Sixth Form at Pangbourne
Register by - ideally by the end of October in the year before entry (e.g. October 2019 for September 2020 entry)
Assessment date - November or February of Year 11 (i.e. the school year before Sixth Form entry).
Offers Made - in November or February of Year 11 (i.e. the school year before Sixth Form entry).
Offers need to be accepted by - end of Michaelmas or Lent Term of Year 11
Please refer to 16+ Key Dates in the download link above for further details.
Pangbourne College seeks to attract and reward excellence in academic study, in the Performing Arts and in sport.
The College offers a limited number of awards for Sixth Form entrants to the College for excellence in the following fields:
- Academic study
- Art, Music and Drama
In fairness to current Form 5 pupils, we also actively seek those whose progression and contribution merit Sixth Form Awards in these areas. A number of Honorary Scholarships are awarded in the year leading up to the September entry to the Sixth Form. There is no application process for internal awards; pupils are nominated by members of staff and awards are considered by a committee of senior leaders.
All awards are made for a maximum of two years and are subject to performance.
The College offers a limited number of means-tested bursary awards. Recipients of a Sixth Form award may also apply for a bursary in cases of clear financial need.
For external Sixth Form applicants to the College, further details of the awards described above can be obtained from the Registrar by calling 0118 9767 415, or by sending an email request.
Most pupils at Pangbourne College start by selecting four subjects in the Lower Sixth, but by the Michaelmas half term, many will have identified their three key subjects.
A majority of them will also undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths or a similar extra string to their bow. Higher tier universities do seem to be impressed by an additional academic achievement such as the EPQ, Core Maths or similar qualifications which can be attained alongside the three key subjects.
A Levels at Pangbourne College are taught in a linear fashion – i.e. exams are sat at the end of two year courses. We hold internal College Exams in the Summer Term of the Lower Sixth as well as Trial Exams in the January of the Upper Sixth by way of preparation.
In addition to A Levels, Pangbourne College offers BTECs in a limited number of subjects: Design Technology, Music and PE. We are also considering introducing BTECs in Travel and Tourism, and Business in the near future. Although BTECs have traditionally been associated with continuous assessment, there are now terminal exams at the end of these courses after recent reforms.
The College recognises that the ideal Sixth Form class size has between 8 and 12 students, but classes can be smaller or slightly larger.
Leadership is an integral part of students’ transition from Form 5 to the Sixth Form, with students learning to take responsibility and adopt an independent approach to their studies and Pangbourne life.
Sixth Formers are expected to set the bar high and visibly lead by example in front of their younger peers.
Students take on and develop responsibilities, both formally and informally, in all areas of College life. The two most prestigious defined leadership roles are the two Chief Cadet Captains of the College (CCCCs – Head Boy and Girl) who provide a valuable link between the pupils, staff and the Headmaster.
As well as the defined roles of leadership, Sixth Formers are expected to demonstrate leadership skills by helping younger students in their Division with Prep (homework), preparing their peers for Inter-Divisional competitions, and organising work experience for themselves in the school holidays.
A popular part of the Pangbourne experience is the ‘Taking Responsibility’ course which the Lower Sixth embark upon.
The course aims to enhance personal development and focus on personal strengths, teamwork and other skills employers seek in the workplace, whilst also being trained in pastoral care. Alongside the fun aspects of the course, which includes students being split into teams to create rafts and transport themselves on a river, a series of speakers guide the students as to how to take responsibility in their daily lives and become leaders of the future.
If you would like to read more about roles and leadership positions available at the College, click here.
Every pupil at Pangbourne has a Tutor whose role is wide-ranging but whose important function is to oversee students' academic, intellectual and personal development. Tutors manage the transitions into Form 1, Form 3 and into Sixth Form. They advise and guide on GCSE and A Level choices, and on university applications.
The Tutor, in conjunction with the Head of Sixth Form and the Housemaster / Housemistress, is responsible for fostering each tutee’s academic, intellectual and personal development. They are the link between the academic and pastoral side of College.
Sixth Form see their Tutor at some point each day. Group tutorials are held on a weekly basis, with regular individual tutorials in addition.
As pupils progress through the Sixth Form, the Tutor, alongside the Head of Sixth Form and Head of Careers, will advise at key stages on choosing higher education courses and careers.
During the Lower Sixth, this will involve:
- The use of Centigrade in initiating course options
- Discussion and research of Higher Education courses
- A Pangbourne ‘Careers Fair’ in March
- Informed and responsible use of the Careers Room
- Attending presentations from visiting university lecturers
- Open Day visits and taster courses.
During the Upper Sixth year, the following takes place:
- Selecting appropriate courses after arranging visits to universities via Open Days or private arrangement
- Supervising the accurate completion of the UCAS form
- Compiling the UCAS reference in conjunction with subject teachers and Housemaster/Housemistress.
- Preparing you for interview where necessary
- Following the application through to its completion
The College runs a Sixth Form social club called The Medway Club on Thursday evenings and many Saturdays throughout the year. The Medway Common Room is very much the social hub for Sixth Formers.
The club exist to encourage the right mature social habits and is a chance for Sixth Form to get together in an informal setting. Students enjoy the privilege of having a beer or a glass of wine with the Head of Sixth Form and other staff members in a relaxed atmosphere. Food is provided and students can play on the pool table and watch TV.
There is also an Upper Sixth Wine Society, led by the Reverend Neil Jeffers, which has been run for a number of years and meets on Tuesday evenings. The Society – which runs on a voluntary basis – samples a selection of wines and students develop mature wine tasting techniques in the company of staff members and guests who are invited to share their expertise in wine tasting. The selection of drinks explored at the Society varies from table wines to champagne and after-dinner wine, amongst others. The Society meets in the Wardroom (staff dining room) and is another privilege for Sixth Formers to socialise informally with staff.
Throughout the course of the year, there are various Sixth Form barbecues, dinners and balls which are further privileges exclusive to the two leading year groups.
The two Sixth Form years are generally the most enjoyable and memorable of the Pangbourne experience. It is a time when students take control of their subjects with a greater emphasis on independent learning.
Entry to the Sixth Form depends on the achievement of five grade 4 GSCEs (formerly Cs in the previous grading structure). However, this general entry criteria needs to be matched against the more specific subject entry criteria as set out which tends to be the more rigorous hurdle.
In practice, most of our students achieve a 7 (formerly an A) or better at GCSE in the subjects they continue to A Level, and a pass in any subjects they take as a BTEC.
Pangbournians leave the College and proceed to university, carry out an apprenticeship or take on other forms of work-related learning. Others proceed to Art College or Drama School and a few to universities outside the UK.
A Sixth Form student’s ideas about further education should evolve during the Lower Sixth year, hardening into preferences for specific courses and institutions during the Summer Term and summer holidays.
Pangbourne College offers a carefully planned programme during this research period. Tutors will regularly consult with you about your further education options and which of these offers the best prospects. There is a well-stocked Careers/Higher Education room with staff guidance available.
- Thinking About The Future
- Applying via UCAS and University Open Days
- Apprenticeships and University Prep
- Support After Results
All Lower Sixth students sit the Centigrade questionnaire - a programme which matches interests, personal qualities and abilities with courses, and selects for appropriate groups of courses by subject area, ability range and by geographical region. Students receive their own personal report in a bound folder. Midway through the Lent Term of the Lower Sixth year, there is a meeting for parents and students to launch the Higher Education process.
We then escort the entire year group to a UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) Convention at the end of that term. This is followed by key briefing sessions for the year group culminating in ‘UCAS Day’ as part of the ‘Taking Responsibility’ Course.
Students are encouraged to visit relevant university open days and highly encouraged to take part in any taster courses. In the Michaelmas Term of the Upper Sixth, students, in harness with their tutors, apply through UCAS for up to five chosen courses and institutions. We place the very highest emphasis on the compilation of positive references and the meticulous filling in of the application form, particularly the student’s personal statement. This can often go through half a dozen drafts to bring it to the right pitch.
We also supervise applications to non-university courses or apprenticeships. Some students will be called for interview – and each student will undergo trial interview practice, often conducted by an outside expert.
By the end of March, most institutions will have made their decisions, allowing candidates to hold one firm and one insurance offer for a university place. When results arrive in August, universities confirm the places of all those who have met their requirements.
There is a safety net (Clearing) for those who have not met the conditions of their chosen institutions but who may gain acceptance elsewhere.Throughout the post-result period, a team of Pangbourne staff, led by the Head of Sixth Form, is available for consultation and lobbying to secure these valuable places.