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The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Key Stage 5 - Sixth Form

Sixth Form BWCAT


St Mary’s Menston

Our Post-16 curriculum in the sixth form is based on level 3 courses, mainly A-level with a number of Applied General courses. Based on an entry requirement of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, our Pathways to Success options programme include a number of routes for students to achieve, whatever their GCSE profile. 


The focus is to prepare our students for their next step, in education, employment, apprenticeships or training at age 18.

Each student is enrolled on a 16-19 study programme which is made up of the following elements:

  • the core aim:  most students choose three options (although for some pathways more or fewer subjects might be recommended) with 9 hours teaching per fortnight for each subject
  • English and maths tuition if a student has not achieved a grade 4 at GCSE
  • the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement
  • non-qualification activity to develop students’ character; this includes lessons and themed days in religious education, time with tutors to focus on study skills and post 8 pathway, and a wide range of enrichment opportunities
  • Personal Development Time (PDT)
  • a Health and Wellbeing Programme

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), worth half an A-level, is also available as an option. 

We set challenging targets based on prior attainment at GCSE, and provide a range of different interventions and support for students who are not on track, including mentoring, subject tutorials and supervised study.


St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form



The Associated Sixth Form was created in 1973 as a unique venture in ecumenical education. Its aim is to provide a Christian environment in which all students who wish to remain at school beyond the age of 16 are given the opportunity to fulfil their academic potential. This is achieved by pooling the resources, staff expertise and experience of two outstanding schools for the benefit of all sixth form students. As the largest school-based sixth form in the country, the Associated Sixth Form is regarded by former students as the best possible springboard into higher education or employment as it prepares students well for making new friends and adapting to future life. A bespoke Careers Guidance service helps all students to identify the best possible routes after A Levels: last year, 92% of students entering higher education gained places at their first or second choice institution, including many going to the best universities in the country.


Courses are offered at GCE Advanced, Advanced Subsidiary, Advanced Applied, BTEC and GCSE levels. The Sixth Form has increased dramatically in the last few years and, with 1150 students between the two schools, it can offer a rich diversity of choice. The Association can also offer opportunities for students to work on extended projects and to be involved in a range of enrichment activities that may lead to accreditation within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students enter the Sixth Form not only from St. Aidan’s and St. John Fisher, but also from more than 40 other schools in any one year. We believe that such a wide and varied intake helps to enrich the life of all students. It certainly provides all entrants with a challenge and the impetus of a fresh start. The evidence suggests that this experience is of great benefit when students make the transition from school to university.