Student Zone Archives - Page 2 of 3 — Solihull Sixth Form College

Student Zone

Will I be able to go to University with applied qualifications?

Yes. Most university courses are accessible from BTEC and CACHE Diploma courses. There are a few exceptions, for example Medicine and related courses, where high GCSE and A Level grades are required.

What is an academic coach?

Every student will be allocated an academic coach to support them during their time at College. They are non-teaching support staff, who are specially trained to support students in a range of different and important ways. They will work with you, helping you to think about your goals, set targets to enable you to reach those goals and monitor your progress. They will also help you with UCAS applications to university or applications for employment. They are also on hand to offer advice and help you access other support services at the College.

What sports can I take part in at the College?

A wide range of sports are available. There are sport performance squads in cricket, rugby, football, basketball and netball. These squads have regular professional coaching and matches. Basketball enjoys a fruitful association with the City of Birmingham Rockets Basketball Club, while Rugby work with Moseley Rugby Club. There are also opportunities to play badminton, indoor football and other recreational sport. Additionally, students may make use of the College’s Fitness Suite following a short induction.

What is Enrichment?

Enrichment consists of a wide range of additional courses or opportunities to participate in on top of your main programme of study. Options range from courses giving you a qualification such as the Extended Project or Core Maths, to sport, music, drama, etc. We have academic enrichments aligned to courses and careers, which we called Specialist Academies and students are involved in many of their own societies as well. See our full list of enrichments in the Enrichment Guide.

What are the fees at the Sixth Form?

There are no fees, as we only take students from the UK and the European Union, and those under the age of 18 years. We do ask for a voluntary contribution to the College Fund of £50, which supports the College and its work and helps fund enrichment courses. This can be paid by cash, cheque or online via Parentpay (login required). It can be paid in instalments and Gift Aided.

Do I need to pass Maths and English Language GCSE to get into College?

You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics for A level courses. There are a number of BTEC courses which you may be able to take with a minimum of a grade 3 in either English Language or Mathematics. If you do have a grade 3 in one of these two key subjects, you will be required to re-take this GCSE in addition to your BTEC. Students who get a grade 3 or below in both English Language and Maths will not be able to take up a place with us.

What happens if my GCSE results do not meet my expectations?

If you are holding an offer to come to Solihull Sixth Form College we will write to you in July and invite you to come in and enrol in late August or early September, after GCSE results are known. Students must fulfil our entry requirements to enrol, but if you do not get the grades you hoped for, don’t panic! There may still be a course that is suitable for you at College. We will ask you to input your grades onto Tyber (where you made your original application) and the system will indicate if you are able to offer you an enrolment interview. Depending on your grades, this may be to enrol you on your chosen programme of study or discuss an alternative. Those students who do not meet the entry requirements for an course with us will be provided with information about alternative provision at other colleges.

How long are the lessons?

We are currently operating a staggered timetable, with each year group starting and finishing lessons at different times to avoid unnecessary congestion on campus. The College day starts at 8.30am, but lessons don’t start until 9.00am / 9.30am and continue until 4.05pm. There is a 15-minute break in the morning. The lunch break is 30-40 minutes long and is staggered for Year 12 and Year 13 to ensure the refectory is not over-crowded and social distancing can take place.

How many lessons will I have per week?

Year 12 A level students will have three 90-minute lessons per subject per week (nine lessons for three A levels or 12 lessons for 4 A levels), while Year 12 BTEC students will have nine 90-minute lessons per week. Meanwhile, Year 13 students have one 1-hour lesson, one 1½-hour lesson and one two-hour lesson. The different length lessons are to ensure we can stagger start and finish times for each year group and avoid congestion on campus. Time will also be allocated to academic coaching, study skills and enrichment.

30-minute intervention slots have been added to the timetable to allow teachers to provide one-to-one support for the students who need it. Students must make sure they are available at these times. They may also be asked to stay until 4.30pm on some days if further intervention is deemed necessary. Intervention exists to narrow the achievement gaps. We recognise that while some students have embraced the independent study model very effectively, there are others who would benefit from greater intervention. Support for all students from their teachers remains a priority and we believe this strategy will help all students to maximise their potential.