Beyond the classroom
At Silverdale Sixth Form we passionately believe that a broad and balanced curriculum is important in the development of young minds and bodies. It enhances our students’ experience in class, develops lifelong skills and provides the essential qualities that set our students apart when applying for university, apprenticeships or employment. To this end, alongside our A-level and academic programmes we offer a wide variety of over 15 enrichment options which take place on a Wednesday afternoon each week. These include:
Hospital volunteering and work experience
Providing students with the real life career experiences in their chosen career path to support application to university or onto apprenticeships.
Future Learn MOOCs
Free online courses which allow students to take a specific aspect of a subject or skill and study this in more detail with resources and support from some of the most prestigious universities and professionals worldwide.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
At Silverdale Sixth Form we offer the chance to undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Level 3 to all Year 12 students. We start the EPQ course in the summer of Year 12 and complete it in Year 13.
The EPQ is a project-based piece of research, rather like a mini-thesis. It is worth the same UCAS points as an AS level (up to 28 UCAS points) and is very popular with universities as a qualification.
Students may opt to write a 5,000 word essay plus presentation on a subject of their choice, or to produce an artefact, for instance a film or piece of art plus a 1,000 word commentary.
In 2016 we had 34 students undertaking the EPQ, with projects that ranged from an investigation into the influence of colour on sports performance to the efficiency of the effect of badger culling on the reduction of TB in cattle. In 2017 95% of students taking EPQ achieved A*, A or B grades.
EPQ students have the use of the Western Bank library and the course is very closely linked with Silverdale’s own library where taught sessions are delivered on Wednesday afternoons by the librarian. Each student also has their own individual supervisor.
We have a catalogued collection of past projects on a great variety of subjects, from the effect of caffeine on running performance to an exploration of the sensational success of the Harry Potter series.
We are keen to encourage a wide range of students to consider this qualification.
Exam Board: AQA
Entry Requirements: we start the course in June of Year 12 and you need to be progressing well in your other A- level subjects to undertake the EPQ. Students will be asked to apply during the summer term of Year 12.
School based sessions
We run programmes where students put something back into the school: paired reading with Y7 students, mentoring Y10 and Y11 students, contributing to digital media and school communications, or volunteering in Learning Support.
Students can also take on additional studies, such as Core Maths and Cambridge Pre U.
Students can also choose to take part in drama, go off-site for bouldering, or take part in the Duke of Edinburgh gold award, which culminates in a week-long expedition in Year 12.
We aim to support students who are bilingual or multilingual in gaining accreditation in their home languages. Students can take a GCSE or A-level exams in a number of languages, such as Urdu, Persian, Japanese, Polish, Tamil, Mandarin Chinese.
Student societies and other activities
As well as our enrichment programme numerous extracurricular activities take place including sports clubs, academic clubs and the debating society. Alongside this our students have a vibrant social society led by the Head Student Team, who organise events, charity fundraising and the most anticipated celebration of the year–our summer ball, the Final Fling, where students and staff come together to celebrate the achievement of students over their two years in our Sixth Form.
Leadership skills are demonstrated by our students through the Head Student Team, who are elected by students and work together to help provide student involvement and participation within the school. They are actively involved in school open evenings, making the student voice heard and co-ordinating the School Council. Further opportunities to lead and be involved in the wider school community are afforded by the opportunity for Sixth Form students to become paid lunchtime supervisors, providing the positive role models for students in Years 7 to 11 at social times and school events.