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Welcome to Aquinas College Welcome to our prospectus. In it we give you a flavour of the type of college Aquinas is and all the wonderful opportunities open to you. Of course all we can do here is offer a snapshot of life at Aquinas. We have tried to capture some of this on the following pages. Becoming an Aquinas student is much more than simply choosing your next educational establishment. It is becoming a member of a wider Catholic community and as with most things in life, the more you put in the more you get out. Use this prospectus together with our website to find out more about Aquinas. As a college we are committed to caring for each individual student. You will find Aquinas a supportive yet challenging environment. We have the highest expectations of all who study and work here. We set rigorous standards of work and achievement and believe that each student deserves the very best possible support to reach his or her full potential. Our primary aim is to care for students, that excellent exam results follow is of no surprise. You are probably facing some difficult decisions about what and where to study. If you are prepared to work hard, aim high and “aspire to be more” then Aquinas is the place for you. Application and Admissions 2 –5 Curriculum and Courses 6 –13 Support, Enrichment, Events and Community 14 –23 Sport, Universities and Destinations 24 –28

Danny Pearson Principal

Lady Julian of Norwich

Welcome to Aquinas College

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.


Applying to Aquinas College Open Evenings Thursday 3 October and Wednesday 9 October 2013 How do I apply to Aquinas? Come to one of our Open Evenings, come and see what courses we have on offer, visit departments, and talk to us. If you think Aquinas is the place for you, apply on-line via our website When should I apply? From our first Open Evening on Thursday 3 October and before the deadline of Saturday 30 November What do I fill in? The application will ask you for address and contact details, what subjects you are thinking of studying, why you want to study at Aquinas, leisure interests and any medical/learning support issues. Who can apply? Students from local secondary schools or further afield, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. In other words all who are interested. Details at


Applications from category 5 students who have submitted their application forms by Saturday 30 November will then be considered taking into account their school reference. Applicants who are to receive further consideration will receive a letter by Saturday 21 December 2013 inviting them to come for an interview.

Applying to Aquinas College

What happens next? You will see from the application form that you fit in to one of five categories. Applicants in categories 1, 2, 3, and 4 whose applications are received by the Saturday 30 November deadline will be considered first.

All prospective students who are to be offered a place are interviewed in January/February. Students are invited to one of our Welcome Days at the end of June or beginning of July. Enrolment will be on Tuesday 26 August or Wednesday 27 August 2014. Should you have any questions, please contact Hilary Sturley, Admissions Manager, at or 0161 419 3605.


Admissions Calendar 2013–14 ❏ September | Prospectuses are available | We visit secondary schools to talk about Aquinas | You will also be able to meet us at Careers and Options Evenings |

❏ January/February | Interview to help you choose an appropriate course | Receive advice and guidance from Aquinas staff | Offer of place |

❏ October | Come to one of our Open Evenings on Thursday 3 October or Wednesday 9 October 2013 from 6.30pm | Find out about courses on offer, meet staff, current students and look around our state of the art building and fantastic facilities | Complete an application on-line via our website from Thursday 3 October |

❏ April | Invitation to our Welcome Day | Confirm offer of a place |

❏ November | Applications must be submitted by Saturday 30 November 2013 | ❏ December | Applicants who are to receive further consideration will receive a letter by Saturday 21 December 2013 inviting them to come for an interview |


❏ May | Good luck with your GCSE examinations | ❏ June | Exams are over – you can now relax, research courses and consider what to study. | ❏ July | Come to one of our Welcome Days | Parents invited to an Information Evening | ❏ August | Collect your GCSE results | Enrol at Aquinas at the end of August |

Admissions Calendar 2013–14

❝We were all made to feel very welcome when we started in September.❞ Student


Choosing the right course Which courses should I choose? You should choose courses that you will enjoy and ones where you meet the subject entrance criteria.   How will I choose my subjects? You should investigate which career path you would like to follow before choosing your subjects. You should read through all the subject information on our website before making your subject choices.   Which subjects go best together? Try not to pick subjects that are too similar, for example don’t pick all sciences or all arts subjects. Try to choose a broad range of subjects.

Stop and think! Before you choose what to study ask yourself: what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What do you want to do when you leave? Don’t be shy – talk to friends, family, other students and teachers. Do some research, come to our Open Evenings and talk to us. 6

Choosing the right course

â??I enjoy coming to Aquinas, there is a warm and friendly atmosphere.â?ž Student 7

Courses to suit you Level 3 courses The majority of our students feel that A Level or equivalent courses offer the best preparation for entry to higher education and proposed career. • In your first year at Aquinas you will follow an Advanced Subsidiary (AS) course. Most students study four AS subjects. Each AS subject takes one year and represents the first half of a full A Level and is worth 50% of the value of a full A Level. • In your second year, you will continue your studies in some of these subjects to A2 Level. • Successful completion of a subject at AS and A2 Level equals a full A Level. • Most students at Aquinas study three subjects at A2 Level. However, it will be possible to start new AS Levels in your second year. • Most A Levels are made up of four units. Some have an examination at the end of each unit, others have the assessment at the end of the AS and A2 courses. • We offer a number of BTEC courses which follow a similar pattern to AS and A2 Levels. Students following BTECs will complete a number of units in the first year of study and, if they opt to continue to a second year, will study another set of units. • Level 3 BTEC courses are available in Drama, IT, Law, Music, Science and Sport


Courses to suit you

GCSE courses We offer a limited number of GCSE courses at the College. Students who do not have a grade C or above in English and/or Maths will have to take a GCSE or Foundation Course in these subjects at the College. A GCSE course at Aquinas lasts only 9 months compared with the 2 year course at your previous school. Core Studies All students at Aquinas follow Core Studies consisting of three elements: | Enrichment | Ethics | Tutor Group |


Courses to suit you Enrichment There is more to education at Aquinas than exams! Our Enrichment Programme offers students really exciting and diverse experiences. Students are offered the opportunity to add extra courses to their subject-based timetable in the following areas: | Arts and Media | Charities | College Teams | Duke of Edinburgh | International Links | | Languages | Music | Performance | Social Groups | Sports and Leisure | Voluntary Work | Ethics Our course identifies and promotes exploration of and reflection upon questions which have ultimate meaning and significance. Students are encouraged to develop skills of critical enquiry and analysis. The programme centres on core ideas central to Religion and Philosophy — faith, trust, belief, values and needs. It is seen as an open-ended search for truth which respects the freedom and dignity of each student. Ethics is compulsory for every Aquinas student. Tutor Group Each student is a member of a tutor group, an important part of the guidance and support system at Aquinas. The group tutor is each student’s first point of contact and provides support with any difficulties encountered on a day-to-day basis. The programme concentrates on each student’s personal, social and career development. At regular intervals, one-to-one discussions take place with the group tutor. These cover, in detail, the progress made in every area of College life. This discussion is a two-way process; students are required to take an active part in reviewing their work, setting specific targets to be achieved during the next assessment period, as well as recording their involvement in College life.


Courses to suit you

Please remember • We offer a place to each student as an individual, NOT subject to certain GCSE results. • Each subject at Aquinas has subject entry criteria. These are available on our website and you should check them whilst considering your subject choices. • Concentrate on gaining the best grades you can in Year 11 – the better you do in your GCSEs the more choices of courses at Aquinas will be available to you. If you don’t do so well in your GCSEs we will work with you to find appropriate courses (this may involve resitting some GCSEs). • We are here to help with individual problems and will listen carefully to your requests. We do not want you to start on the wrong course and end up feeling frustrated or that you have wasted your time – above all, we want you to succeed. • You do not have to decide on the subjects you are to study until the end of August when you enrol. • We will spend as long as it takes to help you choose the right subjects for you.


Courses Level 3 courses · Advanced Level courses · GCE Advanced Level courses (AS and A2) | Accounting | Archaeology | Art, Craft & Design | Biology | Business (Applied) – Single or Double award | Business Studies | | Chemistry | Classical Civilisation | Communication & Culture | Computing | Critical Thinking | Dance | Economics | English Language | | English Language & Literature | English Literature | Environmental Studies | Extended Project | Film Studies | Financial Studies | | Food, Nutrition & Health (Home Economics) | French | General Studies | Geography | Geology | German | Government & Politics | | Graphic Communication | Health and Social Care | History | Italian | Japanese | Law | Leisure Studies | Mathematics | | Mathematics (Further) | Media Studies | Music | Music Technology | Performance Studies | Philosophy | Physical Education | | Physics | Product Design (3D Design) | Product Design (Textiles) |Psychology | Religious Studies | Sociology | Spanish |

Level 3 other courses | IT (BTEC) | Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ) | Law (BTEC) | Legal Executive (ILEX) | Music (BTEC) | Drama – Acting (BTEC) | | Drama – Production (BTEC) | Science (BTEC) | Sport Certificate (OCR National Certificate) | Workskills (BTEC) |

Level 2 courses | Business (OCR) | English | Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ) | Japanese | Law (BTEC) | Legal Executive (ILEX) | | Mathematics | Science | Science Extra | Spanish |

Level 1 courses | E-Type (Touch Typing) | Foundation English | Foundation Mathematics | Japanese |


These courses may be subject to change


â??I have been pleased with my time at College, both socially and academically.â?ž Student


Support for students Student support services at Aquinas are: • comprehensive • well established • highly regarded by students, parents and Ofsted Our tutorial programme gives you the best possible support during your time here. You can expect: • your performance to be closely monitored • regular meetings with your tutor to discuss progress • targets to be set and reviewed each term • to discuss future plans in individual and group sessions Students are encouraged to approach any member of staff if difficulties or problems arise. A referral system is in place to enable students to access support from the Learning Support Team and our Counsellor. A dedicated student information point and reception area keep you up to date with the everyday activity of the College, as does our daily television ‘bulletin board’.


Support for students

â??My teachers have been great and I enjoy lessons.â?ž Student 15

Enrichment programme The Enrichment Programme is the extra-curricular activities we offer at Aquinas. They occur at various times and you can enrol for any options that appeal to you that do not clash with your main subject timetable. We want you to have fun, get involved, learn new skills, make new friends and represent College. Here are some of the things you can get involved in: | Astronomy | Charities | Chinese and Japanese for beginners | College Musical | | Cooking Club | Debating Society | Duke of Edinburgh’s Award * | | Orchestra | Play for a College Team – Football, Netball, Rugby | Scripture | Sport & Leisure | Trips and Visits | Voluntary Work... and many more! | *Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DoE) The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a programme of activities designed by individual students and carried out in their free time. At Aquinas we now offer all three levels – Bronze, Silver and for those who have completed Silver, Gold. The award includes physical and skills sections, volunteering and an expedition, with an additional residential at Gold level. At College we provide training for the expedition and give guidance on suitable activities. Students meet for one hour every week and need to be able to join us for some practice walks which are at weekends. Those who complete the training will be eligible to join one of our expedition teams in the summer.


Enrichment programme

â??I feel that the college is run amazingly well and is very well looked after.â?ž Student 17

Enrichment programme International visits and exchanges Our Languages Department encourages students to take part in the exchanges they offer. These include France and Germany. Students studying Japanese also have the opportunity to visit Japan. The College also run exchange visits to Romania, Italy and The Netherlands. Each year students travel to India to work with street and slum children. This is part of the College charity – Aquinas India Project, which raises a considerable amount of money for the charity, Prem Dan (Hindi for ‘Gift of Love’). We also raise funds for international and local charities such as CAFOD, British Red Cross, St Ann’s Hospice, Francis House and Wellspring. Performing Arts students have the opportunity to go on trips to theatre dance and music performances in Manchester and beyond. There is an extensive schedule of performances in the College theatre throughout the year with a musical at Christmas and a Shakespeare production at Easter. There is also a performing arts tour to Barcelona each year. The Media department organise a visit to New York every other year. The History department takes students to Poland each February to visit Auschwitz and Krakow. And finally the Environment Science department organise a conservation expedition to such exotic locations as The Philippines, Costa Rica and Ecuador.


Enrichment programme

â??I gained an understanding of a new culture

and a very different way of life. This has helped me to appreciate things I took for granted and didn’t regard as anything special.� Student 19

Events and trips Aquinas students have the opportunity to get involved in International visits, events and activities throughout the year. There are too many to mention but here are some that students have enjoyed: | Art Department to national events | Band Showcase Night | Business Studies department to Paris | | Dance Performance at The Plaza | Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme | Environmental conservations trips eg. Philippines | | French exchange | German exchange | Politics department trip to New York | India Trip to Mumbai | Italian exchange | | Law department visit to Royal Court of Justice & Manchester Crown Court | Leavers’ Ball | Plaza Dance Performance | | Performing Art Department to Barcelona | Romanian exchange | Talent Show |


Events and trips

â??Aquinas is an overall amazing college.â?ž Student


Community The Chaplaincy Our lay chaplain, provides support to anyone who wants to talk, he is there to provide a listening ear on anything and everything. He is available most of the time so students can drop in or they can make an appointment to see him. His office is next to the Chapel at the main entrance of the College and his door is always open. Mass is celebrated weekly and each day begins with prayers and Eucharistic Adoration. The Chapel is available to students of any faith (or none) for individual/group prayer and reflection at anytime. Aquinas Student Council The Student Council at Aquinas becomes bigger and better every year. The Council is made up of students from both years. Meetings are held weekly and all are encouraged to participate. Our main aim is to represent students and enhance the quality of College life. We try to ensure that students’ opinions are considered in the day-to-day administration and future plans for Aquinas. This is achieved through Student Council members being represented on a variety of staff groups, for example Equality & Diversity, Healthy College and others. The Council President and Vice President are also College Governors and work closely with the Principal. Throughout the year, the Council liaises with students to gain feedback and elicit opinions. The Student Council also helps students enjoy their time at Aquinas College and organises a range of events/activities throughout the year, including the Talent Show and the Leavers’ Ball.



The Chaplaincy supports all students.

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Sporting opportunities From the beginner to the elite performer, it is our aim to give all students equal opportunities to participate in a variety of sporting and physical activities. You will have the opportunity to take part competitively, or just for fun, as part of our enrichment programme. These activities include: Competitive sport Two football teams and one netball team compete in weekly fixtures in the North West Colleges League. Our rugby team is in a North West Development League. We are current North West British Colleges football and netball champions. In addition individuals and teams are entered into a variety of British Colleges Sport competitions including: Badminton | Cross country | Golf | Male & Female 5-a-side Football Netball | Swimming | Table-tennis | Tennis | Trampolining Recreational sport Badminton | Basketball | Circuit training | Cricket | Drop-in Fitness Suite 5-a-side football | Hockey | Netball | Rock Climbing | Rugby Running Club | Table tennis | Tennis | Trampolining Coaching Award FA Level 1 Coaching Certificate


Sporting opportunities

â??I really enjoy college and the support I receive is great!â?ž Student 25

University successes In 2013 ten students won places at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. They are: Bethany Ashworth – St John’s College Oxford – Law Lewis Ball – Selwyn College Cambridge – Mathematics Daniel Hovington – Christ’s College Cambridge – Law Eizabeth Le – St Catharine’s College Cambridge – Medicine Jimmy Chi Lap Lei – Sidney Sussex College Cambridge – Architecture Katherine Roddy – Pembroke College Oxford – French & German Joel Rogers – Downing College Cambridge – Natural Sciences Bethany Shire – Pembroke College Oxford – Chemistry Daniel Smith – Somerville College Oxford – History Laura Thompson – Fitzwilliam College Cambridge – English All our students, whatever their destination after Aquinas, receive excellent advice, guidance and support starting in their first year. In addition to Group and Senior Tutors, the college has two specialist Careers Advisers who are available throughout the year.


Examinationsresults The college has a longstanding tradition of excellent examination results despite the fact that our entry policy is fully comprehensive. We accept all students, irrespective of ability, provided that room and suitable courses are available. We do not use a selection process to ensure good examination results. Our basic aim is to care for students – that good examination results follow is no surprise. Destinations Further Aquinas sends over 60% of its students to Education College university. The College is highly successful in 54 helping students to secure places at the top selective Full-time universities eg Oxford, Cambridge and the Russell employment Group. This was reported in the Sutton Trust Report, 92 ‘Degree of Success – University Chances by individual school’ (July 2011). The most popular choices for Part-time work 1 Aquinas students were Biology, Business, English, Law, Sports Sciences and Teaching. Unknown 86

❝Aquinas is a fantastic college that

offers us the best support and help all through our time here.❞ Student

Self employed 1

Other 75

Unemployed 1

Full-time HE 532 (63%)

University successes | Results and destinations

Results and destinations


A day in the life of a student 8:11

I catch the bus and there is a two minute walk to College from the bus stop.


“Thumb in” on time for double chemistry. The labs are brand new, we do practicals about twice a month.


Swing band is at break on Wednesday. Other break times, I’m usually at the first floor cafe or in Student Council. We’ve organised Open Mic nights, ‘Take me out’, Aquinas Day and taken on students issues.


Enough time to grab a tea cake from the cafe before assembly.


After our weekly assembly, we have tutorial with our tutor group. Here we discuss the assembly with our group tutor and learn about a variety of things such as driving, study skills, UCAS etc.


Twenty five minutes free before next lesson. Get a toastie from the canteen. I made friends in my tutor group in the first few weeks and in the ethics lessons we have together weekly.


Go to the second floor for biology. I chose chemistry and biology because they overlap in certain areas, and they are studied in much more depth at A Level.


Biology for me is in a lunch-time block, so we are given twenty five minutes for lunch at the end of the lesson. I go to the first floor cafe to catch up with my friends.


Further Maths is my final double lesson of the day. Back up to the second floor again.


Finish for the day. I usually try and catch a lift with a friend to be home at about 4.05pm, if not the bus gets me home around 4:30pm.

The best piece of advice I was given was to make sure you go for every opportunity given to you – get involved with a sport or a club which interests you, and you’ll meet new people quickly and you will love Aquinas. Also, if you get chips from the canteen, ask for the fire cracker sauce, it’s really good.


â??I have enjoyed my two years at Aquinas and I recommend the college to future students.â?ž Student

Nangreave Road 路 Stockport SK2 6TH Telephone 0161 483 3237 路 Fax 0161 487 4072 Email 路 Website

Aquinas 14-15 Prospectus  

Prospectus for Aquinas College 2014. Aquinas is an outstanding sixth form college in Stockport.

Aquinas 14-15 Prospectus  

Prospectus for Aquinas College 2014. Aquinas is an outstanding sixth form college in Stockport.