The sixth form, Years 12 and 13, is a very important part of the school. Our sixth form offers a good range of 'A' level courses and opportunities for the further development of pupils' talents and interests.
It is usual for pupils to undertake at least three AS courses, leading to at least three full 'A' levels. Three 'A' level grades remain the preferred requirement for entry to university degree courses.
Life in the sixth form
Life in the sixth form differs significantly from that of other years. We feel that the structure adopted mirrors more closely our pupils’ future academic environment. Pupils do not wear uniform. A contract is agreed between them and the school with regard to study and conduct.
An options booklet regarding the sixth form is made available to Year 11 students and their parents.
Sixth form timetables are developed in line with the option blocks and independent pupil choices. On average each subject receives 5 lessons per week.
Homework & independent study
Importance is attached to homework as an essential consolidation and development of work undertaken in class. Students are expected to give this aspect of study priority and assignments are to be completed punctually.
Part of maintaining a strong homework routine is the development of independent study. This self-disciplined approach to consolidating information and building students' own study skills is essential for a successful future in higher education.
Assessment & reports
Assessment is carried out on a regular basis across the curriculum throughout the year. More formal testing also occurs - at the end of a term or a course unit, as appropriate.
Reports are issued twice yearly. Formal parents' consultations also occur throughout the year and parents are welcome to make contact in the case of any concern they may have at other times.
A level courses are examined by the WJEC, Eduqas, OCR, AQA and Edexcel.
Examination results have been consistently excellent, well above the national average, with the school figuring regularly within the U.K's top 100 secondary schools for 'A' level results.
We attribute the success of 'A' level students at St Gerard's to the confluence of several factors:
an environment in which study is emphasised and good study-habits promoted
dedicated teaching and close monitoring
small teaching groups
sound guidance for higher education.
Careers and higher education
Information on opportunities in higher education is readily available to students and individual guidance is given on all aspects of university choice and applications. The school uses the innovative Unifrog package to help advise students on the different pathways available to them.
Applications for higher education are carefully prepared and detailed attention is paid to choice of university and course as well as to the whole application procedure through UCAS.