Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to SWCHS Sixth Form?

All student applicants must submit a paper application form (inserted at the back of this Prospectus). On this Application Form, please affix a passport-sized photograph in the space provided. This is important for identification purposes throughout your Sixth Form career. Please complete the application as extensively as possible – we are keen to hear about your achievements both within and outside school.

Paper applications can be submitted from 1st October 2017 until 1st December 2017.  

Details of our Application Procedure and Admissions Policy are on this website and at the back of the Prospectus. If applicants have any further questions, please contact Alison Sharp, our Admissions Administrator, at sixthformadmissions@swchs.net (please include a telephone number, so we can respond by phone if necessary.)

How many places will be offered this year and when do you make offers?

We expect to be able to offer about 350 places for Advanced Level courses for entry in September 2017. Offers will be sent via letter by Easter.

Do you have a catchment area for Sixth Form?

No. If students are sure they are able attend every day, we are happy to receive an application from them, wherever they live.

Will I be invited to an informal guidance interview?

Yes, all students who have submitted an application by the closing date of 1st December 2016 will be offered a guidance interview.

Do you select students on the basis of the informal guidance interview?

No. During this meeting we will check the candidate’s suitability to study their chosen courses, so it is important that students bring any report data they have, most notably including their latest Forecast Grades. However, the key purpose of these meetings is to learn more about the candidate and to offer guidance and support on course choices, when necessary.

How many subjects will I take, and how many should I include on my application?

It depends on which route a student is on: 

  • Green Route students will study 4 AS subjects, with the view to dropping one at the end of Year 12
  • Purple Route students will study one Double Award subject and one AS subject
  • Gold Route students will study one subject

All Year 12 students are offered the opportunity to study an AS in Quantitative Reasoning, which is a two year course. At the end of Year 12, we also offer students the opportunity to complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

If students are unsure which subjects to take, we recommend that they include on their application which subjects they are considering, in priority order. We would suggest that students include no more than five subjects. Please do also remember that the subject choices can be changed after the guidance discussion if necessary (subject to timetabling). All students will also have the opportunity to experience A-Level lessons during Induction Week, which may help when making final decisions.

What advice would you give to students about choosing their subjects?

It is really important that students select their courses carefully. Here are some questions students should consider before deciding their A-Level choices:

  • What are the specific topics being covered - how motivated am I to study this subject outside of lessons?
  • What do I need for a future career/course at university?
  • What are my strengths? Do I perform better at coursework or exam-style courses?
  • Am I displaying the attributes to be successful in that subject? (Speak to your teachers.)
  • Do my chosen subjects complement each other?
  • Do I need further advice to help me make the right decision? (If so, speak to a member of the Sixth Form Team.)

Can I study an A-Level subject that I haven’t taken at GCSE?

In some cases, yes – but students will need to check the Prospectus for the specific subject entry criteria. However, there are a number of subjects where it is not necessary to have studied GCSE. For example, if a student has studied a Humanities subject, it is possible to choose another Humanities-based subject at A-Level. Also, there are many new A-Level courses that are not available at GCSE Level – Sociology, Psychology and Economics, for example. These subjects will look at a student’s Forecast Grades in their other, core subjects to assess their suitability.  

What specific advice would you give to students wishing to study Mathematics and the Sciences at AS/A-Level?

The transition from GCSE to A-Level is marked for all subjects, but very often these are the subjects that students find most demanding. Students should look at the entry criteria and check that they are suitable – for Maths and Physics, they will need an A grade in GCSE Maths, for example. Students should also seek advice from their class teacher: ask them to show some AS-Level tests and look at a textbook to see the difference from GCSE. If students would like to study Maths beyond GCSE but are nervous about the A-Level, as an alternative they should also consider completing Quantitative Reasoning, which offers a Level 3 qualification.

Can I choose to be in a Form group with my friends?

With 350 students in a year, it is obviously not always possible to accommodate everyone’s preferences. Indeed, we actually try to ‘mix things up’ and students should see Sixth Form at SWCHS as a great chance to meet new people! Equally, students should remember they will not be taught in their Form groups: indeed, they will only meet as a Form two or three times a week for 15 minutes each time. However, at the guidance interview, students will have the chance to nominate one or two people to be in the same form with, and we will try our best to arrange this. 

Student Parking Information

When you pass your driving test you are allowed to apply for a car parking permit which enables you to drive to school. To apply for a permit you need to speak to Mrs J Smith in the Sixth Form office.

Once you have a parking permit there are certain rules that you must follow regarding your car as follows:

1) To only park in the GOLD car park behind sixth form

2 )To obey all driving regulations on the school site and not to exceed the speed limit.

3) To not leave school between 3pm and 3.30 due to bus congestion.

If any of these are broken it will result in the withdrawal of your permit.