Welcome to Burnham Grammar School
Thank you for your interest in the 6th Form at Burnham Grammar School (BGS). Choosing the right institution for the next stage of your academic studies is a critical and often daunting decision. I hope that the information contained in the prospectus for BGS will enable you to make an informed choice about your future and fully appreciate what the BGS 6th Form can offer to you and also understand the responsibilities you will have for both your academic studies and the broader BGS community. Students accepting places in the 6th Form must understand and commit to the full curricula and programme of events that aim to develop the broader skills which are essential to succeed at university and in the world of work, as well as ensuring that you achieve the best possible grades at A2. The comprehensive induction programmes for both internal and external candidates ensure a smooth progression into the BGS 6th Form and we would urge all students to be mindful of the key dates when booking summer holidays.
Students at BGS study 3 or 4 subjects to A2 depending upon their GCSE results and participate in the Extended Project and PSHE programmes of study. With the new A level qualifications it is anticipated that students will only be able to study subjects to A2 with internal exams used to identify progress at the end of Year 12. Whilst the current advice from Ofqual is that the new AS and A2 syllabi cover similar content the assessment criteria are completely different which prevents classes studying jointly for AS and A2 assessments. This situation will be reviewed on a subject by subject basis and changes to the available programmes of study updated on our website. We will also be running an additional information evening in the late spring term to update parents on the courses that we will be able to offer at AS. The new style A level subjects are labelled in this prospectus as being “reformed” subjects. Reformed subject course details should be used for guidance only. Please speak to heads of department for further clarification.
Life in the 6th Form is very different to that which you will have experienced in Key Stage 4. You will find that in most classes there are fewer students and you will have a greater number of lessons for each subject than during your GCSE studies. There will be an increased expectation that you will study independently and develop the skills required for a university or other higher education study programme. Developing these study skills is essential if you are to cope with both the increasing volume of work and degree of difficulty and challenge that A level study presents. All 6th Form students at BGS participate in a study skills development programme with Elevate which specialises in „top student‟ study skills and which shows students how they can replicate these in their public examinations.
The courses offered at Burnham Grammar School lead on from the academic GCSE courses in Key Stage 4. From the outset, personalised target grades are set for each individual student in each subject they study. These targets are monitored regularly throughout the duration of your course and academic progression is reported to student and parents/carers though a robust reporting system (Progress Grades). Teachers, form tutors and Mrs Lyons, our Pastoral Leader for Year 12 & 13, work hard to get to know each individual student and this personal touch, as well as informing target and progress grades, sets us apart from other institutions.
Furthermore, all students in Year 12 will be engaged in the Extended Project programme, which can lead to an additional qualification in Year 13, which is respected by many of the most prestigious universities. The Extended Project programme also enables students to gain the skills required for university study and survival in the world outside of education. Sport for all is a central philosophy of BGS and there is a varied and changing 6th Form Games programme which runs each week and supports our ethos to develop our students into well rounded young adults and provides a balance between both academic and sporting interests. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in Senior Sports Leader and Young Enterprise programmes.
Our students become engaged in a range of community projects, both in the local area and internationally, such as the rugby and netball tours which have visited South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. We are proud of the extensive educational visits programme we offer to our 6th Form students, which give opportunities such as visits to the Battlefields of northern France and Belgium, New York, Iceland, Liverpool, London and a number of more local visits supporting elements of the curriculum.
Members of our 6th Form will find many opportunities for leadership to support their academic interests. The positions of Head Boy, Head Girl, and Prefect as well as Senior Sports Leader are some examples of the roles available to students, which look impressive when applying to the very best of universities; both within the United Kingdom and internationally. These roles are open to external students who join our 6th form and we have had many such successful applicants in recent years, including for the posts of Head Boy and Head Girl. This also indicates how students are welcomed into our school community and are able to make their mark based on merit and commitment. Our students also undertake community service, which supports their understanding of the school and wider communities, in addition to providing further life skills and personal development opportunities.
Wherever you choose to study during the next stage of your learning I wish you every success. However, if you are dedicated and passionate about learning, open to challenges and new ideas; you want to become a strong independent learner alongside likeminded students in a supportive academic environment with enthusiastic and extremely devoted teachers, I would strongly encourage you to apply for a place in Year 12 at BGS.
Dr A Gillespie Headteacher
All 6th Formers are encouraged to make full use of the library. This facility has been fully updated and is well-equipped with ICT resources.
Purpose-built 6th Form facilities, including a common room, are available in a designated 6th Form block. All 6th Form students are expected to participate in the daily upkeep of the Common Room (with a weekly rota in place).
A nominal fee of £15, known as the Common Room Fund, is charged for the provision and maintenance at the start of year 12. The Common Room Committee is elected annually to represent the entire 6th Form body, who meet regularly with the Pastoral Leader to discuss issues relating to the use of the Common Room. Any student may make a request, via the Committee, for appropriate expenditure from the Common Room Fund. In the recent past this has included, amongst other things, the purchase of a large hot-water urn, new microwave and more up to date CD player and speakers. All monies are held in a designated „Sixth Form Common Room Fund‟ account, managed by the school Financial Director.
Also in the 6th Form area are toilet and cloakroom facilities and personal lockers. The Site Manager will provide a locker in the Sixth Form area upon payment of a key deposit of £10, £5 of which is returnable on completion of A Level courses. In the case of existing BGS students, they must also have surrendered their previous locker in the main school and returned the key.
Throughout the school, there are many specialist teaching areas and learning environments specifically designed for and used by 6th Form students.
The school is fully accessible to disabled students and adults, with the installation of lifts and ramps.
How to apply
If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Burnham Grammar School directly.