Sixth Form

Matthew Arnold School’s Sixth Form is an integral part of a very successful and popular 11-18 yrs comprehensive school. We aim to provide all our students with the opportunity to realise their full academic potential while developing their interests and skills outside the classroom.


Students have their own centre with a dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct."

We offer a comprehensive selection of A-Level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies and photography. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A-Level success.

Tracy Oakden, Head of Sixth Form
Lucy Fortnum-Paynter and Hannah Creaby, Deputy Heads of Sixth Form

A-Level Grades 2020  

Our key measure of success at Matthew Arnold School is that all students develop effective social and learning skills throughout their time in the school enabling them all to progress on to positive and sustained destinations when they leave the school.

This year has been a very different one in terms of the process by which individual grades have been allocated and we are delighted that so many sixth form students have successfully completed their A-level courses and will now progress on to the destinations they had hoped and planned for, be it to start an apprenticeship or to enter employment, or to take up their University place. The grades they have been awarded reflect the hard work they put in during the course and the progress they have made since their GCSEs. 

We wish all our students well for the next stage of their education and learning.

16-19 Catch Up Funding

Information Evenings

You can view the slides from the Year 12 Parent Tutor meeting - "Supporting Students in Sixth Form" here, "Careers and next steps after Sixth Form" here,  "Wellbeing and Health" here and a list of useful websites is here.  

Letter for Year 11 regarding Sixth Form Opening Evening 2021

You can view slides from the GCSE and Beyond evening here.

You can view the slides from the Sixth Form Open Evening here.

Slides from the 'Preparing for A Level' evening are found here.

Slides from the Higher Education evening are here.

Application Process

The Sixth Form Virtual Open Evening Website is now live - please click on the below link  .

Online applications should be submitted by 12th February 2021. 

Entry Requirements

Sixth4In order to begin an A-Level programme, students will need to have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English language and mathematics at a level 4. To enable students to select the most appropriate subjects at A-Level we use a system based on their APS (average point score) from GCSE.  See here for APS information sheet. We advise students to take the subjects which best fit their APS. Further details of this can be found in the course brochure. A copy is also available on the sixth form section of the website.

We expect our students to have a positive attitude to study and to meet the school’s expectations. In return, we will provide a stimulating, mature and friendly environment in which students can thrive and contribute to the life of the whole school.

Entry into Sixth Form Appeals panel form  - see here for the google form. Please save the form and rename it before you complete it.

Ensuring Success

Students’ progress is of paramount importance to us and we do not leave it to chance. A wide range of support structures are in place to ensure that students achieve their potential and can access guidance if and when they need it.

Sixth5Students’ progress is monitored closely throughout their time in Sixth Form with two annual short reports and annual parents’ evenings. Students are also monitored through the provision of internal examinations in October (year 12) and January (year 13) to ensure that they are making expected progress. Students who are identified as needing additional support can access Student Support Mentoring where they work with their tutors, subject teachers and parents to enable them to make the progress needed. All students are given aspirational target grades and these are used to help monitor student achievement at all stages. We expect students to demonstrate the learning behaviours that will enable them to achieve their target grades. We monitor this through the R2LI system which we report twice per year. Students not demonstrating successful learning behaviours will receive additional mentoring and monitoring through their tutor.

Each student is placed within a tutor group comprising year 12 and year 13 students. This helps the Sixth Form to run as a community but also enables year 13 students to mentor those in year 12. The tutor is a key person in a Sixth Form student’s time at Matthew Arnold School as they mentor and work with students to help them to achieve their aspirations.

The Curriculum

Sixth7A range of information is available from the school to assist students to:

  • Choose a range of A-Level courses, which will enable them to progress onto their desired destination after the Sixth Form.

  • Develop their wider skills, which will broaden and enrich their outlook and abilities.

A student drawing More information on the curriculum can be found in our Sixth Form Course Guide document.

Applicants may also wish to consult our non-examination assessment policy for further details.

Extended Project AQA

Students can apply to be considered to take an extended project when they start their A-Levels. This qualification is an externally assessed qualification which is equivalent to half an A-Level. The extended project is viewed very positively by universities and students develop very good research and independent learning skills whilst undertaking the project. More information is available in the course brochure.

Enrichment Programme

In addition to their chosen A-Level subjects, all Sixth Form students attend enrichment activity sessions for two hours per week. All students follow the Compulsory Core Programme (CCP) as part of this package. This covers a range of study skills, PHSE, citizenship, world affairs, careers education and the UCAS process. Students also have one hour of PE scheduled every Wednesday afternoon, in which we offer a wide range of interesting activities such as Ultimate Frisbee, ping pong, dodge ball tournaments and our own Sixth Form Sixth9Sports Day, as well as team sports and fixtures.

Students are expected to opt for one of the Sixth Form activities available to them during their time with us. These activities include paired reading, producing the Sixth Form magazine, Sixth Form Council, Sports leadership and Debate Club. All students are expected to take an active part as a member of the school community, perhaps by teaching younger students or working as MAPS (Matthew Arnold Peer Supporters), with training and support from the school counsellor.


Sixth10There are a considerable number of activities and opportunities open to all students who join our Sixth Form;
Mock United Nationals General Assembly, Business, Duke of Edinburgh Award, art trips, debating society, cinema and theatre trips, community service both in an out of school, senior prefect positions (including head boy and head girl). Whatever their interest, we will find a project to stretch and encourage each individual student.


Travel to Matthew Arnold School