Why attend sixth form?
The advantages of an education in the Sixth Form, which can lead to degree level courses or higher-level apprenticeships, cannot be over-emphasised. We are living in economically difficult times and more and more professions, require Level 3 qualifications (A levels, BTECs and Cambridge Technical Awards). Research shows that those people who have higher level qualifications are less likely to be unemployed and tend to have greater earning potential.
In addition, two years of study in the Sixth Form are preparation not only in academic terms but also in growing awareness of oneself in a supportive, educational environment. Those who teach in the Sixth Form of Melksham Oak Community School are secure in their subject knowledge and have the added advantage of being aware of students strengths and areas for development. This is true for students from Melksham Oak and those who join us from other schools where we gain a picture through the reference and interview process. We are committed to doing our best for students both intellectually and socially: we therefore make rigorous academic demands and students to do their best to achieve their academic potential. We are aware, however, of the need to provide a whole variety of other activities and opportunities that will develop leadership skills and to contribute to both the school and broader local communities.
If, as a student, you are uncertain of what career you wish to follow – and many are not ready to make a definite career choice at this stage – two years in the Sixth Form studying at level 3 will help keep your options open, until specific decisions about degree courses or career choices need to be made. Advice and guidance about the choices after Sixth Form is always available from tutors, Learning Director of the Sixth Form and a Careers Support Advisor.
If you have a good idea what you want to do, then the variety of courses we have available will allow you to progress onto Higher Education, or, if you wish, appropriate apprenticeships or employment with training. Those who follow BTEC and Cambridge Technical courses will be committing themselves to a more vocational path; those doing A-levels will have a more academic path, some students will select a combination of these.
All students will find that there is a subtle difference in their relationship with staff as they work within the Sixth Form. Most are pleasantly surprised to find that working in smaller groups, consisting of like-minded students, leads to a more relaxed atmosphere and there is a more adult and independent approach to learning. Our Sixth Form students also benefit from fantastic learning, study and social facilities within The Sixth Form Block, which opened in September 2021
Students and staff have the same aim and work together to reach their common objective - to maximise the learning potential of the student.
Students are appreciative of the pastoral support they receive from staff. They feel known as individuals and cared for. They feel safe and are comfortable in approaching staff if they have a concern.
6th Form Key Documents
Additional Support and Opportunities
Within our Sixth Form, there are many other opportunities on offer in addition to your A-level studies. There is considerable pastoral support and extensive help with career planning and making university, apprenticeship, or employment applications.
Year 12 students are obliged to take a complementary study, and these range from Duke of Edinburgh to Young Enterprise and from Sixth Form ambassadors to mentoring year 7 and 8 students. Year 13 students are encouraged to take a complementary study too.