Sixth Form on/off-site Study
All Sixth Form students must be in school for morning registration. When students have ‘Independent Study’ on their timetable, after period 2 they are free to leave the school site if they wish – this may include going into Urmston town centre or going home. There are also numerous communal areas in school such as Newton Hall, the Sixth Form Hub, the Science Conservatory and the LRC should students choose to remain in school to complete work.
These privileges may be removed from students on an individual basis by the Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Heads of Sixth Form or a member of Senior Leadership Team if they are not adhering to the high standards expected in Urmston Grammar Sixth Form. Reasons why these privileges may be removed include, but are not limited to:
- Concerns regarding academic performance in one or more subject.
- Concerns regarding attendance and/or punctuality.
- Concerns regarding meeting deadlines, or quality of assignments.
- Concerns regarding conduct within school.
Should a student have these privileges removed, they will have their independent study periods allocated to the LRC where there will have to sign in with the staff member on duty and have supervised independent study.
- Whenever students enter or leave the school site they must ‘tap in’ or ‘tap out’ using their student ID badges.
- Any student who doesn’t have their ID badge with them must go to the school main entrance to sign in and sign out. They should also collect a replacement ID badge.
- Students should attend all timetabled lessons. This is non-negotiable.
- Requests for known absences must be made to the Sixth Form Team accompanied by proof and a completed permission slip, these are available to collect from the LRC or Sixth Form Hub. This must be done before the absence and handed in at the Main Office prior to the absence. Students have a good number of independent study periods on their timetable. Routine non-emergency dentist/doctor/optician appointments should be made to avoid timetabled lessons. Hospital, orthodontist or emergency appointments are exceptions.
- Students taken ill during the day must see one of the Sixth Form Team immediately or go directly to the Main Office. Students must not fail to attend a lesson and take time out elsewhere in school or leave the premises without prior permission.
- All other absences must be covered by a parental phone call before 10:00 a.m. on the first day of absence. The Attendance Secretary will contact parents on the day of absence if we have not had an explanatory email or phone call.
- Any frequent absences must be explained by parents or a GP/hospital letter.
- Requests for holidays during term time (due to exceptional and unavoidable circumstances) must be addressed to the Headteacher in a parental letter and on an LA1 form, these are available to collect from the LRC or Sixth Form Hub, prior to the intended absence.
- All Sixth Form students must be in school and in their form rooms by 8:30am for morning registration.
- All timetabled lessons start promptly. Students who don’t attend on time will be issued a late mark. Should punctuality become a persistent problem a suitable consequence will be issued by the Department or Head of Year.
- Genuine reasons for lateness are accepted, but we need confirmation from parents/carers. These can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning the school office.
Dress Code – A professional approach to study
Urmston Grammar Sixth Form aspires to ensure each student achieves academic excellence and is equipped with the tools and skills needed to be successful in the professional workplace. Our dress code reflects this, and is designed to allow each student to show their personal style and individuality whilst maintaining high standards in personal appearance:
Students are expected to wear smart, business-like clothing and footwear whilst in school. As there is a significant amount of freedom within this remit additional guidance has been provided as follows:
- All students should wear a smart jacket or blazer around school.
- Student ID cards will be provided and must be worn at all times. This is an important safeguarding measure, but also the means by which students sign in and out of the building.
- Students typically wear either a suit or tailored trousers/skirt and jacket.
- Ties are encouraged, however they are optional.
- Skirts and dresses must be at least mid-thigh length.
- Footwear must be formal/business-like.
- Headwear must not be worn within school, unless for religious or cultural reasons.
- Hair colour should look natural.
- Only discrete piercings are allowed in Sixth Form.
- Students should not wear outdoor coats whilst in the school building.
Failure to follow our expectations will be a breach of the Behaviour Policy. Should dress code become a persistent problem a suitable consequence will be issued by the Form Tutor or Head of Year.
We welcome our sixth form students to gain part-time employment as it can help them to develop a wide range of transferrable skills and provide valuable experience which will help prepare them for future careers.
- 12 hours per week is the maximum amount of paid employment we would recommend for our students, as anything in addition to this is likely to have an increasingly negative impact on academic progress.
- Employment should be scheduled outside of school hours, and we would suggest no more than one weekday evening a week.
Becoming effective and efficient at independent study is a vital skill for success at A Level, but also in future study beyond the sixth form. As such the following are recommendations for our students when working independently or revising:
- Create your own space to focus and work.
- Limit distractions.
- Music should be mellow and quiet.
- Do not work in front of the television – you are only partially focused.
- Use of mobile devices and social media disrupt your concentration. Commit time each day to uninterrupted study.
- Avoid late at night study – teenagers need to sleep!
- You should aim to complete between 5–7 hours independent study per subject per week (15–21 hours).
- Although you will have some independent study periods in school during the week, you should also be working in your own time outside of school.
School Emails and Internet Access
All students will have an Urmston Grammar email account. It is important that students check their school email throughout the day during term time as this an important method of communication between students and their subject teachers, tutors, mentors and the sixth form team.
Students will also have access to the school network, both on computers in school, and using remote access through our website. All students are required to adhere to the schools ICT Acceptable Use policy.
Personal, Social & Health Education
Aim: To support and encourage the wider development of each student so that they can take their place in Society, with a clear emphasis on Personal, Social & Health Education:
A fully structured programme of PSHE support and activities encourages students to contribute in the school and wider community. We aim to give the advice and skills needed to make informed choices when they leave Sixth Form. We want students to understand how to manage their studies in order to achieve without unnecessary stress.
Our ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ event in the first term takes Year 12 students off timetable for a day. They attend a range of talks and sessions providing students with knowledge and skills to live a safe and healthy life. Year 12 students also attend Greater Manchester's Safe drive: Stay Alive event.
Enjoy and Achieve
A comprehensive and supportive induction is in place for newcomers to help with and enjoy a smooth transition for existing students.
All students are involved in a range of whole-sixth form events and activities to help integrate into the school community.
Making a Positive Contribution
There are many opportunities for Sixth Form students to be involved in activities/support in school and within the community.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a personal support system delivered individually to each student by both pastoral and academic tutors, tailored to their particular needs. It is broad ranging in its scope and can be seen as:
- an opportunity for personal contact, to evaluate student feelings and wellbeing;
- a forum to discuss student potential by exploring approaches to subject work inside and outside the classroom;
- an opportunity to define strategies for further improvement.
Mentoring also involves the use of a target setting and tracking system, whereby students and tutors record the outcomes of their mentoring sessions so that they can be reviewed at a later date to assess progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the various strategies discussed.
These records are kept in the student’s Mentoring Booklet which will be used periodically throughout the duration of their A Level course.
There is also a section in the booklet which mirrors the section in the Sixth Form Handbook where students record their Minimum Target Grade for each subject, the results of any internal progress tests, the actual results of completed external modules and estimated final A Level grades.
Why do we use a Tracking System?
At Urmston Grammar we aim to provide a high level of guidance and support, through both Form Tutors and Mentors. We have high expectations of each student, based on quality teaching and supportive mentoring.
Evidence suggests that students, who set themselves a high standard in the first 10 weeks of Year 12, significantly define the outcomes of the course.
This is not simply in terms of academic study and having a clear vision of their targets. It is also an acknowledgement of their rights and responsibilities as sixth formers and sharing community values.
The Minimum Target Grades are the lowest expected grades students should be aiming for, relative to their incoming GCSE scores. The MTGs also reflect the fact that the students are continuing their studies in a high achieving environment and therefore they should be able to reach their full potential.
Targets are challenging, but student progress will be closely monitored.