Welcome to Balcarras School
Welcome to Balcarras Sixth Form.
We are proud of the opportunities we offer, based around an exciting range of courses, excellent teaching and an atmosphere of enjoyment and collaboration. This combination, along with outstanding results at A-level, led Ofsted to judge that we are one of the best sixth forms in the country.
As well as superb facilities for academic study, there is a wealth of extracurricular activities, along with consistent support and guidance throughout your two year programme. I hope you will want to join us and I look forward to the contribution you can make to our success in the future.
Open Evening & Applying
Our application process starts with our Sixth Form Open Evening which takes place each January. Year 11 students from any school and their parents, are welcome to this event. There will be a presentation on the sixth form as a whole, and you will then be able to look around the sixth form facilities and speak to A level teachers and students. You will be able to pick up a prospectus and application form. You do not need to book a place in advance. The deadline for applications is usually the beginning of February.
Course consultation meetings will take place from March to April. Your application form will be used as the basis for your course consultation meeting. In particular, we will discuss whether your choices are consistent with your career or academic intentions, as well as with your estimated grades. Students from other schools will be asked to bring a copy of their latest report to the course consultation meeting. We will also contact your current school for a reference.
Offers of places
Conditional offers to the sixth form are made to students based on GCSE results. Letters giving a decision on your application will be issued by the end of May.
The centre of operations for sixth formers is the sixth form centre, where private study rooms, the common room, offices for the Head of Sixth Form and Heads of Year as well as 12 classrooms, are located. A lot of sixth form classes are also held in the sixth form centre, although many subjects take advantage of specialist facilities throughout the school, for example the outstanding art and design technology centres.
A superb extension to the sixth form block was completed in January 2009, adding to the already excellent facilities, which saw a significant increase in the size of the common room and the Year 13 study room, as well as the addition of a conference room and a sixth form shop. We are now able to offer break and lunchtime refreshments in the common room to complement the full school canteen service. Sixth form tutor groups are all based in or near the sixth form block. There are two large study areas, with study carrels for you to work at. These are used for supervised private study in both Year 12 and Year 13.
The common room is well equipped for use by students at break and lunch. The kitchen has a fridge, a microwave, a kettle and a toaster. There are video and hi-fi facilities as well as sofas and soft seating for socialising. In addition, the school dining room opens five minutes early for sixth formers at lunchtime.
Mr Brett Jouny, the Head of Sixth Form, Miss Niblett, Head of Year, Mr Mark Constance, Head of Year and members of the Senior Management Team, have a course consultation meeting with all students before they enter the sixth form in order to help them to make the right choices. This also gives students and parents the opportunity to discuss any questions they might have. Throughout your time in the sixth form, Mr Jouny, Miss Niblett and Mr Constance will all be available to offer advice on your studies and your future, and to listen to your concerns. They each have an office in the Sixth Form Centre and are the normal points of contact for parents of sixth formers.
Students will be in tutor groups. The role of the sixth form tutor is to be concerned with the welfare and academic progress of their students. Tutor groups meet as a whole, but there will also be regular individual tutorials at which your academic progress will be discussed. Tutors pay particular attention to your attendance (our expectation is 100% attendance) and will have regular feedback from your subject teachers.
Your A level teachers will probably be your most important contacts. After all, you are coming to the sixth form for academic success. They will advise you about your progress, as well as reporting regularly to your tutors and, of course, your parents. They will also be a useful source of information about careers and degree courses in your chosen area.
A feature of Balcarras Sixth Form is our system of progress reports. In the first term students are given target grades for each subject, which have been calculated from a national analysis, comparing GCSE grades and subsequent performance at A level. Progress grades are then published each term. This gives students and parents a clear and current record of academic progress.
How to apply
If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Balcarras School directly.