At Fortis Academy Sixth Form, we believe that every student deserves access to high quality teaching and learning regardless of any barriers that they may face, where every student deserves to be given the tools to promote a love of learning and thirst for knowledge, and ultimately where every student excels.
Our dedicated sixth form team endeavours to support each and every student by offering a tailored sixth form experience that is much more than just working towards, and gaining, qualifications to enable a route into higher education and employment. Post-16 education should venture beyond curriculums outlined by exam boards and seek to incorporate life skills, methods to promote good mental health including the ability to form positive relationships with others and to cope with and manage change and uncertainty. It should also provide the means to see, hear and interact with professional individuals with opportunities to form networks with employers and universities. We are proud to provide an enriching experience here at Fortis Academy Sixth Form, where each student can flourish, thus becoming well-rounded individuals equipped and ready for the next stage of their lives.
All sixth form students will be enrolled onto a study programme which combines qualifications and other activities which are tailored to their prior attainment, interests and career goals.
Students will have access to a robust ‘futures programme’ commencing in the summer term of year 12 which includes work experience, University visits, a visit to the UCAS Discovery Day and numerous external agencies such as Into University delivering workshops to our students to ensure that they are best able to make decisions about their next steps.
Intention 1: To ensure that students have access to an aspirational study programme which is both challenging and supportive to encourage academic excellence.
Intention 2: To aid the development of behaviours and habits to prepare post-16 students for Higher Education and the wider world.
Intention 3: To enhance the character and cultural capital of our post-16 students.
What this looks like in our post-16 curriculum offer:
16-19 Tuition Fund Statement of Intent
Intention 1: To ensure all students are introduced to a variety of experiences that employ a range of traditional and new media, processes and techniques appropriate to the chosen areas of study.
Intention 2: To ensure all students gain knowledge of art, craft and design through research, the development of ideas and making, working from first-hand experience and, where appropriate, secondary source materials.
Intention 3: To ensure all students understand how images and artefacts relate to the time and place in which they were made and to their social and cultural contexts. To ensure all students explore relevant resources; analyse, discuss and evaluate images, objects and artefacts; and make and record independent judgements.
BTEC Applied Science
Intention 1: To provide a stimulating curriculum that marries development of knowledge and understanding with the acquisition and mastery of practical and technical skills.
Intention 2: To develop the transferable skills of communication, teamwork, research and analysis which are valued by higher education providers and employers.
Intention 3: To provide a strong basis for students to progress in the Science sector intrinsically linked not only to vocational skills but also the development of a wider cultural capital.
Intention 1: Equip students with the appropriate knowledge and skills needed to develop their employability and identify business problems and opportunities. We will do this by quality first teaching which ensures students understand underlying Business theory which students apply to a variety of familiar and unfamiliar case studies. We want students to be able to think analytically, reach logical conclusions based on data, and make judgements on future changes to markets and the economy.
Intention 2: Students are constantly challenged to work collaboratively and think independently when engaging in all lessons and class debates. Through teacher modelling, we will encourage our students to demonstrate manners, respect and tolerance in Business lessons. This allows students to express themselves in a confident manner. Lesson materials will be engaging to promote topical discussion and encourage students to develop an enquiring mind.
Intention 3: Cultural Capital will be embedded throughout the curriculum. Our students will be introduced to a wide variety of viewpoints from some of the most influential entrepreneurs throughout history. We will investigate the impact that their work has had on the world we live in and students are encouraged to make links between their studies and real life examples. Students undertake this whilst developing an increased understanding into current events happening globally.
Intention 1: The A-level maths study program is designed to recognise that the key to unlocking the potentials in our students by building on their prior knowledge at KS4. KS5 mathematics offers a tacit invitation for students to enhance the depth and scope of their mathematical knowledge in pure and applied maths, with a deeper emphasis on developing and accessing reasoning, problem-solving skills, and modelling. The content at A-Level is designed to help students become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, and to develop conceptual understanding, which will allow them to access programmes of study at University. A-Level improves the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately to both complex and challenging contexts. We aim to help students to solve problems by applying their understanding to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios and to reason mathematically by following a line of inquiry and develop and present a justification, argument, or proof using mathematical language.
Intention 2: The study of Mathematics will help students become better thinkers and be analytical, so the applied component of mathematics encourages students to stimulate curiosity and fan the flames of desire to see maths in the real world. It gives our students the capability to understand patterns, to quantify relationships in different contexts encountered in other subjects, and to model and see these connections in concrete terms. Mathematics helps us understand the language of nature, which is the world around us. We teach students at KS5 to develop a positive culture of deeper understanding, confidence, and competence in mathematics that produces strong, secure and resilient learners. These qualities are necessary for succeeding in the world. Mathematics offers the key to unlocking the potentials in our students through the development of habits and discipline to understanding the wilder world.
Intention 3: Mathematics skills are used every day so our students are encouraged to acquire the essential part for everyday life to achieve a broad and balanced individual. We aim to ensure that students develop a passion and enthusiasm for mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives and empower them in future life. We know that our students will face unique economic and environmental challenges. Mathematics offers the opportunity to develop problem solving skills robust enough to face the uncommon problems. KS5 mathematics offers students power through promotion of best contribution and ownership of learning by adapting different styles of teaching to meet the growing number of international students that come to study with us. This goal of providing inclusive learning opportunity for all is the cultural capital application that has helped them achieve goals and become successful in life.
A-Level Computer Science and BTEC IT
Intention 1: We strive to equip students with the practical and theoretical skills necessary to flourish in the world of work through providing a supportive learning environment and challenges all students to be the best that they can be.
Intention 2: To transform our students from users of technology into creators of technology by giving all our students the opportunity to think, program, build, create, persevere and grow. The students achieve this through learning the art form of ‘Computational Thinking’ in order to provide them with the essential knowledge that will enable them to participate effectively and safely in the digital world beyond our gates and prepare them for an ever change digital environment in the 21st Century.
Intention 3: To become more independent and develop key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation which will enable them to effectively conduct their future lives as workers, consumers and members of an increasingly digitised future.
Intention 1: Drama in Sixth form aims to inspire and promote a love of learning through a student led exploration of Drama Practitioners and play texts. Balancing practical and academic writing allows our students to develop creatively and supporting their understanding with in depth analysis of theatre technology, theory and history. The play texts studied are prevalent to both theatre history and also the modern world and provide an academic foundation for future studies.
Intention 2: Working creatively and collaboratively lends itself to developing time management and organisational skills as well as the skills required to lead or work as part of an effective team. Essay writing, reading and analysing play texts and answering exam style questions develops critical analysis and improves vocabulary and writing style.
Intention 3: Experiences of live theatre and access to online platforms such as Digital Theatre+ and National Theatre Online provides opportunities for our pupils to engage in cultural capital opportunities. Our partnership with the Birmingham Hippodrome led to a week-long work experience for Year 12 pupils and external companies coming to work in school in workshops. Alongside this is a comprehensive extra-curricular experience involving whole school productions as well as smaller shows in which Sixth Form students are offered roles that suit their workload and will enhance their Performance Skills.
Intention 1: To ensure that CPD delivered within the department meets the needs of staff and drives progress at KS5.
- Develop programme of CPD which responds to data from monitoring and trends in student data.
- Use expertise of colleagues to share best practice and empower staff, linked to appraisal Target 3.
- Continue to develop staff understanding of specifications through scrutiny of recalled scripts, identifying the differences between scripts and strategies used to ‘level up’ responses (where new scripts are unavailable, booklets of student responses to be compiled following assessments/mock exams).
- Identify opportunities for further exam board input, used to upskill staff and support pupil progress
To support the progress of HPA students at KS5, ensuring opportunities for depth and mastery.
- SOWs reviewed, embedding opportunities for critical exploratory thinking and depth/mastery; secondary reading resources to be identified and shared on to supplement Li.
- Promote independence in students through exposure to a wide range of high-quality extracts, developing skills through therapy and ‘Unlock It’ lessons.
- Live modelling used frequently in lessons to embed meta-cognitive approaches.
- Co-planning used to support the development of subject knowledge at KS5.
Intention 2: To encourage students to try opportunities outside of their current experience.
- Enrichment opportunities used to develop cultural capital and engagement with subject – outlined on LTPs and trips/visits co-ordinated by TLR holders. Disadvantaged students prioritised.
- Increase staff awareness of Gatsby Benchmarks and career opportunities relevant to English/Media, as well as pathways into these careers.
- Share these with students at KS4 and KS5 (brochures to be distributed at parents’ evenings; promotional videos to be shared with students; corridor display board focussing on career paths of teachers).
Intention 3: To ensure students develop contextual knowledge, including SMSC aspects of the course.
- Students to be exposed to a wealth of contextual information on the texts they learn and apply this to develop a depth of SMSC awareness.
- Greater out-of-class experiences available for students across the course.
To ensure that SOWs proactively address the vocabulary gap and support the development of cultural capital.
- Literacy Policy reviewed to include vocabulary instruction, taught using Beck’s five-step model.
- Low-stakes quizzing used to embed knowledge and make learning stick.
- Enrichment opportunities used to develop cultural capital and outlined on LTPs.
Intention 1: The Geography programme involves an issues-based approach to studying geography, enabling students to explore and evaluate contemporary geographical questions and issues such as the consequences of globalisation, responses to hazards, water insecurity and climate change.
Intention 2: To aid the development of behaviours and habits to prepare post-16 students for Higher Education and the wider world. The subject offers the students the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of physical and human geography, the complexity of people and environment questions and issues, and to become critical, reflective and independent learners.
Intention 3: The course offers confidence in geographical skills and fieldwork. The content is framed by enquiry questions that encourage an investigative and evaluative approach to learning and gives the students the independence to research and investigate their own choice of geographical issues, through fieldwork investigation, and so have the chance to explore a range of human and physical environments.
Intention 1: To provide a curriculum which builds in the Fortis Academy Scaffold, Secure and Stretch approach, in order to provide support for students who find it challenging to make the transition from GCSE to A Level, whilst providing the breadth and depth of knowledge for students aspiring to complete courses at Russel Group Universities. To provide a curriculum that allows students to improve their understanding of the world in which they live today, whilst providing a lifelong interest in the stories that shape our past.
Intention 2: To foster independent study skills and develop personal metacognition. To create reflective learners capable of identifying their own strengths and weaknesses and independently taking action to improve their knowledge and skills. To develop students who are aware of their own responsibilities to activity engage in society and politics in order to promote positive change.
Intention 3: To provide a curriculum that furthers students understanding of the key issue that effect Britain in the 21st Century including: the nature of the British political system, party politics, the EU and Brexit, Diversity and Tolerance, Inequalities, Race and Identity and the importance of participation and activism. To provide a curriculum that allows students to recognise the competing roles of national and international interest and the challenges this creates to tackling global issues.
Intention 1: Students will explore a range of challenging topics from epistemology to moral philosophy. Through this they will research and evaluate a variety of philosophers from the classics such as Plato to more modern Philosophers like Richard Swinburne. As a department we have high expectations of our students to prepare them for post 18 education.
Intention 2: Pupils take part in flipped learning, seminar style lessons where they are expected to present information and the style of writing required for the exam develops their study skills in preparation for university. Pupils have to manage their time and workload to complete the work as well as attending a philosophy revision class once a week, demonstrating their dedication.
Intention 3: Pupils examine a variety of areas through philosophy, such as law, media and animal rights for moral philosophy, art, religion, and science for epistemology. The discussion tools used for Philosophy enhances the character of our pupils to build confidence and resilience when developing an argument.
Intention 1: Students are taught in an aspirational manner by V Edwards who has expertise academically in teaching law, alongside work-related experience of working in the legal fields. Students’ aspirations into careers in law are further encouraged through visits to the law courts and embedded careers links into lessons. Students are stretched through wider reading to aid their law studies and to further their ability to applies the nuances of legal terminology and restrictions to a range of cases.
Intention 2: Within their studies of law students are encouraged to develop independent abilities to research and to develop their understanding of the complexities of law through wider research. They are encouraged and supported to develop detailed essay writing skills to enable them to meet all assessment objectives for the 30-mark questions.
Intention 3: Students are enriched within their studies of law and encouraged to develop terminology and confidence in its utilisation. Debate and discussion are essential aspects of studying law and thus students are encouraged to explore legal roles and the complexities of cases through role plays. Alongside visiting speakers and trips to the courts law is a subject that assists students in becoming well informed, rounded citizens.
Cambridge Technical Level 3 in Health and Social Care- Extended certificate, Diploma and Extended Diploma
Intention 1: The range of units within Health and Social Care make the subject an enriching specification to study. Students complete 6 units over 2 years on the extended certificate, 12 units for the diploma, and 17 units for the extended diploma over the two years. This provides them with a range of practical skills, including communication, organisation, practical skills etc, as well as refining students analytical and evaluative abilities. Students are encouraged to meet the standards of university level work in their NEA units whereby they utilise correct referencing in line with university standards to support their progression onto Higher Education.
Intention 2: Students study a range of units within Health and Social Care that allows them to gain insight into the range of related professions available in Health and Social Care. Many of our students in each academic cohort go on to study health and social care professions and this is partially due to the careers focus that we embed within the students’ studies.
Intention 3: Within Health and Social care we are developing links with wider care services to provide enriching experiences for our students. In 2022 we have created a partnership with the school for the visually impaired, Priestly Smith, and four of our students have been successful in their applications to volunteer within the summer play scheme. Students are encouraged to complete both primary and secondary research to equip them with a wider understanding of issues within Health and Social Care and to enable their NEA work to be contemporary and relevant so that they are aware of current issues in Health and Social Care. For example, in the Public Health and Infection control units, students are encouraged to apply their work to the COVID pandemic, so that they can understand the significance of current health concerns within our society and the impact on care services and provision.
Intention 1: Students are encouraged to develop in depth analytical and application skills within their studies of sociology. Students are challenged within their studies and become proficient in interpreting key issues and debates from differing sociological standpoints. This enables them to see the social world from an array of perspectives in order to analyse and evaluate the impact of social phenomena from differing views. Students are encouraged through the sociology teachers programme of detailed AFL tasks, whereby scaffolding and demonstrations of good practice are removed over time to encourage students to strive to independence. Students are actively encouraged to participate in wider reading, with students having access to Sociological published works to give them insight into the depths of knowledge needed to read Sociology at university.
Intention 2: In sociology we nurture students to work effectively in group work tasks to encourage a collaborative nature. We make links between the specification and the world of work by applying tasks to relevant careers in order to embed the theoretical nature of sociology in a real-world context.
Intention 3: In sociology students are encouraged to develop their cultural capital in an in-depth manner. Firstly, as cultural capital is a sociological concept, students study the works of Bourdieu in order to critically evaluate the education systems stance on valuing middle class culture. They are then able to reflect on the types of activities and learning that could make them appear as more appealing for UCAS applications and the wider world of work, whilst also understanding that their own heritage and background is of benefit to them. This is important for students from deprived backgrounds to ensure that they do not feel alienated and out of place in educational settings, including universities in the future. Furthermore, students are encouraged via the ‘sociological imagination’ project to critically analyse fictional texts using sociological theory. This project encourages students to apply their sociological understanding, whilst also encouraging reading of a wider range of texts than they may otherwise choose. Students in sociology are made aware of many contemporary issues pertaining to social justice, and we embed contemporary issues such as the Sarah Everard case and Black lives matter, into our lessons to ensure that students are aware of what is occurring in the world around them. As some concepts in sociology overlap with political issues, we ensure that students are taught about the political systems to bridge any gaps in knowledge so that they feel confident in understanding issues related to social policy.
Level 3 Criminology
Intention 1: Students have access to an aspirational study programme planned by a team of teachers who have expertise in criminology, law and sociology. These subject specific professionals are able to enrich the learning that students access in lessons by relating the content on the specification to current cases and examples within the news. This enables students to be engaged, whilst also encouraging them to develop their application skills to apply theory to contemporary issues. Students are supported effectively through interventions to encourage progression and to increase proficiency. These interventions are focused on the specific needs of the individual student and the area they are struggling with.
Intention 2: Within criminology, teachers make clear and frequent links to careers in order to raise the aspirations of our students. We have links with a criminal psychologist and a police liaison officer which enables us to contextualise the usefulness of the criminological theory to the world of work. Many of our students aspire to study criminology and university and to work within the criminal justice field, and we nurture this desire by making learning relevant to real world case studies. Students are encouraged to develop clear systems of organisation to enable them to actively structure their own learning and classwork so that they are sufficiently supported in the controlled assessment units whereby they are able to take their files in with them.
Intention 3: Students are encouraged to utilise contemporary issues; thus we insist students keep up to date with the news to facilitate this. Students are able to develop their cultural capital by keeping focused on current events to enable them to widen their knowledge of criminological issues. Furthermore, students have access to a wide range of reading materials for criminology and they are encouraged to delve deeper into areas of interest to expand upon their knowledge.
A level Psychology
Intention 1: Psychology is an engaging and though provoking discipline that studies human behaviour from many fronts, including biological and social. Students are encouraged to swiftly develop analytical and evaluative skills in order to assess the reliability and validity of various studies. Students are encouraged to improve their essay technique to become adept at applying content to various circumstances, including contemporary or real-life issues.
Intention 2: Many of our psychology students continue their studies to undergraduate level, this is due to the careers links that we have embedded into lessons. This enables students to see the usefulness of psychology qualifications as they underpin many career options.
Intention 3: Students are encouraged to develop their cultural capital through wider academic engagement with a variety of texts. Furthermore, they are encouraged to develop primary research skills in order to benefit their engagement with the research methods topic that flows throughout the course. This assists students who continue the study at university level as primary research is a key aspect of any psychology degree.
Intention 1: To enable pupils to become physically confident. This supports their health, wellbeing and fitness and provides the foundations for lifelong activity. We aim to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop their skills and understanding in a broad range of sports and activities and develop the understanding of how to lead a healthy active lifestyle.
Intention 2: To equip pupils with a broader subject knowledge in Sport and develop their understanding of the aspects that have an impact of the sporting world. Topics include career progressions, leadership and coaching.
Intention 3: To develop pupils’ ability to study independently and formulate their own opinions as well as learn how to critically analyse their own performance.
Intention 1: To provide a programme of study that allows students to stretch their understanding of Statistics and how it relates to other contexts and scenarios. Statistics aims not just to challenge students in its own right, but also provide further support and understanding as it has cross-curricular links with A-Level Biology, Psychology, Geography, Business Studies and Economics.
Intention 2: We aid students to see the relevance of Statistical information because using and understanding data is becoming increasingly important in many areas of study and employment. Understanding of statistics is a crucial skill, and this specification aims to give students the tools needed to help them prepare for higher education and the workplace.
Intention 3: We aim to show students how the skills learnt in Statistics can be applied in various fields. Thus, developing their cultural knowledge and their academic skills for whatever field of study they chose post Sixth Form.
Intention 1: To provide a curriculum that strives for excellence; a curriculum which excites and inspires students.
Intention 2: To enhance the students’ insight into the world of Biology and its relevance to everyday life: from your own health to the country’s food supply and control of disease.
Intention 3: To develop the students Biological practical and theoretical skills needed in a range of careers, such as medicine and forensic science areas.
Intention 1: To provide a curriculum which inspires, excites, and engages our learners to pursue Chemistry in the future by putting practical learning first.
Intention 2: To develop an insight into the relevance of chemistry to everyday life and the careers that can stem from this.
Intention 3: To provide high-quality practical work to underpin the theoretical teaching of the chemistry.
Intention 1: To provide a curriculum that inspires, excites, and engages students with the Physical world; we cover a breadth of content from the Quantum world to the ever-expanding Universe.
Intention 2: To develop skills in literacy, numeracy, problem solving and analytical skills thus opening doors to a wide range of opportunities both within and outside the field of science.
Intention 3: To improve the physics knowledge our students to enable them to understand the rapid paced world around us.