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Welcome to the Sixth Form



The Associated Sixth Form was created in 1973 as a unique venture in ecumenical education. Its aim is to provide a Christian environment in which all students who wish to remain at school beyond the age of 16 are given the opportunity to fulfil their academic potential. This is achieved by pooling the resources, staff expertise and experience of two outstanding schools for the benefit of all Sixth Form students.


Courses are offered at GCE Advanced, Level 3 Applied and BTEC Diploma and GCSE Levels. Last year 325 students advanced to Higher Education. With so many students between St. Aidan’s and St John Fisher, the Associated Sixth Form can offer a rich diversity of choice. The Association can also offer opportunities for students to work on extended projects and to be involved in a wide range of enrichment activities.

Students enter not only from St. Aidan’s and St John Fisher but also from more than 30 other schools in any one year. We believe that such a wide and varied intake helps to enrich the life of all students. It certainly provides all entrants with a challenge and the impetus of a fresh start. The evidence suggests that this experience is of great benefit when students make the transition from school to university.

Successful and popular...

Ofsted have reported that the Sixth Form provides an outstanding all-round education with exceptionally high- quality teaching for students whose attitudes to learning are superb.


The St. Aidan’s and St John Fisher school sites are close together and teaching is shared between the schools. Students meet in lessons, common rooms, dining areas, assemblies and combined sporting and social activities. All students undertake a broad programme of non-qualification studies including religious studies, economic development and pastoral issues. Both schools provide vital research facilities with a full range of books and periodicals and Internet access aimed particularly at Sixth Form courses. Additional Study Centres are available exclusively for Sixth Form students to facilitate independent work and there are also Sixth Form areas for the brief periods of leisure time.


Staff and students at each site elect representatives to student committees, known as the Senate and Congress. These committees have become essential to the successful leadership of both the Sixth Form and the two schools; their members gain invaluable understanding of management and provide a welcome influence at school events.


Students manage their own facilities and organise sports, musical and dramatic events. They also participate in service to the community, in fund raising for local, national and international charities, in helping staff in the running of school activities and in assisting within lessons, particularly in relation to those students with special educational needs.

The Associated Sixth Form provides a Christian-based environment in which all students who wish to remain at school beyond the age of 16 are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. By pooling the resources, expertise and experience of two outstanding schools, we provide an excellent all-round education which allows students to pursue their individual aspirations within a community with shared goals and Christian values. All students, regardless of background, are supported to develop the skills and confidence needed to enrich their own lives and the society in which they live.

Associated Sixth Form Curriculum Statement


We are a comprehensive Sixth Form committed to providing the widest possible range of Level 3 courses so that students can specialise and excel according to their individual sense of direction. Careful guidance is provided to ensure that students’ options are best suited to advance their ongoing career prospects.

In all subject areas we aim to provide specialist teaching which will motivate and empower the students. The curriculum is structured to develop the depth of knowledge, understanding and skills required for academic success; it will also develop successful study habits through homework, independent Core Learning and metacognitive strategies. Regular, meaningful assessment and feedback are an essential part of the curriculum in all areas.

The curriculum is reinforced through the role of the Sixth Form Team: we place strong emphasis on integrated pastoral support and the value of relationships to enhance individual well-being and academic success.

Community involvement is encouraged through our non-qualification curriculum which embraces the schools’ shared Christian ethos and beliefs as well as relevant age-appropriate topics in religion and society, politics and current issues of scientific progress. The Association also provides a wide range of extra-curricular activities including numerous trips in the UK and abroad and opportunities for students to take on positions of leadership and responsibility. Furthermore, students are supported in seeking work and volunteering placements which will further enhance their readiness for future applications and life outside education.

The established working relationships among teachers across the Association, including shared subject leadership and CPD, ensure that teaching expertise is strengthened and a shared sense of purpose is integral to the experience of staff and students.


More than forty Level 3 courses, including A Levels, Applied Generals, EPQ, AS Maths and Core Maths are available in the Association in addition to GCSE English and Maths and a programme of careers guidance and interviews supports students in the process of selecting from these. Each subject provides transition work at the end of Year 11 to prepare students for their course content and skills. Further individual advice on course choice is included in post-GCSE enrolment meetings.

Each course delivers a planned and progressive scheme of learning to address the required content and skills of its specification. This includes metacognitive strategies, revision skills and a Core Learning package which develops independent study habits and is clearly linked to the scheme of work. There are half-termly key assessments which provide students with detailed feedback and opportunities to reflect on their learning. Formal examinations in May of Year 12 and December of Year 13 are part of the process of progress tracking and intervention by Heads of Subject and the Sixth Form Team. Sub-group analysis includes prior attainment groups and disadvantaged learners and progress is measured against aspirational targets based on FFT20 benchmarks which use the national dataset.

The Directors of Sixth Form and Leadership Team meet weekly to ensure that the shared vision and values of the Association are implemented consistently and to consider strategies for further improvement and development.

Distributed subject leadership ensures that specialist teaching is of high quality and course delivery and assessment are consistent across the Association. Half-termly Associated Department meetings also ensure close working relationships and provide opportunities for standardisation of formal assessments.

Regular lessons are delivered through the RSG/EEP programmes to support the Christian values of the Association and to address other non-qualification areas of pastoral and societal importance; some of these sessions are presented by visiting speakers from respected organisations.

The Sixth Form Team meet students regularly in registration and Tutorial Periods, through which they contribute to the non-qualification curriculum, monitor students’ community involvement and provide intervention in academic matters as appropriate. They meet individuals to review progress and plans, working closely with Careers Advisors and other agencies where specialist support is required and liaising with parents/carers and students on matters of welfare and safeguarding in addition to academic issues. Advice and guidance are also provided by the Sixth Form Team and the Careers Department regarding specialist pathways beyond school, applications for any post-18 routes and preparation for Higher Education.


High retention rates and satisfaction levels in Student Voice surveys confirm that the Associated Sixth Form provides an excellent all-round education which meets the needs of students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests.

Outcomes are strong, in line with or exceeding national standards, enabling most students to move on to their preferred destinations: each year more than 90% of Further and Higher Education entrants gain places at their first or second choice institution and around 10% of students progress to apprenticeships and employment, testament to the high quality support and guidance provided throughout the Sixth Form with regard to appropriate and aspirational post-18 applications.

Students benefit from a curriculum which combines the opportunity to specialise with breadth and flexibility; they develop skills which enable them to progress to the next stage of their careers and to thrive thereafter; and their education is underpinned by a Christian ethos; all of which contributes to their preparation for life beyond the Sixth Form. Employers and HE representatives are keen to work with students from the Association, showing that their values and attitudes are recognised beyond the school context.