Didcot Sixth Form College (DSFC) is a unique partnership between two successful schools, Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School, creating a vibrant mixed Sixth Form utilising both the girls’ and boys’ school sites and staff expertise.
The Sixth Form College currently has over 400 students allowing us to capitalise on the economies of scale this provides. All subjects are taught by subject specialists and most subjects receive more teaching time and have fewer students per class than is the norm both in Oxfordshire and nationally. We are able to offer a broad range of Advanced Level courses, a new and exciting Vocational Level 3 suite of courses from September 2015, a varied enrichment programme, the support of a tutor and high quality advice and guidance in taking the next step towards higher education, apprenticeships and employment. The progression routes of our students are excellent.
This summer, our A level students achieved excellent results again with 24% of all entries graded A* or A and 25% of all our students achieving 3 A Levels graded A*-B. Of those students who have continued to university, approximately 30% have been accepted to Russell Group universities. Other than those taking a year out, all of our students have successfully progressed to university, college or apprenticeship courses or moved into employment.
There are important changes to A Levels which need to be highlighted in order for students to make the right choice of course for their future. A major change is that the AS qualification will no longer form part of the two year A Level. If a student takes an exam in the first summer of their study, the results will no longer contribute to their final mark at the end of two years of study. A Level students will take a series of exams in the second year of their study which covers knowledge gained over the previous two years. At Didcot Sixth Form College students starting September 2015 will take AS exams at the end of Year 12 in all the subjects studied in their first year to inform both their Year 13 A2 course choice and UCAS subject reference.
As appropriate, students are encouraged and supported to take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
We are delighted to offer, from September 2015, full time Level 3 Vocational courses in Health and Social Care, Sport (Performance and Excellence) and Applied Science. These courses are suitable for students who are looking for progression to university, employment in these areas or advanced apprenticeships. Students will study these courses on site and also have extended work placements organised through the College.
We expect all students who achieve mainly Bs at GCSE to take 4 subjects in Year 12 and take forward 3 subjects to A2. Those students who achieve mainly As and A* will be encouraged and supported to take forward 4 subjects to A2. Students who achieve a mixture of Bs and Cs at GCSE may be advised to take 3 subjects in Year 12 and forward to A2.
Any student who does not achieve C grade or higher in English and/or Mathematics at GCSE must continue with these subjects in the Sixth Form.
All students are expected to attend a weekly tutorial programme as well as daily registration and academic mentoring sessions. The tutor is there to support and mentor the students in their tutor group. In addition to the tutorial programme, all students are expected to take part in enrichment activities. Enrichment may take the form of sport, drama, music, debating, supporting younger students in subject lessons, mentoring younger students, and community service.
There are many leadership opportunities available. Each school has a Head Girl/Boy and deputies. Students are nominated by staff for contributions and achievements during their time in the school, and selected by interview and a presentation. The role of these teams is to represent the schools at formal occasions and to help lead and develop student voice in the lower schools. Those selected for the student leadership team, receive training in how they can impact on the whole school community through their roles.
Students have the opportunity to achieve a leadership award. To gain this award, students need to demonstrate development and application of leadership qualities such as leading a club, being a subject ambassador, planning an event, representing the school at an event, running a House event and community projects. Students may further develop their leadership skills through our mentoring programme.
Year 12 students may apply for a position on the Year 12 leadership team. These students are the driving force behind student led enrichment activities, assemblies, charity awareness and student voice across the sixth form.
All students in Years 11, 12 and 13 receive information, advice and guidance about accessing future pathways in post-Year 11 education (including apprenticeships), further education (apprenticeships and university) and employment opportunities.
Year 11 students receive a programme of IAG for post-Year 11 opportunities and entry requirements in Personal Development lessons which includes a careers fair with representatives from sixth form, college, apprenticeships and employers from a wide variety of jobs. In addition, all students have access to a careers specialist and receive a 1:1 interview with a member of staff to discuss future aspirations and opportunities. For those students thinking about enrolling into the Didcot College Sixth Form, we publish a prospectus, run a Subject Evening for parents and students, meet with all students for a 1:1 interview and run an induction programme over 3 days in the Summer Term preceding enrolment.
Years 12 and 13 students receive a programme of IAG for future pathways (university, apprenticeships or employment). In addition, we run a specialist Russell Group programme for those students thinking about applying to a Russell Group university, including Oxbridge. For all students, we run a series of assemblies on such things as finance, preparing for interview (both employment and university) in addition to 1:1 or group advice from a specialist careers advisor.
If you are considering DSFC for your Sixth Form studies and would like to arrange a visit then please contact the Director of Didcot Sixth Form College, Mr P Willett - firstname.lastname@example.org