Sharjah English School
THE SIXTH FORM – INTRODUCTION As a prospective Year 12 student you are about to make decisions about your future that will be very much formed by your own aspirations – for the first time you will no longer be in compulsory education. You will be thinking of joining Year 12 to continue your studies through into Year 13. (Years 12 and 13 are traditionally known as the Sixth Form – Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth). In deciding to stay on into the Sixth Form at Sharjah English School, or join as a new student, you will no doubt have spent time in serious thought. Some of you will have a specific career in mind but all of you will see Sixth Form study as a means of providing you with qualifications, experience and opportunities. You should consult your parents when forming your plans and always speak with experienced members of staff in order that you are content that your questions are answered. If you are to benefit from entering a Sixth Form you must be prepared to extend yourself academically, to utilise the greater freedom that you will have in a worthwhile and constructive manner and to take advantage of the opportunities which will exist for developing skills, leadership and responsibility. Your aim should be to strive for success.
Selection criteria for Sixth Form at Sharjah English School The Sixth Form at Sharjah English School is open to all who qualify by ability and attitude. References will be called for and students who are unlikely to benefit from a Sixth Form course because of a record of poor attendance and/or a negative attitude to study will not be accepted. Students achieving a minimum of 5 GCSE passes, A* to C, including Mathematics and English, will be considered for entry to the Sixth Form. There will be an expectation that a ‘B’ grade at GCSE has been achieved before a student is encouraged to commence a Sixth Form course in a particular subject. All external candidates will be interviewed to assess their suitability.
Background information for the post 16-curriculum All Advanced Level courses are made up a number of units. The first 2 or 3 units make up the AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level. These units are normally completed in the Lower Sixth year (Y12). The final units are at full A2 Level standard and are completed in the Upper Sixth year (Y13). For some subjects the A2 units may be of a synoptic nature (i.e. questions drawn from the whole course). The AS level + the A2 level = a full A Level.
Applying for University places in the UK.
A UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) points tariff has been developed to convert A level results into points for applying to a UK based Universtiy. GRADE
Points value - AS
Points value â€“ A2 140
This years offers have ranged from AAA (360points) to (CC) 160 points with the students applying for a range of different courses throughout the UK. In common with many similar schools we have decided that all of our Lower Sixth students will enjoy a choice of four subjects to AS level, though an exceptional student may wish to increase this to five. For many students the number of subjects will reduce by one, to three subjects in then Upper Sixth. Therefore, by the end of the two years all students should achieve four AS level grades with at least three taken on to full A Level standard. Universities will make offers based on predicted grades in three A Level subjects, or points equivalent. Many have stated they will also be looking for a pass in a fourth subject at AS level, and they hope this fourth subject will offer breadth.
THE SIXTH FORM â€“ A CRUCIAL DECISION The choices you make, about what and where to study in the Sixth Form, will have a significant bearing on your future life and career. The qualifications you acquire, the personal qualities and life skills that you develop and the friendships you forge will all be crucial in determining how you cope with the transition from school to adult life, and your success in an increasingly competitive world.
The Sixth Form is different It is said that virtually all students find their time in the Sixth Form to be the most exciting and enjoyable of their whole school careers. It is not just an extension of life lower down the school â€“ you will be studying the subjects that you have chosen. Teaching groups will be smaller, allowing you to contribute more personally, and you will develop a more relaxed and adult relationship with staff. You will make new friends, often based on a shared interest in a particular area of study. You will have your own Sixth Form area. You will be able to choose from a range of extra curricular activities. You will be an integral part of the school community, helping with the running of the school and providing role models for the younger students.
Why stay on? Inevitably, some of you will be asking why you should stay on at Sharjah English School, and may be tempted by the prospect of change in general. However, this is a very important decision, and there are very considerable advantages to staying on. There will be no disruption to the continuity of your education. You are already an integral part of the community here. You have forged friendships over the years, and you know the staff and they know you. The Sixth Form tutors will guide you through the complex UCAS system into higher education, and the vital school reference is based on a detailed knowledge of your achievements and potential and can reflect your development throughout your school career. New students should know that Sharjah English School is committed to achieving excellent grades for all. We believe that SES can maximise your achievements at AS and A2 through having small class sizes, which will permit close supervision and individualised teaching; also our staff offers a blend of very experienced teachers at this level and more recently qualified staff very well versed in current UK developments and teaching practices.
The Sixth Form Curriculum You will choose four AS courses to follow in the Lower Sixth, and be examined in two or three units at the end of the Lower Sixth year. Most of you will then choose to focus on three subjects. Some of you may choose to continue all of your AS courses into Y13, achieving four subjects at A Level. In addition, all students follow a Life Management Skills (LMS) programme. This is a varied course that complements your other subjects, helping you to think critically, logically and constructively about significant issues. This meets the Key Skills requirements for British Universities. Outside speakers will be invited to talk to the Sixth Form on a variety of topics, ranging from political and environmental issues, to career and life experiences, gap year opportunities, and life at university. Throughout the Sixth Form you also have the chance to enjoy sporting opportunities and a variety of other extra curricular activities.
Life in the Sixth Form The secret to success in the Sixth Form is undoubtedly time management. The Sixth Form timetable will include study periods. You have to develop the selfdiscipline to work on your own, and to juggle the demands of academic work with all your other commitments. This is an essential pre-requisite to surviving not just the Sixth Form but university and also the world of work. Sixth Formers play a key role in many aspects of school life â€“ the Sixth Form student body will provide the senior school Head Boy and Girl and all responsible Sixth Formers will be given the opportunity to fulfil the role of prefects. The Sixth Form will reflect an outstanding record of academic success, built on the high calibre of the students and the excellence of our teaching, supported by first class facilities, small teaching groups and a carefully tailored system of support and guidance. For the vast majority of students all this combines to provide the very best environment in which to fulfil their potential, and secure the best possible A Level grades, which are of course the passport to university places and rewarding future careers.
Support and guidance Much emphasis is placed on helping you manage the transition from the more structured environment of KS4 to the greater independence of the Sixth Form. The same form tutor will stay with you throughout your two years in the Sixth Form. Your tutor will offer advice and support on academic, personal and career matters, and be responsible for your day to day welfare. They will discuss your choice of subjects, help with higher education applications, sort out any difficulties and review progress generally. Academic progress will also be reviewed on a monthly basis by teaching staff, this will be quickly and clearly shared with the students, parents and pastoral staff in order to create an environment where everyone works together in order to maximise student potential.
Parents will be invited to meet subject staff and tutors to discuss progress twice during each academic year. Advice on careers and higher education courses is particularly important in the Sixth Form and each student will be given the necessary guidance through our LMS program.
THE SIXTH FORM - CHOOSING AS AND A LEVEL SUBJECTS Dropping down from eight or more subjects to four subjects can pose a difficult choice, and there is also the option of taking up completely new subjects. It is quite likely that you have no clear idea what you want to do for a future career, or even what you might want to study at university. Hence, having to make decisions can be a worrying process. However, this is very common, and there are some general ground rules to follow. First, and fairly obvious, try to choose subjects that you enjoy, and that you want to explore further – if you are finding a subject too difficult now you are unlikely to enjoy it at A Level. You can decide to carry on with a subject even if you don’t shine at it particularly, but you must be realistic; a grade B at GCSE does not automatically translate into a grade B at A Level. Specific course information sheets will be available on the night, these will also be available through the school website www.sharjahenglishschool.org.
Study the course structure and content for each subject and discuss these further with your teachers. Make sure you understand what the course involves – again talk to subject staff, and find out as much as you can about the skills required. Clearly, if you want to pursue a scientific, medical or paramedical career you will need to take some science subjects – Chemistry is essential in medicine for instance.
For entry to most other career areas or university courses there are no hard and fast rules – subjects like History and English where you are researching, evaluating and weighing arguments on paper are considered a good foundation for law. A language can be a useful attribute in many careers such as business or management. But there is no point in choosing subjects because you (or your parents!) think they will be useful if you would have got better grades and more satisfaction studying something else. Choose two subjects that complement each other to some extent (e.g. English and History, Mathematics and Physics, Business Studies and a language). The third subject might also be complementary, or might provide a contrast. You should certainly try to use the fourth AS subject to add breadth – this is likely to be attractive to universities, and can enhance your ‘personal statement’. Don’t worry that some A Levels might be seen as ‘better’ than others – at the end of the day you are likely to be made a conditional offer by a university such as ‘ABB’ in three A2 subjects, or points equivalent, plus a pass in a fourth AS. This is based on your suitability for the course, your ‘personal statement’ and the school’s reference about you.
WHICH SUBJECTS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STUDY? Subjects at AS and full A2 Level • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
ART AND DESIGN BIOLOGY BUSINESS STUDIES CHEMISTRY DESIGN TECHNOLOGY ENGLISH LITERATURE FILM STUDIES FRENCH GEOGRAPHY HISTORY INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY MATHEMATICS MUSIC / MUSIC TECHNOLOGY PHYSICS
For the above subjects to ‘run’ there does need to be a viable number of students to have opted for the course. N.B. The timetabling of the Year12 subjects for September 2010 into 5 subject columns has been largely influenced by the combination of subjects chosen by students during the straw polls in January. Students may alter their choice of subjects at a later stage but they must of course then fit with the blocking system OPTION 1
MUSIC / TECH
Your are to choose 4 subjects - from separate option blocks! Detailed specifications about the subjects can by found on the Examination Boards’ Websites:www.edexcel.com
Further information There will be a Year 11/12 Options Information Evening on Tuesday March 16th. The evening will commence at 7pm, when parents and students will be able to meet with subject staff. The evening will also contain an introductory talk about Sixth Form issues in general. As mentioned before, during this evening; there will be information sheets available for all subject areas, these are also available on the school website
www.sharjahenglishschool.org New students who require information about the entrance policy and fees can contact the school reception on (9716) 5589304 or alternatively go to the â€˜about usâ€™ section at the above website.
ALL images provided by the staff and students at SES.