• Sixth Form Handbook

Sixth Form Handbook

Welcome to Wells Sixth Form

At Wells Cathedral School in the Sixth Form we offer:

  • High quality teaching and learning opportunities
  • Good facilities and resources for study
  • Flexible subject choices
  • Regular academic monitoring, feedback and target setting to help pupils chase their ever-developing potential
  • Frequent tutor contact to discuss academic progress
  • A wide range of co-curricular opportunities.

At Wells Cathedral School in the Sixth Form we provide:

  • More challenge
  • More freedom
  • More opportunities
  • An inspiring education set in a musically alive and beautiful environment as a brilliant foundation for life.

Introduction from the Head Master

Welcome to the prospect - and the prospectus - of the Sixth Form at Wells Cathedral School. Education is, in large measure, about learning to make good choices: this is designed to help you to do that.

Our programme allows very flexible opportunities, and we believe that A levels, and PreU in History and Art History, offer an excellent chance for a full and rich programme around and beyond your academic choices. We won’t force you to take opportunities; we will expect you to find your own place, with all the help you need to make choices which will enable your strengths to develop, and to take you beyond the merely comfortable, familiar and easy! This is supposed to be hard - and very rewarding!

All the entries in this prospectus indicate that academically and in every other way the Sixth Form at Wells will make you think, reflect and challenge, as well as work hard and efficiently. These are the qualities which the world needs in you as its citizens, and which you need in order to participate. I want you to leave Wells with brains and hearts as big as possible, and with resilience and self awareness which will enable you to live well for yourselves and therefore for other people.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Sixth Form with all its hard work, leadership, challenges, excitements and possibilities in September.

Alastair Tighe

Introduction from the Head of Senior School

This guide is all about helping you to make good choices, something which is at the heart of any good education. Joining the Sixth Form is full of choices: about what subjects you want to study, how much or little music you want in your experience, what types of sports or activities you will enjoy, whether you will board or be a day pupil, and ultimately the question of what comes after the Sixth Form…

At Wells we believe in providing a flexible approach to education which means that some of our students might study as few as two A levels to provide space for four or more hours of practice a day as they prepare for music college and beyond, whilst at the other end we have students who want a highly academically focussed programme working towards Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities when they leave.

At Wells you can be musical, sporty, dramatic, creative, academic, introverted or extroverted. You can be a leader, or take a more supporting role, but whatever you are, and whatever you want to be we want you to (in the words of our school motto) “be what you are”.

So seek out the people and information you need to help you make informed choices. The entries in this guide (found in the links below) will help you understand the structure and content of the academic courses at Wells, as well as what Sixth Form life here is like.

If I can offer one piece of advice about how to make the difficult choice about what to study in the Sixth Form it would be that you should follow your heart. Choose the subjects you enjoy, not necessarily the ones you get the best marks in at GCSE. If you choose subjects you love, then you will be willing to put in the time and effort required to be successful. This will set you up to future courses in things you enjoy doing, which will ultimately lead you to do things that you will enjoy spending the rest of your life doing. Never allow your choices to be determined by what others expect of you or think is best for you - however that’s not the same thing as not seeking and taking advice, and there are many people who can help you think about these important questions.

Seek out Mr Ben Taylor, our higher education and careers adviser, and start to talk about the future with him. If you are thinking about joining Wells for your Sixth Form years, then Mr Taylor is available to you before you join us - contact him on b.taylor@wells-cathedral-school.com. Speak to your current teachers and tutor - whether you are at Wells already or currently elsewhere. Talk to your parents, they know you better than anyone. But ultimately these decisions must be your own, as you are the one who will be sat in the classes and activities doing the real work required!

I know that the Sixth Form at Wells provides a brilliant foundation for life. Students, parents, Old Wellensians and their parents, staff in universities and music colleges and employers tell me so. I look forward to welcoming you to all the hard work, challenges, excitements and possibilities of September.

Dr Andy Kemp

Introduction from the
Head of Sixth Form

Welcome to Wells Cathedral School Sixth Form.

There will be many opportunities available to you, and we hope that you would want to make the most of them. From Literary Society and charity fundraising to helping with Lower School sport and tutor groups, we see all our Sixth Formers as leaders in the school and believe everyone has a key role to play. Each year we have around 30 plus new students join us for the Sixth Form, which means there are lots of changes, and it is a fresh start for everybody. The base for the Sixth Form is the Sixth Form Centre, a dedicated building with dual use, having both work areas and social facilities. Students are also allocated to a boarding house so they have the freedom to choose where to work and play.

It has always been the aim of the Sixth Form experience to encourage a greater sense of freedom and independence, in order to bridge the gap between school and whatever path is chosen thereafter. As a result, students have a significant personal responsibility for their academic progress, which involves managing their time and workload while at the same time self-evaluating their performance and being proactive in seeking out ways to move forward. However getting the balance right can prove difficult for some students. I (as the head of Sixth Form), the Sixth Form tutors and the pastoral care of the house staff, all ensure that we are there to support you throughout the Sixth Form experience.

In taking responsibility for your academic progress, we also encourage you to make informed decisions about your future careers. There are a number of support structures in place including the Higher Education and Careers service, which offers guidance in a variety of areas on an individual basis.

In speaking to those who have recently left the school there is no doubt that the Sixth Form at Wells was great preparation for the next stage in their lives, giving students the confidence to stand on their own two feet and face the wider world in front of them...

Being in Sixth Form, is being part of a smaller community within the school. We are all supportive of each other, very much like a family.

Sixth Form has improved my confidence and self-esteem. It has encouraged me to take advantage of any opportunities.

Sixth Form gives me the freedom to be an individual. I feel prepared for university.

If you any questions or a desire to find out more please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

We are looking forward to meeting you next year!

Sally Rowley (Head of Sixth Form)

Heads of Department Email Addresses

Art - Linzi Stockdale-Bridson: l.bridson@wells.cathedral.school

History of Art - Dr Hilary Wynne Murphy: h.murphy@wells.cathedral.school

Biology - Ken Padgett: k.padgett@wells.cathedral.school

Business - Teresa Jarman: t.jarman@wells.cathedral.school

Chemistry - Helen Tallett: h.tallett@wells.cathedral.school

Classics - Lawrence Plum: l.plum@wells.cathedral.school

Computing - Simon Balderson: s.balderson@wells.cathedral.school

Economics - Marcus Laing: m.laing@wells.cathedral.school

English Literature - Neil Bowen: n.bowen@wells.cathedral.school

MFL - Jules Desmarchelier: j.desmarchelier@wells.cathedral.school

Geography - Jeremy Boot: j.boot@wells.cathedral.school

Geology - David Rowley: d.rowley@wells.cathedral.school

Government & Politics - Chris Eldridge: c.eldridge@wells.cathedral.school

History - Chris Eldridge: c.eldridge@wells.cathedral.school

Mathematics - Nicky Connock: n.connock@wells.cathedral.school

Academic Music - Harvey Brink: h.brink@wells.cathedral.school

Music Technology - Jack Coward: j.coward@wells.cathedral.school

Philosophy & Ethics - Eleanor Smith: e.smith@wells.cathedral.school

Photography - Eliana Nelson: e.nelson@wells.cathedral.school

Physical Education - Gemma Pritchard: g.pritchard@wells.cathedral.school

Physics - Charlotte Farmer: c.farmer@wells.cathedral.school

Psychology - Charlotte Owen: c.owen@wells.cathedral.school

Theatre Studies - Damian Todres: d.todres@wells.cathedral.school

Sixth Form Guide (2017-2019)