Sixth Form

“The school’s sixth form provides highly effective and finely tuned personalised pathways, resulting in successful outcomes for students”, Ofsted 2017

Within the Sixth Form at West Heath School, we offer bespoke programmes of study through a phased transition over one, two or three years, focusing on offsite learning and preparation for adulthood.

The main reasons why a student may wish to join our Sixth Form are:

  • They currently attend West Heath School but do not yet feel ready to be an independent learner
  • Their current school does not have a Sixth Form, or
  • They may just want a fresh start

Prior to a student joining the Sixth Form, discussions are held between the school, the student and the parents/carers to ascertain the most suitable education route post 16.

Within the Sixth Form we place a large emphasis on pastoral care and support which is provided by our designated Sixth Form tutors located both onsite and within our offsite provisions. Regular communication between the tutors and parents/carers ensures they are involved throughout our students’ journeys.

There are no formal entry requirements to the Sixth Form but for a successful placement the following can be used as a guide;

  • Y11 Attendance 80%+ (our external partner colleges make no adjustments in their expectations on attendance, so its important students join the Sixth Form with good attendance records)
  • English and Maths qualification at any level (or be sitting a GCSE in summer term)

“The school’s sixth form provides highly effective and finely tuned personalised pathways, resulting in successful outcomes for students”, Ofsted 2017

Partnership Providers

  • West Kent College – A mainstream FE college in Tonbridge.  The majority of Sixth Form students study here.  We have a satellite base room, operated by West Heath School staff which is incredibly successful.
  • Hadlow College – A land-based mainstream FE college in Hadlow, near Tonbridge.
  • MidKent College – A mainstream FE college split across two campuses, Maidstone and Medway. 
  • London South East Colleges (Bromley & Orpington campuses) –A mainstream FE college. 
  • Beechwood School & Sackville School – Independent secondary school settings, perfectly set up as a transition for high-performing students who wish to study A-levels, in a comfortable but rigorously academic setting.
  • Horizon Project – Split across two sites in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, specialising in working with young people who can obtain L1 City & Guilds certificates in plumbing or carpentry qualifications.
  • Plus other specialist providers.

“Partnerships with other providers including local schools and colleges are strong and allow greater flexibility to students to study different subjects, including at GCSE and A Level, often with the close support of staff from West Heath”, Ofsted 2017

Progress Data

In the academic year 2016/17 the students accessed the following courses;

  • GCSE or Functional Skills in English and Maths
  • A Levels or Entry Level, L1, L2 and L3 courses in a variety of subjects

“Nearly all students leaving the Sixth Form go on to further education, training or employment”, Ofsted 2017

Work Placements

To help the students in their preparation for adulthood we put a large emphasis on work placement programmes.

We benefit from a designated Work Placement Co-ordinator who is tasked with finding the students placements based on their educational course, interests and career aspirations. We endeavour to get as many students as possible regular suitable work placements as opposed to one off work experiences. For some of our students this has led to part-time paid employment alongside their education.

A work placement pack is generated before the student begins the placement providing clear information for the employer and the school. Built into the pack is an opportunity for reflection by the student, used to help their development. The Work Placement Co-ordinator also aids the students in creating or improving their CV’s ready for moving into the world of work.

“Work-related learning is also a strength. Staff constantly seek appropriate partnerships with local businesses to provide meaningful opportunities which help students achieve the qualifications and experience they will require for future employment or further education and training”, Ofsted 2017

Life Skills

Part of the important work undertaken in the Sixth Form is the development of independent life skills. This takes many forms based on individual needs and locations however the main areas covered are:

  • Social development with their peers and the general public.
  • Independent travel training (foot, bus and train).
  • Financial (e.g. budgeting, money management, bank accounts).
  • Managing daily routines (e.g. punctuality, deadlines).
  • Domestic independence (e.g. cooking, laundry, shopping).

Term Dates

As our Sixth Form students follow a college model, the term dates reflect the college they are attending and not those of West Heath School. This is inclusive of boarding students as well.

Staff Support

Where appropriate, Sixth Form staff support students in line with their college timetable, even if this is beyond the end of the West Heath School day.


We have a range of therapists that work onsite and at our offsite providers, including a designated counsellor for Sixth Form students.

“Students were particularly positive about the ‘excellent support’ they receive out of school when they attend college”, Ofsted 2017