The Sixth Form Ethos
The Sixth Form is an environment specifically designed and built for students aged 16-18 years. As such it is a place where people are treated in a manner that reflects the transition from school to university and beyond.
All the staff working within the Sixth Form offer students a very personal and highly specialised level of teaching, academic and pastoral support as the students develop their individual talents and understanding.
The Sixth Form is regarded as the most senior part of the school. It is a community which embraces young people and aims to direct their energy and enthusiasm. It is a place where our students are encouraged to flourish.
The Sixth Form Curriculum
The Sixth Form curriculum at The Abbey School is clearly structured around the need for breadth and diversity. However, our students are also encouraged to study subjects that they enjoy and where they naturally excel.
Students have the choice to take either the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme or A Levels. Both are stand-alone two-year courses and cannot be mixed or combined.
Before selecting options it is important for students to consider a number of factors. Firstly, whether students have a specific career or university in mind. For example, a degree in Astrophysics will usually require Mathematics at A Level or at HL in International Baccalaureate (IB); similarly Biology and Chemistry are normally essential for Medicine. Secondly, students should look at their academic strengths. Some students are more suited to essay based courses such as History and English Literature, whilst others are more confident with a more numerical approach. Finally, students must choose whether they would prefer to study A Levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Making decisions about these academic options is exciting but also daunting. It is important for students to discuss any options with the appropriate staff member and/or department. Students should also look closely at the subject syllabus information available on this website, ascertaining the amount of coursework or practical elements are involved and what skills are required. Students should note that subject combinations for A Level may not always be possible due to timetable and staffing restraints. Staff will endeavour to provide the best available options for that student’s intended study and career path.
Entry to the Sixth Form is based upon the requirement of eight GCSE passes at grades A* - B. Certain A Level subjects may require specific grades at GCSE. The reason for this is to ensure that everyone has the academic calibre to cope with the demands of A Level or IB. Please click this link to see detailed results (for A level and IB) and destinations of leavers.
The Sixth Form curriculum embraces academic study but this is only part of a more comprehensive experience. Students are encouraged to develop a wide breadth of knowledge through a very extensive enrichment programme. Extra–curricular activities such as Young Enterprise and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award are actively encouraged. There is also a very active Sixth Form committee created by the students themselves to organise social events such as theatre trips and the annual Leavers’ Ball.