Welcome From The Headteacher
At The Downs School, we are wholly committed to ensuring that our Sixth Form continues to build on its long-standing track record of success. Visitors to our Sixth Form comment on how special the atmosphere feels. We are welcoming and inclusive, vibrant and purposeful. Our ethos is formed from the partnership between staff, students and parents, who work together to create an environment in which young people are supported to realise their full potential and achieve their personal goals.
The Downs School Sixth Form has a proven track record of success with young people of which we are very proud. Our results continue to place us as one of the best performing Sixth Forms not only in the immediate area but also nationally. This tradition of academic success is built upon the foundation of excellent teaching and learning. Our teachers are passionate subject specialists who welcome the chance to share their enthusiasm with their students.
Academic success, however important, is not the only achievement we value in The Downs School Sixth Form. We provide a rich provision of extra-curricular activities and leadership opportunities to our Sixth Form students, helping them develop into well-rounded young adults, able to venture into a rapidly changing world with confidence and determination. These principles are encapsulated in our vision ‘to prepare today’s young people for the world of tomorrow.’
I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher of such a vibrant school community and encourage you to make a visit to see us in action. We very much look forward to welcoming you and your family to The Downs School Sixth Form.
Welcome from the Head of Sixth Form
Within our thriving Sixth Form of approximately 320 students, you will find a friendly and supportive community atmosphere. Every September, we are delighted to welcome our own Year 11 students together with students from numerous other local schools into our Sixth Form.
Why Study at The Downs School Sixth Form?
Outstanding Teaching and Learning
A dedicated Tutor team supporting each student through their 2 years
A community built on positive relationships between staff and students
A diverse and energetic community of students from a variety of local schools
A relaxed atmosphere in the Sixth Form Diner
A strong positive working atmosphere in the Sixth Form Common Room and the Library
Opportunities to work independently, developing lifelong study skills
Openings for leadership and whole school responsibility
Advice on obtaining Yr12 Work Experience
Regular social sport events and enrichment opportunities
Support and Guidance for beyond Sixth Form, including Degree Apprenticeships, University applications, Oxbridge and Medical applications, and entry into Russell Group Universities.
Employment Insight Days at leading global organisations such as Vodafone.
Our students have a wide variety of different aspirations from university study to pursuing a creative career in the performing arts or an artistic field, or securing a position in employment or on a degree apprenticeship.
Life at The Downs School Sixth Form is not just about academic success; it is also about developing as a person and contributing to the school and the wider community. Extra-curricular activities and leadership roles, alongside super-curricular learning and work experience, enable our students to become well rounded and confident individuals.
Many subjects run trips and visits during the Sixth Form to deepen students’ understanding and knowledge of the subject. Furthermore, there are opportunities to visit places such as New York and Iceland as well as our biannual Sixth Form Ski Trip. Our biannual Sixth Form Expedition has previously visited Ecuador, India and Norway. We take part in an increasing range of sporting activities including matches against other Sixth Forms in the area.
It is with pride, every year, that we celebrate the success of our Sixth Form students at A Level and BTEC Level 3. We look forward to their future successes and to welcoming them back to inspire future generations. Ex-students regularly return to give talks on life at University, on gap year experiences, on apprenticeships or on the world of work.
Attending Sixth Form at The Downs will be the most satisfying period, intellectually and socially, of most students’ school career. It bridges the gap between the period of compulsory education and taking one’s place in the adult world. Sixth Form students are not required to wear uniform, but there is a smart professional dress code.
Our Sixth Form sets a framework in which students, under the guidance of well-qualified staff, can continue their academic success from GCSEs into A Level and BTEC studies. Students are individually supported by their tutor, our Student Support Manager, our UCAS Adviser, the Deputy Head of Sixth Form and myself, as well as forming close bonds with their subject teachers. Therefore, students benefit from close working relationships with a variety of adults throughout their time in the Sixth Form. Advice and guidance are given on time management and study skills and we are able to give additional tailor-made support to individual students on any part of their Sixth Form experience. We strive to provide the important balance between individual support and independent learning.
Students entering the Sixth Form will be invited to an Admissions Meeting to discuss their application and to ensure that they are looking at the right academic pathway for them. There are a number of sixth form tours, and the Sixth Form Open Evening for prospective students in the Autumn term where subject teachers and current students are available to discuss subject choices and content, as well as presentations from our present Head Boy and Girl, the Head Teacher and myself.
Participation in the Sixth Form is a challenging experience. We welcome students who want to succeed, who have a positive attitude to their studies, a passion for their subjects, and who are willing to work constructively with their peers and tutors. We expect students to work hard and achieve their goals, which will enable them to leave our Sixth Form with good qualifications, an informed approach to the world around them, and a clear vision of their next step in life. In return, we will do all possible on their behalf so that together we can work towards their goals.
I look forward to welcoming you or your son or daughter into our Sixth Form.
Head of Sixth Form.