Welcome to Backwell Sixth Form
Backwell has long been well known for all-round educational excellence and has a reputation as one of the most sought after schools in the South West. What makes this school special is that it provides consistent academic excellence, yet remains a school whose hallmarks are friendliness, belief in the breadth of opportunity for all and a real sense of community.
We celebrate the headline successes of course - over a quarter of A Level entries are at A or A* each year - but we place even more emphasis on the progress made by each student. That is why we are so thrilled to note that Backwell Sixth Form's "value-added" measure for all students' progress shows our Sixth Form students consistently meeting and often exceeding their targets.
We are proud of our students. They demonstrate enthusiasm, dedication, creativity and commitment to their community. They are involved in a host of valuable and exciting opportunities outside the classroom, developing the skills, confidence and knowledge needed for life in the 21st Century.
At Backwell we value excellence in all areas and regularly help Sixth Form students to achieve stunning academic excellence, moving on to study at Oxford or Cambridge or to tackle other highly competitive courses. However, we also believe in an inclusive, comprehensive approach to education; therefore the curriculum and the support offered in the Sixth Form is designed for the varying needs of all our students.
"Leaders balance their ambition for high academic standards with an emphasis on developing pupils' personal development. Staff want pupils to develop resilience and respect." (Ofsted 2020)
"At Backwell, I have always felt a strong sense of community and support. The students are the beating heart of the school, but the amazing and inspiring teachers are the oxygen that keeps everyone supported and thriving." (Jemma, Head Student)
"Backwell School has been an amazing place to spend the last two years. It is a supportive and enriching environment in which to develop, with countless opportunities to learn and try new things in and out of the classroom." (Owain, Deputy Head Student)
With an average of 360 students, Backwell Sixth Form is a consistently popular choice for both new and former Backwell students. A major reason for this is the attraction of a wide, varied curriculum set in the context of consistent academic rigour.
Traditional A levels remain popular and successful at Backwell. For example, we have 140 students annually studying Mathematics A level as well as large cohorts in other 'facilitating' subjects particularly desired by universities and employers, such as Physics, Chemistry, History and English Literature.
The number of A levels on offer ensures a genuinely personalised choice for our students: for example, we offer three different modern languages at A level (French, German and Spanish). There is huge variety available in creative subjects: we offer A levels in Music, Music Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, and four different Art A levels (Art, Craft and Design, Textile Design, Product Design and Photography). There is also breadth beyond A level, including the Extended Project Qualification, Applied A levels, other Level 3 courses and the opportunity for GCSE retakes in English Language and Mathematics. We also have a newly launched Backwell Employability Award.
"In Key Stage 5, students have an extensive choice of subjects and, where necessary, partner with other schools." (Ofsted 2020)
At Backwell we are aware of the great challenges that sixth formers face. Over a two or three year period they must adjust to the differing conditions and demands of Sixth Form study; they must achieve their best academically while also preparing for their future in a competitive world. We therefore place a high value on the information, support and guidance that we give to our students. In our tutor and assembly programme we target key issues such as study skills, transition to the Sixth Form and life skills, including health and financial planning.
Backwell has an excellent record of helping students to find a place at their chosen university. We pride ourselves on our expertise in relation to higher education, but also know that this may not be the only option for all students. We work closely with employers, Bristol University and Apprenticeship providers in order to give our students access to up-to-date information on all career paths: employment, training, apprenticeship, gap year activities and higher education.
There is a regular programme of individual tutor interviews to provide academic mentoring for each sixth former. The Sixth Form Team includes a dedicated in-house Careers Adviser and Student Adviser for careers and well-being, both of whom are always available to students - and parents - to discuss the issues that our Sixth Form students face.
"Students in the sixth form receive good advice about how to apply to university. Consequently, many students receive offers from highly competitive universities." (Ofsted 2020)
"The teachers at Backwell go above and beyond to help you unlock your potential. I feel incredibly lucky to have felt so supported, encouraged and inspired by the wonderful teachers here." (Jemma, Head Student)
"From support from the medical society, to mock interviews organised by the careers team, to countless work experience placements advertised and personal statement mentorship, I couldn't have asked for better support with my future plans." (Owain, Deputy Head Student)
We hope you find the website a useful source of information about the Sixth Form, but please feel free to contact us for further information via firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form: Rose Haywood
Head of Year 12: Adam Moore
Head of Year 13: Darran Lewis
Sixth Form Student Adviser: Isla Hobbs
Careers Adviser and Coordinator: Charlotte Ball