Sixth Form Curriculum

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Quarrydale Sixth Form
Subject information

Qualifications we offer

Vision and Values

Quarrydale Academy Post 16 Curriculum Aims and Purpose

The Post 16/KS5 Curriculum at Quarrydale Academy is designed to continue to build and develop the skills, values and attributes that are integral to the ethos of the whole school. We are committed to helping students, both those who join the Sixth Form from the Academy and those from other education providers, to achieve their full potential and to ensure that all are able to make the necessary levels of progress to allow them to succeed in accessing their chosen pathways.

In an area that still suffers from the legacy of the erosion of the mining and textiles industries, where unemployment remains high and the proportion of adults who have attended Higher Education remains well below the national average, we believe that all of our students have the right to access opportunities that will allow them to be unafraid to hold high aspirations and to be supported in gaining the skills, knowledge and capital needed to succeed in achieving these. Not only do we recognise the importance of empowering our students, but also in empowering and enabling parents and carers to support students through Level Three study by fostering parent/carer-student-teacher partnerships. To do so, we aim to deliver appropriate sessions that provide information, advice and guidance for all, alongside maintaining regular communication between home and school through the use of consultation evenings, the reporting of assessment data and providing open and transparent channels of communication at all times.

We believe it is vitally important to ensure that our students develop holistically, although academic achievement is at our core, it is enhanced through the dedication of time and resources to ensure our students develop as a whole. We aim to instil a sense of resilience, inclusion and confidence in our students and hope that throughout their time in Sixth Form, they become well rounded citizens who take responsibility for their civic duty and make positive contributions to their communities and wider society. We wish to enhance and encourage employability skills and a sense of independence, and work hard to ensure that students are all are able to build the social and cultural capital that will facilitate in broadening their knowledge and understanding of the world, benefitting them both academically in and in their personal growth.

Post 16 education at Quarrydale Academy is an exciting and inspiring time for our students. We work to provide them with the foundations and opportunities to create a personalised pathway that will allow them to successfully access their chosen option of Higher Education, employment or apprenticeships in the next stage of their journey.

The Academy offers a wide range of A Level and BTEC Level Three courses that ensure we are able to provide a suitable programme of study for our students that will allow them to ACHIEVE their goals. Additionally, we offer a range of extra-curricular activities and events that support both the academic and social development of our students, ensuring they are provided with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about their Post 18 choices and are prepared for life beyond Quarrydale. We work in close collaboration with many universities, higher education institutions, employers and apprenticeship providers to enhance the academic and personal skills recognised as the foundations for the successes of our young people in wider society.

At Quarrydale Academy students are expected to develop and embrace a sense of responsibility for their own learning, developing a more independent study style and maintaining a strong work ethic to ensure the most positive outcomes. Students are also encouraged to be active members of the Post 16 community, accessing the opportunities that are afforded to them to ensure their holistic development and to provide the most rewarding Post 16 experience possible.

In return, students can expect high standards in terms of curriculum delivery and support from teachers and tutors and will be encouraged through each step of their Post 16 career. We pride ourselves on knowing our students well, and as a result, are able to provide advice and guidance that is tailored to their individual needs and aspirations, offering them the best chance of success.

In alignment with the whole Academy aims, at Post 16 at Quarrydale:

  • We want students to ASPIRE to get the best outcomes they can, to be good community citizens and to set and achieve personal goals
  • We want our students to BELIEVE in themselves and have a can-do approach to learning. Have the ability and confidence to overcome barriers and be resilient and not afraid of failing.
  • We want our students to SUCCEED and achieve their goals both academically and personally to maximise their potential.

Post 16 Curriculum Intent

  • To offer a broad, balanced, relevant and appropriate choice of subjects for each individual’s needs, including SEND and disadvantaged pupils. In order to do this, the curriculum offer contains a wide range of traditional A Level qualifications, as well as Applied A Levels and Btec Level Three courses.
  • To provide appropriate pathways to engage all students at KS5 which enable progression into HE, employment or training. Opportunities to prepare students for life beyond sixth form such as work experience, open days and IAG will be consistent, regular and up to date.
  • To provide high quality careers education to ensure students are prepared for their next stage of learning, training or employment
  • To promote a love of learning across the curriculum, encouraging pupils to develop lively, enquiring minds and to be unafraid to be curious and to question. Providing opportunities for students to question, analyse, evaluate and synthesise throughout the course of their learning.
  • To provide stretch and challenge for all, developing problem solving and thinking skills and promoting a sense of responsibility for their own learning.
  • To equip students for their role as citizens through a suitable and relevant PSHE programme, including developing an awareness of spiritual, social, moral and multi-cultural understanding
  • To encourage involvement in extra and super curricular activities to enrich all students’ education and develop skills such as though required for employment and Higher Education.
  • To foster and maintain parent/carer- student-teacher partnerships that support students to achieve their full potential through the delivery of information, advice and guidance session for all involved, alongside maintaining open and transparent channels of communication.

Post 16 Curriculum Implementation

  • Students are encouraged to progress onto a study programme that suits their personal needs and aspirations. This process begins in year 10 and is supported throughout year 11 for Quarrydale students.
  • Students are given a free choice of 3 or 4 A Levels/BTECs depending on their entry profile. Students are able to choose a combination of the different types of qualifications available.
  • Students with 5+ GCSE grade 7-9 can study 4 subjects
  • A-level subjects have entry requirements such as maths and sciences requiring a grade 7 minimum at GCSE
  • This is guided through the application and interview process.
  • Year 12 and Year 13- 9 teaching periods per subject over a two week period plus students are directed to use their independent study time to consolidate and deepen their learning,
  • All students are assigned to a tutor group and have an AM and PM registration period every day in which tutors are able to disseminate information and check in with their students.
  • One to one meetings between tutors and students take place at least once every term. These are used to highlight any concerns, praise achievements, discuss and make plans relating to Post 18 options and check on general wellbeing.
  • Heads of Post 16 track and monitor progress data, attendance and participation in extracurricular activities and regularly check in with students.
  • Students can apply to study the EPQ in additional to their level 3 qualifications
  • Students engage in an enrichment programme to support their curricular learning. This includes working closely with the local universities, employers, apprenticeship providers, charities, local primary schools, The Scholars Programme, EDT and many other third party organisations.
  • Students participate and engage in sessions and workshops that promote study skills, employability skills, independence and other character development, as well as those that which aim to provide information, advice and guidance on Post 18 options.
  • Students are able to voice their views and concerns through ‘pupil voice’ sessions which take place for all KS5 subjects on a termly basis.
  • Students given the responsibility of organising some elements of their own enrichment programme through participation in the social committee, organising sporting activities, fund raising events and other activities engaging the wider school and local community such as Q radio and voluntary work.
  • All sixth form students undertake a period of work experience
  • There is a designated safeguarding lead for Post 16 students who has additional Mental Health First Aider training.
  • All subjects are taught by teachers who have relevant expertise and experience in the delivery of Key Stage 5 education. Regular assessment is completed and students, parents and staff are informed of progress.
  • Regular assessment times are scheduled within the year. There are three AP points for each year group, one in each term. This is consolidated by two parents’ consultation evenings for year 12 students and one for year 13 students.
  • Students understanding is systematically checked and students are familiar with strategies and techniques used. It allows for any misconceptions to be accurately addressed as well as providing the opportunity for clear and direct feedback.
  • The Sixth Form building is designed to facilitate and aid the learning of students through providing an environment to be solely used by Post 16 students. There are both communal and quiet spaces, with access to resources and IT equipment.
  • The environment in each classroom is one that supports the delivery of a coherently planned curriculum. The environment also develops study skills ready for transition to higher education post 18.


Post 16 Curriculum Impact

  • Students develop detailed knowledge and skills in the subjects which they have chosen to study. As a result they achieve well and are able to progress in to higher education, employment or commence an apprenticeship.
  • Students leave Sixth Form equipped with qualifications and personal skills which have been enriched by being part of a progressive, holistically focussed experience.
  • Aspirations and expectations are high, students are proud to be Quarrydale Academy students and many of our alumni return to share stories of their successes with current students.
  • Students are recognised for the positive contributions they make to the Academy and wider community.

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Quarrydale Academy, a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales , Company number 07891230.
Registered Office: Stoneyford Road, Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 2DU
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