The Sixth Form at Ernesford Grange Community Academy celebrated some fantastic results this year. Our Year 13s results were in the top 20% nationally (finding calculated using ALPS) and achieved 44% A*-B. Our students were recently visited by an HMI inspector, who made the following comments:
•“6th Form students are highly motivated”
•“Post 16 behaviour is outstanding”
•“The academy enhances the 6th Form students’ life chances”
We currently offer AS and A Levels in eleven different subjects together with three vocational two-year courses which lead to qualifications in BTEC Nationals.
The academic side of the 6th Form is very important to us and results have always been impressive with the majority of students choosing to continue their education at university or as part of an apprenticeship scheme. However, Ernesford Grange 6th Form offers far more than just academic training. Every year the 6th Form arranges fund-raising activities for national charities – more than £2000 was recently raised for Children in Need. Students organise the activities themselves co-ordinated by the 16+ Council which is made up of student representatives from each tutor group. This organisation also focuses on developing the day to day facilities of their social area as well as organising social events and acting as a mouthpiece for any student concerns. Money made from organising parties has helped to provide facilities such as the pool table, water cooler and kitchen facilities. Students also pay a small yearly subscription which goes towards maintaining and enhancing the environment. The Council decide how this money should be spent.
Part of the ethos of the 6th Form is that students should give something back to the school and local communities. 6th form are also about to embark on a new project called For EG. All Post 16 students will receive mentoring training and will then spend an hour a week supporting KS3 and KS4 students. Support could take the form of one- to-one reading, mentoring an individual within a specific subject or running extracurricular activities. The programme will provide our 6th form with a variety of skills and experiences which enrich both their academic studies and their own lives.
Each student is allocated a personal tutor when they enter the 6th Form. They meet regularly each week either as part of the larger tutor group or individually. No group has more than 20 students and a close and supportive relationship is encouraged within the pastoral system. The principal role of the tutor is to monitor and guide the students whilst they are studying at Ernesford Grange.
Year 12 and 13 often work collaboratively, especially in the 6th form common room and we have built a collective culture within Ernesford Grange Post 16. At the beginning of each year, all students have the opportunity to attend a team building day, which has received great feedback from all who participants. One student commented on their learning experience that, “When working in a team, you need to cooperate, listen to each other and be kind.” Most recently, the 6th form were taken to the Rough Close outdoor facility where they had to work in teams to source fire wood, build and maintain a fire and cook a creative meal using a diverse range of ingredients.
In addition to this experience, students have a diverse enrichment programme available to them, which includes debating clubs, first aid introductions and cooking tutorials. Each week offers a different extracurricular opportunity for students to explore.
After the necessary regimentation of the first five years of secondary school life, the informality found in the 6th Form is an exciting and motivating experience for most. We see ourselves as providing a bridge between school and university life or the world of work. We still offer a safety net to those who need it whilst still treating the students as adults.
Mr A Beasant – Director of Post 16