Sixth Form Case Studies

Emily B: “Sixth Form has helped me to believe in myself more.”

“I decided to stay on into Year 14 because I wanted to develop my creative skills and build my confidence and independence before going to Uni. The extra year really helped me to come out of my shell and believe in myself more, and it also gave me the opportunity to extend my Media qualification and study AS Level Photography and Extended Project as additional subjects. I enjoyed the opportunity to mentor younger students in Media lessons and share the skills that I learned with them.

“If someone was to ask me why I think King James is special I would say that the atmosphere is really friendly and accepting, and that there is a great bond between Students and Staff. You get lots of support and opportunities to get involved in School events and Open Evenings, go on trips and take part in fundraising activities, which I found really rewarding. I was sad to leave King James but was also excited about the future. I’m studying Digital Film Production at the University of Sunderland.”

Beth F: “You get lots of opportunities and the Staff are really supportive.”

“I have always wanted to work with children and have a particular ambition to work with children with Special Educational Needs. King James Sixth Form helped me to get the qualifications and UCAS points I need to get a place at University, especially in the Health and Social Care Department. I am studying a degree in Childhood Studies at the University of Sunderland with the intention of becoming a teacher.”

“I would recommend King James Sixth Form to other people because you get a lot of support and opportunities and the staff are really kind and supportive. They work hard to help you achieve the highest grades and be the best you can be, and because class sizes are small, you get lots of help and one-to-one time when you need it. I also loved the friendly atmosphere and the fact that everyone is accepted for who they are there.”


Ellie J: “Class sizes are small so your teacher can really get to know you.”

“I have always wanted to work in the Media industry so chose A’ Level subjects that would give me a broad range of skills. In two years I achieved top grades in Media Studies, Creative Writing, History and Extended Project and am sure that these are helping me to succeed on my university course. In my two years in Sixth Form, I became much more confident and independent, and couldn’t wait to start my Degree in Media Production at the University of Sunderland.”

“One of the best things about King James is the bond between students and their teachers; class sizes are small, which means that your teacher really gets to know you and is there to support you when you need it. In my second year, I had a difficult time because I felt overwhelmed by my studies but I got lots of help and support to pull me through and here I am; another King James success story! I liked the fact that King James Sixth Form is so small compared to all the local colleges – everyone knows your name including the Head of Sixth Form and Head Teacher of the Academy so you don’t feel like a number. This makes it a really safe and happy environment.” 

Lewis W: “Everyone made me feel welcome on my first day.”

“I went to Whitworth Park School in Spennymoor but as the Sixth Form there had closed, I needed to find somewhere new to study my A’ Levels. I visited quite a few different places but I decided to come to King James Sixth Form as I felt it was the best one. When I visited, the teachers were really friendly and made me feel welcome, and I liked how it was smaller than other places, which suited me because it felt more personal. I was able to take all the subjects I wanted to, which also encouraged me to enrol; I enjoyed my lessons and the level of support offered by everyone at the school.”

“I would recommend King James to anyone, including people from other schools as you won’t feel like an outsider. It is really friendly so you’ll easily make friends with people even if you are shy because everyone comes up to talk to you! You can also get help when applying for University (I’m now at York St John University) and there are many trips available to improve your experience of Sixth Form further.”

Laura N: “At Sixth Form I travelled to Brazil, Jamaica, Ireland and all over the UK.”


“I left King James Sixth Form in 2016 with high A’ Level grades in Drama, Performing Arts and Business, and began my Degree in Events Management at Liverpool John Moore’s University. My ambition is to have my own successful events planning business with a particular focus on weddings, so these subjects gave me an excellent skillset to build upon. I completed my first two years at university and then spent a year on placement in Malta with the company, Sarah Young Events, before returning to complete my degree.”


“If I was to list the best things about King James I would start with the fact that the teachers are all very invested and interested in what you want to do, and helping you to achieve your goals. The timetable is personalised and you can get one-to-one support to help you achieve your full potential. The atmosphere is also very friendly, relaxed and accepting, and the small-scale environment means that everyone knows each other so you feel safe.”


“There are lots of opportunities to be independent but staff are always on hand to guide you where needed, and opportunities to take part in international and UK trips. During my time at Sixth Form I travelled to Jamaica, Ireland and Brazil, which were all life changing experiences, and I also visited a number of Universities as part of the ‘Aim Higher’ programme. These really helped me to decide which university I wanted to attend, and it is thanks to one of these trips that I chose to study in Liverpool.”

Brandon H: “Sixth Form has given me lots of new friends in other year groups.”

“In Sixth Form I studied A Level Art, Photography and Extended Project, which I enjoyed because they are all creative subjects. I decided early on that going to university was not for me; I much prefer a hands-on, practical approach to learning new things and so I am looking for an apprenticeship.”

“I would say that everyone should experience Sixth Form because it gives you the opportunity to develop your personal skills to a much higher level. I did consider other colleges but found that they could not offer me the level of support and the subjects that King James could. All of the staff here are really kind, friendly and helpful so you always feel comfortable and like you are part of something; they always make you feel welcome in lessons as well. Sixth Form has given me lots of new friends in other year groups and made me feel more confident and optimistic about the future. I am quite sad to leave but at the same time I am really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me and know that I can come back for a visit.”

Laura S: “I have done things that I never thought I would have the courage to do.”

“I studied Photography, Art, Extended Project and Health & Social Care at Sixth Form. I want to be a professional photographer and aspire to have my own business in the future. Of course, A Level Photography helped me to develop all of the technical skills I will need to be successful in the industry but the creative subjects I studied have really allowed me to flourish and begin to identify my own style.”

“I would recommend King James Sixth Form for lots of reasons but mostly because of the friendly atmosphere that creates a sense of belonging. Sixth Form students and staff are like one big family and I always feel welcome, comfortable and safe. When I first started school I was incredibly shy, quiet and insecure; I was the person who would hide in the corner and hope that I wouldn’t get noticed! This improved as I got older but I can honestly say that it was my Sixth Form experience that has been the making of me. It has allowed me to find out who I am, what I want and what I am really good at, and as a result I am a more confident person, and one who embraces every opportunity and is happy to face new challenges. I have done things that I never thought I would have the courage to do, such as visiting Barcelona, working with SEN pupils, helping out at special events and working with visiting Primary pupils; I am even a Youth Leader at my local club.”

Daniel B: “The Maths provision at King James is excellent.”

“I graduated from King James Sixth Form in 2016 and am will soon begin my third year of my Master’s Degree in Mathematics at The University of York. Maths has always been my strongest subject and I loved the way my Maths teachers delivered the GCSE course so choosing my Sixth Form subjects was easy. I studied A Level Maths and Further Maths alongside Physics and Business Studies; I got great results and these gained me lots of UCAS points and a place at York, which was my first choice university.”

“When I started King James I was quite shy and felt quite ‘average’ but my Maths teacher realised that I had a talent for Maths and began to nurture it, which really boosted my self-esteem. Sixth Form lessons are brilliant; class sizes are really small so you get focussed time, and you can talk to your teachers and debate the subject you feel passionately about, on a whole new level. Teachers taught me to have faith in my problem solving skills and to believe in myself more and this has really paid off for me. In Sixth Form I attended a Maths conference in Disneyland Paris, visited the CERN Laboratory in Geneva and worked as part of the recycling team at Glastonbury Festival. I also worked as a Maths Mentor with younger year groups and at the Summer School and Curriculum Weeks with new starters and primary pupils, which were all great experiences. I love living and studying in York, achieving a First; after this I aspire to complete a PhD.”