We are one of the few comprehensive schools in the area that also has its own sixth form. The sixth form is part of the main school and students appreciate the level of pastoral care that is maintained through their two years with us. We take pride in knowing our sixth form students well and in turn they feel comfortable in their environment. The sixth formers have a brand new purpose built common room within 250m of the train station. This is opposite our new sixth form Coach House computing suite, one of several purpose built sixth form areas around the school site.
The excellent transport links make it straightforward for students in our rural community to reach us. We attract students from all the local 11-16 comprehensives; around 45-50% of our sixth form cohort previously attended other schools. Every year we also welcome international students who stay with host families in the area and spend an academic year with us. These students add to the excellent mix of students that we have and we pride ourselves on our friendly, welcoming atmosphere and how effortlessly they settle in and make new friends.
Academically we are very strong and many students are attracted by our reputation particularly in Mathematics (our specialism), Physics (we are a regional centre of excellence for the Ogden Trust) and Music (our bands have a national reputation and are the only school band affiliated to the band of the Royal Marines). As a result our sixth form has grown in size from below 200 in 2008 to around 280 in 2016.
The majority of our students move on to undergraduate courses at universities. We have a very good record of students achieving places in the most prestigious universities such as those in the Russell Group. For those students who choose not to go to University there are opportunities to gain higher apprenticeships with firms such as BAE, Siemens, Hornby Accountants and GlaxoSmithKline, who have invested £350 million into the town’s biopharmaceutical company.
All our students are encouraged to involve themselves with the wide variety of extra-curricular activities on offer ranging from volunteering in the school and the local community, sporting activities including our British Championship winning orienteering team, performing arts, Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, extended project and a large number of clubs and societies. Students can also take advantage of our very own climbing wall in the school gym.
As an ex-UVHS sixth form student myself I hope that our current students leave with similar memories to the ones I have: that is that our sixth form will be a fantastic experience and the ideal preparation for university and/or employment, achieving academic success, making lots of new friends, enhancing confidence, becoming more independent, gaining valuable experience through extra-curricular activities and learning to drive!