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Sixth Form Updates

School closures - update on exams and university applications

Friday 27 March

Important message regarding UCAS applications

We have been informed by UCAS that following the Government's announcement asking universities and colleges in England to hold back from making unconditional offers or amending existing offers to students for up to two weeks, UCAS have taken the decision to extend May’s ‘decision and reply’ deadline by two weeks. UCAS will email further details to all applicants shortly.

The extension will give students and their chosen universities extra time to fully consider any decisions and offers and ensure fairness in admissions is maintained. It also gives more time for further information to be shared on the awarding of grades for examinations and assessments that have been cancelled.

When results are confirmed, UCAS intend to run a clearing process to give applicants the flexibility to make further choices during the remainder of the application cycle.

We will update you if we are informed of any further development.

Working on vocational assignments

Some of you have been enquiring whether you are required to continue with your vocational assignments whilst you are working from home.

The government have indicated that all Year 13 A level students will get a calculated grade and that teachers will be involved in supplying information that contributes to that grade. We do not yet have details of exactly how grades will be awarded but it is clear that it will take into account a range of evidence (non-exam assessment, mock results, standardisation of student marks, teacher assessment and prior attainment) and that the Government will not simply be using predicted grades.

As non-exam coursework assessment is a fundamental element of the vocational courses, it is vital that you continue to work on this as advised by your teachers. The Government have made it clear that they will not simply be using predicted grades.

As soon as the Government finalises details of how grades will be awarded we will let you know. This link summarises the Government’s current position on assessment and awarding of grades.


Students become NCS Youth Leaders

Monday 9 March

National Citizenship Service (NCS) is a youth programme that runs across England and Northern Ireland. Their aim is to engage, unite and empower young people, building their confidence so they can go out and achieve their dreams, no matter where they are from or what their background is. Izbe, Charlie and Ben all attended Summer 2018 NCS and then became voluntary NCS Ambassadors, along with several others of our Year 13 students. We would like to congratulate Izbe, Charlie, and Ben, as they have all been successful in their application to be a Youth Leader at NCS this summer. They will have a fantastic time working with young people from all over the country.


Debate competition this Thursday

Monday 9 March

We would like to wish our Year 12 students great success at The Helena Kennedy Debate Competition, which is happening at Sheffield Hallam University this Thursday.


Higher Apprenticeships Jobs Fair

Monday 9 March

On 25 March between 4pm and 6pm, Sheffield Hallam University are hosting a Higher Apprenticeship Jobs Fair. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about Degree Apprenticeships and the roles and opportunities there are in the region. Last year some of the students who attended were offered interviews after the event.

Students attending should go prepared and take a CV which can be handed to employers. At the event, there is also the opportunity to get CV and interview technique advice.


Learning Mentor support available

Tuesday 11 Feb

There are ten weeks of lessons left before the A level exams start in the week of 11 May 2020. If Year 12 or Year 13 students need any further help to plan their time, focus their studies, organise themselves or improve their revision techniques, they can book a meeting with one of the Learning Mentors. Our Learning Mentors can help all students to develop effective study skills to support them to achieve or exceed their target grades in their final exams.


Year 13 Parents’ Evening next month

Tuesday 11 Feb

The next Year 13 Parents' Evening is on Thursday 19 March from 4.30pm-7.30pm. The Parents' Evening System can be accessed from Wednesday on the 'Quick Links' section of the website. Parents can use it to book 10-minute appointments with each subject teacher.

The 1-1 meetings with subject teachers provide a forum for parents and students to ask questions, clarify understanding and also be clear on the next steps that need to be taken to support success in the completion of coursework and in the final A level exams.

If you are not able to attend Parents’ Evening, please inform the Sixth Form Team, so we can ensure a ‘Personal Learning Plan’ is emailed home by subject teachers. 


Helena Kennedy Debate Competition – find out more for 2020

Tuesday 11 Feb

This Wednesday at 3pm, we have a guest representative from The Helena Kennedy Debate Competition speaking at the Debate Club. If anyone is interested in participating in this celebrated debate competition this year, you must attend this Wednesday, as you will learn about the format and topic of this year’s debate.

Last year, the Debate Team from Ridgewood Sixth Form were crowned the overall winners of the prestigious Helena Kennedy Inter-school Debate Competition, held at Sheffield Hallam University. Sixth Forms from across South Yorkshire participated in the annual competition. It would be fantastic if we could celebrate the same success this year.


This week’s debate topic is ‘Is veganism a temporary fad, or part of the solution for climate change?’

Monday 3 February

Join the debate this Wednesday after school in the Faraday Social Space.


Interested in Oxbridge?

Monday 3 February

Year 12 students this week had a fantastic opportunity to listen to a presentation from Mansfield College, Oxford, on what the university has to offer prospective students. During the presentation, the university representative raised awareness of how to explore the courses on offer, how to make a competitive application, the 2020 summer schools on offer, and what life as a student at Oxford is like. To find out more about life at the university, students can also visit Oxford University Open Days on 1 July and 2 July 2020.


Oxplore – the home of big questions

Monday 3 February

Do you love to question and have an appetite for knowledge? Visit Oxplore, a digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’, it will engage you with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. If you are interested, visit


This week’s debate topic will be ‘50% of MPs should be women, 20% should be non-white and 7% should be LGBTQ+ to properly and proportionally represent the British public’.

Monday 27 January

How far do you agree? Please meet in Faraday social space 3.15pm to 4pm this Wednesday if you want to be involved.


University Student Finance Information Evening

Monday 27 January

This Wednesday 29 January from 6.00pm-7.00pm, a representative from Sheffield Hallam University will be delivering a presentation for Year 13 parents and carers on ‘University Student Finance’. This will include information on fees and bursaries. Places can still be booked to attend the evening by accessing the Parents' Evening System on the 'Quick Links’ section of the website.


Taster days and summer schools on offer

Monday 27 January

Year 12 students have some fabulous opportunities on offer to them to attend university subject taster days and to apply for 2020 university summer schools. Experiencing a taster lecture/practical session or summer school will allow students to discover what a degree programme will be like at University.

Last week we shared the opportunities being provided by the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam, Hull and Leeds. If any student wants to find out more, they can meet with Mrs Rhodes, one of our Learning Mentors, to discover more information.


University offers coming in for students

Monday 27 January

It is very exciting time for our Year 13 students who have applied to university. Each day more and more students are receiving both conditional and unconditional offers from their first-choice universities.

The students who are wanting to apply for Higher Apprenticeships or alternative pathways post 18 are also receiving personal support with their CV writing, completion of application forms or interview technique.


Year 13 students prepare for university budgeting

Monday 20 January

In the Year 13 Aspire Programme, students have been investigating ‘Things to consider when budgeting effectively’ ready for when they leave Sixth Form and become more in control of their finances. Eyes were opened when they completed a supermarket price comparison of their proposed weekly food shop and paying for their monthly mobile phone bill, going out and transport. They will be able to learn even more at the presentation from Sheffield Hallam University at our Student Finance Evening on 29 January from 6-7pm.


This week’s debate topic is ‘All court cases should be televised or streamed online’.

Monday 20 January

How far do you agree? Please meet in Faraday social space from 3.15pm this Wednesday if you want to be involved.


Year 13 mock examinations start next week

Monday 20 January

Year 13 students are actively preparing for their mock exams which start next week. They have been working with their peers to test each other, teach each other or plan essay responses together. Good luck to them all for the mock exam period.


Spanish cinema workshop for students

Monday 20 January

The Year 13 Spanish students are looking forward to taking part in a workshop, led by senior university lecturers, this week at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield. As part of the Spanish A level exam, students are required to write an essay on the film ‘Volver,’ directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The workshop has been designed to explore the prevalent themes in the film, with the A level specification in mind. The day will be conducted mostly in Spanish, which will help to develop students’ listening and comprehension skills.


History masterclass at university to support with coursework

Monday 20 January

As part of the A level History course, students must write a 4,000 word piece of coursework which is worth 20% of their overall A level grade. On Wednesday last week, our Year 12 historians visited Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. They experienced a history masterclass, based on the skills required to access the higher grades in the A level coursework: critical thinking and source analysis skills.






Students learn about and support Cathedral Archer Project

Tuesday 14 January

In the Year 12 Aspire Assembly, Emily from The Cathedral Archer Project came in to speak about the day centre which provides basic support and crisis intervention to homeless and vulnerable people. The Project works with the homeless and vulnerably-housed in Sheffield to help them find pathways away from homelessness and exclusion. Whilst Emily was here, she collected the five food hampers that Year 12 and Year 13 have made to support the Project.


Mental health wellbeing strategies shared

Tuesday 14 January

At Ridgewood Sixth Form, we want to support in the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. Last Thursday, a guest speaker from CAMHS came into our Year 13 Inspire Assembly to discuss effective emotional and mental wellbeing strategies. One of the key ideas shared was the ‘Stress Bucket’.

If you want to learn more, there’s a mixture of things to read and think about, and activities which you can complete in the Rethink Toolkit. You can also find lots of information on the Young Minds.


University Student Finance talk for parents

Tuesday 14 January

On Wednesday 29 January 6.00pm-7.00pm, a representative from Sheffield Hallam University will be delivering a presentation for parent/carers on University Student Finance. The talk will include information on fees and bursaries. It would also be beneficial for students to attend the evening as how to budget whilst at university will also addressed in the presentation. Places to attend the evening can be booked by accessing the Parents' Evening System on the 'Quick Links’ section of the website.


Debate this week: 'To promote gender equality, all businesses should be forced to have a perfect 50-50 split of male and female workers or receive a fine'.

Tuesday 14 January

What do you think? Come along from 3.15pm on Wednesday to have your say.


‘Drive for Life’ messages shared with students

Tuesday 17 December

Two guest speakers from ‘Drive for Life’ came to our Inspire Assembly to raise Year 12 students’ awareness of how to make sensible and safe decisions when driving. They explained how young drivers are over-represented in collisions on roads in South Yorkshire. Their talk included several scenarios covering speeding, drink and drug driving, wearing seatbelts and distractions. It helped Year 12 realise the risks on the road and we are encouraging students to share key things they learnt with their family and friends.

Students secure Discover Programme places

Tuesday 17 December

Congratulations to nine of our Year 12 students who have successfully gained places on the Discover Programme at the University of Sheffield. They have gained places on a variety of programmes including Discover Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Discover STEM, Discover Law and Discover Medicine.


Christmas jumper day raises £200

Monday 16 December

Congratulations to all the students and staff who wore their Christmas jumpers last week. Together they raised £200 for Save the Children, and looked very festive in the process!