At St Mary’s, we are proud of the provision we offer, which allows students to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge, as well as providing many opportunities for students to develop as individuals in a more social, moral and spiritual sense. Our Sixth Form is characterized by its strong sense of community, its wide-ranging curriculum and its broad offer of extra-curricular activities. We have an outstanding Sixth Form Centre, a highly dedicated team of teachers and leaders – and a highly talented and industrious student body characterized by its enthusiasm, talent and intelligence.
As a Sixth Form that is proud of its Catholic tradition, our ethos is very important. We are a very caring and supportive community where every student is valued and where every student’s talents and interests are nurtured and encouraged. With around 180 students in our Sixth Form, every individual is known extremely well by the leadership team and form tutors, making our Sixth Form an extremely supportive place to study. Students are given many opportunities to explore and develop in faith, whether that is through contributing to form assemblies, leading prayer or the opportunities to develop faith through masses, pilgrimage and the John Paul II Award.
Our Faith in Action is seen through much of the work we do. Students regularly make contributions to charity, by organizing events such as cake sales, car washes and other events, and Sixth Form students make a significant contribution to the care and support offered in the main school. Students in our Sixth Form are trained Peer Mentors and reading coaches, who help support students who are vulnerable or require support.
At St Mary’s, we are proud of the excellent exam results students achieve year on year. We achieved our best A-level results in 2015, with 100% of our students achieving grades A*-E, with 32% achieving A*/A grades and 83% A*-C grades. Also, in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Distinction and Distinction* grades awarded to students studying vocational subjects. Achieving such excellent results has meant that our students have taken up places at universities of their choice, with many taking up places at Russell Group universities.
There are many exciting opportunities for students to take up over the course of their time in our Sixth Form. We believe that it is important that students develop a broad set of social and leadership skills, as well as their academic skills, to prepare them for the next stage in their lives. In a competitive market, we seek to ensure that our students stand out from their peers. For example, students are offered opportunities to get involved with the Career Ready scheme, charity work throughout the city and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Life in the Sixth Form is busy and exciting. There is an atmosphere of focus and direction, but also a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. The support for sixth formers begins now, in Year 11, as we work with students and their families to ensure students are placed on appropriate courses that are suitable and that are linked to students’ career aspirations.