FAQs

How do I apply to SWCHS Sixth Form?

All applications must be made via our online form by Monday 30th November 2020. The form will be live from Sunday 1st November 2020.

Please note that all applicants will receive a confirmation email after completing the application form. If you do not receive this email from SWCHS please contact admissions@swchs.net

Please ensure that your course choices meet the subject and course criteria (see ‘How to Choose your Courses’ on page 7 and ‘Table of Subjects’ on pages 8-9 of the 2021 Prospectus).

External Students

If you are applying from a different school, please attach your most recent report to your online application, showing your most recent forecast grades. You can submit further grade information after the application deadline to admissions@swchs.net 

Photography and Music Academy Applications 

If you are applying for Photography and/or Music Academy, please submit a separate letter of application. Students applying for Photography need to select A-Level Photography as one of their course choices, as well as applying by letter. Please refer to guidelines – see link at the top of the online application form.

Completing the Application Form

Reasons for Subjects Chosen

Please explain your reasons for choosing your subjects. This could include enjoyment, achievement, or links to your future plans. 

Next Steps

Please give details of any plans you may have when you finish your Sixth Form courses. This could include university, apprenticeship, career etc.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Please include any interests that you pursue outside school, such as sport, music, drama or a part-time job.

Additional Support

This should cover any exam access arrangements, such as extra time and a scribe, and also any in-class support. If you have an EHCP, copies should be sent separately to SWCHS, marked for the attention of Mr P Heath, SENCO - click here to email Mr Heath.

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

It depends on which Pathway a student chooses: 

  • On Pathways 1-3 students will study 4 subjects, with the option to drop one subject at the end of Year 12
  • On Pathway 4 students will study 3 subjects with the option of re-taking GCSE English OR Maths
  • On Pathway 5 students will study one Level 2 diploma along with re-taking GCSE Maths AND/OR English.

At the end of Year 12, we also offer students the opportunity to complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

We recommend that you include on your application the subjects you are considering, in priority order. We would suggest that students include no more than four subject choices. 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 lessons during Induction Week, which may help when making final decisions.

Will I be invited to an informal guidance interview?

If your application is approved, at the end of January we will email you to invite you to a Guidance Discussion with a member of our Sixth Form team.  This will provide you with the opportunity to discuss your subject choices.  For the Guidance Discussion, you will need to bring your most recent report showing your forecast grades.  If you wish to, you may also bring along a reference from your current Headteacher or Head of Year.

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.

Can I study an 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 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 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 example, for Maths and Physics, they will need a 7 in GCSE Maths. If students would like to study Maths beyond GCSE but are nervous about the A-Level, as an alternative they should also consider completing AS Level Core Mathematics: Quantitative Reasoning, which offers a Level 3 qualification.

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.

Advice for choosing 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).