My name is Gary Walker and I am Head of Sixth Form. I am responsible for a year group during their time in the Sixth Form and work alongside our Sixth Form deputies, Mary Brereton, Sophie Hull and Teresa Gott as well as our Assistant Head – Higher Education and Careers, Dr Greg Hacksley. I coordinate and manage the pastoral care and academic monitoring for the students in our care.
The School’s Sixth Form provides a stimulating environment for purposeful academic study. Located in Aquis Court, it offers spacious, light, accommodation and excellent study facilities for Sixth Formers, including a large private study area, wifi and The Loop, the newly-refurbished Sixth Form café, serving a variety of snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.
We work on the assumption that our students have made an active choice to continue with their studies, and are following courses for which they have opted freely and for which they have a genuine motivation. We see A Level study as the prelude to higher education, and a stage in the process not only of learning, but of learning how to learn. Expectations of self-discipline, self-motivation and self-organisation are correspondingly high, but not unrealistically so.
We recognise that a sixteen year old GCSE student does not turn overnight into an embryonic undergraduate, but we wish our students to view the Sixth Form as the first two years of a five-year period, that culminates in the gaining of a degree.
I joined St Albans School in 2013 as Assistant Head: Co-Head of Sixth Form. Over the past six years, I have had academic and pastoral oversight for the young men and women in my charge throughout their time in the Sixth Form. In September 2018, I was appointed to the role of Assistant Head: Higher Education and Careers and I now manage and co-ordinate the extensive support students receive as they prepare for life after school.
Prior to school teaching, I taught English Literature at Rhodes University, South Africa, where I completed my PhD. I am also a governor at a primary School in Hertford.
St Albans School Sixth Form welcomes girls, who comprise a significant and highly successful cohort of our students.
Girls have the opportunity to take part in the full range of extra-curricular activities, many of which may be new to them, such as the CCF, mountaineering and a wide variety of sports. They enjoy the challenge and sense of achievement which these present. The unique environment and friendly atmosphere at St Albans School encourages girls to gain in confidence in a co-educational environment and makes an ideal transition from school to university. Mrs Gott, one of the Deputy Heads of Sixth Form, has particular responsibility for the welfare of all new entrants into the Sixth Form throughout their two years with us.
Pastoral care is a significant strength of the School and every teacher in the School has a pastoral role. The School’s 2014 ISI Inspection Report cited pastoral care as ‘excellent’ and noted that each pupil was ‘well-known and valued as an individual’ as the staff know their pupils ‘extremely well and foster an excellent atmosphere of trust and safety, leading to strong and positive relationships’.
All our pupils, from First to Sixth Form, are members of a tutor group, organised by year.
In the Sixth Form, there are two Heads and each is responsible for the pastoral and academic welfare of a cohort of students throughout their two years in the Sixth Form. At any given time, therefore, there will be a Head of Upper Sixth and Head of Lower Sixth working with the four Deputy Heads of Sixth Form and a team of tutors. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents and oversees the personal and academic welfare of pupils, through a combination of informal contact and tutor periods.
Students in the Sixth Form are allocated to tutor groups of typically 15 students, each with a tutor responsible for the welfare, pastoral care and guidance of his or her tutees. The two Heads of Sixth Form, in conjunction with the Deputy Heads of Sixth Form, co-ordinate the pastoral work of tutors and the programme of Higher Education guidance, whereby tutors meet with their tutees twice a day and play a key role in the delivery of our PSHEE programme and in ensuring that their tutees are healthy, both mentally and physically.
The School Nurses and Chaplain make an important contribution to our pastoral provision, while the Counsellor, who is not a member of staff, is available each week for confidential consultation.
Parents can meet their child’s teachers and tutors at Parents’ Consultation Evenings and at a number of informal social occasions during the year.
The Government announcement in January that the Summer 2021 public examinations were cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation came as a significant disappointment to our A Level candidates who were approaching the final months of their preparations for these important examinations. We shared their frustration but were proud of the dignity and good grace they demonstrated in accepting and adjusting to the exceptional circumstances.
The School followed carefully and professionally the alternative processes for this year’s examinations put in place by Ofqual and the examination boards, developing a Centre Policy and submitting Teacher Assessment Grades in accordance with their requirements. These grades were based on the evidence provided by candidates in accordance with our Centre Policy and were subject to an internal and external Quality Assurance process before the grades were awarded by the relevant examination board.
|A LEVEL 2021|
|Percentage pass rate||100|
|Percentage grades A*, A & B||95|
|Percentage grades A* & A||84|
|Percentage grade A*||55|
|UCAS points per entry||50.5|
|UCAS points per candidate||158|
|A LEVEL with Extended Project 2021|
|Percentage pass rate||100|
|Percentage grades A*, A & B||95|
|Percentage grades A* & A||83|
|Percentage grade A*||53|
|UCAS points per entry||50.4|
|UCAS points per candidate||170|
Jonathan Gillespie, Headmaster of St Albans School, commented:
“It is once again important that this year’s grading process enables students to progress to the next stage of their education as planned. Whilst the circumstances of this year’s A Level results’ day are very different to what anyone would have wished, we recognise its significance for our leavers. Our warm congratulations go to the many candidates whose fine achievements are particularly laudable given the extraordinary circumstances with which they have had to contend since March 2020, and we wish them every happiness and success at university. We recognise that some of our pupils might be disappointed by their awarded grades, and we are providing them with support and guidance about their next steps.”
Pupils awarded 4 or more A*s include:
Alice Blain, Oliver Burgess, Ciaran Cook, Oliver Downing, Nathan Eastham. Katie Frost, Francis Harden, Alex Harris, Alex Horne, Jacob Hougie, Freddie Houlahan, Faraz Jamil, Edward Jex, Arjun Katechia, John Kenner, Tharun Manivannan, Sophie Meir, Rosanna Milner, James Moore, Maria O’Connor, Freddie Rhydderch, Ellie Rowland, Akash Shah and Aryan Shah.
Pupils awarded 3 A*s include:
Tristan Barber, James Barwick, Patrick Bissett, Jess Bond, Mia Browne, Igor Bykov, Niamh Cahill, Maya Chamay, Sami Chaudhry-Phipps, Anoushka Doshi, Eva Drinkwater, Lucy Edmond, Torin Felton, Iris Hampstead, Freddie Hubbard, Alex Lavers, Tom Lyon, Andreas Mackie, Henry Manwaring, Livy Naylor, TJ O’Sullivan, William Page, Steven Perrin, Seb Pound, Dominic Ross, Joe Scragg, George Stell, Kishor Subramaniyam, Georgia Sutcliffe, Alex Wilkinson and Alex Yip.
Pupils awarded 2 A*s include:
Daniel Abbott-Drake, Eliot Blackmore, Carmen Bourne, Chris Briers, Charlie Buckley, Cameron Burnard, Wafa Dajani, Nikhil Dhulashia, Michael Dionisiou, Xanthe Gibson, Harvey Griffin, Charlotte Hepper, Thomas Hitchin, Sophie Ella Howard, Tom Hughes, Ben Lowen, Izzy McKay, Alec Nicholls, Tobi Ogunseye, Jarl Quesada-Thorn, Amelie Rodgers, Sam Reay-Jones, Connor Robinson, Shome Sarkar, Alex Simpson, Arman Taheri, Callum West, Matthew Wheeler, Grace Whittemore and Shukai Zhang.
Additional names of pupils will be added following their consent.
The minimum requirements for entry to the Sixth Form for external candidates in September 2023 are:
|16+ Information Evening:||21 September 2022
13 October 2022
|Deadline for Music and Academic Scholarship Applications:||31 October 2022|
|16+ Music Scholarship Interviews and Exams:||Wednesday 16 November 2022|
|16+ Scholarship Exams and Interviews:||Saturday 12 November 2022 (offers posted on 30 November 2022)|