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Dereham Sixth Form College

Learning

Our central aim is to help you access the most appropriate programme of study for you and then to support you through those courses, enabling you to achieve a successful outcome at the end of your two years.

Linear / modular courses

You will be aware that A Levels are at the end of a two year process of radical change – from a modular system where courses were divided into two halves (AS and A2) and examinations could be taken after the first year of study, to a linear system where each course lasts for two years and all examinations are taken at the end of the second year. For students enrolling in September 2017, the vast majority of subjects will be linear with only one or two remaining in a modular format. For this reason we will not be offering stand-alone AS programmes of study in most subjects from 2017 onwards and, except in a minority of cases, all subjects will be examined at the end of two years.

AS courses will be available in Psychology, Core Maths and the Extended Project Award as additional subjects which you may wish to opt for, taken alongside A Level programmes in the first year.

With the more rigorous and challenging demands of linear A Levels and end of course examination-based assessment, our strong recommendation is that most students select three A Level subjects to study. Some students achieving a majority of A/A* grades at GCSE may wish to study four subjects. Some students may be advised to begin on four courses with a view to possibly dropping back to three depending on the results of the first set of internal examinations in December.

Students failing to achieve a C grade in their GCSE English or Maths courses will be required to follow a GCSE re-sit course.

All students will attend a tutorial programme aimed at developing your study and work-related learning skills. You will also have timetabled study periods to support your learning and make up your required number of supervised hours.


Enrichment

Beyond your academic studies there are a wide range of activities which you can participate in. This year we are offering clubs groups and societies in: Running; Current Affairs / Model United Nations; Cookery; Bridge; Duke of Edinburgh; Mooting; Choir; Creative Writing; Book Club; Enterprise and Initiative; Community Volunteering; Student Eye Magazine; Musical Society; Dodge Ball; Cycling; Craft; Gym and Swim; and Amnesty. Year 12 students are also encouraged to volunteer to serve on one of the three Senate Committees - Wellbeing and Learning; Social Events; and Charities. We strongly urge you to join one or more of these groups to widen your experience, meet new people and develop your skills.


Support & Guidance

We believe strongly that you are most likely to achieve your full potential if you are happy and well supported. This is certainly an aspect of College life which we take very seriously and one which is frequently remarked upon in external reviews and inspections.

You will be assigned a personal tutor when you come into the College and this tutor will stay with you during your two years with us. You will meet with your tutor weekly in the first term (and fortnightly thereafter) for a group tutorial during which the Skills and Work-related learning programme is delivered. This is supplemented with small group and individual tutorials which take place once per half term. During these one-to-one tutorials, tutors will track your progress, set targets and generally ensure that you are helped to make the maximum use of the time and opportunities available to you.

With the help of our learning support department, students with a wide range of Special Educational Needs have achieved great success with us. Students have overcome issues including visual and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, Aspergers, dyslexia, social anxiety and depression to move on to the next stage in their lives with the confidence and independence to achieve their goals.

Sixth Form is a challenging time in itself and some students may also be struggling with issues which are beyond the expertise of their tutors. For this reason we enlist the help and support of a trained counsellor, a life coach/mentor and a specialist careers advisor from whom you can receive confidential advice, guidance and support throughout the year. Alongside all of the above the Director, Deputy Director and Year Heads are always happy to offer support and guidance. While our policy is always to deal with students in the first instance we enjoy excellent relationships with parents and find that a good working partnership between students, staff and parents generally achieves the best possible results!

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