All Sixth Form students are encouraged to achieve the very best they can and to excel in their chosen field. Each year we have a number of students who achieve excellence in many areas including: Grade 8 Music, LAMDA gold medal qualifications, National Science Olympiad Competitions, CSLA and playing sport at County Level and much more. Westholme also provides a comprehensive Oxbridge Programme.
Every year we have a number of candidates apply for Oxford or Cambridge University. Those students will be members of our academic enrichment society, Aspire and through this forum attend lectures, participate in debates and activities designed to build their knowledge, skills and confidence. In the Autumn Term of Upper Sixth candidates will also meet regularly with Miss Smith, Deputy Head – Academic to prepare for their interview and will be working with subject-specific mentors to hone their specialist skills and prepare for entrance tests where applicable. All students have a mock interview in September of Upper Sixth, and Oxbridge candidates will also have a further mock interview, often with a subject specialist, in November. Mrs Brown works with the Oxbridge candidates on their personal statements and writes their references, ensuring that their applications are competitive.
Grade 8 is the highest music examination that can be taken before moving on to diplomas and degrees that gain letters after one’s name! A distinction at Grade 8 currently gains 75 UCAS points, more than an A grade at AS level (60 points) and very close to a grade C at A Level (80 points). Students have to perform three pieces (or 4 songs) to a very high standard and also succeed in scales and technical exercises; performing music seen for the first time in the examination; and some listening tests.
Sixth Form students can complete Gold Medal Qualifications in Solo or Duo Acting, Solo or Duo Musical Theatre and Solo Verse and Prose. These are a Grade 8 qualification.
Science Olympiad Competitions
The Science Olympiads are very challenging, annual competitions, set by the Royal Society of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It consists of 90 multiple choice questions, answered online, many of which cover topics not on the A level syllabus. Our top Year 13 students are entered and every year they are successful in gaining awards.
CSLA & County Level Sport
Sixth Form students are given the opportunity to complete a Level 2 award in Community Sports Leadership in Year 12. This is excellent for developing leadership, event management, and teaching, coaching and planning skills.
Westholme also have quite a few students who play/compete at County level in their various sports and also take part in National competitions. They must be very talented to be selected at this level but also incredibly committed and willing to work very hard.