This page contains the following information;
- How is Sixth Form different from main school?
- How do you check how I am doing?
- How is Sixth Form organised?
- Sixth Form A-Z - a glossary of terms and useful information
- Related information
Firstly, you are the senior students in school, you will be role models to all other students.
Secondly, you have your own area in the C Block dedicated for Sixth Form students, which include your own common room / diner and three study areas.
Thirdly, you get to personalise your timetable so that you can study whatever subjects you wish (subject to meeting the entry requirements and no clashes).
Fourthly, within this timetable you will have 'study periods' where you will use for private study to keep up to date with your work. The level of work at Sixth Form is a challenge, expect to spend 15 hours a week at home and at school on private study.
Just like in main school there are a number of Assessment Points throughout the year, we use this to check how you are doing. We also use a system called ALIS (Advanced Level Information System) which will look at your GCSE grades and identify a target grade for you at A Levels.
DHFS operate a vertical tutoring system where Sixth Form students are mixed with all year groups. There will up to five or six Sixth Form students per mentor group. Each mentor group is assigned to a House. The six Houses are:
Each house has a House Progress Leader and House Support Manager who help support all learners. Sixth Form students also have Mr Howell, Director of Sixth Form, Mrs Powell, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, or Mr Stuart, Assistant Director of Sixth Form.
The purpose of this page is to provide a simple A-Z to Sixth Form study at Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School. It should act as Frequently Asked Questions in the first instance.
Absence and Illness
If you know in advance (e.g. medical appointments, interviews etc.) that your son / daughter is going to be absent, please ensure that they have completed a LOAF (leave of absence form), getting staff to sign and handed in to Mr Mitchell in the ICT area. We will amend our records accordingly. Students should complete these forms two weeks in advance of the absence as soon as possible. Absence during school hours requires written confirmation of appointments.
If your son / daughter is ill, please contact the House Support Manager as soon as possible and we will update our records.
We hold Sixth Form Briefings every week on a Friday at 9am. These alternate between Year 12 and Year 13. Attendance at these and House Assemblies are compulsory as important information is given out.
Assessments take place regularly by Faculty areas. These may be tests, classwork or homework, etc. These are graded and will give an indication as to how your son / daughter is progressing in their studies.
- Formal internal assessment exams: January 2018
- All external assessments: will take place in May / June 2018
Attendance and Punctuality
Success and attendance are inextricably linked and we expect 100% attendance, with a minimum of 96%. If students are not punctual to mentor time they may have to attend 'Lates Detention' like the rest of the school. It is our expectation that students will be in school every day from 9am to 3:30pm, attending all sessions such as lessons, assemblies and mentor time.
The Sixth Form Team will communicate with students and families regularly through weekly bulletins via Keep Kids Safe. Make sure we have got your email addresses.
The Bursary Fund is a cash-limited fund to support learners from low income backgrounds (below £21,000 total household income) with essential course costs. In addition there is a Bursary Grant for students who are looked after by the local authority, care leavers, students who claim Income Support in their own right, disabled students who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance. Payment of Bursary will depend on attendance, progress against targets and discipline.
- More information about student finance and the bursary fund
- Download the "Sixth Form Bursary Funding Request Form" from the student finance / bursary page
Email and Internet
Your son / daughter will be given a username and password to gain access to the school system. The internet is accessible only after a User Agreement has been signed. Once this is done, email is available and work can be sent to and from home; this is how most of the communication is made in the Sixth Form. Students will be expected to check these on a daily basis. Key information about the Sixth Form, universities, apprenticeships, etc. will be sent by email, students must also remember to empty their email inboxes on a regular basis.
Core Maths or EPQ are an integral part of the Sixth Form curriculum that students should undertake. As well as providing an additional qualification for Sixth Form students, they will help them to develop the higher order thinking skills required for A-level study. Core Maths will help students develop further mathematical skills to deal with subjects like science, computer science and psychology. EPQ will help students develop independent research skills. In Year 13, alternative courses are available, such as the Advanced Extension Award (Maths) to support STEP papers.
Some students may be required to undertake additional work, for example the Extended Project Qualification, if their number of 'study hours' (the number of lessons they attend in a week) is too low.
Exams and Resits
There is now only one main exam period during the academic year. Please avoid absence of your son / daughter during this time.
During internal examinations, there will be no study leave during this period. Normal attendance is required.
The external exam summer season will be likely around this time: Monday 14th May to Friday 29th June 2018, however exact dates have yet to be released by the exam boards.
There is study leave during this period, for Year 12 and Year 13, if your son / daughter has an afternoon exam, we do allow them to stay at home and revise in the morning. However, lessons will continue right up to the last exam, it is a great opportunity to get extra help from subject staff.
We expect Year 12 to begin lessons again during June, after the last AS level exam. When they return, they will begin the A Level programme but only if they have completed all the requirements of their AS programme. The school recommends that students should obtain a minimum of 2 D grades to progress to A Level in September of Year 13 and a D grade in the subject. This will give them a basic understanding of the subject in preparation for A Level study.
Fees for the sitting of each unit are paid for by the school for the first attempt. Any additional 'resits' are to be paid for by the student.
The Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher will determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. Any request for leave of absence must be put in writing using a leave of absence form addressed to the Headteacher. Parents who do not have the school's permission for their child's absence may face a fixed penalty fine.
- More information about student absence
- Download a "Leave of Absence Form for Students" from the policies page
Should it be required, interventions will be put in place to support your son / daughter. It may be at faculty level, such as reports or contracts, meetings with parents or that students have to remain after school on a Thursday with the Sixth Form Team, to catch up on work. If a student is off-track or their Attitude to Learning (AtL) is lower than 2.01, we might decide that they require supervision during their study periods. It might also be encourage that the students attend holiday sessions if they are not working to their target grade.
All students, whether Year 12 or Year 13, are required to sign a learning contract / home school agreement which outlines their responsibilities as a student and our responsibilities as a school. Your son / daughter will sign this and return it when they enrol in September.
Some students will be placed on a special contract at the start of Year 12 if we have had some concerns from Year 11. Individual faculty areas may also issue contracts.
Sixth Form students are expected to wear a lanyard / ID at all times whilst in school.
Learning Resource Centre (LRC)
The Library, or LRC, is open daily, from 8am to 4pm, to students. Books are available on loan, magazines and newspapers to read, and ICT facilities are also available to use. We encourage students to use and get involved in the LRC.
The Sixth Form 'Hub' is available for students to buy hot and cold food from. It is open at 8:30am for breakfast and at break and lunch times. A packed lunch can also be brought in to school and eaten in the social areas or in the Hub, although hot food bought from outside school must not be eaten on school premises. Students can also use the school dining areas. The Sixth Form area will be open until 6pm for students to study independent.
Your son / daughter will be placed in a mentor group and they will register with their mentors every day at 9am. Absence notes should be addressed and given to your son / daughter's mentor. The mentor will also oversee your son / daughter's progress and will undertake periodic reviews with them. If a student has any issues, especially personal issues, they should initially discuss these with their mentor.
Lots of Sixth Form students want to work part-time. We understand the reasons why and the experience on the whole is a positive one. We would urge your son / daughter not to exceed 10-12 hours per week as this then begins to have an impact upon their academic progress and ultimately their results.
Progression from Year 12 to Year 13
The school recommends that students should complete their Year 12 programme and pass at grade D or above in at least two of their subjects. Any student who achieves a 'U' or 'E' grade at AS / Year 12 will meet with the Sixth Form team and discuss potential pathways.
You will receive reports on four occasions during the academic year, plus a report from your child's mentor. These will give you assessment results and motivation levels and begin to build up a picture of your son / daughter's performance at AS/A Level.
Please familiarise yourself with the times of our school day (registration time, lesson periods, etc.)
As a Sixth Form student, your son / daughter will have some additional study time during the week. This can be used for study, completion of work, voluntary activities or work experience. The Sixth Form 'Hub', a study area, the Library / LRC and the various learning environments around the school are all available for Sixth Form students to use. All students must sign in with Mr Mitchell in their study periods.
Sixth Form students are required to stay on the school site during their study periods; however, they can leave the site at break and lunchtime. If they leave the school site at any other time, they should sign out (and back in again as necessary) at Student Services so that we know who is and who is not on the school site during an emergency for instance. If a student wishes to leave early due to feeling unwell, they must complete a sickness form from Mr Mitchell and this must be authorised by one of the Sixth Form Team.
The Key Stage 5 targets will be set mechanistically (using L3VA and ALPS) by the Director of Sixth Form. These targets will be monitored by subject staff to ensure they are sufficiently challenging. Subject staff should then communicate with the Director of Sixth Form who will make a decision as to whether the final target should be increased and will inform the data manager. Targets will be loaded into ePortal, SISRA, MATRIX / MABL so as all staff have access to and can check progress of their students against the correct target. This is based on their GCSE results. The target grade gives an indication of what should be achievable and combined with your son / daughter's assessment results, gives you an indication of whether they are performing below, at or above expectations. Above expectation is to be encouraged!
If your son / daughter needs a travel pass, please send them to reception as we have the necessary forms. They must be signed by one of the Sixth Form team, Mr Howell, Director of Sixth Form, Mrs Powell, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, or Mr Stuart, Assistant Director of Sixth Form. There are passes for Derbyshire and Sheffield, such as the B-Line card.
Uniform and Appearance
Sixth Form students should be smart at all times as they set the standard for the whole of the school. We do not allow extremes of hair styles or visible body piercings. If a student has a facial piercing, they should purchase a clear stud to be worn at school or remove the piercing completely. Any jewellery should be discreet and must be removed in some subjects (e.g. PE) for health and safety reasons.
Please ensure that your son / daughter complies with our uniform at all times. Non-compliance may mean that we send your son / daughter home to change.
The final decision on what is acceptable will be made by the Headteacher and students will be expected to change. Alterations to the expected dress of Sixth Form students can be made throughout the year and will be communicated to students via Sixth Form briefings and email.
Oakes & Griffin "The A Level Mindset" 2016
We have adopted the VESPA model in supporting students through their A Levels, VESPA stands for:
- Vision: students know what they want to achieve, why they are doing A levels, who they want to be and their career plans
- Effort: students put in many hours of proactive independent study (20hrs+ per week)
- Systems: students organise their learning resources and their time and that have good folder management. Their planning is exemplary.
- Practice: students practise and develop their skills, including a variety of revision strategies including content, skills and feedback. A particular focus on timed past papers.
- Attitude: students respond constructively to setbacks and criticism. They understand that mistakes are part of the process and help them improve.
Evidence suggests that students that score poorly in any of these areas generally underperform in their A Levels. We will send activities to support these areas to parents throughout the year.
We encourage students to undertake a limited amount of voluntary work, during free time or the holidays. This experience is particularly important if your son / daughter is considering a degree course in medical / education / caring / social fields.
Students are expected to undertake a week of work experience in June / July of Year 12. The exact dates will be released later in the year. Research for the University of Manchester suggests that high-value work experience is a key factor for success on UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service) personal statements, particularly with competitive applications.