaching staff are passionate about their subjects and will work hard with you to achieve the highest possible standards.
Lower Sixth Formers enjoy a two-day Leadership Course in the Summer Term as preparation for their final year, when House responsibilities increase. Read about the latest Leadership Course here.
Support and Guidance
The Sixth Form is a very fast moving and exciting experience. You may be feeling both enthusiastic and rather daunted at the prospect. This is quite natural and whilst we promote greater independence, you are certainly not expected to achieve this unaided.
The Tutorial structure is absolutely central to the success of our Sixth Formers. Tutor groups are small, mixed and academically based – you will be working with others doing similar courses and your tutor will usually be a subject specialist (often a Head of Department) who is linked to your A level subject choices. With both Upper and Lower Sixth Formers in tutor groups, peer guidance is a central feature. Very close relationships are developed which allows informed and knowledgeable guidance and support to be offered to every individual’s academic progress.
The Learning Support Department provides specialist one-to-one teaching and support to pupils with specific learning needs. The ethos of the department is to promote a sense of self-worth combined with high but realistic expectations, thus encouraging pupils to be proactive in their learning, to give of their best and achieve their potential.
The House system is one of the oldest traditions at Bishop’s Stortford College and forms a major part of life for all year groups and also the teaching staff. The House will be a focal point of your time: it is where you keep all your belongings and spend most of your free time, where you will have your own space to relax or work, and is the basis of many fiercely fought competitions!
Your Tutor and your Housemaster or Housemistress will be the people who will get to know you best. Together they will oversee your progress from settling in on your first day as a new Sixth Former to collecting your Leavers’ Certificate on Speech Day as a confident adult ready to move on to an exciting future.
The progress of Sixth Form pupils is carefully monitored by the Sixth Form management team, supported by tutors, Heads of Department and House Masters and Mistresses.
There are regular formal assessments by teachers and written reports sent to parents each term.
Qualifying for Upper Sixth
We expect all current Lower Sixth Formers to achieve 55% or higher in AS exams for subjects they wish to take on to A2 level. It is mathematically very unlikely that a pass at A level will be gained without achieving this score at AS level. Failure to achieve such a score in a subject at AS level may require a re-consideration of options for the Upper Sixth. Though a rare situation, failure to achieve 55% in a number of AS level subjects will lead to discussions about the future with the Head of Sixth Form.