Sixth Form FAQs

How is Sixth Form different from main school?

Firstly, you are the senior students in school, you will be role models to all other students.

Secondly, you have your own area in the C Block dedicated for Sixth Form students, which include your own common room / diner and three study areas.

Thirdly, you get to personalise your timetable so that you can study whatever subjects you wish (subject to meeting the entry requirements and no clashes).

Fourthly, within this timetable you will have ‘study periods’ which you will use for private study to keep up to date with your work. The level of work at Sixth Form is a challenge, expect to spend 15 hours a week at home and at school on private study.

How do you check how I am doing?

Just like in main school there are a number of Assessment Points throughout the year, we use this to check how you are doing. We also use a system called ALIS (Advanced Level Information System) which will look at your GCSE grades and identify a target grade for you at A Levels.

How is Sixth Form organised?

DHFS operate a vertical tutoring system where Sixth Form students are mixed with all year groups. There will be up to five or six Sixth Form students per mentor group. Each mentor group is assigned to a House. The six Houses are:

Each house has a House Progress Leader and House Support Manager who help support all learners. Sixth Form students also have Mr Howell, Director of Sixth Form, Mr Lomas, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, or Mr Stuart, Assistant Director of Sixth Form.

Sixth Form A-Z

The purpose of this page is to provide a simple A-Z to Sixth Form study at Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School. It should act as Frequently Asked Questions in the first instance.

Absence and Illness

If you know in advance (e.g. medical appointments, interviews etc.) that your son / daughter is going to be absent, please ensure that they have completed a LOAF (leave of absence form), getting staff to sign and handed in to Mrs Edwards in the ICT area. We expect to see supporting evidence. We will amend our records accordingly. Students should complete these forms two weeks in advance of the absence, or as soon as possible. Absence during school hours requires written confirmation of appointments.

If your son / daughter is ill, please contact the House Support Manager as soon as possible and we will update our records.


We hold Sixth Form Briefings every week on a Friday at 9am. These alternate between Year 12 and Year 13. Attendance at these and House Assemblies are compulsory as important information is given out.


Assessments take place regularly by Faculty areas. These may be tests, classwork or homework, etc. These are graded and will give an indication as to how your son / daughter is progressing in their studies.

Attendance and Punctuality

Success and attendance are inextricably linked and we expect 100% attendance, with a minimum of 96%. If students are not punctual to mentor time they may have to attend ‘Lates Detention’ like the rest of the school. It is our expectation that students will be in school every day from 9am to 3:30pm, attending all sessions such as lessons, assemblies and mentor time. Poor attendance will result in intervention strategies and appropriate sanctions will be put in place.

Bursary Fund

The Bursary Fund is a cash-limited fund to support learners from low income backgrounds (below £21,000 total household income) with essential course costs. In addition there is a Bursary Grant for students who are looked after by the local authority, care leavers, students who claim Income Support in their own right, disabled students who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance. Payment of Bursary will depend on attendance, progress against targets and discipline.

Click here for more information regarding student finance the bursary fund.

Contact Details

In the first instance parents / guardians / students should contact the House Progress Leaders. Alternatively, please contact the Sixth Form Team.

Contact the House Progress Leaders
Contact the House Academic Mentors
Contact the Sixth Form Team

Diary Dates / Key Dates

A Levels are a demanding two years of study. In order to help keep you up to date with what is happening and what is coming up please refer back to this page on a regular basis.

September (early)Enrolment
October (mid)Oxbridge Applications to be completed
January (throughout)Trial Exams
Final UCAS Deadline (15th January)
MayAS & A Level Examinations
JuneAS & A Level Examinations
AS return to start A Level
UCAS Convention
Year 12 Work Experience
July (mid)End of academic year
AugustResults Day

Parent Evenings

  • Year 12 Parent Consultation Evening: 8th March 2023
  • Year 13 Parent Consultation Evening: 9th February 2023

Booking for parents evening appointments is done online.

Email and Internet

Your son / daughter will be given a username and password to gain access to the school system. The internet is accessible only after a User Agreement has been signed. Once this is done, email is available and work can be sent to and from home; this is how most of the communication is made in the Sixth Form. Students will be expected to check these on a daily basis. Key information about the Sixth Form, universities, apprenticeships, etc. will be sent by email, students must also remember to empty their email inboxes on a regular basis.


Core Maths or EPQ are an integral part of the Sixth Form curriculum that students should undertake. As well as providing an additional qualification for Sixth Form students, they will help them to develop the higher order thinking skills required for A-level study. Core Maths will help students develop further mathematical skills to deal with subjects like science, computer science and psychology. EPQ will help students develop independent research skills. In Year 13, alternative courses are available, such as support for STEP papers.

Some students may be required to undertake additional work, for example the Extended Project Qualification, if their number of ‘study hours’ (the number of lessons they attend in a week) is too low.

More information about Sixth Form curriculum

Exams and Resits

There is now only one main exam period during the academic year. Please avoid absence of your son / daughter during this time.

During internal examinations, there will be no study leave during this period. Normal attendance is required.

During the external exams for Year 12 and Year 13, there will be study leave during this period, if your son / daughter has an afternoon exam, we do allow them to stay at home and revise in the morning. However, lessons will continue right up to the last exam in many subjects, it is a great opportunity to get extra help from subject staff.

We expect Year 12 to begin lessons again during June, after the last AS level exam. When they return, they will begin the A Level programme but only if they have completed all the requirements of their AS programme. The school recommends that students should obtain a minimum of 2 D grades to progress to A Level in September of Year 13 and a D grade in the subject. This will give them a basic understanding of the subject in preparation for the more demanding A Level study. In case of E and U grades students will be given the opportunity to restart their A Levels on the same or different courses.

Fees for the sitting of each unit are paid for by the school for the first attempt. Any additional ‘resits’ are to be paid for by the student.

More information about exams

More information about Sixth Form entry requirements


The Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher will determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. Any request for leave of absence must be put in writing using a leave of absence form addressed to the Headteacher.

School Term Dates


Should it be required, interventions will be put in place to support your son / daughter. It may be at faculty level, such as reports or contracts, meetings with parents or that students have to remain after school on a Thursday with the Sixth Form Team, to catch up on work. If a student is off-track or their Attitude to Learning (AtL) is lower than 2.01, we might decide that they require supervision during their study periods. It might also be encourage that the students attend holiday sessions if they are not working to their target grade.

Learning Contract

All students, whether Year 12 or Year 13, are required to sign a learning contract / home school agreement which outlines their responsibilities as a student and our responsibilities as a school. Your son / daughter will sign this and return it when they enrol in September.

Some students will be placed on a special contract at the start of Year 12 if we have had some concerns from Year 11. Individual faculty areas may also issue contracts.

Sixth Form students are expected to wear a lanyard / ID at all times whilst in school.

Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

The Library, or LRC, is open daily, from 8am to 4pm, to students. Books are available on loan, magazines and newspapers to read, and ICT facilities are also available to use. We encourage students to use and get involved in the LRC.

More information about the LRC


Sixth Form students are given the privilege to go off school site during lunchtime. The decision to allow students to go off school site at lunch time is a result of their greater maturity, providing them with further independence and choice with lunchtime provision. Please be aware that we do not allow students to bring hot food back onto the school site, cold food including sandwiches and ‘meal deals’ are fine. When leaving the school site and returning, students will sign out/in via the card readers on the Chesterfield Road gate. If a student loses their ID card there will be a charge for a replacement, and any student without their ID card will not be able to go off-site. A replacement card will be available to purchase on ParentPay for £3.00.  The ID card is also used to sign in during study periods. although hot food bought from outside school must not be eaten on school premises. Students can also use the school dining areas. The Sixth Form area will be open until 6pm for students to study independent.

The Sixth Form ‘Hub’ is available for students to buy hot and cold food from. It is open at 8:30am for breakfast and at break and lunch times. A packed lunch can also be brought in to school and eaten in the social areas or in the Hub.

More information about food and catering at DHFS


Your son / daughter will be placed in a mentor group and they will register with their mentors every day at 9am. Absence notes should be addressed and given to your son / daughter’s mentor. The mentor will also oversee your son / daughter’s progress and will undertake periodic reviews with them. If a student has any issues, especially personal issues, they should initially discuss these with their mentor.

Part-Time Work

Lots of Sixth Form students want to work part-time. We understand the reasons why and the experience on the whole is a positive one. We would urge your son / daughter not to exceed 10-12 hours per week as this then begins to have an impact upon their academic progress and ultimately their results.

Progression from Year 12 to Year 13

The school recommends that students should complete their Year 12 programme and pass at grade D or above in at least two of their subjects. Any student who achieves a ‘U’ or ‘E’ grade at AS / Year 12 will meet with the Sixth Form team and discuss potential pathways including the option to restart courses.


Your son / daughter must register with us every day at 9am. This is an essential requirement. Afternoon registration takes place at the start of lesson four by the subject teacher. If students have a study period during lesson four, they must sign in at the Sixth Form Study Supervisor’s desk in the ICT room.


You will receive reports on four occasions during the academic year, plus a report from your child’s mentor. These will give you assessment results and motivation levels and begin to build up a picture of your son / daughter’s performance at AS/A Level.

School Day

Please familiarise yourself with the times of our school day (registration time, lesson periods, etc.)

Study Time

As a Sixth Form student, your son / daughter will have some additional study time during the week. This can be used for study, completion of work, voluntary activities or work experience. The Sixth Form ‘Hub’, a study area, the Library / LRC and the various learning environments around the school are all available for Sixth Form students to use. All students must sign in with Mrs Edwards in their study periods.

Sixth Form students are required to stay on the school site during their study periods; however, they can leave the site at break and lunchtime. If they leave the school site at any other time, they should sign out (and back in again as necessary) at Student Services so that we know who is and who is not on the school site during an emergency for instance. If a student wishes to leave early due to feeling unwell, they must complete a sickness form from Mrs Edwards and this must be authorised by one of the Sixth Form Team.

Target Grades

The Key Stage 5 targets will be set mechanistically (using L3VA and ALPS) by the Director of Sixth Form. These targets will be monitored by subject staff to ensure they are sufficiently challenging. Subject staff should then communicate with the Director of Sixth Form who will make a decision as to whether the final target should be increased and will inform the data manager. Targets will be loaded into SIMS, SISRA, MATRIX / MABL so as all staff have access to and can check progress of their students against the correct target. This is based on their GCSE results. The target grade gives an indication of what should be achievable and combined with your son / daughter’s assessment results, gives you an indication of whether they are performing below, at or above expectations. Above expectation is to be encouraged!

Travel Pass

If your son / daughter needs a travel pass, please send them to reception as we have the necessary forms. They must be signed by one of the Sixth Form team, Mr Howell, Director of Sixth Form, Mr Lomas, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, or Mr Stuart, Assistant Director of Sixth Form. There are passes for Derbyshire and Sheffield, such as the B-Line card.

Uniform and Appearance

Sixth Form students should be smart at all times as they set the standard for the whole of the school. We do not allow extremes of hair styles or visible body piercings. If a student has a facial piercing, they should purchase a clear stud to be worn at school or remove the piercing completely. Any jewellery should be discreet and must be removed in some subjects (e.g. PE) for health and safety reasons.

Please ensure that your son / daughter complies with our uniform at all times. Non-compliance may mean that we send your son / daughter home to change.

More information about uniform in Sixth Form

The final decision on what is acceptable will be made by the Headteacher and students will be expected to change. Alterations to the expected dress of Sixth Form students can be made throughout the year and will be communicated to students via Sixth Form briefings and email.


Oakes & Griffin “The A Level Mindset” 2016

We have adopted the VESPA model in supporting students through their A Levels, VESPA stands for:

  • Vision: students know what they want to achieve, why they are doing A levels, who they want to be and their career plans
  • Effort: students put in many hours of proactive independent study (20hrs+ per week)
  • Systems: students organise their learning resources and their time and that have good folder management. Their planning is exemplary.
  • Practice: students practise and develop their skills, including a variety of revision strategies including content, skills and feedback. A particular focus on timed past papers.
  • Attitude: students respond constructively to setbacks and criticism. They understand that mistakes are part of the process and help them improve.

Evidence suggests that students that score poorly in any of these areas generally underperform in their A Levels. We will send activities to support these areas to parents throughout the year.

Voluntary Work

We encourage students to undertake a limited amount of voluntary work, during free time or the holidays. This experience is particularly important if your son / daughter is considering a degree course in medical / education / caring / social fields.

Work Experience

Students are expected to undertake a week of work experience in June / July of Year 12. The exact dates will be released later in the year. Research for the University of Manchester suggests that high-value work experience is a key factor for success on UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service) personal statements, particularly with competitive applications.

More information about Work Experience

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