The move from Year 11 to Sixth Form can be quite a daunting one.
After studying to get those all-important GCSEs, it can be a challenge to make the transition into A-level study and at the same time start to consider university and career prospects.
However at Urmston Grammar , the supportive, experienced teachers make the transition much easier. Their goal is to prepare students for a successful future.
The sixth form community is made up of 300 students: large enough to offer a broad range of subjects; small enough to ensure that all students feel that they belong.
Year 12 is a new start and a new phase for all those who join the sixth form, whether they did their GCSEs at Urmston Grammar or another school.
In fact, thanks to the school’s excellent reputation and exam results, more than one third of their sixth form students come from other schools.
What makes Urmston Grammar Sixth Form so special?
Students enjoy a nurturing school environment
Urmston Grammar places a strong focus on pastoral care, ensuring that every student is well looked after.
Tutors and mentors provide both pastoral and academic help, partnering with students as they make big decisions about their future.
Students have a sixth form tutor and a teacher-mentor who supports them throughout their two years.
Mentors meet students regularly to encourage and guide them in developing strategies to meet their personal targets. They also advise students on how to write their university or job applications and provide references.
Assistant principal and sixth form head, Tom Kennedy-Fowler, knows how important it is to create the right atmosphere.
He explains: “We pride ourselves at Urmston Grammar Sixth Form in providing a nurturing and supportive environment for our students. We have high academic standards as well as high expectations of all our students, and they never fail to do us proud.”
The school’s impressive facilities allow students to study and socialise; they have dedicated spaces for sixth form independent study during non-timetabled sessions and the common room is a relaxed space where students can make friends and enjoy some down time.
Students can also use the well-equipped fitness suite, sports hall and astroturf to support their physical well-being. The reading room and conference rooms are available for various enrichment activities.
Being part of a school means that there are unrivalled opportunities for leadership. Students can work as subject ambassadors, gain external accreditation to mentor younger pupils and act as senior or form prefects.
There are plenty of opportunities for sixth formers
There are plenty of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in
There are many opportunities for students to experience learning outside of the classroom.
Sixth formers go on a range of field trips including East Yorkshire (Biologists), Bletchley Park (Mathematicians) and Snowdonia (Geographers).
Art students regularly visit local and national galleries for inspiration. French and German students can develop their language skills and absorb European culture in visits and exchanges abroad. There are opportunities further afield with expeditions to areas such as Ecuador, Tanzania and Iceland, as well as skiing in the Alps.
Sixth form students have the opportunity to take part in a broad range of extra-curricular activities, including:
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Engineering club
- STEM Ambassador Programme
- Well-being Ambassador Programme
- Sign language
- Debating clubs and competitions
- Young Enterprise
For students who wish to apply for medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine, they will benefit from the bespoke MDV Development Programme which has been designed to ensure successful applications to these highly competitive courses.
Students are supported by experienced mentors, local university admissions tutors and alumni of Urmston Grammar, who are pursuing careers in these popular professions.
Students receive tailored support in their applications, clinical aptitude tests, (UKCAT and BMAT), as well as practice interview sessions.
The school also runs an Oxbridge support programme which allows students to work with admissions tutors from Cambridge and Oxford University to support the application and interview process.
Students go on to achieve great success
The key values of the school are Pride, Participation and Empathy
In 2019 Urmston Grammar students achieved impressive results: 60% of all the grades achieved by the sixth formers were A*-B grade; 80% of the grades were A*-C and just under one third of all the grades awarded were A* or A.
This academic success leads students to study at some of the UK’s most prestigious universities.
Tom Kennedy-Fowler is proud of the work the students did last year. He said: “In August 2019 we saw a record eight students progress onto highly competitive Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science courses, and five students take up places at Oxford and Cambridge.
“Many of our students go on to study at prestigious Russell Group Universities and it’s due to their dedication, determination and work ethic that they reach these high goals.”