Why Bablake Sixth Form?
Our aim is for each individual in the Sixth Form to maximise their potential, leaving Bablake as confident, articulate, well-rounded young people ready to make their mark on the world.
The Bablake Sixth Form contains about 240 students. All are studying for A levels. There is, therefore, a common academic purpose, as well as continuity of teaching by specialist staff with wide experience of teaching up to Oxford and Cambridge entrance level.
In order for staff to provide a high level of individual tuition and for students to participate fully in discussion, the size of teaching groups is carefully limited. Where class sizes are very small, we may allocate fewer lessons than normal; we will write to parents in this instance explaining precisely the change so option choices can be reconsidered. We also cannot guarantee to run every subject at AS level (or new-style A level) if the number of students opting is too low. However, regardless of group size, we are committed to providing a timetable for each subject through to full A level after the first year.
It is possible for those seeking competitive courses beyond Bablake to extend their A level study in a subject of their choice.
We encourage all Bablake Sixth Formers to be intellectually curious and extend their interest in the subjects and vocations for which they feel an aptitude and affinity.
In the Sixth Form, there is an Academic Society, and Extension Lessons in each subject allow high fliers to explore topics beyond the constraints of examination syllabuses. We also offer extra support for competitive entry (e.g. medicine, law, Oxbridge, university aptitude tests), and a good number of pupils complete an Extended Project Qualification or a scientific Gold CREST research project.
Whether as a House official, prefect, school ambassador, librarian, charity prefect, magazine editor or sports captain, there are countless opportunities to develop leadership skills. If a society does not exist, then it is the perfect opportunity to instigate it.
The Sixth Form Block contains a silent study area, networked computers, a common room and coffee bar. These are all exclusively for the use of the Sixth Form. Many subjects have rooms specifically reserved for A level teaching. In the case of Sciences and Modern Languages, there is specialised equipment used primarily by A level students.
Tutor groups in the Sixth Form usually contain 12-14 students. The tutor has an important role to play overseeing the student's academic and personal progress. During the twice-weekly tutor period, tutors deal with such matters as study skills, effective use of time, relevant personal, social and current issues and, as time goes on, the process of applying for Higher Education or employment. The tutor collects information for the production of references and is responsible for the UCAS reference for university candidates. The Head of Sixth Form, the Assistant Head and Head of Careers also give a significant amount of guidance. The Headmaster also reads final UCAS applications, so as to ensure that our students are presented in the best possible light.
Monitoring of Progress
Regular assessments and mock examinations continue but in a more detailed form than in the lower part of the School. Tutor interviews, subject teacher interviews and reports occur throughout the two years. In some circumstances progression with the full A level may not be automatic and will be dependent upon performance at AS level (where relevant).
During these two years, it is vital that students continue to develop the personal qualities, skills and work habits which Higher Education and employers look for as a supplement to academic attainment. On the one hand, we aim to build on the attitude and responses which have their roots in the lower part of the School. Accordingly, elementary requirements such as uniform and punctuality are maintained. On the other hand, Sixth Formers are given flexibility in such matters as the use of time, style of uniform and choice of games activities, with the expectation that they will exercise this greater freedom responsibly. They can exploit individual strengths and priorities, form relationships with the teaching staff in a more relaxed but mature way and make contributions to the general life of the School in leadership rôles and in the many other activities which occur. Thus it is possible to strike a balance between the demands of purely academic studies, positive participation in the School community and social or work commitments outside the school. In the process, students develop independent work habits, enhance their own prospects, find considerable satisfaction and exercise a major influence on the ethos of the whole School.
Friends for Life
It may be a cliché, but friendships formed at Bablake really do last for life. The special environment and care for all pupils makes the school a hard place to leave!
My employers are all impressed with how confident I am, even when dealing with senior executives and board members. I put that totally down to Bablake.