Our main aim for The Holmewood Sixth Form (THSF) 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 short courses, 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.
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:
Leadership of the sixth-form provision, which now operates from its own premises, is highly effective.
Successful to further education, either to mainstream or specialist colleges.
Students are very well prepared for life after school.
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.
THSF has three possible pathways for students to follow 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. Students will follow a Functional Skills Pathway in English and Maths and complete a range of ASDAN short course certificates. Students following this pathway will have access to a bespoke life skills programme that is developed according to their needs.
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 undertake work experience. GCSE resits 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, please click here.
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 THSF 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.
On occasion The Holmewood 6th Form may offer a fourth pathway of one or two A Levels, offered on site, for students who are academically able but not yet emotionally ready to attend college.
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 qualifications in areas such as film studies and offer GCSEs in astronomy and Japanese.
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.