Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

Sixth Form

The Sixth Form is a vital and exciting component of life at Porthcawl Comprehensive School. We welcome students who are committed, self motivated, and have a sense of purpose and the determination to succeed.

Porthcawl Comprehensive is located less than 50 m. from the sea on a large site with many facilities and open spaces for learning and leisure. Next September there will be over 1400 pupils, with about 250 of these in the Sixth Form.

All Bridgend Schools and the College are working in collaboration to offer a wider range of courses to Sixth Form students returning to Porthcawl Comprehensive School. That means that some students may choose to take up a course/subject offered elsewhere but still be a part of our Sixth Form.

Sixth Form Prospectus 2017 Click Here To View

Aims

Our Sixth Form has two fundamental aims: to enable students to achieve the highest standards within their capability, and at the same time to ensure that they become balanced, self-reliant people able to make a full contribution to society. These aims are achieved through a partnership with students which ensure that they receive a full range of support and opportunities. In return, students contribute high standards of responsibility and effort. We recognise that students need help, guidance and encouragement in order to become independent learners, and our pastoral and teaching staff work together to that end. The Sixth Form also supports the main aims of the school as listed in the school prospectus.

The Sixth Form Pastoral Team

Senior Year Tutor/Head of Year 12: Mrs C Crook
Head of Year 13: Mrs R Williams
Higher Education Access Tutor: Mrs R Williams
Deputy Headteacher (senior teacher link to Y12 and Y13): Mrs A O'Brien

The Senior Year Tutor and the Pastoral Team support and co-ordinate the work of the tutors by planning a tutorial programme which incorporates modules on citizenship, health, and higher education. This programme is seen as an important broadening component of the Sixth Form curriculum and is followed by every student. The Sixth Form pastoral team also deals with the day-to-day management of the Sixth Form, and provide academic and personal support. The work of the tutorial team places special emphasis on preparing students for life beyond school, further and higher education which includes a well-established programme of work placements and careers guidance.

The Form Tutor

Tutor groups consist of a mix of Year 12 and Year 13 students to encourage, support, advice and experience.

Each student is supported by the Form Tutor. Tutors are experienced in post-16 education, and are able to guide students through the new demands that they meet in the Sixth Form. Tutors monitor progress and help to set targets, offer guidance and help students achieve a sensible balance between study requirements and other demands.

The Sixth Form Council – HeadTeam

The Head Team plays a very active part in the life of the Sixth Form. It consists of the Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputies. These students are all nominated by staff then appointed by the Headteacher and Heads of Year.

The Team meets weekly with the Headteacher, and it arranges social events, the Yearbook, fund raising and the Summer Ball.

Members of the Team assist the school with the organisation and supervision of main school events. The Head Team organises various charity events including the very successful Children in Need Appeal.

The Sixth Form Senedd

The Senedd consists of the elected Form Representatives of Years 12 and 13, and the Head Team. The Senedd plays a significant role in assessing and formulating the pastoral programme.

We hope the Senedd, together with the Head Team ensure our students have a sense of ownership in their Sixth Form years.

Sixth Form Expectations

Entry policy

The Sixth Form at Porthcawl Comprehensive School has high expectations of its students.

To gain a place in the Sixth Form students must:

  • Meet the entry requirements of the courses offered
  • Possess a good school record (no evidence of defiance, rudeness, or disrespect for staff)
  • Sign an agreement to comply with Sixth Form rules and expectations

Joining the Sixth Form

Towards the end of the Autumn term in Year 11, tutors and the pastoral team inform students of the pathways available to them. A special evening for parents and prospective students is held in November/December and all students are given a Sixth Form prospectus. Prospective students complete an application form with their parents’ help, noting the courses that interest them. Students are then interviewed and given advice on the course(s) chosen. Students from outside school are admitted on an individual basis after a personal interview.

Regulations

Study in the Sixth Form at Porthcawl Comprehensive School is full time. Students are expected to commit fully to their studies and do not leave the premises during non-contact times without permission. All students study FOUR AS Levels throughout Year 12 in addition to the Welsh Baccalaureate.

It is expected that all students will behave in a mature and sensible way. An agreement relating to students’ responsibilities and entitlements is issued by the tutor at the start of the Autumn term, and is signed by the student, parent and tutor.

The agreement also lists the sanctions which will be applied if it is broken. Students keep a copy of the agreement; a copy is kept by the Head of Year, and another is retained by the parent.

Assessment

Individual progress is monitored by both subject teachers and tutors against minimum target grades from ALPS (Advanced Level Performance Systems) data. Subject teachers and students complete a tracking system approximately every two months in both Years 12 and 13. Each subject review contains details of the effort and general progress of each individual student both acknowledging good work and drawing attention to matters of concern. There is a Year 12 Parents’ Evening in the Spring Term and a Year 13 Parents' Evening in the Autumn Term. There is a mentoring scheme in place for students who require extra support in progressing their studies.

Private Study

There are excellent facilities for private study. These facilities are integrated into the school so that students have ready access to the Library, the Study Room, the Computer Rooms, subject staff and departmental resources. Students have extensive study facilities in the Sixth Form Hall which is set aside exclusively for their use. They have access to ICT resources in the Library, Computer Rooms and a number of computers in departmental areas. These are all networked and have access to the internet, multi-media CD-ROM and a range of software related to specific subjects. The transition from strictly supervised work to independent learning is supported by guidance and advice in study skills.

Homework

In addition to study at school, all students should expect to work at home. As a guide, Sixth Form students should set aside at least four hours per subject for study each week. Some of those hours will be used during study time in school and the rest at home.

School Times

School starts with compulsory registration in tutorial rooms at 8:45am and finishes at 3.25pm. We expect students to be punctual at morning and afternoon registrations, and lateness will be dealt with by the Sixth Form pastoral team. Sixth Form students may leave the premises at lunchtime but not at mid-morning break or during study periods.

Students who wish to leave the premises for justifiable reasons, must obtain an off-site permit from the Head of Year. In the case of student absence, we expect a parental telephone call to school before morning registration. In all cases an absence note should be brought in to the form tutor on the return to the school.

Contact with Parents/Guardians

Parents are very welcome to visit the school and talk to one of the Sixth Form pastoral team. In the first instance it is best to get in touch by telephone and arrange a personal appointment, or email: 6thform@porthcawlschool.co.uk

Sixth Form Block

Although lessons will be taught in different parts of the school, the Sixth Form Hall, Study Room and the Canteen are designated for exclusive use of the Sixth Form, apart from at break and lunchtimes.

What Qualifications can you achieve?

Our provision for next year includes AS, A-level, the Welsh Baccalaureate and vocational courses. All the courses on offer are made up of units of study which are broadly the same size and which will be assessed in a similar way. An Advanced Subsidiary (AS) course, represents 40% of an Advanced Level course of study.

Students will take their AS examinations during Year 12 and will convert most of them into full A-levels at the end of Year 13. Some subjects will not be studied further and will be certificated as an AS award which is a complete qualification in its own right.

The final programme which will be followed in Year 13 will depend on progress made in Year 12 and any individual needs for career progression. A number of pupils follow the Performing Arts course which can be combined with a limited number of AS or A2 subjects and the Welsh Baccalaurate. Appropriate advice will be provided to students on an individual basis.

GCSE Courses

GCSE resit courses may be provided in Mathematics and English, depending on viability for the Sixth Form, together with the opportunity to join a range of GCSEs via Year 11 classes.

Sixth Form Handbook - Contract

In addition to this general prospectus there is a Sixth Form Handbook which students receive when they join the school . It contains more details regarding day to day processes as well as a formal acceptance / contract of the school procedures.

The handbook is found in the students’ diaries.

Careers Wales and Entry to Higher Education

UCAS [Universities and College Admissions Service] is the central application service for full-time undergraduate courses in the UK. All students who intend to progress to Higher Education must apply through UCAS, or for Music Conservatoires through CUKAS.

Applications are usually made on line and must be received by UCAS by early January of the final year of a student's course. Applicants wishing to apply for Oxford or Cambridge as well as those who wish to apply for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Sciences or Music Conservatoires must apply by the previous October. Applications to Foundation Art courses are usually made concurrently but directly to individual institutions.

In the January of Year 12 students will be given introductory advice sessions by Form Tutors and the school Higher Education Access Tutor. Students will be informed of a two year programme of careers events, university visits, gap year details, deadlines and advice sessions. This also includes details of a two day induction event on UCAS application which takes place on the students return to studies after their AS examinations at the end of June.

The school has strong links with all the South Wales universities who attend our biennial 'careers conference' and are invited each year to speak to parents on both general and financial issues.

Sixth Form Tutors work closely with the Careers Advisor from Careers Wales to provide high quality careers advice whatever students decide to do after Sixth Form.

School deadline for UCAS applications is November 30th. The school then attaches the reference and forwards to UCAS.

Presently, over 85% of our Sixth Form students continue into higher education and we are proud to see our Year 13 students applying for a range of university courses from: Accountancy, Advertising, Aeronautical Engineering, Applied Golf Management, Archaeology, Architecture, Audiology and Automotive Design... to Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physics, Sociology, Speech and Language Therapy, Sport and Exercise Science, Theatre Design and Zoology.

Students are expected to keep records of university and convention visits, open days, road-shows, prospectuses, personal statements, work experience, examination certificates, key skills, sporting and compact awards, together with advice they have received from tutors and university speakers in a progress file.

The Careers Programme in the Sixth Form is based on a mixture of self-enquiry and organised lessons.

Students create a Progress File; we provide:

  • Tutor Period – a full programme of advice and university speakers
  • Main Library – which is well-stocked with information
  • Formal and informal advice sessions from the Careers Wales Adviser and other tutors
  • Specialist information sessions, such as for Medicine or Oxbridge applicants
  • Information about higher education admissions tests, such as those for Medicine, Law, Maths, Physics or History (UKCAT, BMAT, LNAT or HAT, EEP)
  • Regular up-dates about open-days, bursaries, taster sessions and courses. (These are read out in assembly and advertised on notice boards)
  • A visit to at least one higher education convention
  • Work experience and some community links placements
  • Mock interviews are provided by senior staff in preparation for entry into higher education
  • Preparation for interview sessions

A careers advisor from Careers Wales is available at school two days per week to offer impartial careers information, advice and guidance to all pupils in the Sixth Form. Students are offered help and support with higher education applications and also employment opportunities after Year 13.

Our provision for next year includes AS, A-level, the Welsh Baccalaureate and vocational courses. All the courses on offer are made up of units of study which are broadly the same size and which will be assessed in a similar way. An Advanced Subsidiary (AS) course, represents 40% of an Advanced Level course of study. Students will take their AS examinations during Year 12 and will convert most of them into full A-levels at the end of Year 13. Some subjects will not be studied further and will be certificated as an AS award which is a complete qualification in its own right.

The final programme which will be followed in Year 13 will depend on progress made in Year 12 and any individual needs for career progression. A number of pupils follow the Performing Arts course which can be combined with a limited number of AS or A2 subjects and the Welsh Baccalaurate. Appropriate advice will be provided to students on an individual basis.

Managing Your Own Time

The timetable in Year 12 will be very different from Year 11 in three main ways:

  • More subjects to choose from
  • Less overall contact time each week with a teacher
  • More responsibility for your own learning

Studying fewer subjects DOES NOT MEAN LESS WORK. Far from it, the majority of our students pursue ADVANCED courses.

The non-contact time is deliberately set aside for the following reasons:

  • So that you can use the Library, Laboratory, Workshops or Computer Rooms for study, i.e. to develop study skills so that you can pursue extra-curricular interests so that you can spend some free time in the Sixth Form Hall or Common Room.
  • Effective time management both in and out of school is necessary to achieve success.
  • Failure to meet an acceptable level of attendance at school or lessons could result in non-entry for examinations or you simply could be asked to leave.

Mentoring

A mentoring system is in place for those students requiring support to reach their full academic potential. These students will be closely monitored and interviewed on a weekly basis.

Our Sixth Form has two fundamental aims: to enable students to achieve the highest standards within their capability, and at the same time to ensure that they become balanced, self-reliant people able to make a full contribution to society.

These aims are achieved through a partnership with students which ensure that they receive a full range of support and opportunities.

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