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The Sixth Form Experience

Please note; that in the context of the ongoing pandemic, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School is constantly reviewing our Sixth Form Admissions Policy for 2021.  Any updates will appear on this webpage.

Admissions

Virtual Sixth Form Open Evening:  Thursday 12th November 2020 (details coming soon)

 

Online applications for 2021 entry to the Sixth Form will be available on the school website from 13th November 2020.

 

Admission to the Sixth Form is based on performance in a student’s best 6 GCSE subjects plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics (throughout this document this is referred to as ‘Best 8’)

 

Points are awarded for new GCSE qualifications in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics and in all the other legacy full course GCSE subjects.

 

A minimum score of 52 points will be required to gain entry into Sixth Form. This score is based on the following GCSE results: Best 8 GCSE results including English Language and Mathematics.

 

Please note the following:

 

Applicants will require a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics, in order to gain entry to the Sixth Form.

 

In order to be able to take a particular subject at A-Level, a minimum of grade 7 at GCSE or an A or A* in that subject is expected (except in the case of further Mathematics where a grade 8 is required). Where the subject has not been taken at GCSE, a specified equivalent subject will be used;

For example, if a student wishes to study A-Level Economics and Computer Science, we will take the GCSE Mathematics grade. In the case of Psychology we will take the GCSE Biology grade.

About the Sixth Form

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar school is a very special place.  Since the 16th Century, we have provided an outstanding, academically challenging and well-rounded education for able students, irrespective of background, from Birmingham and across the Midlands.  Our academic profile at A Level is conformably in the top fifty schools nationally.  Judging us outstanding in 2010, 2011 and 2014, OFSTED wrote in our most recent inspection “The Sixth Form is outstanding. Standards are consistently amongst the highest in the country”.

 

Approximately 70% of our students move on to prestigious Russell Group Universities, including Oxbridge.  We provide specialist support for a variety of applications and our students benefit from our numerous academic societies in Medicine, Dentistry, Politics, STEM and Law.   We welcome current academics and professionals to our School on a weekly basis, who provide our students with the inspiration and advice that helps them to make strong applications to the most competitive institutions.  We also host an annual ‘University Fair’, which attracts leading ‘Russell Group Universities’ to our School, as well has organising ‘Interview and Mini Medical Interview Preparation Days’ for courses that have specialised entry criteria.   “Every opportunity is taken to bring in visiting speakers from business and the professions, and students are encouraged to attend careers fairs”. (OFSTED 2014)

 

I am proud to head up a highly skilled Sixth Form Team who is passionate about developing the young people in our care. Pastoral care is outstanding. We have highly skilled and trained staff who can respond to the emotional needs of students during their A-Level studies.    We strive to create an environment where students can fulfil their academic potential and develop the professional skills required for adult life.  At BVGS we pride ourselves on excellent monitoring and early intervention as a means of helping all of our students to maximise their potential.

 

We also place a considerable emphasis on nurturing the whole person and offer an exciting range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities.  Our extra-curricular provision is first-rate, wide ranging and of national renown.  Our Wednesday Games afternoon includes a wide range of sporting activities to reflect the varying interests and abilities of our students.  Many of our students take part in competitive fixtures in Rugby, Cricket, Hockey, Cross Country and Netball, against other schools from across the Midlands and beyond.  In excess of 40 Sixth Formers benefit from our unique provision in Rowing.   In addition, BVGS has a proud tradition in organising international sporting tours for our teams, with sixth formers representing the School across Australasia, South America, the Caribbean and Europe in recent years.

 

We also have an excellent reputation for Music and Drama.  Many of our students are involved in Orchestras, Ensembles, Companies and Choirs at the highest level across the Midlands.  There are regular performance opportunities across the year.  The Clive Richards Music Centre houses excellent rehearsal and performance spaces as well as teaching by 14 different peripatetic musicians.  The Department also facilitates performance opportunities at Birmingham Symphony Hall and European Music Tours for our students.

 

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School Sixth Form students are also expected to make contributions to the school and local communities through participation in our ‘Enrichment Programme’.  Students from this school volunteer in a range of charitable and ‘care’ institutions.  They also act as academic mentors to our younger students and tutor in Primary and Secondary schools across Birmingham.

 

The leadership potential of our Sixth Formers is nurtured and encouraged with our students filling a multitude of roles.  Students feel empowered and trusted to bring about positive change across the school. Leadership opportunities are performed through our House System, School Council, Charity Team or as Mental Health Officers and Equality Officers.

 

Please note that A-Level study at BVGS is now a linear process.  From day one, students are prepared for examinations at the end of a two-year journey. Most students take three A-Levels but our highest achievers (based on GCSE results) have the opportunity to take four subjects.   The academic success of our School is based around an assessment model, which guarantees all students at least two assessments per subject per half term.  All of these assessments are followed by detailed feedback and are based on examination board criteria.    We also offer the AQA ‘Extended Project Qualification’, as part of our Sixth Form provision. This offers our students the opportunity to engage in a University styled research task, which at the same time enhances their UCAS application.

 

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School is constantly refining and improving the admissions process for entry to our Sixth Form.   We are keen to welcome students who are both committed academics and willing participants in our flourishing school community. The BVGS Sixth Form admissions process for 2021 reflects the guidance as outlined in the latest edition of the ‘Department for Education; School Admissions Code’ which came into force in England in December 2014.

 

Please note that for 2021, our initial admissions process involves an online application, which can be found on the homepage of the school website from  Friday 13th November and close at 5pm on Thursday 17th December.   If we receive a number of applications, which exceed our ‘PAN’ for 2020, we will request additional information from candidates, in accordance with our ‘Over Subscription Criteria’.

 

Prior to the commencement of Sixth Form study, BVGS will offer a number of induction opportunities to support your transition from Year 11 to Sixth Form study at BVGS. The focus for this process will be the provision of effective strategies aimed at ‘bridging the gap’ between GCSE and A-Level level.  It also allows all students to meet members from their new academic cohort, drawn from a variety of academic institutions and geographical locations, encompassing Greater Birmingham and beyond.

 

We look forward to receiving your application.

 

Yours Sincerely

Mr Goodwin
Assistant Headteacher; Head of Sixth Form

A Word from the School Captains

We understand that moving to Sixth Form or even transitioning to a new school can be daunting, but we want to reassure you. These are our top tips we recommend to you to make the most of your Vesey experience.

 

Firstly, choose subjects that you enjoy and know you can succeed in. This allows you to also throw yourself into everything: sports, music, drama, Development Office, and any social outreach programmes. If you find something you are interested in, do not hesitate to join in. Secondly, work hard and play hard. Starting in September, ensure you use all your independent study periods effectively, so you have less work to do at home and you maintain a work-life balance. Thirdly, be confident. Vesey is a competitive, academic environment but you all deserve to be here and would not be if you could not add something to Bishop Vesey’s.

 

Bishop Vesey’s is an exceptional school with caring, supporting teachers and if you work hard, you will leave this school with A-Level results you are proud of, as well as many valuable life skills and experiences. The school environment is exciting but challenging; there is always something new to tackle, but these problems will benefit you and give you the competitive edge when applying to higher education. Along the way, you will meet lots of new people, allowing you to make friends for life and teachers who really help you further your learning and care about your wellbeing.

 

These extra-curricular and social aspects of the school are just as important as the academic side. The school is known for its academic prowess but what often goes unnoticed is the pastoral care here. There is a large network of people you can talk to from fellow students, your Head of Sixth Form or Head of Year, form tutors and any subject teachers. Everyone is more than willing to help.

 

Beth and Harry
School Captains 2020/2021

A-Level Subjects at BVGS

ART
BIOLOGY
CHEMISTRY
COMPUTER SCIENCE
ECONOMICS
ENGLISH LITERATURE
FURTHER MATHEMATICS
FRENCH
GEOGRAPHY
HISTORY
MATHEMATICS
MUSIC
PHYSICS
PHYSICAL EDUCATION
PSYCHOLOGY
RELIGIOUS STUDIES
SPANISH

Virtual Open Evening
(coming soon)

Online Application 2021 Entry
(coming soon)