St Edward's Church of England Academy

Sixth Form Curriculum

‘Life in all its Fullness’

Sixth Form Curriculum

The curriculum at St Edward’s is a seven-year journey that culminates in the two years of study at Key Stage 5.  There are no limits placed on the achievements of our learners. Wider opportunities are provided through our enrichment programme and supra-curriculum.  In the Sixth Form, students give back to the community through a programme of Sixth Form community service, charitable acts and student leadership. 

At St Edward’s Academy, we know that each student is an individual, with their own personal goals and ambitions.  We want to support our students to reach those ambitious goals and fulfil their ambitions.  We also know that, in the competitive worlds of higher education and employment, academic qualifications on their own are unlikely to be enough to get our students noticed.

Academic rigour is at the heart of the St Edward’s Academy Sixth Form experience.  Learning is supported by excellent teaching.  Students are encouraged to explore their own academic interests through extension classes and extended project work, alongside their core academic subjects. 

Students are supported to engage wholeheartedly with their academic study and in the wider life of the school.  The Sixth Form obtain excellent pass rates at A Level.  Form Tutors know each student as an individual, providing them with tailored advice regarding university choices and life after St Edward’s.

The St Edward’s Academy Sixth Form Curriculum has three distinct strands:

Core Curriculum: This is the combination of A Level courses that each student selects to study at our Sixth Form.

Extra Curriculum: These are the additional enriching activities that students engage in outside of their formal school timetable. These activities will prepare students for life beyond school, at university and in the world of work. 

Supra Curriculum: This is formally delivered to ensure that learners are extending and deepening their knowledge of the course content that they are studying.  

The three strands of the St Edward’s Academy Sixth Form Curriculum help to develop students as well-rounded and impactful members of our community.  Additional opportunities provided by the Supra and Extra Curriculum offer support to achieve our HOPE values and help us to ensure that all learners live ‘Life in all its fullness’. 

Core Curriculum

The Sixth Form Curriculum offers:

  • a free choice of the subjects on offer (GCSE grades permitting); we don’t limit subject combinations and we build the timetable around student choices, rather than forcing students to work within a constrained selection of subjects
  • the choice of studying three subjects and access to a range of additional opportunities that will build the portfolio of skills of each learner – making our students more attractive to universities and employers alike
  • small group tuition is timetabled for students resitting English or Maths GCSE. The resit series is determined on an individual basis to meet the needs of each student.

Extra Curriculum

Enrichment opportunities are an essential part of a student’s development. At St Edward’s Academy we provide a wide programme of extra-curricular options.  These include sports and enterprise options.  Our enrichment programme is tailored to specific career and higher education ambitions.

There is a thriving Sixth Form Prefect and Sixth Form Leadership Team that organises many events.  The Sixth Form student leadership team organise a variety of different whole school events and initiatives, including HOPE weeks, the opportunity for the whole school to raise and give to different local charities that are close to our hearts.   Sixth Form students also play a lead role in a number of key school events including open evenings, productions and sporting competitions.

Supra Curriculum

In simple terms, a supra-curricular is completed to deepen and extend knowledge of the curriculum.  Engagement with the supra-curriculum is useful for many reasons, including (but not limited to) successful university applications.  The supra-curricular allows students to increase their wider learning and passion and drive for their chosen specialism.

A supra-curricular activity might be something as simple as reading a book or magazine in a chosen field, following media stories, watching films or reading articles, or even visiting a place that has some connection to the field of study.  Sixth Form students benefit froma bespoke supra-curriculum offer with access to expansive resource to engage with.  The Sixth Form team have curated resource guidance for each individual student in Years 12 and 13.  These include:

  • Quality journalism
  • Podcasts
  • Specific videos (eg Ted Talks)
  • Journals
  • Books (these resources go beyond recommended textbooks for curriculum courses as students will be engaging with these anyway).

Associated Pages

For further information about Curriculum in the Sixth Form, please email sixthform@steds.org.uk

Our Curriculum

The formal school day runs between 8:30am and 3:00pm. All post-16 students are expected to arrive at school before 8.25am for registration. Sixth Form students are encouraged to remain at school for longer than the timetabled school day to receive advice and support from their teachers. A member of the Sixth Form leadership team is available until 6pm each evening.

Students are encouraged to build their capacity as independent learners. To this end, there are additional study rooms available to all Sixth Form students.

When Sixth Form students are free, a number of areas are available to ensure they can further their studies. The study skills room always has a member of staff available to help students with organisation and completing independent work. Students are expected to use this area at least 3 times a week. Students are also encouraged to use the Library or the additional study area where group work can take place. These areas have ICT facilities.

Sixth Form students have their own common room in which to relax and socialise. The common room is a lively social base for all Sixth Form students. This is open before and after school and at break and lunchtime.

At St Edward’s Academy, we guide and assist all our students in making an informed choice about their future education and career path.  We have high aspirations for all our learners and believe there is no ceiling to their achievements and ambitions.

We run a Rising Stars programme for students who are looking for a career in fields such as medicine or dentistry.  This programme supports students in their application to Russell Group universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.  Through this programme, we encourage and aid our students to visit university open days, workshops and subject talks as well as gaining valuable work experience.

St Edward’s students participate in the Scholars Programme, an academic programme run by The Brilliant Club.  The Brilliant Club is an organisation which aims to widen access for outstanding students in non-selective state schools to the United Kingdom’s most selective universities.

The Scholars Programme

  • This is a programme that places university researchers (PhD Tutors) in schools;
  • The PhD tutors teach university-style tutorials to groups of six pupils. Many of these researchers are lecturers at university level, so it is a unique opportunity for Sixth Form students to experience university-style teaching;
  • Participants have the opportunity to visit two leading universities before making decisions about applications.

At the end of the programme, students complete a final assignment. They will also receive marking and feedback from their PhD tutor.  This gives participants experience of what life will be like at university.

Enrichment opportunities are an essential part of a student’s development. At St Edward’s Academy we provide a wide programme of extra-curricular options.  These include sports and enterprise options.

There is a thriving Sixth Form Prefect and Sixth Form Leadership Team that organises many events.  In December, the Sixth Form leadership team organise our HOPE week, the opportunity for the whole school to raise and give to different local charities that are close to our hearts.   Sixth Form students also play a lead role in a number of key school events including open evenings, productions and sporting competitions.

The Scholars Programme

  • This is a programme that places university researchers (PhD Tutors) in schools;
  • The PhD tutors teach university-style tutorials to groups of six pupils. Many of these researchers are lecturers at university level, so it is a unique opportunity for Sixth Form students to experience university-style teaching;
  • Participants have the opportunity to visit two leading universities before making decisions about applications.

At the end of the programme, students complete a final assignment. They will also receive marking and feedback from their PhD tutor.  This gives participants experience of what life will be like at university.

St Edward’s Academy provides extensive support in guiding students through the important choices they need to make post-16, whether they wish to go to university, apprenticeship or employment. This support includes an hour each week dedicated to study of StEP in the Sixth Form.

Experienced staff who know the students well will support the students throughout the university application process, offering advice on everything from choice of subjects and institutions to writing their personal statement. Our Sixth Form leaders also organise special talks and support for those students aiming for Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

The StEP programme also covers PSHE and the mastering skills needed for successful adult life outside of school. Tutors will help you become independent and manage the transition from GCSE to A level.

Supra-curricular activities are important for several reasons.

If you are applying to university, your engagement with supra-curricular activities helps to demonstrate to the admissions tutors the level of passion and commitment you have to the subject.  Interacting with the supra-curriculum also enables you to develop your thinking about your subject so that you are able to write with more depth and authority in your personal statement.  You can also talk about your chosen subject with more confidence in your interview. This is particularly important if you are applying to Oxbridge or the top Russell Group Universities.

The supra-curriculum deepens your understanding of a subject and helps you to fall in love with it. The more you know about something, and the more you immerse yourself in that subject, the better you will understand it and the more passion you will feel for it.

An example would be a History student with a deep interest in the Second World War.  This student devours films, books and documentaries about the subject and visits museums and engages in conversations about the conflict. This means that they have a very nuanced and deep understanding of the period. Taking the time to educate yourself more widely supports a much better and deeper understanding.

It is never too early to start building your supra-curricular learning.  You will experience the St Edward’s supra-curriculum right from the beginning of Year 12 and throughout your time in the Sixth Form.

 

In addition to the programme of A Level study, all students are expected to complete relevant work experience during their time in the Sixth Form. One week of the Summer term of Year 12 is dedicated to work experience in various settings.  Students have the option of finding their own placement or the school can help facilitate when necessary.