Frequently Asked Questions for joining 6th Form at Wye School
What type of school are you?
We are a Free School, i.e. a school set up by an organization or group of individuals, funded by the government but not controlled by the local authority. We opened in 2013 and grew each year until completing our first GCSEs in 2017 and A Levels in 2020. We are a mixed school with boys and girls, and a non-selective school with no academic entry requirements until you get to 6th Form. Whilst being non-selective, we aim to be academically challenging for all students.
How many students go to Wye School?
Our standard entry number is 90 in each year group, forming 3 classes. Our 6th form has a limit of 75 in each year, 150 overall. We are therefore a school of just under 600 students, the smallest local secondary school.
What do you teach?
We follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, but deliver it via the United Learning core curriculum, which aims to be academically challenging and provide students with a strong foundation for GCSE study.
At GCSE and A Level, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a very strong emphasis on academic and ‘facilitating’ subjects.
At Key Stage 5 we have students studying for eighteen A’ level subjects one Level 3 BTEC in Health & Social Care. This allows students to develop their subject knowledge and the range of skills that they will need for university entry, to embark on an apprenticeship or to gain employment.
Which Subjects do your currently offer at A’ level?
Art, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English language, English literature, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, Health & Social Care (BTEC), Photography, Politics, Physics, Psychology, RS, Spanish, Sports Science and Sociology. This is reviewed yearly and reflects the demands of our students.
Why is Wye a good school for Key stage 5?
Wye has a unique approach to study at Key stage 5. Our sixth form has the benefit of being small but with a very good A’ level offer. Our teachers are all specialists in their subjects with degrees, experience and a passion for the subjects they are teaching. Class sizes are small which means that alongside traditional teaching we can use a ‘University tutorial’ inspired approach allowing content to be directly tailored to individual students. Small classes mean that teaching staff really know their students. This means that when we are asked for references linked to University applications or careers, we know exactly what to say to best represent our talented and focussed sixth form students.
What additional support can you provide for Key stage 5 students?
As we are a school rather than a college, students are still assigned to form groups with tutor who they see every day. This means that they have small group of peers and a tutor who they see very regularly, and who can offer support and advice.
We offer a ‘life skills’ course for all sixth form students. This covers applications to UCAS, careers, how to apply for apprenticeships, how to manage your finances, how to cook for yourself(!), wellbeing and teamwork amongst other topics.
Students are all given a dedicated mentor at Key stage 5 who takes them through the careers process and UCAs applications where this is relevant. Our highly individualised approach means that students are well supported when deciding on their future.
All students at Wye are provided with a ‘Unifrog’ account. This is an excellent application for searching relevant careers and making relevant applications. It means that students can readily seek our advice and be provided with suggestions and guidance as to how to move forward with their plans in a very timely manner.
Our dedicated, supervised Sixth Form study and ICT rooms are well used, with some students remaining to do their work after school. These transform into common rooms at break and lunch times.
We offer onsite secure parking to sixth formers.
Where do your Key Stage 5 students come from?
Each year we have been joined by students from local schools who have fitted in seamlessly with the majority of our sixth form students who join us from Wye Year 11. New students often comment on the small class sizes, which are hard to match even in the independent sector, the personal attention that they get and the friendliness of the Sixth Formers.
What do Wye Students go on to do?
Even as a new school we have already had students go on to a wide range of careers and many degree level courses. In Summer 2020, 50% of our A’ level students successfully secured places at Russell group universities. Something we are justifiably very proud of. Wye students have gone onto study Politics, Geography, History, English Language, Biochemistry, Policing, Social work, and a very wide range of other subjects.
So, in Summary, why Wye 6th Form?
- smaller than average with strong relationships
- wide range of academic subjects taught by experienced subject specialists
- excellent results, so good at exams, but not an exam factory
- happy and friendly staff and students with no individual lost in the system
- personalised support with university applications
What is United Learning?
An educational trust with charitable status that runs more than 60 state schools across England, as well as independent schools. Locally it runs Ashford School and will run the new Chilmington Green Free School. The benefit of being part of United Learning is that we get to share resources and experiences from a chain of successful schools in a way that benefits us as a small school. For example, our tests are centrally produced and moderated so we can be sure that the marks we give are accurate and comparable across England. So even though we are small and only have one music teacher, she works with the wider United Learning music team.
Are you full?
Yes, we are over-subscribed in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
Our 6th Form started more recently and is still growing.
Do you get good results?
Yes, we have had three sets of results at GCSE and one set at A Level since we opened and are very successful in both. Our progress measure (how students did compared to other students of the same ability nationally) has always been above national, Kent and local average and higher than any other local non-selective as well as some grammars. Our attainment measure (how many top grades) places us above all other local non-selective schools. At A Level 93% of our first cohort got the university place they wanted, with 50% going to the more prestigious universities from the Russell Group.
Is it a nice school?
You will need to ask around, but we pride ourselves on being friendly and happy. We expect good behaviour and hard work, but we also take equal pride in strong relationships and trust. We are good at exams but not an exam factory.
What do you do as well as Academic learning?
We offer the full range of sport and extra-curricular clubs that you would expect at a secondary school including taking part in local sports fixtures and running a Combined Cadet Force and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We have a school allotment and work with the local Community Farm. We won the 2020 Green School Award locally for the work of our Nature Club. We offer peripatetic music lessons and have music, art, photography, and drama departments for creative pursuits.
How do students get to school?
Most students use designated Kent County Council school transport. This ranges from big buses that go to Ashford and smaller minibuses and taxis that go to the villages. Local students walk and cycle. We discourage parent pick up and drop off as the village is a congested one but where necessary we have a parent parking and drop off area.
Are you an SEN specialist school?
No. We have a SENCO and Teaching Assistants and we will deliver the support required by an EHCP. But we are a small secondary school and do not have the scale to run a specialist SEN unit or have our own dyslexia teacher or similar. The vast majority of our SEN support is delivered in class. We are inclusive and welcoming for all students whatever their need and are experienced at supporting those with physical disabilities and other special needs. Our SEN students achieve above national average progress in their GCSEs.
Are you a school that uses devices for everything?
No. Devices have their place in supporting learning and we have an IT room, interactive whiteboards and set homework that can be done on a device. But traditional literacy and numeracy underpin a good education and the big majority of our work is done in the traditional way with a pen and book. Mobile phones are not allowed to be seen or used during the school day apart from in the 6th Form Common Room.
School website- https://www.wyeschool.org.uk/
School twitter- https://twitter.com/WyeSchoolKent
League Tables- https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/school/139664/wye-school/secondary