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Welcome to King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the website for King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls. I hope that this will give you an insight and a flavour of our school.

My aim at Handsworth is to lead a school where the girls are able to flourish academically and socially and be part of a rich, vibrant and diverse community where a wide variety of extra curricular opportunities are offered and active participation is encouraged. We believe that education can transform lives and our school aims to inspire the girls to be curious learners, who are confident to think creatively, underpinned by values of honesty, integrity and a sense of social justice.  We want every girl here to have the opportunity to learn about herself, the world and to shape and develop the role she will play in the future.

We are a busy, caring and supportive school which values praise, enjoyment, respect and honesty in all we do.  A rich programme of extra curricular provision provides chances for the girls to develop outside of the classroom, particularly in skills of confidence, teamwork and leadership.

We aim to develop young ladies who leave the school with a secure sense of identity, a respect, tolerance for and understanding of difference and diversity, academic success and as well rounded, confident young women who are ready and able to embrace the challenges and opportunities of adult life.

Our website can only give a flavour of the school. We would encourage any of you who are considering applying for a place for your daughter to come and visit us on one of our many open events.

Amy Whittall



About us

Welcome and thank you for considering King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls as a potential destination for your Sixth Form studies. We are an ‘outstanding school’ with excellent A level results where the Sixth Form plays a central role in school life. The Sixth Form Team is passionate about and dedicated to developing young people. We strive to create the very best academic environment possible where students can fulfil their potential and develop the skills required for university, the world of work and for adult life.

Almost 100% of our Sixth Form students continue their studies to university, having taken four or five A levels over two years. We prepare our students to gain entry to the most prestigious universities in the country including the Russell Group, 1994 Group and Oxford and Cambridge. Similarly, we offer extensive support to students for successful applications to some of the most competitive university courses including, Medicine, Dentistry, English, Law, History and Psychology. It is for this reason and many others that the vast majority of our Year 11 students continue their studies here in our Sixth Form.

Our Sixth Form is highly academic but also friendly and welcoming. By encouraging students to aim for the highest standards whilst making significant contributions to the running of the school, we strive for an adult atmosphere in which freedom and responsibility are evenly balanced. We place a considerable emphasis on nurturing the whole person and offer an exciting range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities. Our Sixth Formers play a full and valuable role in the main school. There are many extra curricular activities available that are exclusive to the Sixth Form such as Envision, Young Enterprise, the creation of the school magazine ‘The Beacon’ and production of the Sixth Form Revue – a highlight of the Autumn term. There is also an enormous range of clubs that the students run for the younger girls for example, the Year 7 Friendship club, Dance, Drama, Athletics, Amnesty International, Science club and Medical Ethics. In addition we have a wide range of clubs and activities that staff provide – school orchestras and ensembles, theatrical productions and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

School trips are always a highlight and our students have the chance of 3 day trips each year as well as trips to the theatre, Symphony Hall and of course trips abroad.

Our Vision Love of Learning, Pride in Diversity, Excellence for All

We are committed to the nurture and development of all those who learn here and seek to inspire all to be their best.  We embrace the transformative power of education and value a love of learning and intellectual curiosity. We support all within the school to find, develop and enjoy their interests and passions. Our school offers vibrant extracurricular opportunities and participation is both valued and celebrated. We are a happy and caring school which values and takes pride in diversity and celebrates individuality.

We offer a broad curriculum where academic rigour is enjoyed.  We are committed to excellent teaching and learning in an environment where students relish the opportunities they are given to master the subjects they are studying, are willing to take risks and enjoy the intellectual challenges this brings.

This is a school which is proud of its history and tradition whilst simultaneously developing staff and students who are forward thinking, outward facing and willing to rise to a challenge.

We develop staff and students who have the desire and courage, combined with the emotional, intellectual and practical capacities to change the world in ways that might be great or small but are always for the better.  Our ideals are firmly grounded in honesty and integrity.

Our purpose is developing students with empathy, understanding and appreciation for other views and opinions.  We support the girls to develop friendships which will last long beyond their time here and empower them to grow into independent, strong women who are equipped with the flexibility and moral courage to deal with the challenges of the modern world.

Sixth Form Curriculum 2017-18

National Changes

The current government conducted a review into the A Level system which had been in place since 2000 during the lifetime of the previous coalition government, and made the decision to address concerns about the unit based examination format, the opportunity to take re-sits to boost marks and the proportion of coursework type assessments in some qualifications. These changes to the A Level qualifications have been phased in since September 2015.

From September 2017 all A Level courses taught at King Edward VI Handsworth School for girls will be two year linear courses. Taught over the full two years and only examined at the end of Year 13. The AS qualifications have continued to be available, however, although there is some overlap in content with the A Level, they only cover 40% of the full course content and are examined at the end of Year 12 with a different emphasis on the level of evaluation and analysis required. Therefore they are distinct qualifications and their unit scores no longer contribute towards the final A Level marks. Students who choose to continue to A2 sit the A Level examinations and only their scores will count. Thus, there is no opportunity to re-sit elements of the A Level qualification, it will all depend on performance at the end of Year 13.

At King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls we will continue to expect all students to select 4 subjects in Year 12 and to begin to prepare for the Extended Project Qualification. Current thinking is that all students will nominate up to two courses to be examined at AS level, whilst committing to completing all other courses as full two year A Levels. These choices will need to be made in January 2018. This approach gives students some element of choice in which three subjects to continue with in Year 13. Universities have indicated that if AS qualifications are not available then they will use predicted grades and previous GCSE performance as a guide to likely outcomes. In summary we expect students to sit two external AS examinations in May/ June of 2018, together with internal examinations for two subjects.

In Year 13 students will continue with 3 subjects to full A Level and in addition they will complete their Extended Project Qualification.

All A Levels are demanding, they all have requirements for deeper analysis and evaluation than at GCSE. You need to focus on the course content and whether a subject is going to appeal to you over the full two years. Motivation for a subject is key to success so a wise choice now should enable you to follow which ever route with confidence. Please ask questions over the next few weeks about course content and style of delivery, ask them of staff, older students and of yourself.

J Kendall

Deputy Headteacher

Curriculum and Progress.

Additional support

At King Edward VI Handsworth School, we are proud of our commitment to Pastoral Care.  We have a safe, happy and supportive community in which girls thrive.  Pastoral Care is underpinned by good relationships between staff, parents and pupils.  Every adult here cares about the pupils in our care.  No worry is too small to be ignored or too big to deal with.

We have a strong Pastoral system which consists of Form Tutors and Pupil Achievement Leaders (PALs) in each year group.  The PALs move up with their year group and so form excellent and lasting relationships with both parents and pupils.  They monitor the academic progress and achievements of girls as well as caring for their welfare and offering them advice and guidance.

We also have a number of other people who support girls in school, including learning support, learning coaches and a Student Support Officer.  These adults work carefully to build girls’ self esteem and to promote independent learners.

Learner success

2016 Destinations

  • 54% of school leavers are now attending Russell Group Universities
  • 14 students are now starting Medicine courses
  • 5 students are now starting Dentistry courses
  • 9 students are studying at Oxford or Cambridge
  • 5 successful applications for various forms of Engineering and 5 for Economics-based degrees. In 2016, English (4), History (3), and Geography (3) were popular too.

How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 02 November 2017
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