Why Our Sixth Form?
- Excellent results
- Supportive and caring environment
- Strong links with universities and employers
- Fantastic pastoral and careers support
- Great enrichment opportunities
- Dedicated Sixth Form areas
- Personalised learning programmes
Year 12 Student Views’...
“Making the decision to stay at Holy Family Sixth Form was simple – I knew that I was going to need plenty of help and support from my teachers if I was going to achieve my very best at A Level and I knew I simply wouldn’t get that sort of attention anywhere else.”
“Sixth Form is excellent! There is a lot of help available and the time teachers give up to help students is exceptional. There is a lot of choice so you can do what you want and be yourself.”
Year 13 Students Views’...
“Sixth Form is hard work and I found the step up from GCSE difficult. There is a lot of support and after I got my mock results in March I realised how much work was needed and this resulted in me achieving my target grades in the summer exams.”
“The decision to go to our Sixth Form and continue my education, in the form of A-levels, was a choice made easy by the assistance offered by the teachers of the school in making my decisions in what A-Levels I would go on to do after GCSE. From the advice I received, my choices led onward to achieving the grades I would need to reach a good university, a goal in which the school.”
“The difference here is that you are not just a face in the crowd, here you stand out in the crowd and can face the future with confidence.”
"I would recommend Holy Family Catholic High School to anyone considering starting their A-Levels. You will not find the level of support from another 6th form or college that I've been offered at my time in the school."
‘Sixth Form has enabled me to achieve good results which will be a stepping stone to university in September. The Sixth Form team have offered me total support to help me achieve my goals.”
“The teacher pupil relationships in our sixth form is really good and it is good to have our own space in the common room.”
Ex-Year 13 Students Views’...
“French and Spanish are taught extremely well at Holy Family and I have found my first semester at University easy because of this.”
“I had a lot of information about University choices, which helped me make the right decisions, and I am really enjoying studying Politics at Durham.”
“I felt like Sixth Form allowed me to grow up and if I made mistakes then there were people who would help me get sorted out. My transition to University was made easier by the support I had in 6th Form.”
Why Study here?
As you can see from our website, our Sixth Form has a lot to offer Sixth Form students.
Subjects in the Sixth Form are arranged in five option groups and students usually study three subjects, in exceptional circumstances students can study four.
There are also many opportunities to take part in activities other than pure academic study and all students are encouraged to take advantage of these.
Many students take part in the paired reading scheme where they meet regularly with a younger pupil to support their literacy skills, or act as Bully Busters to younger students. Some of our Sixth Formers help in homes for the elderly or for disabled people. Others support in local Primary Schools or in after school clubs.
We welcome students taking the initiative in other community projects. We have a range of visiting speakers throughout the year, during our enrichment days and also during assemblies. Regular visits include the Driving Standards Agency and various representatives from Higher Education.
Students also have the opportunity to take part in externally recognised schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Bronze, Silver or Gold levels. Sixth Formers also run several fundraising activities throughout the year and there is an active Sixth Form Student Leadership Team..
Sixth Form studies demand that students take a much greater responsibility for their own learning. The support offered to Holy Family Sixth Formers is designed to guide them through these important years by increasing their skills and confidence in preparation for university and subsequent employment. From initial interviews in Year 11, to target setting, monitoring, tracking and reporting, there is a wide range of people working as a team to make sure that each and every student reaches their potential, whatever that may be.
So why here?
Good Exam Results
Over the years our school has built up a reputation for academic excellence. Students have left our school to follow University courses in almost everything from Medicine to Engineering and from Modern Languages to International Economics. We also have a strong tradition of Oxbridge entry. As can be seen from the individual departments' results there have been high grades across the board and anyone beginning a course in Sixth Form can be confident that if they put in the effort then the best will be brought out of them.
Familiarity and Continuity
Staying at Holy Family Sixth Form means there is no need for a settling in/familiarisation period. In many cases students are with teachers they have had before or who at least they know. This works both ways as teachers know the students’ capabilities and can ensure that they maximise their potential. Even before the start of a Sixth Form course teachers here generally know what to expect from students and both can start with confidence. This can also be of benefit when it comes to University applications and filling in the UCAS form to apply to University, as staff can estimate accurately what a student is likely to achieve and reflect this in the grade and reference needed to obtain offers for Higher Education. In the vast majority of cases, our students get their first choice University place and continuity is a major factor in this. You will find that teachers are always willing to take time to help someone who may be having difficulties with certain aspects of their work.
There is a good working atmosphere in the Sixth Form. Students tend to realise why they are here and this, coupled with regular monitoring and the mentoring process, ensures that they do spend their time productively. The quiet study areas allow students to get on with work in calm surroundings and avail themselves of the computers if they wish.
The Sixth Form Centre at Holy Family includes a large common room and a study room set aside for private study. Lessons are taught in the subject areas around the school.
Target Setting, Monitoring and Reporting
Targets in 6th Form are based on the students’ GCSE results and are the minimum target grades that students are expected to achieve. These are only predictions and not a guarantee of what the student will get. Students will receive a monitoring report every term which will show how they are progressing relative to their target grades. Students who are not meeting the required standards will be monitored closely and provided with help and support. We hope parents will be fully involved in this process.
Mentoring & Support
Our mentoring system is designed to support and challenge and discuss progress and any other issues that they or you may feel are a barrier to their progression. Your Form Tutor, Progress Leader and the whole Sixth Form team are there to support you. You may also receive additional support from our Academic Coach or Careers Advisor.
If students are not working hard enough to meet their target grades, they are quickly approached about the matter. If there is no immediate improvement then parents are contacted to discuss the best way of solving the problem. This informal system is supported by our termly monitoring system which provides information on progress and opportunities to discuss strategies for improving results.
Obviously we expect Sixth Form students to behave with a certain maturity, so discipline as such is not really necessary. However, a close check is kept on attendance both in general and at lessons. Students who are absent are expected to bring a letter of explanation from their parents. If we detect a pattern of absences we will contact the parents to ask for clarification. If it is discovered that a student is missing certain lessons without a valid reason, parents will be contacted immediately. Most students have some time when they have no lessons time-tabled and they are allowed to study at home. This generally enables them to get more work done away from the distraction of friends in school and should not be treated as free time. However, if we discover that someone is not working hard enough or is persistently late, then we may ask them to stay in school during their study time so they can be more closely monitored.
There is a Progress Evening every year for both Year 12 and 13. This gives students, parents and teachers the opportunity to sit down together to discuss progress.
The Catholic nature of the Sixth Form underpins the entire philosophy of the approach to students and staff. We encourage each of students to be treated as an individual and as staff we strive for our pastoral care to embody the life of Christ. Our Sixth Form students have always shown a willingness to become involved in the various charity appeals in which the school participates. Our students are encouraged to use their many gifts and talents for the benefit of the local community and those less fortunate than themselves. As well as raising money and giving of their time freely, many of our Sixth Form students are involved in a wide range of voluntary work in their local communities. We consider these dimensions of Sixth Form life to be extremely important and valuable. They are a major factor in the continuing spiritual development of our young people and we greatly appreciate the contributions they make to the spirit of our school. We celebrate the students’ time in Sixth Form with a Leavers’ Mass for Year 13.
Students from Other Schools
If you are considering joining us from another school you will be made to feel very welcome by both staff and present students. Please talk to staff at the Open Evening. If you wish to discuss your choice of subjects in more detail or visit the Sixth Form during the day then please contact school and we will arrange this for you.