Why Choose Minsthorpe?

Why go anywhere else?

We are a local college serving our local community, with excellent results. In the past year we have seen the number of Points Per Candidate (the grades and number of qualifications students achieve on average) increase from 546 to 809 over the last 2 years, which is well above National averages. This is a massive achievement, and one of which we are quite rightly proud and we continue to go from strength to strength equipping students with the tools they need to successfully make the transition to university or enter employment.

We believe that at Minsthorpe we offer a first rate Post 16 education, which will lead students to achieving their best, and enjoying being a Post 16 student. It is an important choice, so why choose us? We are a popular and successful College. 2013 saw nearly 300 students enrol on an extensive range of both academic and vocational courses across levels 2-3 and we have made a strong commitment to investing in Post 16 to provide the very best for our students.

Our collaboration within the Wakefield South East Learning Community means that this range is extending every year. Our philosophy is to ensure that ‘no child is left behind’ and we are committed to delivering students as well prepared adults into our rapidly changing world, whether that is to further education, university or employment.

Established free transport links between us and our collaborative partner, Hemsworth Arts & Community College, means that accessing courses on both sites and at our new Training and Enterprise Centre which houses some of our courses has never been easier!

We have a wide range of academic and vocational courses on offer all with good success rates. Students enrol on either a two year ‘level 3’ programme (Entry requirements at least 5 A*-C at GCSE) or a one year level 2 programme. (GCSE expected grades D-G). Many of our level 2 students are then able to re-enrol on a level 3 programme having attained extra GCSE equivalent qualifications.

At level 3, we offer AS/A2 levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas and BTEC Diplomas equivalent to up to 3 ‘A’ Levels.

At level 2, we offer BTEC First Diplomas, (equivalent to 4 GCSE’s A*-C) and GCSE’s or other appropriate qualifications in English and Maths.

Some subjects will be familiar to students whilst others offer the opportunity to embark on a completely new field of study.

In many cases, familiar staff who have already guided and pushed students through GCSEs are the course leaders for Post 16 subjects meaning that continuity can be enormously beneficial.

Our success is based on the belief that students deserve the best in terms of teaching facilities, extra curricular activities and individual support. At Minsthorpe students benefit from high standards of teaching, effective tutorial support and excellent advice and guidance. We know our students well, and the benefits for students in staying in Post 16 where staff know their students, know their potential, and can push and encourage students to do their very best all within a familiar, yet more adult environment, are obvious. That said, we actively welcome new students to college and enrol students from other schools every year, who enjoy and benefit from what we have to offer.

We have an extensive enrichment programme where students will be able to develop their skills and interests through a wide range of activities including sport, volunteering, work experience, driving theory, Lifeguard qualifications and many other skills.This learning experience will help prepare our students successfully to pursue their further opportunities in education or employment.

Students will also have lessons which will support them in developing their study skills, essay writing and personal and economic well being as they mature into young adults.

Achievement

We are very proud of our results in Post 16. Around 45% of our Year 13 cohort every year sit BTEC Diplomas which achieve results which are consistently among the top 10% nationally. Students achieve exceptionally well on BTEC Diplomas, which are coursework based, and prepare them for university or employment in Childcare, Sport, Public Services and Beauty. Other students sit A Level qualifications, or a mixture of A Level and BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas. A Levels are largely based around exams and as you can see from the table below, we have made massive strides in improving results over the last 4 years, most notably in Points Per Candidate.

Post 16 2011 2012 2013
Points per candidate 546 763 809
Points per entry 196 196 196

Facilities

We are lucky to have a purpose built Post 16 Centre located between the Science Block and the Sports and Fitness Centre.

This is a two storey building which houses the Study Centre equipped with new computers, a social area with Café and administrative functions for Post 16 students.

Students are taught in specialist areas relevant to their course of study and enjoy:

  • A designated Post 16 block
  • Self-contained Café
  • Self-contained Study Area
  • Access to new and refurbished subject areas.
  • A purpose built Cadet Centre for the BTEC Public Services Courses.
  • Free access to excellent new Sports Facilities.
  • Access to Post 16 only networked PCs to assist study and research.
  • New Beauty Suite.
  • Training and Conference Centre.
  • First rate Childcare facilities on site.

The New Wakefield South East Training and Enterprise Centre houses our Beauty courses, along with courses in Construction and Hair and Beauty offered in conjunction with Hemsworth Community College.

Learner Support

We have recently expanded our structure and have put in place a huge amount of staff support at Post 16. The Assistant Principal and Director of Post 16 Education and Training oversees Post 16. In addition there are two Cross Curriculum Team Leaders who take responsibility for Years 12 and 13 respectively. We also have a Support For Achievement Mentors, a dedicated Post 16 Careers and Education Guidance teacher, as well as designated administration and Study Centre staff. Every student will have an individual mentor whose role it is to guide you through your Post 16 course(s). They will provide personal, emotional and social support, monitor your attendance, deliver the tutorial programme and discuss targets with you on a regular basis. We will use a system of registration for students, which is compatible with the philosophy of a Post 16 Centre that operates within a Community College and which may include students having the privilege of home study.

Students who are eligible for Free School Meals are also eligible to apply for regular Bursary payments, which give you a monthly payment of around £70 to meet the costs of staying on in Post 16 education. Applications are made at the start of the academic year and students who are eligible are awarded a bursary for one year in the first instance. The award of this is based upon household income.

Appropriate Courses

Staff will guide you through your choices to ensure you choose the right ones, and will be there to offer advice right up until the start of Post 16 including being available in college when the GCSE results are published in August.

To determine the right courses for you, ask yourself:

What career do you have in mind? Don’t worry if you don’t know, but if you do, what do you need to get there? What subjects do you need to study and to what level?

Can you plan to improve your qualifications so that you can achieve your chosen career? Do your chosen subjects really interest you, and if they are not new, have you been well motivated to achieve your best in them in the past? If they are new, have you thought about what it might be like to study this subject? Do you really know what is involved? Do you have the skills / qualifications to succeed on this course?

Entry onto Level 3 courses requires 5 A-C GCSE grades or more. We will look closely at your GCSE and other Key Stage 4 achievements and in discussion with students, help you choose the most appropriate course at the correct level of study. For BTEC courses, a Merit in the same subject if you have studied it before will ensure you are well qualified to meet the demands of the course.

Preparing For Higher Education

All Advanced Level Post 16 students are given the opportunity to:

  • Investigate Colleges and Universities.
  • Attend Open Days.
  • Listen to visiting speakers.
  • Discuss career requirements and opportunities.

In Year 13, staff and students together carefully consider individual needs when identifying the most suitable University or College. As a result, Minsthorpe has a highly successful record of placing students at Universities and colleges of Further and Higher Education. In September 2013 60% of our students continued to university with an upward trend of students considering this option in our current Year 13.

Preparing For Employment And Further Training

The Careers Guidance and Action Planning which students experience in Year 11 continues in Post 16. For each individual, this consists of:

Help and guidance from your mentor, subject teachers, the Director of Post 16 and other key staff. Interviews, when appropriate, with our specialist Guidance Advisor or the MAP office at Minsthorpe also feature, as well as use of the College`s Careers Library, which has an extensive range of books and computer software

Work Experience

This is an integral part of all vocational courses and will be planned for you as part of the course or undertaken as part of enrichment time. A-Level students are also encouraged to arrange experience of work on an on going basis either during enrichment or outside of this time. For many careers, work experience is a necessary part.

Off-Site Learning Opportunities

Many subject areas offer excellent trips which are integral to students learning. Examples are Public Services residentials, trips to France, Theatre visits, Beauty Show trips, Geography field trips and many more.

Special Conferences

In recent years, we have offered conferences run by outside tutors and industrialists which focus students on the world of industry and study skills.

Rewards

We like to reward our Post 16 students who meet their Student Learning Agreement and there are half termly Course Leader Nominations and recognition of achievements rewarded by letter. In addition all teachers have allocations of our College Reward System, Vivo’s so that students can accrue Vivo’s to put towards prizes of their choice.

What to Choose

If you are choosing a Vocational course such as a Diploma, this will often be the only choice you make as it takes up the majority of your time. In some cases, it might be possible to combine other qualifications with your diploma.

If you are choosing A Level courses, you need to choose 4 subjects as AS Level. Generally, at the end of the first year of study, most students drop one of these subjects having achieved an AS Level, and will concentrate on 3 A2 Levels to complete their course.

If you do not achieve English and Maths at GCSE at the end of Year 11, we ask you to resit these GCSE’s as they are important qualifications for all students. You do not need to choose these now, but will be allocated to these courses if you do not achieve a C in the exams on enrolment to Post 16 in September.

Have a careful look at the subject choices, and read through all the information thoroughly to help you make up your mind. We will be asking you to complete a paper application so that we can begin to timetable subjects according to demand. We do not ask you to choose from a grid, but instead ask you to choose 4 subjects, in order of preference, and one reserve choice so that we can timetable effectively. It may not always be possible to study the combination of subjects which all students desire, but we will do our best to accommodate as many students as possible. You also need to apply through www.ucas.com/progress which is the on line application system for all schools and colleges in the area. We run a Taster Day every year, which takes place on 5 December 2013 so that you can sample the lessons you have chosen and make informed choices about whether these are firm choices or not.

Good luck, and please do see any of your teachers, or Miss Bishop or Miss Bigland in Post 16 if you have any questions or queries.