Didcot Sixth Form (DSF) is a unique partnership between two very successful schools, Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School, creating a vibrant mixed Sixth Form utilising both the girls’ and boys’ school sites and staff expertise. The values of both our schools join together to create a sixth form provision which promotes high quality learning in an inclusive learning environment based on respectful relationships. Our sixth form students play a full role in the life of the two schools as well as in the sixth form itself.
DSF currently has over 300 students allowing us to capitalise on the economies of scale this provides. We are able to offer over 30 Advanced Level and Vocational courses, English and Mathematics GCSE (for those students without a Grade 4 or better), a varied enrichment programme, opportunities to develop leadership skills, the support of a tutor and high quality advice and guidance in taking the next step towards higher education, apprenticeships and employment. The progression routes of our students are excellent.
We are very proud of DSF. We believe that the provision we offer of a rounded, high quality education is second to none – and our results, year on year, testify to this. This summer, our A Level students achieved excellent results again with 1 in 4 of all entries graded an A* or an A, 51% of all entries graded A*-B and 32% of those applying to university securing a place at a Russell Group university. Other than those taking a year out, all of our students have successfully progressed to university, college or apprenticeship courses, or moved into employment. We are confident that we will continue to realise these levels of success for current and future students in DSF.
All students at Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School are welcome and encouraged to apply for a place in DSF. We are also happy to welcome an increasing number of students from a range of other schools, including from abroad.
From September 2016 onwards, DSF has been running a flagship programme aimed entirely at enriching our students’ experience in college, and providing them with valuable learning opportunities outside the classroom.
The primary aim of DSF is outstanding teaching leading to excellent grades, but we want the sixth form to be about more than this. Indeed, good grades, although hugely important, are not always enough to set students apart when it comes to interviews and applications; whatever our students want to do after school, we want them to stand out from the crowd and be noticed.
Students now have two dedicated ‘enrichment’ hours on a Wednesday afternoon, enabling us to develop a bespoke new programme aimed at supporting them to do just this. The first six weeks of the programme focus on independent learning, oracy and articulation, during which we aim to help our students develop the skills that will help them to make the most out of the sixth form classroom.
From then on we encourage students to get involved in a range of clubs and societies including: Debate and Public Speaking; Performing Arts; the Literary Society; the School Newspaper; Medicine; Engineering; Sport; and Science. These societies are all student-led and supported by dedicated enrichment staff.
In addition to societies in school, we also aim to bring a range of outside speakers from local universities, organisations and businesses, including the leading science centres at Harwell and Culham. We offer training days around careers, finance, first aid and much more and trips to theatres and museums.
We have close links with several colleges at Oxford University and offer an interview training programme designed to support any of our students who wish to apply for Oxbridge. However we think it is important to support all our students as they look to make the next step, be it applying to university, a job, an apprenticeship or something else entirely. We celebrate the variety within our students and aim to encourage it.
We want our students to aspire to be leaders in whatever they choose to do and believe that our enrichment programme will help to set them apart from their peers.
Year 11 students receive a programme of IAG for post-Year 11 opportunities and entry requirements in Personal Development lessons which includes a careers fair with representatives from sixth form, college, apprenticeships and employers from a wide variety of jobs. In addition, all students have access to a careers specialist and receive a 1:1 interview with a member of staff to discuss future aspirations and opportunities. For those students thinking about enrolling into DSF, we publish a prospectus, run a Subject Evening for parents and students, meet with all students for a 1:1 interview and run an induction programme over 2 days in the Summer Term preceding enrolment.
Years 12 and 13 students receive a programme of IAG for future pathways (university, apprenticeships or employment). In addition, we run a specialist Russell Group programme for those students thinking about applying to a Russell Group university, including Oxbridge. For all students, we run a series of assemblies on such things as finance, preparing for interview (both employment and university) in addition to 1:1 or group advice from a specialist careers advisor.
If you are considering DSF for your Sixth Form studies and would like to arrange a visit then please contact the Director of Didcot Sixth Form, Mr P Willett - email@example.com