6th Form

The 6th Form is an integral part of the College, with a fine tradition of preparing young men and women for Higher Education and the world of work.  Proud of its history yet forward-thinking in outlook, St Francis Xavier’s College has an enviable reputation with Universities and employers, both locally and nationally.

Students find at St Francis Xavier’s College a family atmosphere, with very strong monitoring and challenge in a friendly and supportive environment with first-rate facilities and highly-experienced staff. We are highly committed to developing well rounded, self-assured individuals who are well equipped for the exciting challenges that await them after 6th Form.

The 6th Form curriculum takes full advantage of our newly-completed multi-million pound facilities.  There is an impressive array of A level and BTEC subjects which can be combined to provide the perfect route for a young person into Higher Education or Employment.

We are rightly proud of our pastoral team. Every student has a highly experienced personal tutor, led by Ms Finlay Director of 6th Form and supported by Mrs Walker her Pastoral Assistant. Our students can look forward to an exciting, rewarding, challenging and fulfilling time at this most crucial stage of their development.

In simple terms, our curriculum and pastoral team aim to help each young person in our care to develop from a Key Stage 4 student to an independent, contented, confident and successful young adult. The Key Stage 5 team work closely with our colleagues in Key Stage 4 to ensure that the transition to the 6th Form is smooth and informed.  


At St Francis Xavier’s College, we believe that it is vital to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs of all learners. Our students are encouraged to follow a pathway that best suits their aspirations and our curriculum offers a pathway for every body whether it be traditional A Levels, BTEC’s or a combination of both. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the world of work, higher education and for life in today’s modern Britain.


To develop

  • A love of learning that results in students making good progress in all their subjects.
  • Achieving students who are able to leave 6th Form and make a positive transition to their post-18 choices.
  • Confident individuals who are able to live out the mission of the College,’ Life in all its fullness’ and lead happy and fulfilled lives.
  • Responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to our College community, parishes and society in general.


Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of each student underpinned by our fundamental Christian ethos and values. Students study subjects that are tailored to their interests and future aspirations. Students are guided in this process by their teachers but also our independent careers advisor who will help them make decisions of what to study that are based on their future intentions.



We aim to provide a climate that encourages students to fulfil their true potential, where each student feels valued and supported.

KS5 Transition

In Year 11 there is a consultation between the College, students and parents/carers about the courses and pathways to be followed from Year 12 onwards enabling the choice of subjects for Key Stage 5 to be well informed. Students will be carefully guided to make appropriate decisions for their 6th Form studies. We will also include our careers guidance officer in this process where each Year 11 student will have a careers meeting to help them decide on future options. In order to make informed choices students are also invited to attend a taster day where they get the opportunity to sample 6th Form lessons of subjects that they are keen to study so helping them make informed decisions that are appropriate for them.

St Francis Xavier’s College has a very rich and diverse 6th Form curriculum where we are able to offer three broad and distinct pathways. Purely academic, purely vocational, and a combination of both. This allows students complete flexibility and the opportunity to study a wide range of courses that complement their future aspirations and talents. We offer 17  A levels , 4 BTEC’s and 2 Cambridge Technicals. Our curriculum is further enhanced with the opportunities of further study at St Julies, our collaborative partners where students have access to further A Levels and BTEC’S.

Students undertake  3 Level 3 qualifications and have access to 6 lessons contact time per week per subject plus an additional personalised study period per subject to maximise success. Personalised study periods are held in the 6th Form common room or LRC where students are expected to do some independent study specific to their subjects they are studying. 

Students who fail to achieve a grade 4 or above in GCSE English or Mathematics resit these subjects with two allocated timetabled lessons per week.


St Francis Xavier’s College students benefit from having a highly experienced form tutor they see on a daily basis who is best placed to help support and guide the student during their time in 6th Form. Tutors deliver a bespoke tutorial programme that follows the whole College mission programme which is tailored to 6th Form students. The ‘KS5 Growth Mindset’ model is at the heart of this programme. This has allowed for a very personalised approach that serves to reinforce our aims and objectives for pastoral support in the 6th Form.  All students are taken through a daily programme of activities that both the Director of 6th Form and form tutors deliver that allow students to self-reflect on their thoughts and behaviours to help maximise their achievements.

Enrichment and Careers Opportunities

St Francis Xavier’s College provides all 6th Form students with high quality impartial careers guidance that aims to provide them with enough information to make informed post-18 choices. Further enrichment opportunities include:

  • Joining the Prefect team
  • CISI Business Diploma -equivalent to an A/S Level, this takes place outside of the College on Wednesday afternoons
  • Paired Reading/writing – working in conjunction with our SEN department students have the opportunity to help New Year 7 intake with their reading and/or writing skills
  • Paired maths – 6th Form maths students help Yr 11 maths pupils on a 1-1 basis in preparation for their GCSE’s
  • Liverpool Scholars Programme – offers Year 12 students the chance to take part in a range of activities aimed at supporting their entry into higher education and preparing them for university, such as application guidance masterclasses, lectures and academic key skills workshops.
  • D of E – both Silver and Gold Awards are offered in the 6th Form.
  • 1842- all year 12 students partake in 1842 minutes of volunteering.
  • Pathways to Law – Delivered by the University of Liverpool partnered with The Sutton Trust to support students aspiring to a career in law; Students will participate in a programme of legal workshops and undertake a week’s work experience placement with a Liverpool law firm as part of the programme.
  • Apprenticeship roadshow – The Autumn event is in affiliation with the University of Liverpool and will feature universities, apprenticeships providers and colleges. This provides students with a complete range of options for their post 18 education and career choices.
  • Oxbridge Masterclass Workshops – Preparing for applications to competitive universities. Aimed at supporting students in applying to Oxbridge and highly competitive early entry courses.
  • Trips – Students have the opportunity to participate in trips and expeditions during 6th Form. In the past expeditions have gone to Peru and Costa Rica, in addition to trips to Spain, France, Japan, Haiti, Brittany, Cologne, Senegal, Indonesia.


Specialist support is also provided to students and parents. The UCAS programme provides the opportunity to visit universities and meet university admissions tutors from a range of institutions. Students are offered extensive support with the university application process by a dedicated and experienced team. Parents are also invited to presentations about UCAS and Student Finance delivered by the Director of 6th Form so that they are fully informed and able to effectively support the process.

Curriculum Impact

In 2018  96% of our learners went on to sustained education, employment or training. 

In 2018   71% of our disadvantaged cohort went to university.

In 2018  12% of our university applicants successfully transitioned to a Russell Group university. 

Our retention rates are at the national average. Students that do leave mid-course are successfully supported by our independent careers advisor and monitored to ensure they are successful in securing employment or an apprenticeship before leaving us.


Student Feedback

In a recent survey 80% of students rate the information, advice and guidance towards their UCAS application as good or excellent

70% of students rate the skills, values and attitudes that they have developed that are needed to be successful in the workplace/university as good or excellent

100 % of students feel safe as a member of our 6th Form

74 % of students rate their overall experience of St Francis Xavier’s College as good or excellent

91 % of students felt they were encouraged to do their best in 6th Form


Teaching and Learning

Teaching in 6th Form is undertaken by highly experienced staff with up to date resources to ensure all lessons are dynamic and reflect the culture of developing high aspirations and accepting nothing less than doing one’s best. A dedicated central hub of the common room ensures all students have a study area they can access for their personalised study periods, something essential for developing independence and autonomy. At the end of every assessment point we provide a structured one to one Progress Review system between the students and their form tutor that monitors both academic progress and pastoral needs to ensure students achieve their potential.  

Homework in the 6th Form

Students entering into 6th Form may have difficulties in knowing what to do outside of lessons. Students will be supported in developing the right strategies to become an independent learner, which require practise, patience and a large dose of determination. This will entail knowing what things they need to do on a regular basis in their personalised study periods and at home as well as how to be organised. This is further developed through the 6th Form tutorial programme.

We expect students to complement the work done in class through personalised study and at home which they must manage in their own time. We would recommend for Year 12 they spend on average 3 hrs of extra study per week per subject. For Year 13 on average 4 hrs per subject per week is recommended. Additional opportunities for silent study are available in the 6th Form LRC where students are encouraged to use the 6th Form facilities such as the internet and textbooks in their personalised study periods. Students are expected to be active learners, going beyond the classroom and their notes to consolidate their learning through making mind maps, answering past paper examination questions, researching topics under study etc.

In the 6th Form students will:

  • Receive high quality teaching
  • Be provided with a bank of examination questions for students to tackle in their own time
  • Be provided with recommended websites for further learning
  • Be assessed rigorously using past examination papers and mark schemes over 3 data points in the year.

Targets set for each student that are based on prior attainment will be communicated with each student directly as well as sent home to parents.

Each student who submits work will have it assessed and returned to the student in a timely manner. The feedback contained within it will be meaningful and constructive that gives clear instructions on how the students can improve. It is expected that this feedback will be acted upon by the student in their next formal assessment or homework. At the end of each data point all students will have a Progress Review between themselves and their form tutor in the first instance to discuss attainment and progress in all their subjects.

Reporting Arrangements

6th Form students will receive three ‘Data Point’ reports through the year as well as an annual formal written report which is sent home to parents. Meetings and support mechanisms such as Learning Agreements or departmental intervention will be introduced for students who are below their target grade via Progress Reviews as required.

6th Form Aims

We believe in, and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual within our College community. Each individual is challenged to be the best that they can be in an atmosphere of mutual respect and love. 

Our aim is that you leave 6th Form as a well-rounded individual not just academically but socially, and spiritually. It is our aim to provide you with experiences to support your development which will set you apart when the time comes to make your applications to University, Employers or Apprenticeship Providers. We hope that by working together you will make the most of your 6th Form experience over the next two years.


What We Expect From You:

  • To attend all timetabled lessons unless the absence is authorised. Reasons for authorised absence include: illness, medical appointments, driving tests, University visits… They do not include: holidays, driving lessons, part time work… Any medical/dental appointments must be confirmed either by phone call, letter, text or email from a parent/carer. Unacceptable patterns of absence will not be authorised. 
  • To arrive to all lessons and form periods punctually with the necessary equipment to learn.
  • You should behave in a polite and respectful manner at all times with all members of the College community. Be a community member and act as role models for the younger pupils and ambassadors of the College in your everyday life.
  • You are required to wear the 6th form identification badge at all times and sign in to college via the electronic system on entry and to sign out upon leaving. This must be done for any instance of entering and leaving the college site.
  • We encourage you to engage in any opportunities for leadership such as supporting lower College students or offering lunch time activities.

For more information please see the 6th Form Code of Conduct.

Student Absence Procedures

Attendance at lessons is the single most important factor in your achievement. You are expected to attend all timetabled lesson and be punctual to these every lesson. Failure to adhere to these requirements will result in you becoming subject to the College’s Support and Disciplinary Procedures through the implementation of Learning Agreements.

Reporting Absences

Parents/guardians should report all absences by telephone or email to the College by 8:30a.m. each day of your absence please email [email protected] Your attendance is a major priority and you should keep the College fully informed of any genuine reason for absence. 

Lateness Procedure

You should be punctual to all lessons. If you know that you are going to be late you must inform the College. If you arrive late you must sign in electronically at main reception with your ID badge and go straight to your lesson.  

Authorised Absences

Some absences may be classified as authorised and in these cases students will be marked as ‘authorised’ on College attendance records. You must gain approval of known absences in ADVANCE. These will ONLY be approved if the reason for absence is unavoidable and the evidence has been presented to Mrs Walker, usually prior to the date of the absence.

Please see Student guide for details of permitted authorised absences

Unauthorised Absences

Sickness Absence 

Sickness absence will be recorded as unauthorised until the College receives appropriate notification. Routine doctors’ and dental appointments will also be recorded as unauthorised until the College receives appropriate notification.


Holidays in College Term Time

Holidays in term-time will NOT be approved by the College and will be recorded as unauthorised. Holidays taken during term time may result in disciplinary sanctions and may contribute to progression decisions.

Procedures for Monitoring Attendance

In the case of an unplanned absence, parents/carers are expected to notify the College each day of their child’s absence.  The 6th Form Pastoral Assistant will contact home on the first day of absence if the College has not received notification from a parent/carer via text message. This will continue for each day a student is absent and no explanation has been given by a parent/carer. If no contact has been made by the parent/carer by the third day of absence, an email will also be sent home. 

The 6th Form Pastoral Assistant sends home a half termly attendance email to parents that highlights their attendance for that half term.

Critical Concern 90% or below –RED REPORT

Seen by Director of Sixth Form and action plan activated which may involve being placed on a Level 2 Learning Agreement

Unsatisfactory – AMBER REPORT

93% -90%

Seen by Sixth Form Pastoral Assistant who will give a formal warning to improve.

Satisfactory 96.99% – 93% YELLOW REPORT

Seen by Form Tutors to investigate possible reasons for a dip in attendance

Good 97% or better – GREEN  no action taken.


Attendance To Lessons

Students must attend all lessons and additional study sessions relevant to their programme of study. If a student is present and fails to attend lessons, the College will contact parents, and the student may be placed on a Learning Agreement to monitor their attendance in all lessons. Repeated incidents of truancy may result in a student losing their place in the Sixth Form.

6th Form Support and Disciplinary Procedures

Level 1 Learning Agreement – all students sign on admission to 6th form that outlines the basic expectations of a student.

Level 2 Learning Agreement for concerns about academic progress, punctuality, attendance. This lasts for a specified time frame where a student will sign and promise to meet certain requirements that are specific to the concerns for that individual.

Level 3 Learning Agreement for serious concerns or failing to meet the requirements of a Level 2 Learning Agreement. This is the final level before a discussion would take place regarding the students place in 6th Form.

Continuation to Y13 criteria

The move to Linear A Levels (2 year study with one final exam) means there will be a thorough review of any end of year assessments/public examinations to determine how students are progressing. The results of these exams combined with other criteria will enable informed decisions to be made about student progression to Year 13.

The criteria for continuation into Year 13 will include:

  • Progress report data – in particular assessment grades, predicted grades and the professional judgement of teachers.
  • Portfolio work – in a vocational course the quality of the portfolio as well as the strength of the exam result.
  • Attendance – unless there are extenuating circumstances we require students to have good attendance (97%) throughout year 12 with no unauthorised absences.
  • Extenuating circumstances that have had an impact on performance.

Students who achieve grades that are close to their aspirational target grades in their end of Y12 exams and are at grade E or above will automatically transition to Y13. Students must have also demonstrated excellent attendance, attitude to learning and role model behaviour during Year 12.

Continuation into Year 13 for students with ‘U’ grades is very much dependent on their future aspirations as well as Year 12 record. All students will have a meeting with the Director of 6th Form regarding options and future expectations. Students on vocational courses will have their portfolio grades as well as any exam results taken into consideration. If a decision is made to continue into Y13 then an academic support programme will be put in place with clear targets. Failure to meet these targets could result in the student losing their place in 6th Form.

Any student who does not meet the criteria for continuation into Year 13 will be offered clear advice and guidance from our independent careers advisor who will discuss possible alternatives to the College as well as meeting with the Director of 6th Form where they may be given the opportunity to start Year 12 again, a decision will be made for pastoral reasons only and will be considered on a case by case basis.

16-19 Bursary

6th Form students can apply for the 16-19 Bursary Fund if their parents/carers are claiming an income-based benefit such as Working Tax Credits, Unemployment benefit etc. This money can be used to help with the costs of transport, food, equipment or other course related costs and is subject to the students’ having good attendance (97% or better). £100 is paid every half term and equates to £600 per year for each student. For more information download the Bursary form from the College’s website page.


Can I do more than three subjects?

We recommend that all students study three subjects because this constitutes a full time course. Employers and Universities don’t expect students to have studied more than three A levels. 

Can I do any subject if I haven’t done it at GCSE?

In some cases you have to have a GCSE in that subject, they are; Art and Design, History, Design and Technology, Music, Modern Foreign Languages. None of the other subjects expect you to have studied them before at GCSE. If you have studied the subject at GCSE we expect you to achieve certain minimum grades to study that subject at A Level. See subject requirements page on our website for further details.

What if I don’t like the subjects I’ve chosen?

We give you until the end of September to try out your chosen subjects to make sure you are happy in your course. If you find a subject is not what you anticipated you can discuss this with Ms Finlay who will explore alternative subjects you may be able to study.

 Do I have to study GCSE Maths and English if I don’t have a grade 4 or better?

It is a government requirement that any student that who has not achieved a grade 4 or better in Maths or a grade 4 or better in either English language or literature must continue to study them in the Sixth Form. Your timetable will have these lessons on until you obtain at least a grade 4 in them.

I want to do Medicine, what subjects should I choose?

Check the entry requirements for different University courses, but Chemistry, Biology plus Maths or Physics, is essential for entry to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. However, a single science, for example Biology or Psychology can be a way into many NHS related degrees.

I’m considering teaching as a career, are there any subjects I should take?

It depends on what course you are applying for and whether you intend to teach Primary or Secondary. However, to study to become a teacher you must have GCSE English and Maths and usually Science as well. For Secondary teaching, you should choose subjects you would consider teaching as you will specialise in these.