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The Sixth Form at Thomas Aveling has a special place within the school. Not only do we achieve excellent results, but we ensure that students are fully prepared for the next stage of their lives, be that university, higher apprenticeships, or employment. Students are recognised as young adults and are encouraged to take an active role within the school community.


The school’s facilities include a Learning Resources Centre, a Sixth Form Study Centre, Common Room, Art Studio, purpose built Sixth Form Science Laboratory, Drama, Dance, Recording, Music, Information Technology, Science and Technology Suites. Our sports facilities are excellent, with a Sports Centre, Fitness Suite, and all-weather courts.

For the young adult, the Sixth Form with its new courses, offers a fresh approach to Sixth Form studies. Great care has been taken to provide an appropriate learning environment for our 16+ students.

As you read through our website and our new prospectus, we hope you will wish to join us. We provide a friendly and supportive atmosphere and welcome applications from students in other schools, as well as our own Year 11. The staff are experienced and highly qualified and share the aim of achieving the highest standards of academic qualifications.

You will be given expert and friendly support to help you make choices about your studies. Making the right choices can be difficult, but we will always ensure that every student receives guidance and support about academic matters, career choices or progression into further and higher education. The help provided will ensure any choice made is an informed decision.

In addition to your studies, there will be several opportunities for you as a young adult to develop personal interests, as well as undertake work experience. A well-established programme of extra-curricular activities operates in the Sixth Form, as well as recreational and social activities arranged by students and staff, to ensure that staying on at school means more than just study.

A member of the Sixth Form has a high profile in the school. All students join in the School Partnership Programme and support students and staff within the house and tutor group. Students may also apply to become Officers, Head Boy, Head Girl, Sports Captains and House Captains. Other students take responsibility for mentoring, fundraising, and promoting the Arts. All Sixth Formers enjoy many privileges and are highly regarded by the staff and students in the school for their contributions to the school community.

Mrs E Woods

Head of Sixth Form



Our intention is to ensure students make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.  We want students to be able to follow their own interests and use their talents to the full and have designed a curriculum to enable this to happen.  We are ambitious for our students and ensure they have the knowledge and skills that will make them successful, not only in school, but in life.  To this end, in addition to the wide range of academic subjects, students across the school take part in a parallel curriculum called TA Character.  This is a scheme that looks to develop the character education of our students with particular focus on our 5 main virtues of Pride, Resilience, Creativity, Ambition and Respect.  We recently gained the Kite Mark from the Association of Character Education for our work in this area.

It is our intention to ensure students have secure foundations for progression into Higher and Further education and Apprenticeships. From Year 7, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks.


Students at the Thomas Aveling School follow a very broad and balanced curriculum.  The Arts, Sport and Personal Development are valued highly. 

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that allows students to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success. 

The TA10 is a charter that guides teachers on what great teaching and learning looks like and students will be exposed to elements of this throughout their lessons.

Extensive and appropriate support and challenge are embedded into our provision, ensuring at Key Stage 3 that students are emotionally ready to make excellent progress through our Horizons programme, and at Key Stage 4 that students are prepared for life after school through our alternative curriculum for selected students.


We are very pleased with our wide offer of vocational and academic qualifications in the Sixth Form– all at Level 3.  Over half of each cohort of Year 11s stay with us to complete further study before applying for university or higher-level apprenticeships and professions.  Those unable to stay with us, or who already know the career they want, are supported in their applications to local colleges and apprenticeships.

In addition to carefully constructed and challenging curricula plans, students also gain much needed assessment practice in dedicated “assessment lessons” for each subject, which are in addition to the taught lessons.  PSHE lessons continue with a focus on next steps and being able to be a contributing member of society.

We have recently introduced the EPQ to further enhance our offer and add extra challenge for our most able students.



Our students are ambitious and aspirational and ready to take their next steps.  Nearly all students (over 98%) complete Key Stage 4 and engage in further education (usually staying in our Sixth Form), apprenticeships, or training, very few are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) at the point of leaving us.  Over 70% of Sixth Form students go on to competitive universities, and nearly all others gain high quality jobs or apprenticeships.

In addition, we also see the impact of the wider curriculum by the number of opportunities offered and taken up by students.  These include Bronze, Silver and (first time in 2019) Gold, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, sports teams, arts clubs, various musical opportunities, coding clubs and various trips far and near to generate an understanding of their position in the world and a further enjoyment of learning.


In the Sixth Form, tutor groups contain both Year 12 and Year 13 students. This helps the year groups to integrate and allows opportunities for peer mentoring support. Form time sessions involve students completing activities linked to the TA Character Virtues. Alongside this, students are also completing a programme based around the ‘VESPA’ mindset. This programme aims to help students become motivated and organised by looking at the core principles of: Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice and Attitude. We also use Form times to discuss current affairs and issues relevant to Sixth Form students.

Students are timetabled with a one-hour assessment lesson in each of their subjects every fortnight. This is supervised and held in exam conditions. This allows students to have regular practice at writing exam style questions in timed conditions. They receive regular feedback on their work. 

Every student in Sixth Form has one hour a week of timetabled PSHE lessons. These lessons look at career advice and job applications. Students are introduced to the University application process and are given intensive support and guidance with their personal statements. They are also advised on other routes after Sixth Form such as employment and apprenticeships. In Year 12, students also undertake a PSHE programme that encourages them to develop the “soft skills” that are recognised by employers. These include completing independent research, working as part of a team to organise a community initiative, and delivering a presentation. In Year 13, PSHE lessons also involve looking at “Life Skills” such as finance and health related issues.


Students joining the Sixth Form can study either 3 or 4 subjects and, have the opportunity to study for the EPQ. Most students study a combination of Academic and Vocational qualifications.  All students complete our Enrichment Programme, Assessment lessons and take part in work related learning placements and wider careers education.




We have high expectations of all our students and believe that our Year 12 and Year 13 students are incredibly important role models both within school and in the local community. All students should respect and promote our values, including our Sixth Form dress code which reflects modern standards of “office appropriate” dress.


Thomas Aveling Sixth Form is the students’ current workplace and as such clothing should be fit for purpose. Whilst there is no specific “uniform”, students are expected to dress sensibly and in an appropriate manner, accepting their responsibilities as senior members of the school and demonstrating an ability to choose a form of dress that is “fit for purpose”.

Below is a guide to help you understand what clothes are suitable for school as your current place of work.


The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund supports 16- to 19-year-old students to continue in education, where they might otherwise struggle for financial reasons. The Bursary does not need to be paid back



These are some of the relevant recommended Eligibility Criteria categories for the 2023/2024 funding:- 

(Awaiting update)


A student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31 August 2023 to be eligible for help from the bursary fund in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

Students aged 19 or over are only eligible to receive a discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (19+ continuers) or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

These 2 groups of aged 19+ students can receive a discretionary bursary while they continue to attend education (in the case of a 19+ continuer, this must be the same programme they started before they turned 19), as long as their eligibility continues and their institution considers they need the support to continue their participation.

Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for bursaries for vulnerable groups.


Educational Eligibility:

Students must be participating in provision that is subject to inspection by a public body that assures quality (for example Ofsted). The provision must also fall into one of these groups:

·       funded directly by us, or by us via a local authority

·       funded or co-financed by the European Social Fund

·       otherwise publicly funded and lead to a qualification

(up to and including level 3) accredited by Ofqual or on our list of qualifications approved for funding 14 to 19

·       a 16 to 19 traineeship programme

Students on apprenticeship programmes, or any waged training, are employed, rather than in education. They are not eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Non-employed students aged 16 to 19 who are participating in a Prince’s Trust Team Programme are eligible to receive the bursary in the same way as any other student participating in an eligible, publicly funded course.



Students must meet the residency criteria in ESFA funding regulations for post-16 provision. This document also specifies the evidence institutions must see and retain for audit to confirm eligibility for post-16 funding (and therefore meet the residency criteria for bursary fund eligibility).

Vulnerable Groups:

 Students who meet the criteria, and who have a financial need, can apply for a bursary for vulnerable groups. The defined groups reflect that these students are unlikely to be receiving financial assistance from parents or carers, so may need a greater level of support to enable them to continue to participate. Students should be awarded the amount of support they need to participate based on an assessment of the types of costs they have and must not be automatically awarded £1,200. Institutions must ensure students are eligible for the bursary for defined vulnerable groups in each year they require support.

The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

In care.


Care leavers.


Receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner

receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC in their own right.

UC has now fully rolled out and so young people aged 16 to 18 will no longer be in receipt of the other benefits listed above.

However, students aged 19 to 25 and funded from the 16 to 19 budget (19+ continuers and those with an EHCP) may still be in receipt of those other legacy benefits.

The bursary for vulnerable groups can pay up to £1,200 per year to a student participating on a study programme that lasts for 30 weeks or more if they need that amount of support. Students on study programmes of less than 30 weeks should be paid a pro-rata amount, as appropriate based on an assessment of their actual needs.

Institutions must also consider the number of hours involved in student’s study programme when deciding if a pro-rata payment is more appropriate. A student studying for around 16 hours a week is likely to have greater costs than a student studying for 4 hours a week, for example.

Students should only receive the amount they actually need to participate, and institutions must not automatically award students £1,200 if they do not need the full amount.

Institutions may decide that although a young person may be eligible for a bursary because they are in one or more of the defined vulnerable groups, they do not have any actual financial need. This might be because their financial needs are already met and/or because they have no relevant costs. Institutions can refuse a student’s application on this basis.

Equally, institutions can pay a bursary to a vulnerable group student of more than £1,200 if they assess they need extra help to remain in education. Any payments over £1,200 must be paid from their discretionary bursary allocation or from their own funds. If paid from discretionary bursary, all the eligibility criteria and usual assessment processes must be met and followed.

Discretionary Bursaries:  

Institutions make discretionary bursary awards to help students with the cost of travel, to buy essential books, equipment, or specialist clothing (such as protective overalls, for example). These are items the student would otherwise need to pay for to participate.

The bursary fund is not intended to provide learning support – services that institutions give to students, for example, counselling or mentoring – to support extra-curricular activities where these are not essential to the students’ study programme or provide living costs support.

Institutions set their own eligibility criteria for the discretionary bursary but must comply with the eligibility conditions and funding rules set out in this guide. Institutions must ensure that students are eligible for the discretionary bursary in each year they require support.

Institutions must base all decisions about which students receive a discretionary bursary and how much bursary they receive on each student’s individual circumstances and their actual financial need. These will vary from student to student, depending on, for example, eligibility based on household income, and their actual financial needs such as the distance they need to travel to the institution and the requirements of their study programme. Institutions must not make blanket or flat rate/fixed rate payments:

·       to all students

·       to students in particular income bands

·       to students whose families are in receipt of particular benefits

without considering the actual needs of each student. For example, although many students who had previously benefitted from a free school meal may have financial needs, these will vary depending on personal circumstances so an individual assessment of actual need should be made.

Institutions must manage the number and size of discretionary bursary awards to keep within their budget.

Institutions may decide to retain a small emergency fund from their allocation to support students who face exceptional circumstances during the year due to a change in their situation – if it impacts on their ability to participate in education. Evidence of the student’s eligibility, the individual assessment and the student’s actual participation costs must be held for audit purposes as for any other bursary fund application/award and all bursary expenditure must be in line with the funding rules in this guide. Institutions may also choose to top up the bursary with their own funds.

There is no set limit for the amount of discretionary bursary that can be awarded to students. Institutions can award discretionary bursaries equal to or higher than the bursary for vulnerable groups maximum as long as they have clearly identified an individual student has actual costs that require this level of funding to participate. The rationale must be included as part of their auditable records.

16-19 BURSARY FUND PROCEDURES - Awaiting update


The admission process for entry to the Thomas Aveling Sixth Form begins with our Sixth Form Open Evening.

We are proud to offer our young people a superb amount of guidance and support, to help them make the right choices at this crucial time in their school career.

We look forward to meeting you at our Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 12 October 2023, but if you have any questions or need some advice before our Open Evening, please do not hesitate to contact


16 - 18 BURSARY
Wider Curriculum
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