Matthew Arnold School’s Sixth Form is an integral part of a very successful and popular 11-18 comprehensive school. We aim to provide all our students with the opportunity to realise their full academic potential while developing their interests and skills outside the classroom.
Students have their own centre with its dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct.
We offer a comprehensive selection of A level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies, photography and computing. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A level success.
Tracy Oakden, Head of Sixth Form
Lucy Fortnam-Paynter, Deputy Head of Sixth Form
You can view slides from the GCSE and Beyond evening here.
You can view the slides from the sixth form open evening here.
A handout for parents from the sixth form open evening can be found here.
Slides from the 'Preparing for A Level' evening are found here.
Slides from the Higher Education evening are here.
Application forms should be handed in to Miss Oakden by the end of January. Interviews will be held in March.
In order to begin an A Level programme, students will need to have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language and Mathematics at a level 4. To enable students to select the most appropriate subjects at A level we use a system based on their APS (average point score) from GCSE. We advise students to take the subjects which best fit their APS. Further details of this can be found in the course brochure. A copy is also available on the sixth form section of the website.
We expect our students to have a positive attitude to study and to meet the school’s expectations. In return, we will provide a stimulating, mature and friendly environment in which students can thrive and contribute to the life of the whole school.
Students’ progress is of paramount importance to us and we do not leave it to chance. A wide range of support structures are in place to ensure that students achieve their potential and can access guidance if and when they need it.
Students’ progress is monitored closely throughout their time in Sixth Form with two annual short reports and a annual parents’ evenings. Students are also monitored through the provision of internal examinations in October (year 12) and January (year 13) to ensure that they are making expected progress. Students who are identified as needing additional support can access Student Support Mentoring where they work with their tutors, subject teachers and parents to enable them to make the progress needed. All students are given aspirational target grades and these are used to help monitor student achievement at all stages. We expect students to demonstrate the learning behaviours that will enable them to achieve their target grades. We monitor this through the R2LI system which we report twice per year. Students not demonstrating successful learning behaviours will receive additional mentoring and monitoring through their tutor.
Each student is placed within a tutor group comprising year 12 and year 13 students. This helps the Sixth Form to run as a community but also enables year 13 students to mentor those in year 12. The tutor is a key person in a Sixth Form student’s time at Matthew Arnold School as they mentor and work with students to help them to achieve their aspirations.
A range of information is available from the school to assist students to:
Choose a range of A level courses, which will enable them to progress onto their desired destination after the sixth form.
Develop their wider skills, which will broaden and enrich their outlook and abilities.
More information on the curriculum can be found in our Sixth Form courses document.
Applicants may also wish to consult our non-examination assessment policy for further details.
Students can apply to be considered to take a extended project when they start their A levels. This qualification is an externally assessed qualification which is equivalent to half an A level. The extended project is viewed very positively by universities and students develop very good research and independent learning skills whilst undertaking the project. More information is available in the course brochure.
In addition to their chosen A level subjects, all Sixth Form students attend enrichment activity sessions for two hours per week. All students follow the Compulsory Core Programme (CCP) as part of this package. This covers a range of study skills, PHSE, citizenship, world affairs, careers education and the UCAS process. Students also have one hour of PE scheduled every Wednesday afternoon, in which we offer a wide range of interesting activities such as Ultimate Frisbee, ping pong, dodge ball tournaments and our own Sixth Form Sports Day, as well as team sports and fixtures.
Students are expected to opt for one of the Sixth Form activities available to them during their time with us. These activities include paired reading, producing the Sixth Form magazine, Sixth Form Council, Sports leadership and Debate Club. All students are expected to take an active part as a member of the school community, perhaps by teaching younger students or working as MAPS (Matthew Arnold Peer Supporters), with training and support from the school counsellor.
There are a considerable number of activities and opportunities open to all students who join our Sixth Form;
Mock United Nationals General Assembly, Business, Duke of Edinburgh Award, art trips, debating society, cinema and theatre trips, community service both in an out of school, senior prefect positions (including head boy and head girl). Whatever their interest, we will find a project to stretch and encourage each individual student.