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Sixth Form FAQ's
Please find below a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you can not find an answer to your question, please email Sixthform@trinitysevenoaks.com
Q. Can I apply after the deadline?
A. Yes – we put a deadline so that we can plan what groups are viable and how the blocks/subjects will go together. After this point we make subject BLOCKS according the choices made by applicants so late changes of mind may have to fit in with the subject blocks.
Q. What is a subject BLOCK?
A. A group of subjects that happen at the same time on the timetable, therefore allowing a student to only pick 1 subject from that block of subjects. This is done after we know the subject choices so we maximise the student choice. We know that certain subjects work well together so we don’t put those together (i.e. sciences happen in different blocks). If there are clashes we will always talk the student through options before finalising.
Q. What are the best combination of subjects to do if I want to go into medicine?
A. As a guide, Chemistry is usually a must followed Biology or Physics. Having said this, you must check the University website admissions page for particular courses and the specific A Levels they want you to have. They will also expect high grades at GCSE Science (7 to 9) along with English and Maths at 6 and above. As I said, check the University website pages for the exact requirement for that degree.
Q. When is the offer of a place made?
A. At the start of the Spring term we look through the applications and contact all students to give them an interview to discuss their choices (this happens throughout January). We then confirm they are happy with their subjects and are realistic about achieving the grades to access them. Once this has happened we will make a conditional offer based on the student achieving the grades to get on the courses, this will be towards the end of January, early February.
Q. How much time does the EPQ take up?
A. There are 30 hours equivalent of taught skills for EPQ delivered via a combination of university lectures and lessons on research skills. It is expected that students will also complete a further 90 hours of independent study, for which all of Year 12 have timetabled hours. When students have EPQ on their timetable, they are expected to work on their research projects. Dr Barford (EPQ supervisor) is available to troubleshoot during these sessions and give individual guidance to students should they need. The expectation is that it will be finished by the end of Y12. It’s worth half an A Level (28 UCAS points) so that should give you a rough guide as to how much time to allocate (3 hours a week from the start of Y12 should see the project completed in good time). Clearly the choice of topic is key as if it is something that the student has a passion/interest for then it will often take less time so choice of topic is crucial.
Q. Art, Craft and Design, how does it differ from fine art?
A. In Art, Craft and Design you can explore any discipline i.e. 3D, graphics, fine art, etc.
Q. There is no Music on Kent Choices - how do you apply for it?
A. This is now on Kent Choices and can be applied for.
Q. What Leadership Opportunities are there?
A. As well as the formal Prefect Team including Head Girl & Boy, Deputy Head Girl & Boy and Prefects, there are other opportunities to mentor younger years and teach classes in an area that you maybe specialise in (Languages, sport, Drama, dance, etc.). As well as this, the co-curricular programme and House system give further opportunities to lead areas outside of the curriculum and maybe even run your own club for younger year groups.
Q. What level of support is there by tutors and teachers at A Level
A. Each student is a member of a Tutor Group who meet each morning to cover the PSHE curriculum as well as formulate their plans for post Year 13 whether this be University, apprenticeships or employment. This is vital as they get to know the students, their strengths and any support needed. This culminates in the tutor writing their UCAS or employment/apprenticeship reference. The link between tutor and student is much stronger than at GCSE as they get to know about their subjects and life in general in more detail. This is also the case with subject teachers as they have more lesson time with them and get to see more work from them. This all means they can support and intervene much more quickly to put things right and liaise with the tutor to make sure any issues are dealt with quickly. Parental contact is also a pivotal part in the whole process. Two-way communication is regular with tutors so that we are aware of the best way to support Year 12 and 13. Towards exam seasons, there are interventions run by teachers to support individuals or small groups of students that need it. The study centre is also staffed each day so Mrs Copp and Mrs Wilson can support students in study periods and spot if students need extra support and work with teaching staff to enable this. The school computer network also has all support materials provided by teaching staff to support independent study so they can be accessed in school or at home.
Q. Are the students completing the application in school or at home?
A. Students will get support in school with their applications but it is up to them to complete and submit the final one either in school or at home when it’s ready.
Q. What happens in games on Wednesday afternoon? What options do I have?
A. There are PE staff available on Wednesday afternoons to support and facilitate (within reason) whatever sports or activities students want to participate in or set up. As facilities at the school improve and expand, so will opportunities to participate. There are also chances for students to leave the site to pursue activities not able to be supported by the school (in liaison and agreement with the Sixth Form team)
Q. What does Vocational mean
A. A vocational course means that a large percentage of the course is assessed by coursework which allows students to get feedback on progress and make improvements if needed to achieve the best result they can. These courses are ideally suited to enable students to enter employment or apprenticeships in that area of study. Although coursework makes up a large percentage of the courses, all vocational courses do have an exam element. These are, however, able to be retaken to improve the initial grade and the best result of the 2 is the one that stands.
Q. Can I take four A Levels?
A. Yes – if you take 4 A Levels you are not expected to take the EPQ (although you can if you wish as it is useful for Russell group and Oxbridge). Taking four A Levels is demanding so we would look at the student’s academic record to make sure we feel they would cope. It may be that they take four on trial to see if they can cope and then revert to three after two or three weeks of term. They might be happy to take four in which case they can continue.
Q. Is the Rugby scheme worth UCAS points?
A. Yes – but it depends on which option you take; the 1, 2 or 3 A level equivalent BTEC Sport programme. Please refer to the course directory for an outline of the course options or contact Mr Molsher firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. CTEC v's A Level Business – what’s the difference?
A. CTEC Business is the exam board OCR’s equivalent to a BTEC. This means you complete three pieces of coursework and two exams over the period of the two years (refer to Vocational definition above). It carries the same UCAS points as an A Level. They are accepted by Universities just the same as A Levels but, as usual, check the University websites for specific entry/course requirements for their degree courses. A Levels are assessed purely on final exams at the end of Year 13 and in the case of A Level Business, three 2 hour exams.