Heckmondwike Grammar School Sixth form is for full-time 16-19 year old students studying AS and A level subjects.
The Sixth Form Centre, with its social area, adjoining study area and small cafeteria, is the focal point of life for our students. The study area benefits from wireless broadband, which gives students access to the internet and school network, and the well-equipped Careers Resource Centre is near by. All subject departments have modern, comfortable teaching spaces and are well equipped. The school has excellent ICT facilities: most teaching spaces have interactive whiteboards and there are more than 300 computers in the school to support a well-established intranet and Virtual Learning Environment. Departments offer a wealth of learning materials on their websites to support independent study, and students’ work folders are accessible from home using the internet. A new Art block was opened in 2004, the school’s ten laboratories are well equipped and the Design Technology suite is one of the best of its kind in the area. The language laboratory and the specialist Music and Music Technology facilities are all excellent, as are the five ICT rooms. The new, all-weather games pitch complements the existing Sports Hall, and the library is well-resourced, with a dedicated area for Sixth Form students.
The school has an enviable array of musical activities and caters for a wide range of musical interests. Instrumental and vocal lessons are provided by specialist music teachers and regular performances are given by the Big Band, Swing Band, Brass Band, Orchestra, Senior Choir, Jazz group, guitar, woodwind and saxophone ensembles to local and national audiences.
Sixth Form students take a leading role in writing, casting, producing, directing and staging productions for the annual House Drama competition. In addition, the annual school production provides an opportunity to participate in professional quality theatre. Recent productions have been critically acclaimed and have featured state-of-the-art sound and lighting operated and designed by students.
Careers advice and guidance
Our Careers department has achieved the Quality Standards in Careers Education as well as the Careers Library Standards Certificate. The Careers Centre has excellent facilities and up-to-date information and resources. Our Careers Adviser is available full time to offer individual guidance and support to assist with your Higher Education and career choices.
Form tutors, through the tutorial programme, encourage students to plan early and to make full use of the facilities available. To support the careers programme we hold a number of Higher Education Information talks, which are run by the Careers Adviser and guest speakers from both Higher Education and industry. Visits to universities and mock interviews, together with a biennial careers convention, help to prepare students for crucial career decisions.
All our students are encouraged to participate in the work-shadowing programme the school organises in Year 12. The opportunity to shadow professionals in a hospital, veterinary surgery or architectural practice is particularly valuable for those who intend to follow careers in these areas. Modern Language students are able to undertake their work experience in Europe. The three-day “Challenge of Management” conference, organised at the end of Year 12, provides an outstanding opportunity for students to develop crucial leadership and communication skills.
There are many opportunities in our Sixth Form for personal development and growth. In addition to your academic studies you may pursue a wide range of interests including chess, debating, drama, music (from jazz to orchestral work), engineering projects, young enterprise and most sporting activities. Another option is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and you may also gain qualifications in Sports Leadership. In addition you will be able to participate in conferences, competitions, residential fieldwork and educational trips, to undertake work shadowing and take a leading role in the smooth running of the school and House system.
Opportunities to travel and learn are extensive, ranging from educational, musical and recreational trips abroad to work experience in Europe. In addition fieldwork is a feature of many courses, and most subjects organise external visits and lectures to enhance learning.
Many of our students choose to do voluntary work in the community such as helping children in primary and special schools and visiting hospitals and homes for the elderly.
The importance of Sixth Form students in the lives of younger pupils cannot be overestimated. Whether as a Form Prefect, a member of the School Council or a helper in House Drama, Debating, Music or Sport, your involvement adds greatly to the enjoyment of all our youngsters and enriches the life of the school.
Sport The school has a very strong tradition in sport and is proud of its success. Our students have gained representative honours at both county and national levels in a variety of sports including hockey, cricket, football, netball, badminton, athletics and swimming. Students have every opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities, either representing the school or pursuing leisure activities for enjoyment, relaxation or exercise.
It’s not all work
The Head Boy, Head Girl and Senior Students organise the social life of the Sixth Form and help to ensure that all new students are welcomed and settle quickly into the life of the school. Throughout the year many events are organised including fundraising and charitable events and, of course, the end-of-year Leavers’ Ball.
After the sixth form
Each year around 95 per cent of our students embark on degree courses at university or specialist colleges of Art or Music after completing their A-Levels. A small number begin their degree after a gap year spent working abroad and travelling. The remaining students go directly into employment. The range of degree courses and universities chosen by our leavers is broad including an increasing number applying for competitive courses at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge