Message from Headteacher, Dr R. Wilkin
Dear Applicants and Parents,
It is commonplace for various points in your school careers to be described as ‘decisive’: transition from Year 6, GCSE options, your mock exams, and so on.
Whilst all of these are important, the seriousness of each stage tends to increase as time goes on, which means that the choice you currently face, about where and what to study post-16, is the most important decision you have yet made.
Thankfully, I am able to say each year to prospective Sixth Formers that we are spoilt for choice locally when it comes to Further Education providers: there really is a place and a course for everyone if you look carefully. Why then, would you choose the Ursuline?
It comes down to two things: quality and community.
You need to be sure that, whatever the path you choose, the teaching, guidance and challenge you receive will be of the highest quality. Exam results are the currency that you will take out into the world and exchange for opportunities, so you need to know that you can trust your teachers and that they have a track record that inspires confidence. In the end, nothing is as important as this: not the buildings, the menus, the technology or the uniform. The quality of education and the results achieved are more important than anything else.
A* grades or Distinctions achieved by students in the past at BUCHS do not guarantee that you will achieve the same. What they do, however, is show you that the teachers you will have are capable of teaching to that standard: what you then do with that teaching is up to you. We will do our part and provide you with the best opportunities to succeed in the courses that we offer; we provide the vehicle headed to where you want to go, but you provide the fuel.
Community is the other vital thing that you need to look for. Is this a community in which you will feel comfortable? After all, what do I want from my Sixth Form community? A hectic social life? Academic competition? Like-minded people? Personal challenge? A Christian environment? A change? You must decide.
BUCHS Year 11 students might be tempted to skip over this bit and assume that they know all about the Ursuline community, but I would ask you to think again. If you talk to our Year 12 and 13 students, you will hear them say that life in the Sixth Form is completely different. New friends, new subjects, a new relationship with teachers, new freedoms, new challenges. Don’t assume that you know, go and find out. There is more personal growth done in the two years of Sixth Form than in all of the other years put together.
Our community is challenging but supportive, ambitious but understanding, demanding but compassionate. You will not be left alone to get on with it; we won’t give you a quiet life, so if that’s what you want then look elsewhere. Our duty is to persuade, encourage and sometimes force you to do the right thing. It is a tradition that goes back 120 years, and it is a proven recipe for success.
Look around, get to know what is on offer, reflect on what you want and decide what your priorities are. If you want both a high quality education and a Christian community in which you can thrive, we look forward to welcoming you into our Ursuline Sixth Form in September 2021.
Message from David Giles, Director of Sixth Form
Welcome to our Sixth Form and thank you for your interest in Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School.
At this time of year, we normally open the doors for our Sixth Form Open Evening and this provides visitors with a chance to meet our committed and passionate subject teachers, consider some of the excellent work and results achieved by our pupils and, most importantly, meet the students in our Sixth Form. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we cannot meet face to face but I hope that our prospectus and material on the website provide you with some key information about our school’s offer at Key Stage 5.
Our school motto is Duty and we hope that you will be impressed with our commitment to this at the Ursuline. Our school duty is to provide an excellent education for all of our young people, allowing them to develop their talents and skills so that they can grow and achieve their full potential; our students’ duty is to approach their studies positively and seize the opportunities available to them in our Sixth Form. We want students who are hardworking, talented and motivated to join us here.
At Brentwood Ursuline, we are focused on helping students to achieve academic excellence. The care and attention that staff provide to pupils is outstanding and teachers set challenging and rigorous work. Students are also directed towards a range of opportunities to extend their learning outside of the classroom. Studies in Sixth Form are a definite step up from GCSE, where more independence and proactiveness is needed for students to excel and achieve the highest grades. We help students to meet this challenge.
The students who join us in our Sixth Form have diverse talents and skills. They might welcome the challenges presented in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); they might enjoy reading and engaging with different writers’ works in English Literature; they might be passionate about the study of History or Geography; they might be a talented artist looking to hone their skills in Art or Music; or they might be excited to study a new subject at A Level, such as Psychology, Politics or Economics.
We offer two pathways for our learners in the Sixth Form. The first pathway is the most popular and well-trodden; it allows students to select three or four A Levels to study with us. A Levels are academically challenging and predominately exam-based qualifications; the exams are taken at the end of two years of study. Students are likely to be keen to progress into higher education at the end of this path.
The second pathway allows a student to select a BTEC qualification in a particular vocational area: either Business, Sport or the Performing Arts, combined with one A Level. BTEC qualifications are a combination of exams and coursework assessment but are modular, so students will study particular units and then complete assessments as they progress through the course. The course is designed to equip students with the skills they need to excel in the workplace, as the units have been designed with input from professionals in the relevant industries. At the end of their path, BTEC students will be able to progress to university if they wish or they may choose to join the workplace in a job or an apprenticeship.
I continue to be proud of our Sixth Formers here. The commitment they show to their studies, their resilient and positive attitude during the challenge presented by the pandemic and the way that they embrace the super curricular activities recommended by subjects makes me feel confident that they will do well in their futures. Many of our current Year 13s are now sending off their university applications and I am delighted to read their personal statements and see what they have accomplished. They are aspiring to join the best universities, including institutions in the Russell Group, such as Oxford and Cambridge, and we support them fully in their UCAS applications. Similarly, some of them are thinking about looking for an apprenticeship place and we provide advice and help with these applications too.
Our school has an excellent track record in helping students achieve their goals. Last year, many of our students progressed to Higher Education and in September 2020, we had students starting their Higher Education studies across the country at fantastic universities including Oxford University, Imperial College London, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), King’s College London, University of Southampton, University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, University of Liverpool and University of Glasgow. We also had three successful students progress to study Medicine at university, one of the most competitive courses in the country. Alongside university, our students have also been completing apprenticeships at companies including JP Morgan, Deloitte, Fieldfisher, Tiro Associates and Total Assist.
We hope that you are excited to join us for your Sixth Form journey and that you will embrace the opportunities offered by our school. See you in September 2021!
Message from the Head Student, Darcey Cunningham
Throughout my A Level studies, the Ursuline Sixth Form has been both a place of education and a place of support. I have relished the challenge of studying History, English Language, Religious Studies and Spanish, with the encouragement from my teachers and peers pushing me beyond my limits and guiding me along every step of the way. We offer a range of qualifications here, from BTECS to A Levels and the lessons are both thorough and intense, but there is a lot more to sixth form than purely your subject.
The Ursuline is a unique environment where relationships are built between the entire community; not just between sixth form students and their teachers, but also with the lower school, who look up to us as role models. The leadership opportunities that are available provide sixth form students with a great sense of achievement, as well as developing their skills which will certainly prove highly valuable beyond our Dear Convent Home.
My role as Head Student has been a dream of mine since beginning my Ursuline journey in Year 7, aspiring to follow in the footsteps of the previous Head Students who had a great impact on me as wonderful role models. Since achieving my ambition, I have had endless opportunities to develop beyond my studies – including mentoring younger students, chairing school council meetings, and delivering speeches to my own school community. The leadership and organisation skills I have acquired from this role, as well as the sense of fulfilment that I hold and will carry with me even beyond my time at the Sixth Form, are the reasons why, for me, the Ursuline will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Message from Olivia Cole, Deputy Head Student
The Brentwood Ursuline Sixth Form has offered me opportunities I never thought were within my reach. From the Kingsley Napley Legal Apprentice Competition to Political Science lectures at Cambridge, BUCHS has prepared me well for life beyond Sixth Form. The extent of support provided by the leadership team is excellent ; knowing that there is always someone to listen and help you during these two years is incredibly comforting. Moreover, the multitude of leadership roles available within the Sixth Form have enabled me to nurture practical skills along side my studies, preparing me for the world of work. I feel ready to face whatever the future brings. Being a part of the Ursuline community is, quite simply, a privilege and is something I am and will always be, immensely proud of.
Message from Eno Abora, Deputy Head Student
At the Ursuline, every student matters. From your arrival to your departure, the school is a source of encouragement and support, helping to awaken and maximise your potential. In the Sixth Form, you are never alone and have the support of pupils and staff to help prepare you for future challenges. Over the course of my time at the Sixth Form, I have made many life long friendships which have helped me to become more confident and seen me through the recent difficult times.
The Sixth Form has also helped me to recognise that success doesn't happen overnight and with its constant support, encouragement and motivation, it has helped myself and many others work hard to become the best students and people we can be by providing an excellent example of what it means to love God and love one another. By fostering the teachings and spiritual values of the Catholic Faith and helping students be inspired by the life and teachings of St Angela Merici, the school has helped to create a Christian environment in which its students can grow.
One of the things I love most about the Ursuline is how it strives for the success of its students. Through its many leadership opportunities, such as the Student Leadership Team and in extracurricular activities and clubs, the school provides equal opportunities for students to challenge themselves and succeed, and cultivates a friendly and welcoming environment where students can work together to ensure the progress of the school community.
Click here for Sixth Form prospectus
Click here for Sixth Form Subject booklet
Click here for Conditions of Enrolment
Click here for Sixth Form Application form
Click here for pictures of our school and students
We would encourage applications to be submitted by the deadline of Friday 18th December 2020.
The Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Queens Road, Brentwood, Essex. CM14 4EX
Tel: 01277 227156
The Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (registered number 8212425).
Registered office: Queen’s Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4EX.
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