Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact if I have a concern ?

For year 12 concerns- Miss Durnan Gdurnan@st-james.barnet.sch.uk

For year 13 concerns- Miss Georgalis Jgeorgalis@st-james.barnet.sch.uk

Or you can ring the Sixth Form on 0208 358 2813

 

Are there any rules at Sixth Form?

You will find St James Sixth Form has a friendly and ‘adult’ environment in which you are encouraged to develop a sense of independence and to take responsibility for your studies. 

  • Students should keep all work in an appropriate and well organised form, e.g. in a file, that is available for checking if required.
  • Students are expected to manage their study time. This means making appropriate use of study periods
  • Substantial homework will be set in all subjects, with longer deadlines in certain areas e.g. for coursework.
  • Each student will need to spend at least five hours per week per subject studying outside of lesson time.
  • Students have a target grade for each subject.  Any assignments that are graded by staff as being below target will need to be re-submitted. Students who appear to be heading for a grade that is below target will be put on an additional study support program. This may involve more regular mentoring appointments, closer scrutiny of work, some or all study periods becoming supervised sessions in the Sixth Form , alerting parents to the situation and a meeting with parents

We don’t have lots of rules and regulations. We do however expect high standards of behavior, including attendance and punctuality, and these are set out clearly in our student code of conduct.

Is there a dress code for Sixth Form Students?

Yes students wear smart business wear in the Sixth Form. The dress code is appreciated by students and the Sixth Form expects students to adhere to its agreed provisos. The underlying principle is that dress must be appropriate in an 11 – 18 school environment and a work place.

Can Sixth Form students come into school late if they have no lessons at the start of the day?

No all students in both year 12 & 13 must be in school everyday for registration at 8.35am and assembly once a week

Are Sixth Form students allowed to leave the school site during the day?

Only at lunchtimes and students must sign out and back in at reception. Students are also allowed to leave the site after their last lesson of the day.

Can students go off site for lunch?

Yes, however they must return on time for period 5 lessons.  The canteen is open for Sixth Form students all day serving a wide range of hot and cold meals. The canteen operates a system of finger print recognition cashless payments, which means that you will need to keep your account topped up. There is also a vending machines in the common room and a hot and cold drinks machine for students to use.

How small are the class sizes?

Class sizes range but the norm is usually between 10-20 students.

I’ve heard there are free periods in Sixth Form, what can I do at these times?

In between your taught lessons for your subjects there are spaces in your timetable for you to carry out your independent study. These sessions are registered, thus compulsory to attend, but they require your own self-management in terms of how you use them. You can choose to work in the Learning and Resource Centre, or in one of the many department work areas around the school. 

What else can I do at Sixth Form?

There are a wide variety of additional enrichment activities on offer at Sixth Form and we strongly recommend that you get involved in activities other than just your subjects. There are many sports clubs, both competitive and for leisure and a full enrichment package and special interest groups meet and put on different events and a huge amount more.

What happens if I feel sick while I'm at Sixth Form?

If you are feeling sick during the day you must see the PSM who will contact home to get permission to send you home if you are unable to remain in lessons. If you have had an accident, or are feeling very ill, you should go straight to student services.

Is Wi-Fi available at St James?

We provide FREE Wi-Fi throughout the Sixth Form. This is just one of the excellent facilities and services our IT and Technical Services department provides!

Is there any financial support available for students?

We offer a financial bursary scheme which is a discretionary source of financial help.  Eligible students will also have access to free school meals. For further information please contact the Sixth Form on 0208 358 2813.

If I have a problem that is worrying me, who can I talk to?

If the problem is one of organisation of your work, for example, letting things pile up, missing deadlines or not making efficient use of your study periods, then your Form tutor or a subject teachers will be able to offer practical help. Your tutor or teacher may refer you to your HOSL if required. If the problem is of a subject specific nature, lack of understanding of a particular topic or a feeling that you are being overloaded with conflicting work deadlines, then talk to your subject teachers and then if necessary to either your form tutor, or your HOSL

You also have year 13 subject ambassadors to go to in each KS5 subject area for support.

Do you have a Support Service at Sixth Form?

We have a support service at sixth form. For appointments please contact the PSM.

What will the Sixth Form do to support my general health and well-being?

There may be times over the next two years when you feel under pressure and stressed. In such situations you are encouraged to talk to your tutor, or failing that the Head of Sixth Form, your HOSL or the PSM.

If you would prefer not to discuss your problems in a school environment then you should consider making an appointment with your GP, or using one of the helplines advertised in the Sixth Form area.

If I have a problem with my academic work, who can I talk to?

If the problem is subject specific nature, lack of understanding of a particular topic or a feeling that you are being overloaded with conflicting work deadlines, then talk to your subject teachers and then if necessary to either your form tutor, or your HOSL.

If I am unhappy on my course what can I do?

If you are considering changing courses, then you should discuss your plans with the Head of Sixth Form. You need to complete a subject change form.

Once we are satisfied that you have thought through all the issues surrounding a change of subject, and discussed them with your parents, you will be allowed to make a subject change. All such changes need to be authorised by the Head of Sixth Form and are subject to a supportive parental agreement and sufficient space being available in the relevant sets. However, course changes will not normally be possible after the 30th September in any one year.

What facilities are available to help me study independently?

The ability to work independently is essential to success in Sixth Form. In fact, independent learning is what distinguishes Sixth Form study to study in school. You will find that the more efficiently you use this time, the better your eventual level of success will be and you will take less work home.

There are several areas set aside specifically for independent work, either as an individual or in a group. The Sixth Form common room is a staffed silent study area.  Students who want to work in groups can work at the back of St Dominic’s hall unsupervised.  Students will have study periods on their timetable where they will be supervised inn a classroom by a member of staff.

Are there any social activities?

Yes, lots. You are expected to aim for one hundred hours of enrichment during year 12. Early in year 12 there will be enrichment information sessions, at which you will be able to sign up to one or more of these opportunities:

  • ·                     Competitive sports fixtures against other sixth forms in Barnet
  • ·                     League –Football teams and a Netball team
  • ·                     Sport and leisure opportunities
  • ·                     Year prefects /Subject support
  • ·                     Duke of Edinburgh
  • ·                     Reading Programme working with students in main school
  • ·                     Lower school classroom support
  • ·                     Work experience
  • ·                     End of Term parties
  • ·                     Social trips one per half term- Top Golf / Theatre / Film Club / Bowling
  • ·                     Subject specific residential trips
  • ·                     Charity and community work

 

What can I do to get involved with the Sixth Form?

We invite you to become part of the Sixth Form Vision Team and give us feedback through focus groups and surveys.

Will I be able to progress at the end of my course?

We aim to provide guidance and support whether you choose a higher education or vocational path. The Sixth Form area is well stocked with university prospectuses and books giving advice on every relevant aspect of the subject, and there is IT provision to allow greater access to information on colleges and courses. Careers interviews can be arranged at any time for any member of the Sixth Form.

What about my next steps after Sixth Form?

If you are planning to progress into work or apprenticeship at the end of your course, the website has lots of live vacancies to help you find the best opportunities. Unifrog has been purchased for students to access support with Apprenticeship and University advice for all Sixth Form students.  The careers team can also help you make a great application, with advice on interview skills and CVs.

Are there any opportunities to be a Student Leader?

Yes.  The Sixth Form has an elected Head Girl and Head Boy plus deputies alongside the Sixth Form Vision team who are responsible for

  • ·                     Organisation of the Sixth Form Ball
  • ·                     Leavers Mass
  • ·                     Leavers Year book
  • ·                     Student voice feedback
  • ·                     Social events
  • ·                     The organisation of charity events

Subject ambassadors support students in year 12 for each course run in year 12. These students are elected by staff to represent their departments and support the decisions for year 11 students.

Can I go to University with a BTEC Vocational qualification?

Yes. A level 3 OCR Technical Diploma is equivalent to 2 A levels and is attributed UCAS points in the same way. Achieving triple distinction star grades in your BTEC gives you the same UCAS points as 2 A* grades at A level.

What kind of career advice do you offer and what support is there for university applications?

We have a highly experienced Careers Officer who works with many other schools. We have staff experienced with the UCAS process and the school has links with many Universities, including Oxbridge. All pupils will have access to university advanced seminars, lectures, Summer Schools and Open Days and there is support for BMAT and UKCAT, as well as Oxbridge entrance.


What links do you have with universities?

Apart from any departmental based links, the school already has wel established links with colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Imperial College London, Hertfordshire University, Reading University and Middlesex University.

 

Applications to the Sixth Form

Is the Sixth Form open to external candidates?

Yes. In 2017, the School will admit up to 30 external students to the Sixth Form. The actual number of places available to external applications will depend on the number of students continuing into the Sixth Form from Year 11.

Is there an application to complete?

This is provided as an insert in the prospectus to be handed out at the open evening but is also available to down load from our website. All applicants will be asked to complete an Application Form. External applicants must provide predicted examination grades (GCSE) sheet which must be stamped by their current school.


Is there an interview?

Yes, once the applications are processed, applicants will have a meeting with a member of the Sixth Form Teams to discuss the subject choices they have made and to provide advice on options and entry requirements for particular courses.

When will I be interviewed?

Most interviews are held between December and April. We will contact you within 2 weeks of you applying to acknowledge receipt of your application. You will be contacted by post approximately 2 weeks before your interview with your interview date and time.

What do I need to do if I am unable to attend my interview appointment?

Please call 0208 358 2813 to rearrange your interview.

What should I bring to interview?

You should bring with you any supporting information such as your record of achievement or progress file and / or the grades you are predicted and have already achieved at GCSE.

Can I change the subjects I have chosen at interview?

Yes. If you wish to change a course immediately please call us on 0208 358 2813

What subjects will be offered in 2017 and which exam boards will be used?

The Sixth Form Course Guide September 2017 sets out the subjects on offer, together with Exam Boards, as well as arrangements for AS /A2.

Are St James students automatically offered a place in Year 12?

No – all internal and new students to St James must meet the admissions criteria. (See Admission Policy).

How many subjects do you study in year 12?

Most students will study 3 A levels very few will be eligible to study 4 A Levels – see the entry requirements for each pathway on the Sixth Form website.

Do you run GCSE re-sits in Math’s and English Language?

Yes alongside a level 2 Business or Level 2 Sport course re-sits are available.  This is a one year resit course

What should I do if I am on holiday during enrolment?

If you are unable to attend the enrolment date you must speak with the examinations officer for arrangements to get your results by another means.  You will also need to contact Miss Magee on smagee@st-james.barnet.sch.uk to discuss your options once you have your results.

What happens if I don’t get the GCSE results I need to go onto my chosen course?

You will be asked to bring your GCSE results to enrolment. If you do not meet the entry requirements for your chosen course you will be given an advice and guidance interview with a member of the admissions team. At this stage we will do our best to find you an alternative course that will lead you towards your chosen career or university course.

Can I sit a vocational qualification with A Levels?

No. You either choose to study a full time vocational course which will include lots of subjects in your vocational area or an A Level Programme where you study up to four different subjects.

Deciding whether to choose A Levels or Vocational courses can be difficult. You should consider whether you are stronger at exam based questions or through coursework and practical assessments and observations. You should discuss this at your admissions interview or call us on 0208 358 2813

If I am unsure about which subjects or courses I would like to study, can I apply or should I wait?

Even if you are unsure about which subjects to study please complete an application form before the application deadline. At interview you will be given advice and guidance about which course is best for you and an opportunity to discuss your choices with a trained advisor.

If I make an application and then change my mind about the subject / course I want to study, what should I do?

If you change your mind about what you wish to study please attend your interview and tell your interviewer. You will be given the opportunity to discuss this and interviewed for your new course.

If you have any further questions please contact the Sixth Form on 0208 358 2813