Sixth Form Admissions
Welcome to Southend High School for Boys whether you are a current student, or are new to this outstanding Academy. We are very proud of our Sixth Form and its students. When you join the Sixth Form you will be working with experienced staff who are experts at delivering their subjects to sixth form students. You will become part of a thriving community and will have an excellent opportunity to develop learning skills, academic knowledge, personal responsibility and leadership experience in an outstanding environment.
You are now at the point of choosing what to do and where to go beyond Year 11. Making decisions about the next stage of your education is both exciting and challenging. Exciting because you can now focus on the areas of study which you are most passionate about, which will lead to success and enjoyment. Challenging, because you need to make an informed decision, which might play a significant part in your career plans for the future.
As an Academy we have taken care to provide a broad curriculum offer, working in partnership with local schools where appropriate. We aim to make learning interesting, inspiring and enjoyable. The curriculum structure of our post-16 courses means you can take a broad range of courses and gain nationally recognised qualifications at the end of both Year 12 and Year 13. Some of the subjects will be entirely new to you; others may offer progression from your current GCSEs.
Some of you will choose subjects at AS Level that you have not studied before. It is particularly important in these subjects that you read about the subject and find out all you can to confirm your interest in taking lessons in the subject every day in Year 12. You will be expected to choose four A levels to study and these can be complemented with other qualifications such as the Extended Project Qualification.
In addition to studying A levels you have the opportunity to undertake various enrichment opportunities. These include voluntary work within the school and local community, leadership programmes and workshops, attendance at university lectures, running subject specific societies/ charity committee, online learning to gain university standard modules and work placements (this includes work experience abroad; for example, medical placements in India).
Becoming an independent learner is key to academic success in the Sixth Form. The expectation is that you will research and read additional material in order to enhance your learning in lessons. We will support you by providing guidance through study skills sessions as well as allocate you designated quiet study time.
Application procedures for new applicants - September 2017
Applications to join the Sixth Form at Southend High School for Boys are welcomed during the Autumn Term 2016; please click here to access the online application form (please note the closing date of Friday 2nd December 2016). We will consult your current school for information on your likely progress and if your school predicts an appropriate level of achievement at GCSE, and there is space in the subjects you wish to study, we will normally offer you a place. Please note that once your application is submitted, you will not hear from us until February 2017. Applicants will be welcome to visit the school on 3rd November 2016 (with or without parents) to talk to staff before making a final decision.
SHSB Year 11 Entry
Members of our own Year 11 who wish to continue into the Sixth Form will receive advice from tutors, careers staff and their Year Leader during the year, as well as hearing talks by subject teachers. You will fill in application forms showing A Level subject preferences during the Autumn Term.
Open Evening for Prospective Year 12 Students (for Entry September 2017)
You are most welcome to attend our annual open evening on Thursday 3rd November 2016 (6.30-8.30pm). This is an ideal opportunity to find out more about Sixth-Form life in general and the A Level courses in particular. Subject teachers and current Sixth-Form students will be happy to offer you advice and answer your questions, and there will be introductory presentations during the course of the evening for both current members of the SHSB Year 11 and for visiting students who may be considering joining us in September 2017.
Getting it right – take time to research
If you are thinking of joining the Sixth Form you should use all possible means to ensure that you choose the right courses and know just what you are taking on. You should look not only at books, pamphlets and computer programmes, but talk to staff, both here in Southend High School for Boys and, in the case of newcomers, in your own schools as well. Above all, study the Sixth Form handbook carefully.
Sixth Form Handbook (Click here)
Examine the content and requirements of the subjects, then follow up your reading by discussions with subject teachers, tutors and, where possible, sixth-formers themselves. The more research you do, the clearer your way ahead becomes ... and the more likely it is that your Sixth-Form career will be a successful one.
Choosing your subjects
These are the subjects the school is offering at GCE AS and A Level during 2016-2018:
Art & Design
Drama & Theatre Studies
English Language & Literature
Government & Politics
Mathematics (also Further Mathematics)
* Please note: it is not possible to guarantee that a particular subject will run. Occasionally, through lack of demand or staffing difficulties, we are obliged to cancel a subject in a particular year. If this proves likely for next year, students affected will be informed at the earliest opportunity.
For timetabling purposes, the Sixth Form timetable is divided into four columns. These are published in the Sixth Form Handbook (click here) but are subject to modification as we strive to accommodate the optimum number of student preferences in any one year. You will need to choose one subject from each column. At the end of Year 12 you may discontinue one subject of your choice, whereupon the timetabled lessons from that column will become private study periods.
The choice of Advanced Level subjects is a personal one and should be based on
• your likely ability to succeed in the subject;
• your interest in the subject content;
• the demands of an intended career or degree course.
GCSE Grades – minimum criteria for entry to the Sixth Form
Minimum entry criteria to the Sixth Form are as follows:
You will need to accrue at least 52 points from your 8 best GCSE grades (where numerical grades are scored at face value and A*=9, A=7, B=6). New grades below 6 and old grades below B do not contribute to this points score. Short course GCSEs may be included within this calculation. For example, a student with 4As, 3Bs and a 6 scores 52 points; a student with 3A*s, 2Bs, 1C, an 8 and a 5 scores 47 points.
You must achieve at least GCSE Grade 5 in English Language or Literature and Mathematics.
You must achieve at least GCSE Grade B or 6 in subjects to be taken at AS Level (or, in the case of new subjects, in related subject areas).
Should there be more candidates of the required level than places in a subject, selection will be based on rank ordering of predicted GCSE points scores and the combination of subjects a student wishes to study. In the event of pupils achieving the same mark for the last available place, preference will be given to the candidate in public care.
Students should only consider joining the Sixth Form at SHSB if they are likely to cope with the rigorous demands involved. Past experience has taught us that students who fall below these entry thresholds rarely thrive in such an academically challenging environment. SHSB is a grammar school with a traditional curriculum, and our rigorous approaches to teaching and learning are geared towards preparing students for entry into higher education.
For similar reasons, applicants should be aware of the requirement for continuation from AS to A2.
New subjects at this level
Some subjects at this level will be new to most students. Anyone wishing to select one of these subjects will be expected to achieve Grade B or above in a closely related area at GCSE, e.g. English (for Drama & Theatre Studies / Government & Politics), Music (for Music Technology) or Mathematics (for Computing / Psychology).
Less academic students must not choose new subjects on the grounds that these are something they have 'not yet failed at'! If you have difficulty choosing at least two of your four subjects from among those you already study, this may be a sign that A Level at SHSB is not the best choice for you. You should then be prepared to look elsewhere and enrol for a more vocational course of study.
AS Grades – minimum criteria for continuing to A2 study
Criteria for continuing on to A2 study are as follows:
Students must achieve at least AS Grade D in any subject they wish to pursue to A2. Remember: AS Level amounts to the easier 50% of the full A Level, so it is unrealistic for anyone to imagine they will cope with the tougher material if they underachieve at AS.
Students are expected to study three subjects to A2. Only in exceptional circumstances will anyone be allowed to embark on the Upper Sixth course with as few as two subjects, and in such cases they will be expected to supplement their timetable with an additional AS Level from the options available within the constraints of their timetable.
The Induction Course
Every effort should be made to find out as much as possible about each subject before entering Year 12, so as to avoid the need to make changes. There will be a short Induction Course late in the Summer Term at which prospective Sixth-Formers may sample lessons in the subjects they wish to study. Attendance at the Induction Course is compulsory for all those wishing to join the Sixth Form.
When a Subject is Full
If any subject teaching group is full, it will not be possible to join it after the start of Year 12 unless a place becomes vacant. Therefore it is important to be sure of your choice of subjects as early as possible.
Certain subjects fill all their places more quickly than others, but those applying early can be relatively confident that places will be available. On the other hand, if you delay your application you may find yourself placed on a waiting list.
A careful decision
The move into the Sixth Form is a decision that needs to be taken very carefully, after a lot of thought and discussion. If you wish to study A Levels at SHSB you should find out as much detail as possible about the nature of your specific subject courses, the life of a Sixth-Former and the school's expectations of you.