Careers and Higher Education Guidance
Advice will be given throughout their time with us
Throughout their time in the sixth form, students will receive advice and guidance on careers and higher education options. This advice will be provided during Personal Development lessons by a variety of people including the Director of Sixth Form, The Head of Careers, Careers Officers, personal and subject Tutors and outside speakers as appropriate. Individual interviews will be part of this process and opportunities will exist to visit universities on open days. All students in year 12 undertake a work experience placement which is targeted towards their career choice or university ambitions. In year 13, all students applying to universities will be provided with support and guidance to complete their UCAS applications and to prepare for university life (e.g. information on finance and living away from home).
A resource base for careers information, university prospectuses and reference information exists in the sixth form learning and resource centre, where students have access to web-based information on a wide range of occupations and employment opportunities.
There are a range of options open to students wishing to study in the sixth form at St Thomas More Catholic School and these are outlined in more detail elsewhere in this prospectus.
We are offering a broad range of courses, many of which will be studied here and some of which will be on offer in other post-16 institutions in the area as part of our collaborative arrangements with other local Colleges. Where there are enough applicants, these courses will run.
Choosing the Right Courses
This involves thinking very carefully about the following three questions;
How good am I at this subject and can I expect to achieve the entry requirement at GCSE level? (It would be useful to talk to your teachers in year 11 and the Connexions Officer to have their opinions about your suitability for your chosen course.)
Will I enjoy this subject? (You are far more likely to do well if you do.)
Will this subject help me in my future career? (If you already have a clear idea about which university course you wish to take or which career you intend to follow, it is important to ensure that the subjects you study in the sixth form enable you to proceed to the next stage of your chosen career path. On the other hand, if you are unsure about what you wish to do when you leave the sixth form, the general advice is to study a range of subjects that suit your aptitudes and abilities and also keeps open your options for the future.
Types of Course
- AS and A2 levels
- Applied Learning Courses
- GCSE Courses in English and Maths
- All students will take part in a L3 wider key skills course and an enhancement and enrichment programme of activities
AS level qualifications are now stand alone in the sense that in most cases they are not part of the full A level. All year 12 students start on three AS level courses and, provided they are successful, can complete a second year of study for a full A level.
To continue with a course to full A level a grade D or above at AS level must be achieved. Most students choose 3 AS levels at the start of year 12 and continue with all of them at A level. Each AS and A level course is 5 hours a week. It is possible to combine AS level and Applied Learning courses in certain circumstances.
All AS and A2 level courses will be taught as St Thomas More Sixth Form College.
The general entry requirements for AS/A level courses is a minimum of 5 GCSE grade 4 and above, one of which must be English or Maths. Students must achieve an average GCSE points score of 4 gleaned from all GCSE qualifications undertaken. In addition, there are specific subject requirements which are outlined on the relevant course pages in the prospectus.
Applied Learning Courses
We offer a Level 3 BTEC course in Health and Social Care, Applied Science and Sport.
GCSE courses in English and Maths can be taken by students who failed to achieve their GCSE target grade. Lessons will be provided before the re-sit and will be undertaken alongside the AS level programme.
ASDAN Wider Key Skills and Enrichment Activities
As part of the school’s Catholic Ethos, all students will follow a core L3 wider key skills programme to explore and develop their study skills and earn valuable UCAS points.
In addition, all students will have the opportunity on a Wednesday afternoon to opt for one or more of a range of enrichment activities which we believe will form an important part of the Sixth Form Experience.
Enrichment activities enhance student CV’s and contribute to the more rounded education that is viewed favourably by both universities and employers. Students will play a part in determining what activities will be on offer. The range of activities is expected to include;
- Critical Thinking
- Sport and Recreational Activities
- Community Service
- Mentoring of Younger Pupils
- Learning Support within different Department
- Current Affairs
- Additional Learning Support
- Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award
- Extended Project Qualification
- Visits to Universities
- Charity Work
- Music, Art or Dance Workshops for Pleasure
- Work Experience
- Pre-Driving Courses
- Leadership Development Opportunities
- Young Enterprise
- Student Expectations
At St Thomas More Sixth Form College you will be treated as a young adult with courtesy and respect and your opinions will be valued. In return, you will be expected to treat others with respect and as the senior students in the school, to be excellent role models for younger students. In all areas of sixth form life, you will be expected to do your best and to strive to achieve your full potential.
In return, you can expect teaching of the highest quality, regular monitoring of your progress and support and guidance from all your tutors. You can also expect to work in a state of the art learning environment with full access to ICT facilities and a private study area.
Student communal areas will also provide a base for social use. Drinks, snacks and hot food will be available in these areas and also from our designated Sixth Form Canteen service.
Following discussions with students, staff and governors, it has been decided that sixth formers will not have a special uniform. However, it is expected that students will dress appropriately for their studies and not wear any item of clothing which may cause offence to others. Full details of the dress code are in the student handbook.