Head of Year: Mr. R. Harper
Director of Sixth Form: Mrs. M. Lowndes (Assistant Headteacher)
I would like to start by thanking you for your support of the Sixth Form at Chadwell Heath Academy. I fully appreciate the difficulties in deciding which establishment is best suited to the educational needs of students post-16. Obviously, I feel that you have made the right choice, as our aim is to bring out the best in each student. You will have noted from previous correspondence and the contract signed at enrolment, study within the Sixth Form is in many ways different to that experienced in Years 7-11.
Students have far more autonomy, while still being supported within a safe school environment. We have, over the years found that many 16-19 year-olds tend to regard themselves as adults and do not always see the need to explain or pass on letters from school. In recognition of this I would like to outline some of our procedures and forthcoming events.
You will receive three Performance Indicator Reports over the course of the year: these contain Target Grades, Current Grades and Commitment Grades for each subject studied. The first assessment will be published in the early part of November. Where there are problems, you will receive an additional letter through the post outlining strategies for improvement. If you do not receive a copy of the Performance Indicators from your son/daughter, please contact the Sixth Form Office. We also run a fortnightly Homework Check that we will e-mail to you. The dates will be posted on the website so that you can double check when these are due.
There will be a Parents’ Evening on Thursday 17th November, 2022. This will give you an opportunity to discuss the Performance Indicators in detail and also provide you with the opportunity to resolve any queries you may have. We will send a reminder via SIMS In-touch nearer the time. If you have not already given us your e-mail, please contact the sixth form office: it is the most efficient way to keep up-dated.
Year 12 is intense. The range of courses mean there is no one ‘standard’ procedure for assessment. Most A-Levels are not formally examined until the end of the Upper Sixth, whilst others include an AS taken in May/June. It is necessary to pass the AS or the internal June examination to continue to study a subject at Year 13. Those studying BTEC/CTEC face a series of tight deadlines by which they must complete some challenging units, and many now include an exam which will be sat in January of this year.
Subject teachers will work closely with students to help them cope with the demanding work load and develop the skills needed to meet the demands of the increased emphasis on examination technique. In addition, Mrs Gidlow performs the role of Academic Mentor to support students according to their specific needs. Students will also take part in life skills lessons as part of a national initiative to make up for experiences lost or disrupted by Covid-related lockdowns.
Year 12 students will have a mock examination week in the second week of January 2023 to help prepare them for final examinations. Those who do not pass must re-sit; if they fail a second time, we will review the curriculum choices they have made and their relevance moving forward.
Students should allow up to five hours per subject per week for homework which will normally appear on the ‘Show My Homework’ app. Given that all students have supervised study periods this is more manageable than it may initially sound.
It is vital that holiday dates are checked well advance to avoid examination clashes. Please be aware that absence for long periods may affect entry. Be aware also that all Sixth Form students must engage in a minimum number of Guided Learning Hours to retain full-time student status: should a student fall below this figure, they cannot remain on roll. It goes without saying that late and absent students miss out on vital classroom time.
Where students have blocks of non-contact time, they may be granted some study leave at different points within the year, if they meet the criteria. I should point out that Study Leave is not an automatic right and can be revoked at any time. If you wish to check your son/daughter’s Study Leave times, please e-mail the Sixth Form at email@example.com.
We will not give out information to anyone over the telephone other than the named parent/carer on our files. Please do not be offended if we ask for verification. If you wish to make changes to guardianship on our school system, we will need this in writing. Similarly, if you are away on holiday or on business abroad, it would be helpful to have a temporary contact number in case of problems.
On occasions, where staff are absent, Sixth Form lessons are not covered by supply teachers. Students are either set work by the Head of Department or should continue with their background reading and independent research – which is part of every course. This means that their time can always be spent productively. The Sixth Form has designated study rooms which are equipped with computers connected to the Internet. This area is supervised throughout the day.
Students must not attend part time paid employment during school hours. We appreciate that many 16-19 year-olds need part-time work, but this should not exceed 15 hours per week, as research has shown that excessive time spent on jobs outside school has a detrimental effect on results. Some students have been known to use this argument to avoid doing the washing up or cleaning!
Students are also expected to be punctual and to attend registration. This is an important part of the Sixth Form Contract as poor punctuality and attendance does not establish a good working pattern and does not create the right impression when applying for jobs and university. Lateness must be made up in the evening of the same day or at 8.00am the next morning.
In line with the workplace, we do require a telephone call or e-mail on the day of absence. If this is not forthcoming, please send in a note and/or appointment card, as registers are taken on a daily basis and all absence must be accounted for. Where this does not happen, the register is marked ‘absent without authorisation’.
Attendance that falls below expectation will usually trigger a visit from the Attendance Officer. We occasionally make random calls to parents following lesson checks. I apologise in advance if, prior to any such check, you have already notified the school of an absence.
Please note that Bursary students will only be paid if attendance and punctuality is 100%, unless there are mitigating circumstances. In these instances, the Appeals System should be used. Be aware that various organisations can ask for information with regard to attendance: the electronic register is used for these purposes.
Most of our communications to you will be made via the student and will occasionally include a reply slip. In the rare instance where a student is in trouble, we usually send the student home to discuss the matter with you first, then follow up with contact from us by telephone or letter. We feel that this allows students to develop a more responsible, mature approach to such matters. This is particularly important as sixth formers make the transition from Year 11 pupils to Year 13 students, ready to embark on a university course or full-time work.
Please note that all Sixth Form students have to wear visible I.D. at all times on school premises. If this I.D is left at home, students will be sent home immediately. This measure has been introduced to improve security and is in line with colleges and many places of work. Whilst there is no uniform, students are expected to follow the Sixth Form Dress Code and will be sent home to change if clothing is inappropriate.
In addition to their studies, we offer students a range of opportunities designed to broaden their experiences and enhance university/job applications. Last year included many events, such as: Practical Modules, visits to places of Cultural and Scientific interest, and Higher Education Days. Participation in most events is voluntary, but we hope students will take advantage of the opportunities on offer. The Sixth Form Committee is very active and organise many fund-raising events.
All official trips organised by the school require signed permission slips and contact numbers. The dates of trips are usually posted on the Sixth Form Calendar. I should perhaps warn you in advance that Sixth Form parties often work out a little expensive. If you have not already done so, please return the forms with regard to the cashless canteen system via your son/daughter.
For some students their Sixth Form career is very smooth: others find it more difficult. Prepare for peaks and troughs; often focused around pressure points such as coursework deadlines. Form Tutors see their students twice daily and will be more than happy to discuss any issues with you at a convenient time. Alternatively, you can e-mail the Sixth Form or contact Mr. Harper (Head of Year 12) directly. We always welcome contact with home.
Key Dates (Autumn Term):
12th September Sixth Form lessons begin
30th September Internal deadline for early entrants to UCAS (Medicine, Oxbridge etc)
21st October Super-curricular Day
17th November Parents’ Evening
09th December Food Bank Collection
15th December STEAM / Winter Wonderland Day
16th December Internal UCAS Deadline