SIXTH FORM CENTRE
Welcome to Sixth Form at Drumragh Integrated College, in this section you will find everything you need to learn about our Post-16 Provision and what we have to offer you.
The Sixth Form Centre & Facilities
We continue to invest in resources to enhance the teaching and learning experience for our students. At the present time, we provide access through the following resources:-
digital technology facilities
• 75” Interactive LCD panels fitted within our classrooms
• 6 Computer suites
• Individual ICT resource areas within departments
• Laptops for use in departments
• iPads for use in departments
• A MAC suite
• Sixth Form Centre with WiFi access across the College
• Students are encouraged to bring their own device at Post-16
Life in Sixth Form at Drumragh - The Sixth Form Gallery
Sixth Form Centre
At Drumragh Integrated College we provide a robust, proven and diverse Sixth Form Programme for all students who decide to continue their journey with us.
Making a Choice
The biggest difference between a pupil and a student is independence. As a Sixth Form student you are expected to be self motivated and self directed. Your approach must be professional and your studies should be your ultimate priority if you are to achieve your best.
This independence extends to all aspects of your Sixth Form experience, from your academic subjects to your extra curricular activities. Our ability to offer a range and quality of opportunity is one of our strongest assets and has proven both extremely popular and very successful in recent years.
Post-16 study is very different from GCSE study and it is important that you make the right choice before you start. There are some things you can do to help you make the correct decisions.
What You Can Expect:
- High quality teaching using a variety of teaching strategies and methods.
- Careers advice and guidance that is personalised to you.
- Support to enable you to learn independently outside of the class room.
- Regular assessment of learning and for learning.
- Effective and regular target setting and self-evaluation.
- A wide range of extra-curricular activities.
- Timetabled study periods in the dedicated sixth form centre to reinforce class room learning.
- Opportunities for work placements.
What We Will Expect
- For you to commit to your personal curriculum and learn to the best of your ability.
- You will act as role models for our younger pupils at all times and in all places.
- You will attend school with 95% regularity and punctuality
- To wear the uniform with pride and to understand that the silver tie comes with responsibility.
- To involve yourself in the wider, broader setting of the school.
- You will respect your fellow students,
The Sixth Form Applicant FAQ’s In general terms, A-levels are academic, and applied A-levels are their vocational equivalent. This means that applied A-levels are designed to reflect the knowledge and skills required in a particular area of employment, such as health care, information technology, business and so on.
Both qualifications will require you to complete coursework and external exams but there tends to be a greater emphasis on coursework in applied A-levels. Coursework tasks generally during post-16 study are much more time consuming and completed to a much higher standard than at GCSE. It often requires you to do your own research and you will be expected to spend your study periods completing coursework.
Which subjects should I choose?
Choose subjects you like and are good at. Subjects at A-level and applied A-level are studied in much greater depth than at GCSE and there is a greater emphasis on personal study. It is therefore important that you have a genuine interest in the subject, so that you will be motivated and find it easier to study. If you have a good record in a subject in year 12, it might be sensible to choose that subject in sixth form.
Choose subjects you will need for your career. It is important at this stage that you plan ahead and choose subjects that are needed for entry into university or college, or are needed for employment. Your post-16 study should be a means to an end and you will be far more motivated to succeed if you know what that end is! So before making your final choice you should find out what subjects are required for your chosen career (if you don’t know what this is yet – refer to question 3!) and in this way you will save time later and you will ensure that you can gain entry to what you need.
What if I have no idea what career I want?
Choose subjects that keep your options open. Don’t limit your options to the extent that you can only choose from a very narrow range of subjects at further and higher education. This will require research and patience on your part but will be worth it when you begin looking at courses at university.
I don’t know where to start! Who can help?
Relax, lots of people are only too willing to assist you.
Firstly, talk to your subject teachers. Your GCSE teachers will be able to advise you on the requirements for study at post-16. They will also be able to guide you on the suitability of a particular subject for you personally.
Secondly, talk to your careers teacher. Mrs Bell is an excellent source of information. She has a good overview of the different types of courses and the relevant information from the universities and colleges. You can use this information to help you choose what subjects to study.
Thirdly, talk to students already in the Sixth Form. Go straight to those who know. Find out what the subjects you are interested in are like from the students’ perspective. We have students at Drumragh studying a vast array of subjects and they will be very willing to chat to you about the decisions you face. It’s not long since they were facing similar choices and their experiences could be invaluable!
The programme in the sixth form is designed to provide students with the academic and pastoral support they need. We believe that students deserve high quality, unwavering support that will ensure that they maximise their potential and reach their personal best. There are a number of different components.
1. THE FORM TEACHER
Each student is allocated to a form teacher who will have personal responsibility for the progress of each student. Each form teacher has time built into his or her timetable specifically for student contact. In this way, the service we provide to our students is individualised and personal.
PROFILES OF YEAR 13 FORM STAFF
Mr Gallagher (CG) is an experienced sixth form tutor and is Head of PE at Drumragh Integrated College. His perspective as a head of department and post-16 form tutor make him ideally placed to guide and
advise his students. This year, Mrs Suzanne Hagan (SH) joined the sixth form team in September and has many years of experience teaching Design & Technology to advanced level.
Here, these teachers offer their thoughts on some of the questions you should be asking:
(Q) What qualities make a successful advanced level student in your experience?
CG - “There are many, but the three that stand out and have made a difference to my students over the years are focus, independence and above all determination.”
SH - “A successful pupil will have a positive attitude towards the challenges of A’level and early adulthood. They should be able to display a willingness to find a solution to an academic or personal problem by persevering all obstacles, but seek help when needed. Someone who is passionate about their course choice and has a wider general knowledge of real life technological advancements outside of the course syllabus and can articulate, discuss or debate opinions in a mature, educated way. An inquiring mind that asks questions is an essential quality in an A level student.”
(Q) Why is it considered difficult to make the transition to advanced level?
CG – “The work is simply more difficult. Problems are more complex and require development of new skills. Students that work hard to develop these skills make the transition more smoothly.”
SH - “Management of own time and study periods: independent self-discipline to manage time wisely is a big challenge moving from GCSE to A’level. The reduction of subjects studied to the increased depth of knowledge required and its application to exam questions is very different. Alongside the academic transition is the social scene of life that takes off, the independence of perhaps starting to drive and part time jobs that can all impinge on the capabilities of good time management at A’level which perhaps hadnt presented themselves when studying for GCSE’s.”
(Q) What qualities do you look for and foster in your form group?
CG – “A-level students are young adults. They must communicate with me effectively and to help this along we try to engender a team spirit approach. This requires trust which comes in time.”
SH - “Kindness and respectfulness with a willingness to work together as a group are the qualities needed in a form class. Pupils who volunteer to assist or give up free time to represent school for events is also desirable from a group. I also enjoy a class who naturally chat and start conversations, offering ideas and opinions during form time that help build relationships and provide opportunities to learn about the individual personalities of pupils a FT may never have taught.”
(Q) If you could give one piece of advice to an advanced level student, what would it be?
CG – “Be prepared to work hard because, despite what you think, you have absolutely no idea of the scale of the challenge upon which you are about to embark! That said, enjoy it, grab any opportunity that comes your way and only take time off if it’s absolutely essential.”
SH -”Embrace and enjoy the experience of your final school years, remember to get the balance of your academic and social lives right. Ask for help if need it. Make good friends and lasting memories, study hard so you have choices and remember to have fun.”
Our Careers Provision
Mrs Bell – Head of Careers
Mrs Bell (EB) has been involved at sixth form level for fifteen years. Fourteen of these have been spent as form tutor and careers advisor, and for five of these years she operated as overall head of the careers department. Her expertise has allowed students to broaden their horizon and find their own pathway to success. She aims to personalise the journey of every sixth form student. Here she answers the questions most related to the prospective sixth form student:
(Q) From a careers perspective, why is it difficult to adjust to advanced level?
“Not only do students need new levels of drive and determination to succeed at A-Level, they now need to have one eye on the future. What is the next step for me? How do I get to the next stage of my career? Students have to make decisions for themselves, this is exciting but a little scary too. This is where I come in.”
(Q) How does a student overcome these difficulties?
“Use independent study time wisely! If a student has a break in subject work then they should start thinking about how they get to the next stage. University courses and employment opportunities are well documented in the careers department and the more time devoted to the future the better it will be.”
(Q) How can a student increase the chance of having a career that is happy and fulfilling?
“Do the research and use the expertise of staff that is on hand to help. Always have a plan. If the plan changes that’s okay, but having no plan will reduce motivation to work hard and so ultimately the number of career opportunities.”
(Q) What resources are available when the time comes?
“The time is now! Don’t put off researching your future till tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. Start early and make it an ongoing process. We have vast resources available. Everything from software to books, from prospectuses to organised trips to institutions in Northern Ireland. You can do whatever you aspire to do – but you have to decide to do it first.”
In addition to dedicated Sixth Form facilities, we have members of the teaching staff that operate as our study supervisors. These teachers are responsible for our dedicated study room and the students that use them. Whenever timetabled for study, this provides a base, and contains the facilities for students to further
reinforce class room learning, an integral part of being a sixth form student. In addition to this, the college has recently invested in a facility that allows students to take a break from studying. Vending facilities, soft seating and reading materials are provided in a room annexed to the study facility which allows students to take a break from the rigours of their A-levels creating a calm, relaxed and peaceful oasis in an industrious and competitive academic environment.
Personal Development Programme (PD)
The Personal Development programme (PD) has been designed to provide each student with the skills and awareness they will need to progress through sixth form and into university or employment.
The year 13 programme is based on a variety of topics including study skills, preparation for work experience and revision techniques. An important feature of PD at Sixth Form is the opportunity for students to have discussion time with their form teacher and with numerous visiting speakers. Presentations are arranged on issues such as drugs and alcohol awareness, road safety, finance and community volunteer opportunities.
The year 14 programme focuses on the skills necessary to progress beyond Drumragh Integrated College. Focus falls upon getting our young people University ready, further education ready or work ready.
Today, university admissions tutors and indeed employers are demanding more from our young people. It is
our responsibility to provide opportunities to develop skills that will enhance their development without adding significantly to their already large workloads. We try to provide a range of opportunities that are challenging but rewarding, that require commitment but are fun and that ultimately make a difference to their educational experience and future aspirations.
Often, the skills and experiences gained through this scheme are what catch the eye of an admissions
tutor and/or employer and make the ultimate difference. Our advice to students is get involved!
Enrichment is part of every student’s timetable, and it is an opportunity for students to develop new skills and interests. Each student will be expected to make full use of the time by participating in enrichment activities. Below you can see some of the accredited activities in which students have engaged recently:
• Peer Mentoring
• The Duke of Edinburgh Award
• First Aid
• Projects Abroad
• Cookery lessons
• Peer Tutoring
• Driving lessons
• The Jen Award
• Work experience
• Senior School Council
• Reading Buddies
• Private Study
• Omagh Youth Council Forum