Sixth Form Curriculum Intent

Sixth Form Curriculum 2019-20

The Sixth Form at The Purbeck School is designed for students in our community to:

  • Provide a clear route to higher education/employment/higher level apprenticeships
  • To equip them for future learning, independent living and employment

Students select 3 or 4 subjects to study from and are offered a variety of subjects in order to create as bespoke programmes as possible to meet their needs and aspirations. Students are also involved in an extensive careers and enrichment programme.

The school offers a Route A, and B pathway

  • Route A is for the more traditional A level subjects and is accessed by students gaining 5 subjects at grade 5 at GCSE or above and a grade 6 in the subject that they have opted for.
  • Route B is a less academic route, students are encouraged to access more vocational subjects by achieving grade 4 or above at 5 GCSE subjects.

Subjects on offer at The Purbeck School

  • 8 A levels – the facilitating subjects
    • Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, History, Geography, and English Literature
  • 6 A levels
    • English Language, Product Design, Media, Applied Science, Sociology, Psychology
  • 5 vocational courses
    • Sport, (single, double or triple award) Health and Social Care, Art/Photography, Business Studies, Travel and Tourism
  • We also offer the provision to retake English and or Maths at GCSE

The rationale for this curriculum offer is that it is the next stepping stone from our KS4 provision and offers a wide range of options for our own cohort of students. It is based on our year 11 students’ achievement and aspirations.


The Student Intake

Our 2018-2019 cohort had an average GCSE score of 5.88 compared to a national figure of 6.2. Our current Year 12 cohort includes 67 internal applicants (45%) and 12 external applicants.

Of our internal students

  • 64% have 5 grade 5s and above and can therefore access most subjects on offer, 22% of the cohort have at least 8 grade 6s.
  • 29% have 5 grade 5s who can access the vocational qualifications with the exception that if they have achieved at least a grade 6 in a subject area they are particularly interested in they can take that subject at A’ level.
  • 6% do not have 5 grade 4s however we feel they are exceptional cases, can access the courses and have therefore offered them the opportunity to take vocational qualifications at level 3.


Sixth Form Academic Curriculum

  • The majority of subjects have 9 hours of lesson time over a fortnight.
  • Students are allocated approximately 5 lessons of Quiet Study Time (QST) over the fortnight which is supervised study time.
  • There are a number of areas where students can work quietly on their studies outside of lesson time. Students are expected in school all day with the exception of break and lunch.
  • All students are set a challenging minimum expected grade. Students are encouraged to learn independently outside of these hours via home learning and wider reading.
  • Extra support is put in place at lunchtimes and after school sessions and our school prides itself on the accessibility of staff should a student need extra assistance.

The sixth form curriculum is monitored by SLT links, Teaching and Learning reviews, and by Head of Department interviews/lesson observations/learning walks/work scrutiny/student voice. The sixth form programmes follow a mastery curriculum with the introduction of more Knowledge Organisers, significant formative assessment as well as end of topic formal assessments and 3 whole school tracking points through the academic year. Staff are working towards a coherent and consistent planned Scheme of Learning in every subject which demonstrates how the curriculum is sequenced towards building sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and destinations (accessed by all staff in the shared area).


The Sixth Form Careers and Enrichment Curriculum

Our organisation is underpinned by fundamental British values and we aspire for all our students to develop their understanding of the wider world as well as academic skills and knowledge. We run a full enrichment and careers programme.

Students register first thing in the morning and then have a 20 minute tutor time every day at 2pm. A rich set of experiences is provided through the tutor programme, enrichment sessions and extra-curricular activities for example:

  • All year 12 undertake work experience for a week in addition to students undertaking work experience/extra curricular activities related to their courses. Year 13 students can undertake work experience every Wednesday afternoon.
  • All Year 12 students have a mock interview (carried out by our employer contacts) and further bespoke interview practice is provided in year 13 for students on application to specific courses post 18 or apprenticeships (apprenticeship and UCAS workshops are also run).
  • We run a ‘Speakers Programme’ inviting a number of people from commerce, industry, charities and the public sector to talk to our students; e.g. local MPs, Chief Constable James Vaughan, of Dorset Police, Debbie Flemming, Chief Executive of Poole Hospital, Robert Tarbard, ExxonMobil, Wing Commander Sarah Moorehead, Chief of Staff RAF Odiham, Richard Ryder Director of Addo Food Group, Laura Lee, Director of Molson Coors
  • We organise first aid training, safety on the coast, victim support talks, Safe Drive Stay Alive presentations, university talks, apprenticeship talks, ex-student presentations, student leadership assemblies, trips and visits.
  • We encourage every student to take some form of school or community responsibility/leadership and out students demonstrate highly positive attitudes to their education and community
  • Students take part in a full tutorial programme and mentoring activities
  • Students are supported with safeguarding aspects such as first day calling, staff student mentor and through talks with tutors, resources (e.g. ‘cut your strings’ video from Dorset Police) and external speakers


Sixth Form Curriculum – Results

Students have achieved excellent results over the past 4 years with positive value added as measured in the DFE performance tables and ALPS

  • DfE VA 0.18 (2017/18)
  • Alps 3 Year Trend 3 (top 20%)
  • Alps Quality Indicator = grade 2 (top 10%)

The majority of students have been successful in achieving their first choice at university and a number have gone on to secure higher level apprenticeships in companies such as Wessex water, Sunseeker, ExxonMobil, and Perenco. Our Oxbridge entrants include students going on to do Medicine at Oxford, Biochemistry at Oxford and each year we have a small number of applicants who are supported by a bespoke programme of activities which draws upon past Oxbridge admissions personnel, trips and visits, and supported by links with local Private School.

We aim where possible to keep abreast of alumni activities and encourage as many as possible to come back to talk to our current cohorts. Our sixth form alumni, to name a few, includes: The Head of Footwear Design at Adidas, a BBC journalist, an RAF Senior Officer, an International Handball Player, Project Controller at Rolls-Royce and Deputy Director at Office of National Statistics.


From the 2019 cohort:

  • 67% of pupils continued into Higher Education – 88% of those for 2019 entry / 12% for 2020 entry
  • 22% of university entrants were to a Russell Group University
  • 24% of students chose to take a gap year to consider their options
  • 7.5% took up and apprenticeship
  • 1.5% took up employment