6th Form Overview
We have a thriving Sixth Form at Sir Graham Balfour School, which operates within the Stafford Sixth Form Partnership; we work closely with Weston Road Academy, King Edward VI, Blessed William Howard and Stafford Manor High School to provide our students with a huge breadth of high quality, advanced courses.
Our sixth form vision
To create an environment where all students pursue excellence academically, strive to master critical skills, contribute to the wider community, and leave confident of fulfilling their potential because of the outstanding teaching, support and guidance that they have received.
Reasons to study with SGB
- We have an excellent record of strong examination results.
- We have an outstanding record of helping students to get in to their first choice university or apprenticeship.
- Your strengths and weaknesses are well known by the staff. We know when it is time to give you encouragement and support, or the time when you require that extra push.
- You know the school well and are therefore well placed to make efficient use of what is available to support your studies, such as the DAC and computer facilities.
- You have established relationships with staff and this will assist you in your study of the subjects in the Sixth Form. Difficulties can be quickly overcome when there is a good relationship between student and teacher.
- Our Sixth Form courses have been planned to follow on from completed in Years 10 and 11. This makes the transition to advanced studies much easier.
- We can offer specialist guidance on your future career; either in Higher Education, post-18 apprenticeship or employment.
- The opportunity to study in a state-of-the-art educational establishment.
- The chance to take part in many extra-curricular activities in your free time.
- An opportunity to take part in our team building activities, overseas trips and Futures Day visits.
- Tailored work experience to your specific needs and areas of interest.
- The chance to join a vibrant 6th form committee and prefect team.
AN EDUCATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
Life in the Sixth Form is much more than a study for A level or BTEC qualifications. You will learn a lot about yourself, and you will begin to discover what you really want from life, and then start to set yourself specific goals over the two years to ensure you achieve this. There is considerable support provided by your teachers, mentors and the head of sixth form through regular reviews of progress and tutorials. Much of the value of the Sixth Form however lies in the wider opportunities it provides, so it is important that students are proactive and take advantage of these as much as possible.
Each student will be allocated to a Mentor Group. We have 5 groups and a team of very experienced mentors from across all faculties. Your mentor will monitor your progress throughout the two years and provide valuable pastoral support; you will see them on a regular basis in school at House Time. A programme of tutorials will be led by your mentors covering study skills, careers advice, applying to university and other enrichment activities.
We believe that our students have a responsibility to the school and to the wider community. Each year our Sixth Form undertakes activities such as:-
- Acting as classroom assistants in a wide range of lessons
- Taking part in charity collections and other fund-raising activities
- Giving support to subject and non-teaching areas
- Voluntary work in the local community
- Helping out at school functions
Deciding where to go after Year 11 was a simple decision for me as I knew I wanted to stay at Balfour to carry on my school career. I came to this decision quickly as I had developed good working relationships with all members of staff and knew that they understood how I learnt and could nurture that further. By knowing how friendly the working environment was at Balfour I felt that it would make the progression into A Levels much easier as I could freely ask for help and knew that I would get it.
Being part of a school community was important for me, as it gave me opportunities to broaden my personal statement when it came to applying for university, and this was something Balfour had to offer, with School Parliament and the prefect programme that students could apply for. Through this I became Head Girl of my year and learnt further skills that have allowed me to grow up and prepare myself for life away from home.
During my first year at sixth form I struggled greatly with my studies. However, the school were fantastic, they helped me make changes in my approach and teachers made changes that suited my learning, and now in my second year I am working toward my predicted grades of BBB (a lot better than I was getting!). The fact that I felt comfortable with the teachers and my Head of Sixth Form meant that we could resolve problems that I faced quickly; something I don’t feel I would have done if I had chosen somewhere else. For this help I am truly grateful as it just shows how much my teachers care and are willing to help.
The subjects I wanted to take was another reason that I stayed at Balfour as I knew how great the teaching here was! Also I knew that as the school was part of the Collegiate it would offer many of the subjects I wanted to study. I have taken History, Biology and Psychology here at Balfour and can honestly say that I look forward to going to school each day because my teachers make my lessons so interesting and fun to attend. I enjoy my lessons so much that I really struggled to pick what I wanted to do at university.
I feel that our sixth form here has some truly experienced teachers who help when it comes to applying on UCAS and they guide you through such an important life decision, step by step. Each pupil is assigned a mentor who is a member of staff with previous experience, helping pupils who have applied for university. Through already knowing my mentor I made this process so much easier as I knew I could go to him with any problem I had and he would gladly help me.
If I was to advise anyone in Year 11 about choosing where they wanted to study following GCSEs, I would gladly tell them Balfour. Here you are part of a family who help each other through some difficult periods to work towards bettering your chance of a successful career, building your skills and personality, and making some truly brilliant friends for life along the way!