6th Form (Upper School)


Our main aim for The Holmewood Sixth Form is that our students become independent in their academic learning and their personal skills, and that they leave with the ability to advocate for themselves.


We support our students in becoming as independent as possible, keeping in mind their specific needs and difficulties and we provide a safe bridge between secondary school and adult life. Success at the Sixth Form looks different for every student but we aim to decrease the adult support provided to our students in their academic subjects and personal skills so that they will be able to function independently in their day to day life. This may even mean that in the future they can move on to educational settings with decreased support or into the world of work.


Academic achievement is valued and all students should leave the Sixth Form with nationally recognised awards. These may include ASDAN Certificate in Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), GCSE , A Levels, Level 1-3 certificates and/or entry levels. We also place a high emphasis on work related learning and work experience, and have tailored a programme that awards engagement in the world of work at all levels. This programme is entitled The Holmewood Success in Work Awards.


Students, their families and staff work together to create a timetable that takes into account student engagement, aspirations and interests. Their timetables may include classes onsite at The Holmewood Upper School in Muswell Hill, in the local community or at one of our partner colleges and other provisions.

We are very proud that the Sixth Form provision received an Outstanding grade at our last Ofsted inspection. The report states that:

Ofsted 2018

  •  Leadership of the sixth-form provision, which now operates from its own premises, is highly effective.

  • successfully to further education, either to mainstream or specialist colleges.

    Students are very well prepared for life after school. To date, all leavers have proceeded

  • Students work towards one of three ‘flexible pathways’. For the most able, this now includes an academic study route to university. Students make excellent progress on a range of accredited courses, including at GCSE and A level. All students work towards a qualification in personal effectiveness, which teachers and therapists facilitate jointly to develop students’ independent living and vocational skills.

  • Leaders tailor provision individually; each student follows their own timetable. As a result, each student’s learning programme is personalised, relevant and effective in preparing them for their life after school. A wide range of subjects is offered, including in collaboration with other settings. In addition, provision includes high-quality mentoring, work experience, careers education and programmes focused on independent living skills and personal development.


THSL has three possible pathways for students to follow in the Sixth Form, and there is flexibility within these pathways. Students, families and staff work together to decide which pathway is most suitable, taking into account previous academic performance and ability, aspirations and interests.

The pathways are summarised below.




The Core Pathway is suited to students who are working towards or have completed entry level exams at KS4. Students in the Core Pathway will complete most of their sessions onsite at THSF and will be working towards the ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE - see Programmes, Qualifications and Awards) Level 1 or 2. They continue to study English and Maths, and they work towards the Holmewood Success in Work stage 1-3 awards.


The Partnership Pathway is suited to students who are working towards a 5 grade in core GCSE subjects. These students have  the freedom to re-sit GCSE subjects in Sixth Form if needed. They are also expected to complete the ASDAN Certificate of Personal Effectiveness Level 1 or 2 as well as work experience. GCSE resits and CoPE sessions take place onsite at THSF. They work towards  the Holmewood Success in Work stage 1-3 awards. When they are ready, they can transition into a college course that is of interest to them, which usually takes place in one of our partner establishments. For more information about some of the available courses, visit: http://www.barnetsouthgate.ac.uk/courses/list/full_time

The College Pathway is suited to students who have received at least three 6 grades at GCSE level. They have the freedom of resitting GCSE subjects onsite at THSL and are also expected to achieve at least the Award of Personal Effectiveness (AoPE) and they work towards  the Holmewood Success in Work stage 1-3 awards. These students will also study between one and three A Levels at college or onsite at THSL.

At the Holmewood Sixth Form, our programmes meet the DfE guidelines because:

  • We have high expectations of our learners, and our pathways increase in challenge as the years progress. Aspirational targets are set using the Individual Sixth Form Pathways Documents (example on page 5).

  • We monitor and track the progress of 16-19 year old learners (see assessment, recording and reporting policy).

    • We highlight students who do not make expected progress, and we put in place interventions to support them.

  • We give students the opportunity to retake English and Maths until they achieve grade 4 or we support them to study some form of literacy and maths that suits their level.

  • We offer additional in house qualifications in new areas such as astronomy or film studies.

  • All of our sixth form students take part in a work experience programme and careers education.

  • We support our students in choosing options to ensure progression into employment and higher education (HE) preferences.



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