Students studying at Abingdon Consortium for Education can choose one to enrol at one of three institutions – Fitzharrys, John Mason or Larkmead – which will then be their home base, but may attend lessons across the consortium depending which courses they choose. Typically a course is taught entirely at one institution, but some courses are shared between two institutions.
Most students study three two-year A Level courses and one additional one-year AS Level course during Year 12, however some students may opt to just study three subjects or to continue with four subjects to the end of Year 13. As the AS and A level courses are taught together in Year 12, students do not need to decide which courses to continue in Year 13 until the end of Year 12. Students may also choose to study a BTEC course, or study to retake GCSE English or Maths. Click here for information on all the courses on offer.
Students choose their courses using an option grid. The courses on offer are divided into four columns, A-D. Students can choose one course from each column. The grid will also indicate which institution(s) each course is taught at. Most popular subjects are offered by more than one institution in different columns, to give students as much flexibility as possible. Column E is usually reserved for complementary studies and pastoral activities, but Further Maths is also taught in this column, so can be studied as a fifth subject.
Learning and Teaching
Students receive nine hours of teaching per subject for each course they study, typically split between two teachers, supplemented by independent study. Students are expected to carry out four hours of independent study per week per subject in Year 12 and six hours in Year 13. For a typical student this translates as a 36 hour week, so students should bear this in mind when taking on paid employment, and be careful not to overload themselves. Independent study can consist of homework, research, wider reading, consolidation, revision and exam practice. Subject teachers and tutors will give individual students advice on how to spend this time, but students are also expected to be self motivated and use their time to further their learning.
Each institution has a dedicated Sixth Form Centre, with a study room where students can work during study periods, and a common room where students can spend their break and lunch times. The study rooms are equipped with ICT facilities to support students in their learning.
Monitoring and Feedback
To support students in monitoring their progress they are issued with six progress checks a year. These include current and forecast grades alongside attendance data and an attitude to learning grade for both inside and beyond the classroom. An example report with further explanation is here. These are supplemented by two parents’ evenings a year where students and parents can meet with teachers to discuss progress and areas for improvement.
Students are encouraged to have frequently learning conversations with their teachers to identify steps for progression and set short term targets. Students can keep a record of these conversations in their planner.
Pastoral support for students is provided by their home base institution. All students belong to a form group, and will meet with their form tutor on a regular basis. Tutors will support students in developing their study skills, including time management, organisation, and revision strategies. Tutors are also crucial in supporting students prepare for their next steps after sixth form, whether that be applying for jobs, apprenticeships, university, art foundation courses or performing arts schools. Tutors are students’ first port of call if they are having difficulties in their sixth form life.
Each institution puts on a complimentary studies programme for their students to provide social, moral, ethical and cultural education, as well as prepare students for applying to higher education, training or employment. The programme includes complimentary studies lessons, weekly assemblies, and trips to a range of higher education, apprenticeship and careers events.
There will also be many opportunities for enrichment – which may include additional AS qualifications (the Extended Project Qualification or General Studies) – as well as sport, extra-curricular clubs and community service.
ACfE is built on the values of ambition, respect, trust and care that form the core ethos of our four institutions. Students will be part of an exciting, lively and creative group of some 370 students at 16-19, each valued as a member of a vibrant learning community committed to helping you achieve your ambitions and preparing you for a bright future.
Institution Specific Information
Click the links below to be taken to the relevant part of each institution’s website.